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New UK Housing: Housebuilding News

UK Residential Property Expansion + Housebuilding Issues: Reaction to Budget

26 Mar 2020

Housebuilding Rates Fall – Even Before Coronavirus Impacts

Thursday 26th of March 2020 – The number of new build homes started and completed in the last quarter of 2019 fell below government targets, according to new government figures published today – and the industry says the coronavirus pandemic is set to impact these further.

According to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the new build dwellings figures should be regarded as a leading indicator of overall housing supply.

Today’s figures show that:

  • On a quarterly basis, new build dwelling starts in England were estimated at 34,260 (seasonally adjusted) in the latest quarter, an 11 per cent decrease compared to the previous 3 months and a 17 per cent decrease on a year earlier. Completions were estimated at 44,980 (seasonally adjusted), a 1 per cent decrease from the previous quarter and 3 per cent higher than a year ago.
  • Annual new build dwelling starts totalled 151,020 in the year to December 2019, a 10 per cent decrease compared with the year to December 2018. During the same period, completions totalled 178,800, an increase of 9 per cent compared with last year
  • All starts between October and December 2019 are now 99 per cent above the trough in the March quarter 2009 and 30 per cent below the March quarter 2007 peak. All completions between October and December 2019 are 78 per cent above the trough in the March quarter 2013 and 7 per cent below the March quarter 2007 peak.

Clive Docwra, Managing Director of leading construction consulting and design agency McBains, said:

“The government’s ambitious housebuilding target – delivering a million homes in the next five years – was always going to be extremely challenging, and the latest statistics bear this out. However, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will mean this is now virtually impossible.

“Many sites are empty, supply chains have been disrupted and multi-million pounds worth of private investment is on hold for the foreseeable future. That will knock back housebuilding rates months, if not years.

“The government has already announced an unprecedented package of measures to help support business, but once we’ve turned the tide on the virus further help, such as tax incentives, will be needed to get the UK building again.”

Previously on e-architect:

24 Nov 2017

UK Housebuilding Policy

UK Government Approach to Housing Shortage – Budget Reaction

The UK Chancellor announced a raft of measures aimed at significantly increasing levels of home building and “reviving the British dream of home ownership”.

Key amongst the Chancellor’s statements were the abolition of Stamp Duty Land Tax on homes under £300k for First Time Buyers, £15.3 billion of new financial support for house building over the next five years (which includes money for the government to buy land as well as delivering supporting infrastructure) and more money to help SME builders.

This is in addition to the £10bn extra funding already announced for the English version of the Help to Buy shared equity scheme.

Some reactions to this week’s UK Budget from key built environment representatives:

“In essence the abolition of Stamp duty is the kind of sweeping move we needed to provide hope at the bottom end of the market and hopefully helping towards the aspirational 300K homes per year. As an employer, seeing younger architects get a foothold on the housing ladder is a strong hope and this is surely a welcome hand-out to bring the youth vote around for the Conservatives. We would like to see more certainty on how the £44Bn figure to aid housebuilding will actually materialise into capital expenditure from Central or Local Government. The budget won’t solve the disconnect in planning, unless some of that cash is pumped into increasing resources in planning departments.”

Graham Hickson-Smith, Commercial Director, 3DReid

“It’s good to see the government taking the housing crisis seriously with the final quarter of the speech devoted to this one subject, an impressive commitment to extra spending of £44bn over five years and the headline grabbing finale of the reduction in stamp duty. The devil though will, as always be in the detail. The lifting of HRA caps is good in principle but there are no details at all, while the £34m for skills training sounds like a drop in the ocean when we are faced with a huge likely loss of construction workers post-Brexit. Other measures announced include the review to be chaired by Oliver Letwin which may, helpfully, lay to rest the myth that land banking is a serious problem – most developers being concerned to turn over their capital as fast as possible rather than tie it up in dormant sites. Finally there is the reduction in stamp duty for first time buyers, which will undoubtedly appeal to younger voters, but the same measure would probably be much more effective, economically, as an incentive to retired people to downsize, releasing under-occupied houses into the market.”

Richard Morton, Richard Morton Architects

“We really welcome the Chancellor’s moves to boost the supply of badly-needed new homes. Policies which aim to lower the cost of land and bring forward more building sites, particularly in urban areas well served by public transport, are good news – and preferable to policies which make it easier for some people to afford high house prices. But all of this new housing needs to be sustainable, in environmental terms, and here the government’s policies are seriously lacking. It wants five new garden cities, but has said virtually nothing about what defines them. The Budget has not addressed the critical need for green and low-carbon infrastructure and low-impact homes, not just on green fields, but everywhere. Nor has this budget addressed the need to upgrade and retrofit millions of our existing energy-inefficient homes.”

Sue Riddlestone OBE, Chief Executive of Bioregional

22 Jan 2016

UK Housing Expansion

Homebuilding in Great Britain

The Ministry of Defence has put 12 sites on the block to provide land for up to 15,000 new homes.

Government Defence Minister Mark Lancaster said the land sale was expected to raise £500m, which will be ploughed back into frontline defence budgets, reports www.constructionenquirer.com.

The sale is the first tranche of more ambitious plans to support the government’s ambition to build 160,000 homes by 2020.

The MOD, which owns around 1% of all UK land, plans to slash the size of its built estate by nearly a third, with its current holdings stretching to 452,000 hectares.

As part of that plan, the Ministry has committed to generating £1bn through land sales during this parliament and contributing up to 55,000 homes.

Imber in Wiltshire, on Salisbury Plain, England “was evacuated in 1943. The village, still classed as a civil parish, remains under control of the Ministry of Defence”:
UK MOD site, housing in Imber
photograph © swns.com

Ministry of Defence Estate Sell-off
MoD estate sell-off – tranche 1
12 sites placed on the market:

– Kneller Hall in Twickenham
– Claro and Deverell barracks in Ripon
– RAF sites Molesworth and Alconbury in Cambridgeshire, and Mildenhall in Suffolk.
– Lodge Hill in Kent
– Craigiehall in Edinburgh
– HMS Nelson Wardroom in Portsmouth
– Hullavington Airfield in Wiltshire
– RAF Barnham in Suffolk
– MOD Feltham in London

The MOD will announce further sites in due course, with a full list published in the Footprint Strategy later in 2016.

Link: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/01/19/mod-to-sell-off-a-dozen-major-sites-for-housing/

UK MOD Housing site, Imber
photograph © swns.com

British Houses

UK Government Housing Policy

UK Government Design Advisory Panel – New Housing Design Quality

Chair of RIBA Housing Group, Andy Von Bradsky, represented RIBA this week on the government’s Design Advisory Panel. The panel was set up under the coalition government and has been re-formed by the current government to advise on key policy issues, reports the RIBA.

The RIBA has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that a Design Advisory Panel is being set up to ‘set the bar on housing design across the country’ and is looking forward to working with other panel members.

David Cameron announced the creation of the panel this week when he confirmed the go ahead for a new Starter Homes scheme, though the panel will inform government policies on housing design nationally.

Fleet Street Hill Housing in London by Peter Barber Architects:
Fleet Street Hill Housing London
image from architect

The DCLG has already confirmed that panel members will include Sir Terry Farrell, classicist Sir Quinlan Terry and philosopher Roger Scruton alongside nominated representatives from the RIBA, RTPI, Design Council and Create Streets.

The panel will be chaired by ministers, so there are high hopes that it will have a genuine influence on policy.
The Government says the panel will act as a sounding board, so that the housing and design industry can discuss policy issues with ministers and senior government officials. Its remit will cover:

Emerging housing and planning policy to ensure that good design is considered and embedded from the outset.
Delivery of housing and planning policy to ensure that good design is achieved through Government’s programmes.
Emerging industry issues and barriers to good design in housing delivery.

Inspiring design of Grand Large Housing Dunkirk:
Grand Large Housing Dunkirk
photo from ANMA/Agence Nicolas Michelin & Associés

‘We welcome the response from Government to the Farrell review and our own recommendation to have more design advice available to Government when shaping policy.’ said RIBA Head of External Affairs Anna Scott-Marshall.

‘It is encouraging that the Government, industry and other professionals will work in collaboration to ensure that we build the right kinds of homes in the right kinds of places.’
Farrell is also enthusiastic and said the panel has the potential to make a real difference.

‘It builds on the recommendations of the Farrell Review (http://www.farrellreview.co.uk/), which highlighted the need for more proactive planning and better placemaking as we attempt to address the housing crisis, with radically higher priority given to landscape, sustainability and the public realm.’

Stadthaus at 24 Murray Grove, London, by Waugh Thistleton – constructed entirely in timber, the nine-storey high-rise is the tallest timber residential building in the world

Stadthaus Murray Grove Housing
Stadthaus photo : Will Pryce
Murray Grove Housing

Interesting link:

Imber village on Salisbury Plain under control of the Ministry of Defence

UK Housing Links:

Housing Crisis

New London Housing

British Homes

British House Designs

English Architecture:

English Architecture Designs – chronological list

Location: UK

Contemporary British Homes

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Black House, Kent, South East England
Architect: AR Design Studio
Black House Kent contemporary property - English Houses
image courtesy of architects

Black House in Kent

A House for Essex, Essex, South East England
Design: FAT Architecture and Grayson Perry
House for Essex by FAT + Grayson Perry - English Houses
photograph : Jack Hobhouse

A House for Essex

Balancing Barn, Suffolk, South East England
Design: MVRDV
Balancing Barn by MVRDV in Suffolk - English Houses
photo : Living Architecture

Balancing Barn Suffolk

Hurst House, Buckinghamshire, Southern England
Design: John Pardey Architects with Ström Architects
Buckinghamshire Property: Hurst House, Bourne End
photo : Andy Matthews

Buckinghamshire Property

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