The report revealed that 351,169 new homes were granted planning permission in 2017 recording the highest number since HBF and Glenigan started the Housing Pipeline series in 2006.
The fourth quarter saw a strengthening in approvals after a slight cooling during the previous three months. The number of units approved during the quarter was 1% up on the third quarter of 2017 and 9% higher than during the same period of 2016. The year-on-year rise was driven by a 7% increase in the number of private housing units approved together with a 27% rise in social housing units approved. Overall the number of residential units approved during 2017 was 21% higher than during the previous year.
“The record number of applications being submitted and approved is a clear demonstration of the industry’s commitment to ramping up housing supply even further than the unprecedented increases of the last four years. To build more home needs more land to come through the planning system more quickly, and to encompass a broader range of sites. SME builder numbers are down by more than 80% in recent decades as layer upon layer of legislation has worked against small firms and start-ups as well as those delivering specialist housing such as retirement homes.
“Government should ensure councils are not just taking the easy option and encourage them to grant permissions on a range of sites by type and size rather than merely relying on a few larger sites to meet local housing need.”
“The residential development pipeline remains strong, with a rise in approvals during the fourth quarter taking the total for 2017 to 351,169 units, a 21% increase on the previous year. The increase in approvals bodes well for potential new housing activity over the coming year as house builders are able to bring forward development on these new sites in response to demand.”