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The number of new homes in England increased by 10% from 2012 to 2103, official figures show but experts are still warning that this is not enough to meet demand. The increase to 136,620 new homes still this leaves net house building in England 39% below the 2007/2008 peak of 223,530 new homes. The data from the Department for Communities and Local Government shows there were 130,340 new build homes, 4,470 from conversions and 12,520 from changes of use. There were also 1,330 other gains and a loss of 12,520 through demolition. The data also show that greater London has seen the faster progress with 12% annual growth in the number of net new homes built in the capital. A net 23,580 new homes built in London represent 17% of all those built in England in 2013/2014 with Newham and Southwark leading the way for new homes over the last year, seeing 1,970 and 1,650 extra homes respectively. Andrew Bridges, managing director of specialist London estate agents Stirling Ackroyd, pointed out that nothing else can solve a fundamental shortage of homes in the long run, apart from building more. ‘People are beginning to believe they could be better off at this point next year. But in terms of affording a home, the financial marathon is far from over and this is particularly true in our capital city,’ he explained. He pointed out that while it is encouraging to see such a pick-up for the new homes industry, even with 10% growth per year it would be 2020 before as many homes are being built each year as in 2008. ‘Accelerating this progress will be vital, with even more homes near transport and jobs. Nowhere is this squeeze more tightly felt than in London,’ said Bridges. Research by his firm shows areas in Southwark, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham will lead the way for new homes over the next decade. ‘So the fact that two of these boroughs are already leading London’s home building effort is encouraging. But opportunities abound and the demand is there for hundreds of thousands of new homes,’ he said. ‘London’s economy is moving faster than ever, more than playing its part in the UK’s wider recovery. But keeping that dynamo spinning will require homes for the millions working to make that reality. Developers now appear to be rising to the challenge,’ he added. Continue reading →
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