Up until two weeks ago, we thought that 150,000 additional households were being formed every year.
Now, the ODPM has updated its original figure. And like every other indicator of housing demand, the number has swelled. The ODPM now says formation is growing at the rate of 189,000 households a year, with more than half of those in London, the South-east and East of England.
At the same time, many housebuilders say they can’t build more homes. They complain vociferously that the local politics, bureaucracy and target-driven mentality of the planning process will not allow them to build. They say the labour to build homes traditionally is in short supply, and that off-site manufacturing technology is prohibitively expensive.
So with housing delivery being at the top of the housebuilding agenda, it seemed a natural theme for Building’s annual one-day Future Homes convention at the London Hilton on 12 October (call 0870-241 9902). The housebuilding industry has had enough statistics about housing demand. It’s time to look seriously at some potential solutions – such as Elliot Lipton’s First Base Stanhope, which promises affordable homes for those hard-pressed London households.