Labour vows to build 200,000 new homes per year if elected
Only a Labour elected government will be able to deliver the new-build homes that this country urgently requires to plug the growing supply-demand imbalance, according to shadow chancellor Ed Balls.
Mr Balls said that a Labour government would invest billions of pounds into a major housebuilding programme designed to deliver at least 200,000 new-build homes each year by 2020.
The shadow chancellor insisted that under a Labour government, the Treasury would underwrite the cost of building a number of new towns to free up more land in order to construct a greater number of residential properties.
Ed Balls said: "Housing must be at the centre of Britain's economic policy. New homes are currently being built at less than half the level that our country needs and it is the youngest generation that is set to lose out. Under this government, housebuilding is at its lowest peacetime level since the 1920s. And by 2020, we are on course to have a shortfall of over two million homes."
The latest figures from the Home Builders Federation (HBF), which provide the property industry with a forward indicator of future levels of home building, showed that there was a sharp rise in the volume of housing planning permissions granted in the third quarter of this year.
According to the data, there were 44,251 permissions granted in Q3 in England on 826 sites, up 31% year-on-year and 19% on the previous quarter when 37,053 consents were issued. The HBF said that this is the highest total number of permissions granted in a Q3 since 2007 and the highest volume of sites granted planning approval since Q2 2008. The total number of consents for the 12 months to September is 166,978, up 44% on the trough in 2011.
"This is the latest indicator to show how the industry is looking to quickly increase output," said Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF.
He added: "We have already seen evidence of a rise in new homes starts and these figures show the industry's intent to increase and sustain that over the next few years. Developers are building out current sites more quickly and are now looking to invest in new sites and begin development sooner than previously planned."