In good news for housebuilders and related building materials industries, the Lyons report – Labour’s 180-page review into the housing market – has called for nearly 250,000 new homes to be built each year to meet rising demand.
Prepared by former BBC chairman Sir Michael Lyons, the report’s key recommendations include a speeded-up planning process and new government powers to force local councils to implement housebuilding measures.
Lyons blames an “artificial scarcity which incentivises trading in land rather than building on it” for the lack of supply and proposes strengthening government powers regarding the compulsory purchase of land.
The report claims that the 2013 total of 109,000 new build houses is less than half the volume required, stating “We need to build at least 243,000 homes a year to keep up with the number of new households being formed.”
“This is the most comprehensive review of housing delivery we have seen in recent years,” commented Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders.
“Given the extent of the housing shortage we face, the target of 200,000 new homes per year is ambitious, but it is a necessary ambition. To achieve this aim we will need to significantly boost the capacity of the housebuilding industry.”