UK government misses new home completions target by 40%: Unlatch

The latest data shows that last year 181,810 new homes of the 300,000 target were completed across the UK, representing a shortfall of 118,190, which is the highest number since 2007.

Despite the pandemic, 210,719 new homes were completed across the UK between 2019 and 2020, the second-highest level seen since 2007/2008. 

However, Unlatch explains that the figure was still 30% off the pace from the initially promised target set by the Conservatives when they come into power.

The 300,000 target was an increase on Labour’s 240,000 set in 2007. Labour came close to reaching its target in 2007, completing 215,862 new homes. 

Labour’s worst effort, according to Unlatch, was in 2012/2013 when 133,056 new builds reached the market.

Unlatch head of UK Lee Martin says: “The complications posed by the recent pandemic will no doubt provide the government with a convenient excuse to mask yet another year of failure when it comes to the delivery of new homes.”

“But the reality is that this failure is not a recent occurrence, and both the Labour and Conservative parties have failed to seriously honour their responsibility to build more homes for going on 15 years now.”

“This is no doubt due to their archaic, lethargic approach to housebuilding and a failure to adopt the evolving technologies and practices that are helping many housebuilders to streamline their internal process and deliver more homes, without compromising on quality or revenue.”

“The planning system has a huge part to play, as this seems to be the biggest (but not the only) ‘road block’. The current government has diagnosed the planning system as central to the failure to build enough homes, particularly w. housing need is at its most severe. T.’s a continued focus on supporting private sector delivery, however, this is surely down to them to solve with many of the largest national housebuilders willing to give feedback, yet currently, the revamp is still paused.”