New home builders pledge to increase output

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The Home Builder Federation has managed to encourage major players in the house building sector to raise the output of new homes in the UK after months of negotiations with the Government.

HBF, on behalf of its larger members today published a Statement of intent outlining an ambition to deliver further increases in housing supply.

The Statement demonstrates house builders’ commitment to work closely with Government to build on the big increases in supply of recent years to deliver the Government’s target of building 1 million homes in this parliament, building on significant steps forward that have seen build rates on large sites double to help deliver 30% growth in supply in just two years.

HBF and Government have been in discussions for a number of months aimed at ensuring output continues to rise. The Government continues to respond to barriers to housing growth, including through reforms in the Housing and Planning Bill 2015-16; whilst the industry has pledged to continue to grow its businesses, invest more in training and provide more transparency around build out rates. HBF will also develop a ‘land exchange’ aimed at allowing larger builders to sell sites or parts of sites to smaller builders.

The past two years have seen big increases in supply with official figures/HBF research showing;

  • Build rates on large sites have doubled since 2010
  • Housing supply in 2014/15 reached over 180,000 (15/16 expected to be higher)
  • The country’s biggest builders have increased output by C60% since their ‘troughs’
  • By 2019 big companies will be building double what they did in 2010

Speaking today, Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF, said; “Over the past two years the industry has responded to the positive policies introduced by Government and has delivered huge increases in output.  All indicators clearly show the significant progress being made and last year we delivered more than 180,000 new homes in England. Moving forward the industry is committed to going further, and provided that the political, economic and policy conditions are conducive, to deliver further increases in supply. House builders are investing in their supply chains and have taken on tens of thousands of new workers to ensure there is the capacity and skills to deliver more high quality homes. Working with Government, and others, we want to ensure that the investment environment remains attractive and that the right measures are in place to support the delivery of the homes the country needs.”

Brandon Lewis, the Housing and Planning Minister, warmly welcomed the commitment of the house builders to increase housing supply.

He said “Government has got the house builders building again. This statement of intent shows house builders are committed to continuing the growth in supply we have seen under our administration – building more of the homes that this country needs. I welcome the statement from the HBF and working together this confirms we can achieve our ambition of delivering 1 million homes.

“We have already seen a strong upwards growth in new homes delivered since 2010 and I welcome developers’ plans to share with councils how quickly they will get homes built on sites.

“I’ll continue working with HBF and house builders to see rates of building increase further and look forward to seeing the results their review of larger sites.”

HBF and Government will continue discussions in the coming months to identify further ways of increasing delivery from existing sites and bringing forward more sites, particularly for smaller builders. In particular HBF is keen to explore how blockages in the planning process, and with utilities providers, can be addressed to get builders starting on site more quickly.