New report reveals 240,000 homes must be built a year to hit target of three million

The government is unlikely to meet its target of three million new homes by 2020, new research has revealed.

A report The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) claims in order to reach this number, the government would have to build 240,000 every year - a rate not achieved at any point since the early nineties.

The report was produced by a team of researchers from universities in Manchester, Glasgow and Ulster.

It established key areas of concern, suffering from shortages in housing, such as southern Wales, Northern Ireland and large parts of southern and central England.

The inequality between areas was also highlighted, with house prices in south east and south west England 10 times the average household incomes in many neighbourhoods.

Cecilia Wong, professor at University of Manchester and project manager said today: "What is clear is that there is an urgent need for more nuanced policy - making that takes better account of the characteristics of an area, especially how local housing markets function."

Several of the issues highlighted in the report such as supply and demand and housing affordability will be examined in greater depth by JRF's Housing Market Taskforce. It was established in July and will look into the root causes of instability in the housing market, providing a series of recommendations in late 2010.