Planning approvals for the building of new properties across England rose by as much as 20 per cent in the final quarter of last year, according to the latest report released by Home Builders Federation (HBF). This rise, compared to the three-month period that had come before, was substantial and shows that developers are now looking to capitalise on the shortage of properties around at the moment as well as the demand from buyers who are now finding it more affordable to get themselves a foot on the ladder.
In the last quarter of 2013, the number of approvals granted for the building of homes amounted to 52,534. This was the best performing quarter of the year, which saw an overall total of 174,471 homes approved. In fact, the three-month period saw more approvals than any other in the past five years, showing that builders are now getting back on site at last following the slowing that came about as a result of the financial crisis in 2008. The annual total of approvals for the country was the highest since 2007, when the market was at its peak.
"The increase in planning permissions will help support a continuation of the big increase in house building activity we have seen since early last year. After some very tough years, that saw housing supply drop to record low levels, it is now increasingly evident that house building activity is on the up," said Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF. "As a result of this increase in activity, the industry is recruiting a significant number of people and training more apprentices. The supply chain is also gearing up to meet the increased level of demand, generating an economic boost the length and breadth of the country."
On top of a significant approvals for planning permissions, the number of homes that were started in 2013 was also witnessing a significant rise. Throughout the year, the volume of starts was 23 per cent up on 2012. On top of this, the year-on-year rise since the launch of the Help to Buy scheme has seen 29 per cent more homes built.
- Monday 17 March 2014