The housing minister just admitted the government will miss its housebuilding targets

Emma Haslett
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David Cameron set a target of one million new homes by 2020 (Source: Getty)

The UK's housebuilding sector is "absolutely... not at the rate we need to be" in order to meet government targets, the housing minister has admitted.

In an interview with Sky News, Gavin Barwell said although the UK is currently building 170,000 new homes a year, we're on course to miss a target of one million new homes by 2020, set by David Cameron last year.

"Absolutely we are still not at the rate that we need to be in order to meet our ambition to get this country building the homes that are so desperately needed," Barwell said.

The news comes days after a survey suggested house price growth in the UK is beginning to cool off. Figures by Halifax showed although the average UK house price hit just over £217,000 in October, price growth was just 1.4 per cent between September and October.

Read more: How to put your children onto the property ladder (without acrimony)

But although price growth is cooling, experts suggested constrained supply and burgeoning demand will continue to keep prices higher.

"While house price growth may ease further in the coming months, very low mortgage rates and a shortage of properties available for sale should help support price levels," said Martin Ellis, Halifax's housing economist.

And last week research from Savills suggested London house prices will rise 11 per cent in the next five years - lagging behind the rest of the UK economy, which is set to rise 13 per cent.

Lucian Cook, UK head of residential research at Savills, said: "There is no precedent for the current market and the Brexit vote makes forecasting more challenging than perhaps ever before.

"The effect of Brexit is complicating a natural shift towards the later stages of the housing market cycle, when the strongest growth is seen beyond London and the South East. What is clear is that the housing market does not like political and economic uncertainty and this points to a lower growth, lower transaction market across the board."

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