Commenting on the new construction output figures published by the ONS today which show an increase in output, Michael Thirkettle, Chief Executive of leading interdisciplinary international construction and property consultancy McBains Cooper, said:
“Today’s figures are a further sign that the industry is recovering from post-Brexit uncertainty.
“However, the numbers of new houses being built is still way behind the numbers needed to meet the government’s targets and solve the housing crisis, and although this week’s Housing White Paper made some bold statements of intent, there was precious little on streamlining and simplifying the planning process and opening up more land to kick-start the housebuilding programme.
“The government shied away from allowing more construction on the greenbelt – much of which is industrial scrubland rather than the bucolic pastures that the term evokes.
“It’s calculated that if as little as 1.5% of the greenbelt had planning permission, it would create the space for more than one million affordable homes.
“The government also needs to boost the private rental sector, as a recent survey we undertook shows that only half of people renting intend to buy a home during their lifetime and just one in five renters think house prices will fall and make it more likely they can afford to buy.”