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Housing targets could be missed by 85,000

The Government could miss its housing target by 85,000 homes, the latest forecast of housing delivery figures suggest. The third annual Housing the Nation report warns that this could mean less than 100,000 new homes built in 2012.

Local authorities have reduced their target to around 160,000 new homes per year, a reduction of 13% from the Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) target set forEngland, the report shows.

Only 110,000 new homes were completed inEnglandduring 2011, whilst new home completions in the first quarter of 2012 are 18% lower than that of 2011. Relative to RSS figures, the North East has estimated a 1.4% increase in its targets, but all other regions show a loss. TheMidlandspredicts the largest reduction, cutting its targets by 21.5%.

The report was led by Tristan Fitzgerald Associates (TFA) and BNP Paribas Real Estate, with expert input from the British Property Federation and other property advisers.

Tim Cann, head of residential at BNP Paribas Real Estate said: “With more than 1,800,000 households on council waiting lists for new homes, the third Housing the Nation report revealed that the Government is again on track to miss its targets, by a worryingly large number.

“To put this into perspective, losing 85,000 homes is like losing a town the size ofBournemouth. As theUKcontinues to lack the new housing it requires, effective changes need to be made in order to accommodate those still waiting for affordable housing.”

Dan Angell, account director at Tristan Fitzgerald Associates, added: “Although theUKeconomy continues to struggle, the Government cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to the creation of new homes. In order to keep the housing market alive, the Government needs to introduce swift changes which will ensure that current housing targets are not only met, but that they are not further reduced.”

The report’s recommendations to Government include releasing green belt land in the constricted South East, to publicise league tables on housing targets and delivery by local authorities with penalisation for those falling below, planning application fees to be increased and to create a special ‘development projects team’ to prevent major schemes being stalled.

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