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Government remains 120,000 homes short of their own target

The latest new-build sector insight by the new-build sales optimisation platform, Unlatch, has revealed that the Government has continued with its woeful efforts where new-build delivery is concerned, missing its latest target in 2021 by -39% - a shortfall of almost 120,000 homes. 

Unlatch analysed data on the number of new home completions seen across the UK in each year and how they stack up when compared to the Government’s own targets. 


In 2007, Labour set themselves the ambitious target of building 240,000 homes a year. That year would be the closest they came, with 215,862 new homes completed. 


Their worst effort came in 2012-13, when just 133,056 new-builds reached the market and, while this has been steadily increasing ever since, they managed just 169,274 in 2015-2016 and 178,007 in 2016-2017 - 25% fewer than the target set some decade ago. 


Then came the turn of the Conservative’s, who saw Labour's failure and raised them an additional 60,000 homes a year, promising to reach this 300,000 annual target by mid 2020. 


Despite the impending pandemic, a respectable 210,719 new homes were completed across the UK in 2019-20, the second highest level seen since 2007-08 but still 30% off the pace, missing the 300,000 target by almost 90,000 homes. 


However, the latest data shows that the Government’s failure to reach its targets hit a high in 2021. 181,810 new homes were completed across the UK, 40% below their target of 300,000 new homes and a shortfall of 118,190 - the highest number since 2007.


Lee Martin, Head of UK for Unlatch says:


“The complications posed by the recent pandemic will no doubt provide the Government with a convenient excuse to mask yet another year of failure when it comes to the delivery of new homes. 


But the reality is that this failure is not a recent occurrence, and both the Labour and Conservative parties have failed to seriously honour their responsibility to build more homes for going on 15 years now. 


This is no doubt due to their archaic, lethargic approach to housebuilding and a failure to adopt the evolving technologies and practices that are helping many housebuilders to streamline their internal process and deliver more homes, without compromising on quality or revenue.


The planning system has a huge part to play, as this seems to be the biggest (but not the only)‘road block’. The current Government has diagnosed the planning system as central to the failure to build enough homes, particularly where housing need is at its most severe. There’s a continued focus on supporting private sector delivery, however this is surely down to them to solve with many of the largest national housebuilders willing to give feedback, yet currently the revamp is still paused."

Unlatch is helping these developers create a more sustainable and accelerated sales approach through their unique PropTech software. Saving their clients hours in laborious tasks on a weekly basis, adding value to their sales teams, and bringing down the average exchange timescale to 25 days from point of reservation rather than when legal packs are received when using the Unlatch platform.


Sales teams (both internal and external) are able to concentrate not only on their sales and progression, but also giving the customer a far better journey and experience through their purchaser portal white labelled APP. Our housebuilder and developing clients have seen the benefits every day, whilst using the data and analysis tools to save even more time for their marketing departments and for reporting.


Data Tables

View the data tables online here.

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