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Positive News For UK House Building Figures
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has released the latest data relating to house building in the UK and it shows some positive news for the construction sector.
The Guardian reported that, with 241,130 new homes added to the country’s housing stock in 2018-19, the number of new homes created in England has reached its highest level in nearly three decades.
According to the newspaper, these figures allow for properties that were demolished, as well as including homes that were created through change of use of existing buildings. These numbered 29,260 in 2018-19, with over 12,000 of them coming from office buildings being repurposed as dwellings.
However, this is still below the government target of adding 300,000 new homes a year by the middle of the 2020s.
The figures released also show which regions have constructed the most, and which have constructed the fewest, new homes. Salford, South Derbyshire and Uttlesford in Essex were named as the three regions that have created the most new dwellings.
At the other end of the scale, Kensington & Chelsea, as well as Gosport and Portsmouth have constructed the fewest.
Shelter chief executive Polly Neate told the newspaper that, while it’s true that more homes have been created, the housing crisis can’t be alleviated without a stronger programme of construction for social housing.
“Your average renter can’t afford to buy a three-bedroom new build; we need to be building the types of homes that people can actually afford,” she asserted.
Meanwhile, chairman of property developer Southern Grove Andrew Southern told City AM that while the figures are encouraging, the industry needs to ensure it “builds on this success”. He stressed that local authorities, especially those in cities, need to “be open to creative ways of encouraging more affordable schemes in high-density areas”.
With more house building happening across England, there is likely to be a greater need for scaffolders in Leeds and other key cities where large-scale construction of new homes will be taking place.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government appointed its first ever champion for modern methods of construction (MMC). Mark Farmer has been named in the position.
His job will involve advising the government on how to increase the use of MMC in house building around the country. He will also be developing the ‘Construction Corridor’ in the north of the country, which will involve promoting MMC to construction firms, as well as other innovations in the sector.
Mr Farmer commented: “This is a really important time for the construction industry and there is an urgent need to rethink how we build homes, delivering better quality, improved safety, carbon reduction and an array of exciting new career opportunities.”
There are a host of advantages to embracing MMC. Among them are the speed with which new homes can be constructed, the reduction of carbon emissions within the construction sector and in the finished properties, which will be highly energy efficient, and the chance to develop a new kind of skilled workforce.