The number of new-home approvals in Britain dropped by more than one-fifth in the three months to the end of September, according to new research.
Construction sector analysts Glenigan said 48,772 new homes were granted planning permission during the quarter, a 21 per cent drop on the previous three-month period. However the figure is broadly in line with that for the third quarter in 2013.
The research, conducted for the Home Builders Federation (HBF), showed an annual total of 194,820 homes gained planning permission in England the 12 months to the end of September.
The figure represented a 1.3 per cent drop on the 197,325 homes granted permission in the 12 months to the end of June, but a 16.7 per cent year-on-year increase.
Glenigan economics director Allan Wilén said the annual figures showed that the flow of private sector projects remained firm.
‘The current year has seen a number of larger schemes gaining approval and this has contributed to a 30 per cent rise in the number of homes approved on private sector projects during the first nine months of 2014,’ he said.
‘In contrast, social housing approvals remain on a downward trend and tempered growth in overall planning approvals to 20 per cent during the first nine months of this year.’
HBF executive director Stewart Baseley the annualised figures indicated a leveling off of approvals at around half the amount of new housing the nation needed.
He said that while the National Planning Policy Framework, which was introduced in 2012, had delivered steady increases in planning-permission numbers in conjunction with other measures, ministers could not be complacent.
Baseley said: ‘It is imperative [the government] monitors the planning system closely and ensures it evolves so that it delivers planning permissions at the rate required to address our housing crisis.
‘We are still only building around half the number of new homes the country needs. Getting the required number of permissions, in a timely manner, is absolutely key to the industry’s ability to deliver.
‘In addition more needs to be done to speed up the plots that are awaiting final approval to allow construction to commence.’
The full Glenigan report can be read here.