Welsh House Building Increases

House building has increased across Wales in the last year with 837 new homes completed in the social sector.

25th June 2015

This week sees the social housing sector debate the critical issues affecting landlords, tenants, contractors and stakeholders across the UK’s housing associations and councils. With questions around the impact on the sector from UK Government targets on benefit cuts it is a tense time for housing generally.

The UK needs more homes. Wales needs more homes – of all kinds. Thankfully figures from Welsh Government released earlier this month indicate that house building has increased across Wales in the last year with 837 new homes completed in the social sector. The boost to social housing, up by a quarter on the 671 completed previous year, represents the highest level of new social homes completions since 2010-11. Private sector completions meanwhile increased by three per cent to 6,170.

Community Housing Cymru’s Stuart Ropke said: ‘It’s really good news that the completion of new homes in the social sector has accelerated. It’s testament to the fact that housing associations in Wales are on track to deliver our target of 10,000 homes by May 2016.’

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Cymru also welcomed the statistics but called for greater investment in social housing.

‘The Welsh government continues to support the development of new social and affordable housing and that is great news for Wales. This is clearly having an impact from the figures we see today, but it’s still not enough,’ said Julie Nicholas, policy and public affairs manager at CIH Cymru.

Ms Nicholas credited initiatives like the new housing finance grant and social housing grant with the recent increase, and added: ‘Wales needs to build 15,000 homes per year if we’re to stand a chance of ending the housing crisis within a generation. We’re calling on Welsh Government to continue to demonstrate their understanding that housing is critical infrastructure.’

Meanwhile the Building Societies Association (BSA) has called on all parts of the Welsh housing market to work together to ensure the supply of new housing in Wales keeps up with rising demand.

The trade body, which represents all 44 building societies in the UK including the Principality, Swansea and Monmouthshire, made the call as part of its Housing for All conference in Cardiff.

Overall statistics show a total of 6,955 new homes were started during the year 2014-15, a 20 per cent increase on 2013-14 and the largest number of building starts since 2007-08.

A total of 6,170 new homes were completed in Wales during the same period, a six per cent annual increase, with three-bedroom homes accounting for 38 per cent of all completions.