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Coventry’s housing crisis: Not enough new homes to go round

Coventry is failing to create enough new homes to keep pace with the population growth in the city.

New figures released show a total an extra 1,095 houses and flats were made available in the city in 2017/18.

The data includes both new build homes, and those created by converting existing buildings for residential use.

The number of new homes actually fell from 1,129 in 2016/17.

It means that since 2010/11, a total of 8,478 extra houses and flats have been created in Coventry.

At the same time, the population has risen from 311,674 in mid-2010 to 360,149 in mid-2017 – the latest figure available.

That represents an increase of 48,475.

Even before this year’s population increase is factored in – the number of people living in Coventry is rising by nearly six for every one new home created.

The average household size across the UK is 2.4.

The latest data – published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government – shows a mixed pattern across Warwickshire.

A total of 1,336 new homes were created in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2017/18, up from 1,219 the previous year.

Numbers were also up in Rugby (from 381 to 578) and Nuneaton and Bedworth (from 400 to 497).

But only 227 new homes were created in North Warwickshire in 2017/18, down from 326 in 2016/17.

Warwick also saw a drop, from 1,060 to 899.

Across England as a whole, 222,194 new homes were created in 2017/18.

That was up from 217,345 in 2016/17.

A total of 1,333,493 new homes have been made available since 2010.

At the same time, the population rose by 2,969,149 to 55,478,093.

It means one new home is being created for every 2.2 extra people living in England.

Source: Coventry Telegraph

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Net injection of new homes in England reaches highest point in decade

The net injection of new homes into England’s housing supply is at its highest levels in a decade, official figures show.

There were 222,190 net additions in 2017-18 – up by 2% on 2016-17, figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show.

It is the highest annual total recorded since 2007-08 – although the overall rate at which supply has been increasing year-on-year has slowed down.

In terms of housing gains last year, there were 195,290 new build homes – a 6% increase on the number of new build additions a year earlier.

And there were 29,720 gains from change of use from non-domestic properties to residential ones, such as by converting former offices and agricultural, storage and light industrial buildings into properties for people to live in.

There were also 4,550 gains from conversions from houses to flats and 680 other gains made up of homes such as caravans and house boats.

All of these increases were offset by 8,050 demolitions – making a total net increase of 222,190 homes between the start of April in 2017 and the end of March in 2018.

The latest net increase in housing supply is just 1% below a peak seen in 2007-08, when there was a 223,530 net increase.

The net increase in housing supply dropped off in the economic downturn but has since been recovering.

The net injection of new homes in 2017-18 sits 78% above a trough in 2012-13 when the figure was 124,720.

However, the annual increase of 2% in England’s net housing supply is lower than a 15% annual increase seen in 2016-17, an 11% rise in 2015-16 and a 25% upswing in 2014-15.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It’s good to see that the number of homes being delivered has risen again in the last year.

“To end the housing crisis, it’s crucial this progress continues and that as many as possible are social homes.”

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at the Home Builders Federation (HBF), said the figures show the home building industry is delivering the increases in housing supply the country needs.

He said: “Whilst the second-hand market remains sluggish amidst wider economic uncertainty, with Help to Buy enabling first-time buyers to purchase new build homes, builders have continued to invest and increase output.”

He continued: “Whilst huge progress is being made, the Government needs to continue to work with all parts of the housing sector to assist them to deliver further increases if we are to hit their 300,000 target.”

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: “Today’s figures are great news and show another yearly increase in the number of new homes delivered, but we are determined to do more to keep us on track to deliver the homes communities need.

“That’s why we have set out an ambitious package of measures to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. This includes over £44 billion investment, rewriting the planning rules and scrapping the borrowing cap so councils can deliver a new generation of council housing.”

Source: Yahoo Finance UK

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Planning hurdle passed in bid to build 1,600 new homes at Western Harbour

Developers will finally bring forward detailed plans for around 1,600 new homes which have stalled for more than 15 years.

Forth Ports’ proposals to redevelop its Western Harbour site between Leith and Newhaven passed a planning hurdle when the updated development framework was approved by councillors.

The company will now bring forward full plans by February – as original outline planning permission is due to expire next year. The framework was resubmitted due to the original masterplan for the site no longer meeting aspects of the council’s planning guidance.

The new community will include a large park, a board-walk promenade and a new school for which plans are set to come forward “in the next couple of months”. Forth Ports has submitted a funding bid to the Scottish Government for a loan to accelerate delivery of affordable housing at the waterfront site.

Charles Hammond, Forth Ports group chief executive, said: “We are pleased with the decision by City of Edinburgh Council to approve our revised design framework for Western Harbour in Leith.

“Forth Ports and Rettie & Co have been working together for over two years on these proposals that will result in the delivery of a community of 1,600 mid-market rental home and park which should also create the setting for the new primary school for the area.”

He added: “Through our other recently completed developments at Harbour Point and Harbour Gateway, we know there is a great deal of demand from people looking for these mid rent homes and an opportunity to create a community.

“Our proposal represents a major boost for the Leith economy and for Edinburgh as a whole and we now hope for a positive outcome from the Scottish Ministers on the possible loan funding for this project. Work is well underway preparing a full planning application in readiness for submission before the end of February 2019.”

Three blocks of flats on the Western harbour site have already been built in the first phase of the project – along with a hotel and an Asda supermarket.

This phase of the development won planning permission in principle in 2002 – but the renewed agreement is set to expire next year. The new flats will range from three to eight stories high and each block will have its own surrounding green space built around a park.

The city council’s development management sub-committee welcomed the revised vision for the Western Harbour.

Ward Cllr Chas Booth said the response from local residents had been “overwhelmingly positive”.

He added: “This space has laid empty for a long time and local residents are very keen to see development come forward. If the decision to go ahead with the trams is made later this year, this is highly accessible from a public transport perspective.

“This is a good application. I hope that between now and the detailed application, it can still be improved in terms of pedestrian and cycle access and in terms of the green space.” Councillors unanimously approved the revised design framework. Planning convener Cllr Neil Gardiner said:

“This allows for more creativity in future applications – that should be supported. “The larger blocks allow for better green space and I’m very happy to see that car parking is either underground or captured within the blocks – it’s not predominantly on the streets.”

Source: Edinburgh News

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Build-to-rent schemes soar in London

Build-to-rent schemes have helped to more than double the total number of new homes registered in the capital.

The steep rise ends a period where London has been in the doldrums due to private homes for sale projects falling off as prices for one and two-bed apartments softened.

The surge in the capital helped to drive up total UK sites registered with the NHBC over the three months to August by 11%.

Soaring numbers of both private rental and to a lesser extent housing association schemes lifted house building starts by 145% to 5,774 compared with the same period a year ago.

A business development boss for one major contractor said: “Manchester and Birmingham have been the real hotspots for big build-to-rent schemes.

“While London has had its share of these project things are really taking off now in the capital with many projects out to bid.”

NHBC chief executive Steve Wood said: “We continue to see strong numbers in many parts of the UK with a substantial uplift in London, driven by increased activity by housing associations and the continued flow of inward investment on for-sale and private rental developments.

“The continuing uncertainties around Brexit and the UK’s economic outlook do not seem sufficient to dent confidence in the new homes market, where NHBC’s focus remains on helping developers to build more, high-quality homes for people across the country.”

More than 13,700 new homes were registered to be built in the UK during August, according to the latest NHBC registration figures, with strong growth in London.

Other regions to show growth over the three month trend period included Yorkshire & Humberside and the West Midlands.

NHBC – UK Registrations by Region
England – Regions June 18 – August 18 June 17 – August 17 % change
NORTH EAST 1,870 1,724 8.5%
NORTH WEST & MERSEYSIDE 4,373 4,786 -8.6%
YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE 2,632 2,201 19.6%
WEST MIDLANDS 3,770 3,407 10.7%
EAST MIDLANDS 3,029 3,420 -11.4%
EASTERN 3,914 4,289 -8.7%
SOUTH WEST 4,156 3,698 12.4%
LONDON 5,774 2,354 145.3%
SOUTH EAST 6,457 6,653 -2.9%
TOTAL ENGLAND 35,975 32,532 10.6%
SCOTLAND 3,381 3,381 0.0%
WALES 1,230 1,529 -19.6%
NORTHERN IRELAND & ISLE OF MAN 1,961 854 129.6%
TOTAL UK 42,547 38,296 11.1%

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Plans for new homes in Spofforth deferred over safety fears

Controversial plans to build up to 72 new houses in the historic Yorkshire village of Spofforth have been deferred despite Harrogate Borough Council planning officers recommending approval.

In edgy and hearfelt exchanges at a planning committee meeting (June 12), the 11-strong committee persistently resisted pressure from planning officers who claimed there was no good reason to defer the application, particularly since, at this stage, it was only being submitted in outline form.

But  councillors were very concerned about the extra traffic that would be generated by the new housing estate, earmarked to be located on farm land at Massey Fold at the eastern end of Spofforth, a floral village which lies between Harrogate and Wetherby and prides itself in being mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.

The chairman of Spofforth Parish Council, Coun Shirley Fawcett, told the meeting: “The main problem is the traffic. It’s absolutely terrible.”

Meanwhile, Spofforth’s Borough councillor, Conservative Andrew Paraskos, highlighted the problems facing pedestrians; and he denied the developer’s claim that the narrow footpath along Harrogate Road – where the main entrance to the housing estate will be located – was safe.

“It’s blatantly not safe,” he said. “Pedestrians have to walk single file and you can’t get a pushchair or wheelchair along the footpath.”

According to Spofforth resident Stewart Killin, this would mean most residents would  either get into their cars; or walk – but put themselves at risk.

He also highlighted other problems which would be caused if the application was approved including the impact on Spofforth’s primary school and on dental and medical services in the village.

Altogether Harrogate Council received 172 representations from Spofforth residents, all objecting to the plans and on a variety of grounds including  that the proposed land was known to flood; that the site was one of potential archaeological interest; and that the northwestern corner of the site lay within Spofforth’s conservation area.

Harrogate Council’s planning department acknowledged that the application by the Ilkley-based property developer Opus North (part of real estate investment giant, Palmer Capital) would cause harm to the setting of the village and some ecological damage, but argued that this would be “limited” and that any impact would be “adequately mitigated.”

The planners also felt such considerations were outweighed by the benefits offered by the new housing estate. These included providing additional housing to meet the needs of the Harrogate district. Plus the financial contribution promised by the developer towards the maintenance and enhancement of Spofforth’s existing facilities and services.

Opus North had already amended its original planning application, reducing the number of proposed houses from 84 to a maximum of 72.

Ignoring the advice of planning officials, councillors unanimously backed the suggestion by Coun Robert Windass (Con, Boroughbridge) that any decision should be deferred until after the committee had been given the opportunity to closely question a representative of North Yorkshire County Council’s highways department about safe access to and from the proposed estate.

It was also suggested that an official from the County Council’s education department should be present to spell out exactly what impact the new housing development would have on Spofforth’s primary school; whether an extension would have to be built – or children forced to travel elsewhere.

It was agreed that the meeting with County County officials should be arranged as quickly as possible.

Source: Stray FM

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Housing crisis: England needs four million extra homes

England faces a shortfall of almost four million homes, as the housing crisis continues to rage across the country, according to research.

To meet the backlog and provide for future demand, the country needs to build 340,000 homes a year until 2031, the research carried out by Heriot-Watt University found.

And 145,000 of these new homes should be affordable, with 90,000 for social rent, 30,000 for intermediate affordable rent and 25,000 should be for shared ownership.

The government’s current target is to build 300,000 homes for first-time buyers a year.

Those in desperate need of accommodation include homeless people, private tenants spending huge amounts on rent, children unable to leave the family home, and couples delaying having children because they are stuck in unsuitable housing, the National Housing Federation (NHF) and charity Crisis said.

Government action

They have now called on the government to take action to tackle the problem, which is expected to publish a social housing green paper this summer.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “The shortfall of homes can’t be met overnight – instead, we need an urgent effort from the government to meet this need, before it publishes its social housing green paper in the summer.

“The green paper will set out the government’s approach to tackling a number of key issues, like stigma of social housing tenants.

“However, it is clear that many of these stem from a chronic underinvestment in affordable housing.”

Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, added: “This report once again highlights the chronic housing shortage we face in the UK and it is clear that only a bold and ambitious plan to solve the housing crisis will prevent a decent, genuinely affordable home being out of reach for our children and their children.

“What the report also shows is that this isn’t just a numbers game and we have to make sure we build the right homes, in the right places and that people can afford them. For most people social rented housing is the only truly affordable option and the government must support the building of many more of these crucial homes.”

Source: Your Money

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Number of new homes being registered ‘still close to highest levels in a decade’

The number of new homes being registered has reached its second highest levels in a decade over the last year, despite the freezing weather disrupting activity, according to an industry body.

Some 154,698 new homes were registered to be built in the 2017/18 financial year – a figure which was down by 2% compared with 2016/17 but still the second strongest year seen in the past decade – according to the National House Building Council (NHBC).

More than half of new homes registered in 2017/18 were detached or semi-detached homes and less than a quarter (24%) were flats.

Just 2,579 or 2% were bungalows – compared with 28,831 new bungalows registered in 1986/87.

Last financial year saw 116,451 new homes registered in the private sector and 38,247 homes registered in the affordable sector.

Half of the UK’s nations and regions saw a growth in registrations compared with the previous year, including a 21% jump in the North West of England, a 12% increase in the East Midlands and an 11% uplift in Wales.

By contrast, in London, the number of new build registrations plunged by 23%.

The NHBC’s registration figures are taken from builders who are responsible for around 80% of homes constructed in the UK.

Builders are required to register a house with the NHBC, a warranty and insurance provider, before starting work, which means its figures represent homes to be built in the months ahead.

Neil Jefferson, chief operating officer at the NHBC, told the Press Association: “Looking forward, there remains continued positivity.”

He said that despite last year’s registrations dip in London: “We are seeing quite a lot of activity in the affordable and sub-£600,000 bracket.”

The new figures also revealed a slower start to 2018, with 36,637 new homes registered in the first three months of the year, a 14% decrease compared with the same period last year.

The NHBC said the fall can in part be attributed to the exceptionally bad weather during the start of the year, which severely affected progress on building sites across the country.

It said there have been anecdotal reports from some house builders that up to 30 days were lost on site in the first quarter of the year as a direct result of the freezing conditions.

Other contributory factors include shortages in skills across the house-building industry, caution around Brexit and short-term market fluctuations, the NHBC said.

NHBC chief executive Steve Wood said: “New home registration figures for the last financial year have reached the second highest level in a decade, despite a challenging start to 2018, with freezing weather conditions affecting building sites up and down the country.

“Business confidence in both the private and affordable sectors remains high with clear routes to continued growth in 2018.”

Here are the number of new homes registered in the financial year 2017/18 and the percentage change compared with a year earlier, according to the NHBC:
– North East, 6,466, minus 2%
– North West, 18,272, 21%
– Yorkshire and Humberside, 9,331, minus 10%
– West Midlands, 14,587, 9%
– East Midlands, 14,314, 12%
– Eastern, 16,448, minus 3%
– South West, 14,122, minus 15%
– London, 14,795, minus 23%
– South East, 25,475, minus 5%
– Scotland, 11,891, 1%
– Wales, 5,384, 11%
– Northern Ireland (includes Isle of Man), 3,613, 7%

Source: Yahoo Finance UK

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Housing development boosted by crowdfunding efforts

A housing development in Greater Manchester has secured a cash injection of more than £1m through a crowdfunding platform.

The House Crowd was founded in 2012 by Frazer Fearnhead and Suhail Nawaz. It was the first property crowdfunding platform in the world and has helped give rise to the industry.

Over a period of 24 hours, £1.3m was raised with the majority going towards the Egyptian Mill Development in Lees, which comprises 41 houses and 15 apartments. House Crowd Developments – which is part of the House Crowd Group of companies – is behind the initiative.

The rest of the balance – £98,000 – was invested in the House Crowd’s Innovative Finance ISA, which allows individuals to use their annual ISA allowance to lend funds through property investment, while receiving the benefits of tax-free interest.

Fearnhead said: “Raising £1m in a single day is not just a confidence boost for The House Crowd and the service that we offer, but also for housing developments in the North West. The numbers don’t lie – there is clearly a big appetite amongst retail investors for property development financing and peer to peer secured lending, which is exactly what we offer.

“It’s important that we keep up this momentum to continue helping solve two of the major problems within our society – the lack of quality housing and people’s difficulties in saving their money.

“If we can continue building much needed housing, whilst providing our members with a reliable way to build a nest egg for their retirement, then we are serving our purpose.”

Source: Insider Media

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Does immigration really make house prices go up, and more new homes make them go down?

What determines house prices? Most people would say ‘supply and demand’ – but what about interest rates, wages, and employment?

And what about immigration, which current housing minister Dominic Raab controversially claimed was responsible for house price rises.

It turned out that he had been given the information by civil servants, based on what critics described as ‘back of fag packet’ estimates by a now defunct quango.

Well, now you can see for yourself what actually has been said about house prices – and immigration.

Back in 2007 and 2008, the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit (NHPAU) published two reports about affordability. The body was abolished in 2010, after three short years, in the bonfire of the quangos.

Its reports were written around a University of Reading model which estimates the relationship between housing supply and affordability with demographic trends, incomes, the labour market and the housing market.

The NHPAU reports concluded:

  • If the overall number of households rises by 1%, house prices would go up by 2%
  • A 1% rise in incomes would increase house prices by 2%
  • If interest rates go up by 1%, house prices would fall by 3%
  • If housing supply rises by 1%, house prices would fall by around 2%

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has applied these figures to house prices over a 25-year period from 1991 to 2016.

In that time the number of households in England has gone up by 4.8m – or 16% – theoretically causing a 32% increase in house prices.

Most of the rise in the number of households was due to immigration, says the ministry. During the same period the non-UK born population of England rose by 4.8m from 3.5m to 8.4m. This theoretically contributed a 21% rise in house prices.

What about earnings? Between 1991 and 2016, household incomes shot up by 75%, leading to a 150% rise in house prices.

Interest rates?

A tricky one, because interest rates have actually fallen. The Bank of England’s base rate has declined 11% over the period. In 1991, mortgage rates averaged 7.6%; in January 2016, they averaged 4.2%.

Unsurprisingly, the Ministry of Housing therefore concludes that rises in interest rates currently aren’t much use in predicting house price movements.

Housing supply has risen 20.6% over the period, which theoretically should have led to house prices reducing by 40%.

Which, when we last looked, they hadn’t.

So it does make you wonder whether building the hundreds of thousands more houses that everyone says are needed to solve the housing crisis will actually solve anything at all.

The report was published on Friday, meaning that in the weekend papers, the row about Raab and what he said about immigration and house prices rumbled on.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/analysis-of-the-determinants-of-house-price-changes?utm_source=cbc9f2c0-5657-4890-94cf-c8497239e5a5&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Source: Property Industry Eye

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Mayor demands better new homes in Shrewsbury planning row

Controversial plans for 164 houses on land off Otley Road have moved a step closer. Council officers have recommend that the plans are approved – but Shrewsbury Town Council has objected to the development, with the mayor today saying the town deserves better quality houses.

The plans are part of a much larger scheme of up to 550 houses, commercial development, a hotel, a care home of up to 70 beds and supporting local centre and community uses.

Work will also involve the building of new estate roads and associated highways works, associated infrastructure, associated earthworks, and landscape works including informal open space and children’s play area, which were given outline permission in 2015.

Shrewsbury Town Council has objected to the plans for the houses and said that there are not enough open spaces, lack of parking, and lack of affordable housing.

Shrewsbury’s mayor Jane MacKenzie said she will personally be objecting over the lack of quality and she said she is organising a public meeting to set up a list of principles for quality development to be handed to developers at the first stage of a planning application.

Standards

She said: “I’m going to be objecting over the quality of the building, the lack of imagination and the low standards that property developers seem to be getting away with.

“We’re hoping to set up a meeting next month and develop a list of principles which will go to Shropshire Council’s planning department and be handed out to developers at the first stage of the planning process.

“We’re getting the same old developers thinking they can just push something through that doesn’t support the culture and heritage of Shrewsbury.

“It’s very disappointing, people deserve better. It’s about the next generation not us.

“I’m organising the public meeting for people who are tired of what’s happening in Shrewsbury with the development.

“We need development, but just better quality development.”

The public meeting will take place at The Guildhall on April 28.

Bellway Homes Ltd have applied to build the homes which would consist of 15 two bedroom houses, 72 houses with three bedrooms, 52 houses with four bedrooms, which would all be private housing.

There would also be a number of affordable homes including four one bedroom apartments, 14 two bedroom houses and seven three bedroom houses.

Shropshire Council’s central planning committee will make a decision on the plans on Thursday in Shirehall.

Source: Shropshire Star