While the UK’s population is growing at an ever-faster rate, the level of house-building has fallen over recent years, even hitting a post-war low of 135,000 two years ago. But the problem is even worse than the headline figures suggest when you look into where the houses that are being built are located: they’re not where they’re most needed.
The Greater London Authority has estimated needs between 49,000 and 62,000 new homes a year to keep up with demand. But the London Plan, the strategic planning team at the GLA, has set a target of just 42,000 a year. That figure is based on how many they believe can be accommodated, but last year the capital built almost half of that figure – 24,000.
Barney Stringer, director of planning consultant Quod who produced the data, said: “There is an overall shortage of housing and not enough housebuilding, and new homes are needed almost everywhere, but the high growth areas that need it most are not managing to provide new homes much faster than low growth areas.
Every home in England would fit on the same small amount of land we devote to full-sized golf courses, according to an analysis of the UK’s housing shortage. On estimates from Colin Wiles of Inside Housing and the housing charity Shelter, roughly 1.1% of the country is used on full-size golf courses – the same area the government says is taken up by domestic buildings. Smaller courses mean the full golf footprint is more than twice as large. The finding comes as further figures show house prices driven upward by inadequate supply.