The Election & UK New Home Building Strategy

The General Election is well underway and the main parties are fighting it out over the topics that they want to talk about, including the UK new home building strategy.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has claimed that “240,000 new homes were built last year and that this was more than any year, in the last 31 years bar one”. The Labour leader Jeremy Corbin says that a Labour government will start the biggest building programme since the 1960’s with 100,000 council houses to be built by 2024.

A general election does tend to bring out the big claims by politicians but, in the meantime, the UK new home building strategy carries on suffering the effects of this distraction not to mention the looming Brexit decisions. There were actually 241,130 dwellings added to the supply in England during 2018-19 which was up 9% on the previous year.

According to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, 241,130 net additions in 2018-19 resulted from 213,660 new build homes, 29,260 gains from change of use between non-domestic and residential, 5,220 from conversions between houses and flats and 940 other gains (caravans, house boats etc.), offset by 7,940 demolitions

UK annual house price growth rate was unchanged in September 2019

Turning attention back to this year, the statistics for September 2019 show that house prices increased by 1.3% over the year to September 2019, being unchanged from August 2019.  According to the latest report from the Office for National Statistics and their UK House Price Index for September 2019, Average house prices increased over the year in England to £251,000 (1.0%), Wales to £164,000 (2.6%), Scotland to £155,000 (2.4%) and Northern Ireland to £140,000 (4.0%).

London experienced the lowest annual growth rate (negative 0.4%), followed by the East of England (negative 0.2%).
For anyone looking at the pattern of house prices and the UK home build strategy can find this data invaluable with data calculated using data from HM Land Registry, Registers of Scotland, and Land and Property Services Northern Ireland.

Over the past three years, there has been a general slowdown in UK house price growth, driven mainly by a slowdown in the south and east of England.

The average UK house price was £234,000 in September 2019, this is £3,000 higher than September 2018 (Figure 2). On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK decreased by 0.2% between August 2019 and September 2019, compared with a fall of 0.2% in average prices during the same period a year earlier.

Growth rates compare at the country level

House price growth in Wales increased by 2.6% in the year to September 2019, down from 5.0% in the year to August 2019, with the average house price at £164,000.  House prices in Scotland increased by 2.4% in the year to September 2019, up from 1.6% in the year to August 2019, with the average house price in Scotland now £155,000.

The average house price in England increased by 1.0% over the year to September 2019, up from 0.9% in the year to August 2019, with the average house price in England now £251,000.  Northern Ireland house prices increased by 4.0% over the year to Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2019. Northern Ireland remains the cheapest UK country to purchase a property in, with the average house price at £140,000.

Whilst we await the outcome of the general election on 12 December the UK new home building strategy will continue to be debated by the political parties and we await the outcome with close interest!

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