HBF highlights chasm between housing demand and supply

The House Builder’s Federation (HBF) has announced that Britain will be short of 1.5 million homes by 2020 if there is no change to current planning systems to answer the demand for new households.

The statistics from the HBF came after warnings from Cambridge Econometrics that London and the South East will need an extra 400,000 houses by the end of the decade if trends persist.

The Cambridge report highlighted the fact that London alone needed another 299,000 homes by 2010.

John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister has laid plans to provide 90,000 affordable homes, mainly in London and the South East, for public sector workers, however house builders have questioned whether the time frame and costing of the plans are realistic.

The HBF said only 162,000 houses were built in 2001, but 200,000 new households were formed as a result of the increased rate of divorce and children leaving the nest earlier.

Britain also has some of the oldest housing stock in Europe, which the HBF claims means that if current trends continue, a new house will have to last 1,500 years at the current rate of replacement.