Are We Building Enough New Homes?
Since the 1970s, housing starts and completions across England and Wales have largely been on a downward trajectory.
The long-run average (over the last 50 years) for starts and completions has been around 190,000 per annum but after the global financial crisis lows of 93,000 (starts) per annum and 113,000 per annum (completions) had been reached.
Over the last few years, government initiatives which include the Starter Homes Fund, Housing Zones and Get Britain Building have helped stimulate the house building industry.
In 2015/16 housing starts and completions were in line with each other at around 150,000 following a pick-up in delivery but this remains between 20% and 22%, respectively, below the long term average.
In West Oxfordshire there are 28% fewer homes for sale than there were 12 months ago but demand has certainly not dropped. This indicates that homeowners aren’t selling but staying put. Often this is a combination of too few suitable homes on the market and the costs associated with moving. Of those properties sold in the previous 12 months, 8% were new build which is an encouraging step in providing sufficient housing in the area.