In 2016 the combined UK new-build housing output was recorded at 168,610 with the private market accounting for 80% and housing associations 18% (the balance from local authorities).  When analysed over the last 45 years, each sector achieved higher outputs as follows:

  • 1989/90 private housing output 207,420
  • 1969/70 local authority output 185,000
  • 1995/96 housing association output 38,170

The combination of these peaks, had they all occurred in the same year would have produced over 430,000 dwellings (2.5 times greater than 2016). The overwhelming issue is the massive reduction in local authority housing (council houses as they were once known). Even if the private market doubled its 2016 output, the sum total would still be 30% less than the total of their best years.

Source: ONS 2016

Jobs growth

Startling in growth are the number of jobs per plot which, over a decade have increased from 0.1 to 2.7 – this is a dramatic shift and a sign that the quality of the finished product has diminished (further evidence of this would be supported in the HBF Customer Satisfaction survey).

Source: After Build 2016

Unfinished plots

There is a further aspect to this analysis that reinforces the fact that plots are not always finished at legal completion, evident by the speed by which a problem is reported by the new homeowner. Problems reported in the first few days indicate the certain presence of snags i.e. the problem pre-existed the purchaser’s occupation and consequently has been identified in the first day or so. Here is a summary of that data:

  • 9.3% of YEAR 1 total jobs reported in the first week from Legal Completion 2011
  • By 2016 this has increased to a massive 35.3%
  • This represents a 4X increase

Source: After Build 2016

Trades categories

Based upon new-build output 2016 almost a quarter (23.2%) were carpentry based while a fifth (21.8%) were plumbing, 16.5% were painting and decorating and electrical was 14%. M&E has always occupied the highest spot for defects (over 30%).

Applying a subjective criteria to all problems reported, some would be purely ‘cosmetic’ i.e. it looks ugly but its performance is unaffected; some would be ‘operational’ i.e. it just doesn’t work and the rest would be a combination of both.

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