Record levels of house building approvals for 2017

A report delivered by the Home Builders Federation and the construction data specialist Glenigan has shown that the government is on target to build one million homes by 2020.

More than 350,000 planning permission applications for new homes were granted during 2017 - a record number. The report points out that this shows a clear commitment from housebuilders when it comes to delivering much-needed homes in the future.

The report shows that housing supply is up by 74% over the last four years and more than 217,000 new homes have completed during that time. However further improvements to the planning system are still required to reach a target of 300,000 every year by the mid-2020’s. The report suggests that changes to the National Planning Policy Framework currently underway should include speeding up the planning permission process for builders.

These permissions are a positive indicator of future house building and are the highest level granted since 2006. However, builders have found that the time it takes to grant outline planning approval to when construction actually takes place can be too long and they would like to see this reduced.

The report also showed that despite there being more approvals, the number of sites has actually reduced by 3.5% since 2006. This means that sites are typically larger than they used to be, requiring more upfront capital - making it harder for smaller builders.

Executive chairman of the federation, Stewart Baseley says that the industry is showing willing, but that the planning system needs to encompass a broader range of sites.