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New home approvals in London lowest since 2012

From: finance.yahoo.com

Hopes of an easing in London’s housing crisis were dealt a blow today by figures showing a dramatic slump in planning permissions granted for new homes in the capital during the first quarter of the year. (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Archive)

Hopes of an easing in London’s housing crisis were dealt a blow today by figures showing a dramatic slump in planning permissions granted for new homes in the capital during the first quarter of the year. (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Archive)

Hopes of an easing in London’s housing crisis were dealt a blow today by figures showing a dramatic slump in planning permissions granted for new homes in the capital during the first quarter of the year.

The latest Housing Pipeline Report from the Home Builders Federation (HBF) revealed that just 7,613 units were approved in London between January and March. This is the lowest quarterly figure since 2012 and represented a 39% drop on the same period last year and a 51% fall compared with the fourth quarter of 2023.

The rolling 12-month total for units approved in London was the lowest since the third quarter of 2015.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at the HBF, said: “Amidst a deepening housing crisis and with house building levels already falling sharply, these numbers present a bleak picture for future housing supply.”

High interest rates deterring first time buyers and bottle-necks in planning departments have been blamed for slowdown in the pipeline.

The federation also criticised the Government’s “nutrient neutrality” rules which ban new housing developments in certain areas if they risk adding more “nutrient pollution” to the water catchment.

The report, which uses data from analysts Glenigan, shows a similar picture at the national level.

The year to March 2024 saw the fewest new housing sites consented over any 12-month period since records started in 2006, showing that the housing pipeline is significantly smaller now than it was even during the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.

Mr Baseley said: “The report puts into stark perspective the challenges a new government faces to meet its housing ambitions with a pipeline smaller even than during 2009 and the depths of recession.

“We need to see immediate action to reverse the damaging changes made in recent years to the planning system and to ensure local authorities have the capacity to deal effectively with permissions.”

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