Sheffield is booming in terms of new homes, these figures suggest

More new houses were built in Sheffield last year, according to newly-released data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 14:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 12:41 pm
Housebuilding work

From April 2018 to March 2019, about 880 new homes were built – 35 per cent more than in the previous year.

The growth rate is higher than the average for England, where house building rose by six per cent over the same period.

The data includes only new properties, not conversions of houses into flats or changes of use from office to home.

Private developers in Sheffield built most new residential houses – about 93 per cent. The rest were by housing associations.

Work also started on an additional 890 new homes over the same period in Sheffield, up from 540 in the previous year.

About 850 of these ongoing residential projects are financed by private developers.

Lindsay Judge, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, a think tank that works to improve living standards, said the housing market cannot rely solely on the private sector to increase the supply of homes.

She said: "While the number of new homes completed in England has increased in the last year, the number of starts has barely increased at all, and the Government looks set to fall well short of its ambition of creating an extra 300,000 new homes every year.

"It is unlikely that the Government will ever hit its target unless there is a step change in housebuilding across both the private and public sectors.

"And while the Government has made sensible steps to encourage local authorities to build, more needs to be done.

"The Government should do more especially to increase the number of affordable homes built for those that aren’t going to be able to buy properties at full market value any time soon."

From April 2018 to March 2019, around 169,770 new houses were completed in England, far behind the Government's target. About 82 per cent of them were built by private enterprises.

A spokesman from the Home Builders Federation added: "Over the past five years, government has introduced a range of pro-development policies and the industry has responded by delivering an unprecedented 78 per cent increase in housing supply.

"If we are to reach the government target we need to see policy focused on enabling small and medium-sized builders to play their part, as well as growing contributions from housing associations and councils."