The average home built in the UK will have to last for 2,000 years if housebuilding continues at its current rate, local council leaders have warned
Analysis of housebuilding figures from the Local Government Association, which represents 415 local authorities, found that if there was not an upturn in delivery then every house in existence would need to last for the next two millennia if everyone in the country was to be housed.
According to the AJ’s sister publication Construction News, the research also found that the “sluggish rate” of housebuilding over recent decades had led to the country spending nearly as much on property repair and maintenance as it did on buying new homes.
In total, the LGA found that spending on repair and maintenance of existing homes was £27bn in 2016, short of the £35bn spent on new housing stock.
The government has said that more than 250,000 homes need to be built a year to keep up with the pace of demand.
Government statistics show that only 139,030 homes were completed in the year to June 2016, with 144,280 started in that period.
The research also found dissatisfaction among new home owners with the quality of their homes, with one in 10 new home owners disappointed at the quality and one in six saying they would not recommend their housebuilder to a friend.
It also found that the majority of all local areas had more homes that were built before the 1930s than were built since.
Local government leaders have now called for a “national renaissance” in council housebuilding.
This would include giving local councils the ability to borrow more money to build homes and keep 100 per cent of receipts from the sale of these properties to invest in future housing stock.
LGA housing spokeswoman Judith Blake said: ’Our country’s failure to build enough homes over the past few decades is putting huge pressure on our existing housing stock.
’Councils need to be able to ensure quality through the planning system, and to encourage high standards in rented and owned properties across the board.
‘To spark a desperately needed renaissance in council housebuilding, councils also need to able to borrow to build new homes and keep all receipts from any homes they sell to reinvest in building new homes that are of a good quality and affordable.’