Figures show 15% rise in net additions of new housing

More than 217,000 homes were added to England's housing stock in 2016/17, with nearly 18,000 of those facilitated through office-to-residential permitted development rights, according to official figures published today.

Office conversion: figures show nearly 18,000 homes provided through PDR in 2016/17
Office conversion: figures show nearly 18,000 homes provided through PDR in 2016/17

The figures, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, show that annual housing supply in England amounted to 217,350 net additional dwellings in 2016/17 - up 15 per cent on 2015/16.

According to the figures, the 217,350 net additions resulted from 183,570 new build homes, 37,190 gains from change of use between non-domestic and residential, 5,680 from conversions between houses and flats and 720 other gains, offset by 9,820 demolitions.

A statistical release said that 18,887 of the net additions from change of use were through permitted development rights. These comprised 17,751 additional homes from former offices, 330 from agricultural or forestry buildings, 106 from storage buildings and 700 from other non-domestic buildings, the statistical release said.

According to the statistical release, net additions from change of use in 2016/17 were up 22 per cent on the previous financial year. "This reflects the amendments to permitted development rights making it easier to change buildings to residential use," the statistical release said.

In a speech in Bristol this morning, communities secretary Sajid Javid welcomed the figures, but said much higher numbers would be needed in future. "At the time of the white paper I talked about 225,000 to 275,000 homes. It’s going to need to be a lot more than that to crack this affordability problem."

The Conservative Party’s 2017 general election manifesto pledged to meet the commitment to delivery a million homes by the end of 2020 - a rate of 200,000 a year - and deliver "half a million more by the end of 2020".

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