118,000: The number of new homes that were completed in England in 2009, according to the latest official data.
240,000: The number of new homes to be created annually in England from 2016, according to the targets set when Yvette Cooper, Minister for Housing and Planning at the time, announced the launch of the Government’s Housing Green Paper – “Homes for the future: more affordable, more sustainable” on 23 July 2007.
It all looks pretty grim, with house building numbers down a third across England on the year and down in all regions of England. We can expect to see the same in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland when the figures are released.
The graph shows the completions for England and the target set by the Government back in 2005. The source is CLG.
A more detailed look at the figures shows that apart from in London and the North East the rate of completions is still falling on an annualised basis. So we have yet to see the bottoming out of the slump in completions.
What’s more the only reason the North East has seen a slight rise in house building numbers in the latter part of 2009 is because build rates had fallen so dramatically in the previous quarters that there was little scope but to see a rise. And the total completion were also boosted by the social sector.
Construction industry forecasters do suggest that things will improve in the coming months, but there is little if anything in the forecasts to point to growth rates that might bring build rates back to their pre-credit crunch levels, let alone to the 240,000 target.