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Affordable home supply creeps up

Written by: Lana Clements
The number of affordable homes completed in England rose by 12% during the previous financial year, official figures have shown.

This brought the number of completed affordable houses up to 47,355 over the 12-month period, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

At the same time, the proportion of new-build completions deemed affordable homes edged up to 24% during the 2017-18 financial year, up from 23% the previous year.

Overall, 90% of affordable homes delivered in England were new builds.

The number of affordable home starts also increased, up by 11% to 53,572. This means there is likely to be an increase in completions over the coming years.

Affordable homes for rent is the most common tenure for homes coming to the market, accounting for 57% of properties.

Government must prioritise

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “Affordable housing provision is absolutely vital and one of the very few issues where the political parties are in agreement.

“Not only do we need more housing across the board but also more affordable housing.”

Leaf notes that the figures suggest that we are moving in the right direction, but because they are historic he says it is difficult to get an accurate handle on current trends.

“Every city needs more affordable housing but we need a much bigger increase to current supply levels in order to make a meaningful difference.

“The need is getting even greater as household numbers rise and property becomes less and less affordable, particularly for younger people who are struggling to get on the ladder,” he said.

Kate Davies, executive director of Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), added: “The recent Letwin Report highlighted a number of issues hampering the development of affordable property and the opportunities and challenges of designing and building out sites which feature a diverse mix of units.

“We would urge the government to prioritise the necessary processes to speed up planning and construction so that households on modest incomes can have a realistic opportunity to buy or rent their own home.”

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