English Housing Supply Update Q1 2019

Strong growth in housing supply continues into 2019


The number of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for new homes across England rose to 244,630 in the year to Q1 2019, a 13% increase on the previous year. The number of housing starts has flattened this quarter, suggesting the growth in delivery could start to level off by the start of 2020. Delivery increased across all regions compared with Q1 2018. The strongest growth was in the North West, and London despite slowing house price and sales growth. London is still failing to provide an adequate supply of housing, with the most recent delivery just 58% of MHCLG’s standard methodology for assessing housing need.

Our projection for the 2019 Housing Delivery Test (HDT) shows that just 61% of local authorities will pass, delivering over 95% of housing need in the three years to Q1 2019 (Figure 1). Of the remaining local authorities, eight will face presumption in favour of sustainable development after delivering less than 45% of their housing need. Several London boroughs have escaped the most severe sanctions of the HDT through the ability to use need figures from the London Plan in areas without an up-to-date local plan. Local authorities without an up-to-date plan across the rest of the country are required to use standard methodology figures.

There were 369,000 planning consents in the year to Q4 2018, reversing the fall seen in Q3 2018 but remaining 1% lower than the year before. The number of new planning consents remained above housing need across all regions except London with total planning consents across the country well above the Government’s ambition for 300,000 homes per annum by the mid-2020s. There has been a substantial increase in full planning consents granted in areas where need is greatest, with 24% of consents granted in the least affordable areas in 2018 compared to just 18% in 2017.