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Homebuilding approvals in England rise 49% in Q2

23 Sep 2013 (Last Updated September 23rd, 2013 18:30)

Homes approved for construction in England increased by 49% in the second quarter of 2013 as 37,053 new permissions were granted, according to a new report from the Home Builders' Federation (HBF).

Homes approved for construction in England increased by 49% in the second quarter of 2013 as 37,053 new permissions were granted, according to a new report from the Home Builders’ Federation (HBF).

HBF said that the approval for the new homes in the second quarter was the highest Q2 number since 2008.

According to the report, 77,686 permissions were granted in the first six months of 2013, a 26% year-on-year increase, but this is well short of the 220,000 per year needed to meet the housing demand.

According to HBF, the figures mean that the moving annual total, that hit a trough of 117,067 in the 12 months to 2011 Q3, has increased 34% to 156,608, which is a strong forward indicator of future levels of home building.

"The overall trend in residential permissions is very positive."

The increase can be attributed to an improved mortgage market and the government’s mortgage-support schemes like ‘Help to Buy’.

HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley said that the overall trend in residential permissions is very positive.

"It reflects house builders’ increasing confidence in the market and also the positive principles of the new planning system. With ‘Help to Buy’ forging ahead strongly and developers looking to increase output, we need to see the increase sustained," Baseley said.

"However, at a time when developers are looking to build more much needed homes, we are increasingly concerned by the conditions attached to many of these permissions that prevent actual work starting on site."

Baseley noted that local authorities must ensure planning conditions are not overly onerous or unrealistic otherwise, despite the success of ‘Help to Buy’, the much-needed increase in housing supply will be held back.

"Despite the increase in permissions granted, we are still well short of the 220,000 permissions required annually to meet housing need and all parties need to work closely together to ensure we see continuous and steady increases moving forward," Baseley said.