Richard Carr, a Poole-based property developer, believes that investment into new housing should be spread fairly across towns, cities and counties in the UK. The Housing and Finance Institute believes more money should be given to councils in districts that are leading the way as they are currently under resourced.
According to the Institute, large cities in the UK receive higher amounts of investment, however they are responsible for only around 30% of new homes.
The HFI’s report found that around 70% of new homes and granted planning permissions are in the district and unitary councils, who are facing resource problems.
Developers and the construction industry are continuing to do their upmost to lift the country from the housing crisis with the latest figures revealing that new house building increased in July, up 5.6% on the previous year.
Output is increasing
The amount of orders being placed for new homes increased by a massive 25% between the first and second quarter of 2016, which is the highest increase since 1967 when growth rose to 44.1%.
A major factor in the increase was the amount of new orders being received in the second quarter of the year for private new houses, which increased by 28.2% to a level of £3.5billion. That level is the highest second quarter for nine years when, back in 2007, it was £3.6billion.
Once again, the quarter on quarter increase highlights that the gloomy Brexit predictions are yet to be realised.
The government is being called upon by industry experts to improve the current new home building quality standard to put consumers first, writes property developer Richard Carr.
Is a new home building standard required?
Members of Parliament and a number of construction experts propose that the government sets up a New Homes Ombudsman to mediate in disputes between home buyers and builders.
The request forms a 10-part list of recommendations to improve the quality of workmanship in new homes and provide consumers with easier and cheaper forms of redress, should a problem arise.
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment (APPGEBE) believe UK house builders should be upping their game when it comes to developing new build properties. APPGEBE believe they should be putting consumers at the heart of their business model and that the government should use its power to promote high quality within the industry at every opportunity.
The government pledged in the recent Housing and Planning Bill that it would build a million new homes by 2020, a target that property developer Richard Carr felt was slightly ambitious.
Is the government’s target achievable?
However, land agent Aston Mead has hit back at doubters claiming that the target is based on current figures and is a reality.
In contrast, a recent survey of owner and directors of 389 house builders across England found that a small majority (51%) thought that the target would not be met.
Current output of homes is increasing rapidly, with build rates on large sites doubling since 2010. There were more than 180,000 new homes delivered in 2014/2015, with this year’s figure expected to be higher still.
In another rather bold claim, the government announced that it has turned around the housing market making the dream of homeownership a reality, writes Richard Carr.
Home owners on the rise
Has the government turned around the housing market?
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis’ claims are substantiated by the latest figures which show more than a decade-long decline in the number of people owning their home has been turned around with more than 14 million owner occupiers on the UK in 2013.
“Hard-working families across the country are getting the chance to realise their dream of homeownership,” said Lewis.
“In 2010 there was a housing market where buyers couldn’t buy, builders couldn’t build and lenders couldn’t lend.
“Our efforts are turning that around with more than 270,000 families helped into homeownership through government-backed schemes since 2010, while the number of new homes is up 25% over the last year.”
Northern-based property developer Story Homes has taken encouraging steps to getting youngsters into the construction industry, writes development specialist Richard Carr.
Company ready to give youngsters a chance in the industry
Over the last year, Poole-based Richard Carr has aired his frustrations regarding the lack of skilled construction workers and the impact that it’s having on the sector as a whole. Richard believes that the industry needs to do more to make careers within it more interesting to youngsters and he is pleased to see Storey Homes doing exactly that.
The developer has recently opened up applications for its apprenticeship scheme, which will recruit 12 apprentices in both joinery and bricklaying across the north east, north west and Cumbria.
Richard Carr believes that this highlights the many barriers that both developers and home building firms currently face. The main hurdle – and one that has plagued the industry for many years – is a dire skills shortage. Last year councils granted 212,478 planning permissions for homes, but a lack of skills, increased costs and cuts to margins has seen building slow down.