Change system to ensure faster building of new homes

A review of house building, undertaken by Sir Oliver Letwin, has urged the government to make changes to the current system to ensure new homes are built faster.

Commissioned to examine what needs to be done to speed up housebuilding so that the government can meet its new homes target, Letwin warns that developers are slowing down the system by limiting the number of new builds that are released for sale at one time, in what is known as 'absorption rate'.

The report says that developers can increase the choice of design, size and tenure of new homes without impacting on the local market, therefore increasing the speed of both building and sales.

Furthermore, to meet the 300,000 new homes a year target, the report says that 15,000 more bricklayers will need to be trained over the next five years to meet the shortfall.

Letwin said: "I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Review Panel’s work to date in analysing all possible reasons behind the slow build out of housing sites. It is clear that the main cause for delay is the absorption rate. We found that if house builders were to offer more variety of homes and in more distinct settings then overall build out rates could be substantially accelerated."

James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Communities, added: "We want to help people onto the housing ladder, and so I would like to thank Sir Oliver and the expert panel for their excellent work. I was particularly interested to see that increasing the choice of design, size and tenure of new homes in helping to speed up build out rates and help deliver the homes we need and communities want. I look forward to receiving the final report in the autumn."

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