Press comment: House building slightly on the rise

But average floor space not growing to suit societal trends


Gemma Harle - Press Releases

Managing Director – Mortgage Network

15 January 2019

If you are covering the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government statistics about the levels of house building in England, please see the following comment from Gemma Harle Managing Director of Intrinsic Mortgage Network, part of Quilter:

"Today’s national statistics reporting the number of new build dwellings in England are unremarkable at best. While it is no doubt positive that the levels of building have increased, they are certainly not evidencing any real step change from the Government which will truly help to ease the housing shortage.

"Just last week the Resolution Foundation found that England has just 825 homes for every 1,000 families, following 20 years of housing stock simply not keeping pace with rising populations. In their report they found that if current building levels of 222,000 homes a year continue it will take until 2036 for the ratio of homes to families to return to its 1998 high point.

"While headline statistics from the report that all new build completions are  up 65 per cent above the trough in the March quarter of 2013 and 15 per cent below the March quarter of 2007 peak are all well and good, these gradual increase are not enough to abate a rising population with nowhere to go.

"At the back end of last year the Government patted themselves on the back for the supposedly great work that the Help to Buy scheme heralded. Although helping 400,000 first time buyers get on the housing ladder is certainly nothing to turn your nose up at, the picture is less rosy if you look at the broader picture for first time buyers. According to the Bank of England statistics, the share of new lending to first-time buyers remained steady at 21% in Q3 2018, having steadily dropped since the start of last year. If we are to truly start to address the problem of ‘generation rent’ we need to speed up the pace of change with multiple policies, which could include incentivising downsizing. Such a policy might free up existing housing further down the chain and give first-time buyers a better chance of getting their first foot on the housing ladder. However, saying this, building new housing is an essential part of addressing this problem.

"One of the interesting findings in the report was that the floor space of new homes has not changed for the last half-decade and stayed stagnant at around 89m2 for houses, flats, bungalows and maisonettes. This seems odd considering adult children are now leaving the family nest later on in life.

"If the pace of change of new build housing is going to continue to grow at this pace, house builders might want to start increase the floor space of the average new build in a bid to cope with families having to stay put in their properties for much longer. Statistics from property search website Zoopla found that on average, Britons currently move home every 23 years compared to several decades when Britons moved home every 8.63 years. In decades gone by families could move home more frequently and find stock that suited their ever changing needs while today families have to make do and many houses are bursting at the seams thanks to adult children being forced to live at home thanks to a combination of sky-high rents and out of reach property prices."

For more information contact

Alex Berry
02380 726260
07741 151931

Notes to editors

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £118.1 billion in customer investments (as at 30 September 2018).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Wealth Platforms and Advice and Wealth Management.

Wealth Platforms includes the Old Mutual Wealth UK Platform; Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore; and the Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial planning network, Intrinsic; Quilter Private Client Advisers; discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

The Quilter plc businesses are being re-branded to Quilter over a period of approximately two years:

  • The Multi-asset business is now Quilter Investors
  • Intrinsic to Quilter Financial Planning
  • The private client advisers business is now Quilter Private Client Advisers
  • The UK Platform to Quilter Wealth Solutions
  • The International business to Quilter International
  • The Heritage life assurance business to Quilter Life Assurance
  • Quilter Cheviot will retain its name

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