Housing supply ‘in touching distance’ of 2007 peak

Housing supply in England came close to its 2007-2008 peak last year, Government figures show.

Data from the Department for Communities and Local Government showed that 217,350 more homes were created last year, up 15% annually and just 3% below the 2007-2008 peak of 223,530.

New-build completions were up 12% in 2016/17 on the previous year to 183,570 while new homes resulting from change of use rose 22% to 37,190.

The rest of the supply was made up of 5,680 from conversions between houses and flats and 720 other gains such as caravan and house boats.

The total was offset by 9,820 demolitions.

Blane Perrotton, managing director of the national surveyors Naismiths, said: “The boom in house building has driven the number of new homes being completed to within touching distance of the pre-recession peak.

“While new-build properties continue to account for the lion’s share of new homes, it’s striking how big a role the conversion of existing buildings to residential use is now playing – up 36% on the previous year.

“On the frontline we’re seeing a spike in the number of developers seeking to convert office buildings into residential units under the extended and popular permitted development rights.”

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