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8 November 2022

Housebuilding is far below the Conservatives’ manifesto target

The Tories pledged to build 300,000 homes every year but just 204,530 were built in the most recent period.

By Giacomo Boscaini-Gilroy

The UK government is falling far short of its target of building 300,000 homes every year, new figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown. 

The data shows that housebuilding has slowly increased since 2012-13 after many years of decline. But only 204,530 were built over 2021-22, the latest financial year for which there is data.

If housebuilding were to continue to rise at the rate recorded from 2012-13 to 2019-20, it will have taken around eight years to reach the 300,000 target, longer than the five-year parliament available to meet it. In practice, the most recent two financial years saw total housebuilding fall by around 16,000 year on year. 

The housebuilding target was outlined in the Conservatives’ election-winning 2019 manifesto, a programme Rishi Sunak has pledged to uphold since he became Prime Minister. 

The current housing crisis, which has seen rents reach record highs, means that meeting the target would greatly benefit a market in which housing demand has been significantly outpacing supply. 

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[See also: Nurses are still earning less in real terms than in 2010]

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