Home building unlikely to reach pre-recession levels this year

Chris Papadopoullos
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Over 200,000 houses were built annually in the five years preceding the financial crisis (Source: Getty)
The prospects for UK house building are grim, according to a survey of homebuilders published yesterday by estate agents Knight Frank.

Only nine per cent of home builders said it was possible to build more than 200,000 residential units a year. The maximum number that could be built was around 180,000 or less, according to 67 per cent of respondents.

Pre-recession building exceeded 200,000 units while Britain’s lack of housing supply growth has resulted in declining affordability, economists say.

The majority of builders believed the most effective way to boost building would be to provide additional resources to local planning departments and improve skills training for the industry. Other steps the government could take would be to improve access to public sector land and loosening the rules on development on Green Belt land, builders said.

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