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Private housing starts are due for a rebound as market conditions improve and the new Labour government pushes on with plans to build 1.5 million homes over the next parliament.

Private housing starts at an underlying level – schemes valued at up to £100 million – fell by 11% last year but are forecast by Glenigan to firm up by 2% this year before pushing on to grow by 14% in 2025.

Glenigan economics director Allan Wilén says: “Housebuilders have a robust pipeline of previously approved developments that can be readily brought forward as market conditions improve.

“Additionally, improving affordability due to rising wages and potentially lower mortgage rates are expected to boost consumer confidence and support a progressive recovery in private housing project starts over the next three years. This will allow housebuilders to respond to improved consumer confidence and a strengthening in property transactions by opening new sites and increasing construction activity.”

Planning approvals

With the new Labour government intending to rely on private housebuilders to increase social housing provision, major players are continuing to add to their planning permissions to ready themselves for this upturn.

CGI of Weston Homes Viridis development of 600 homes in Stanway, Essex

Weston Homes recently secured planning permission for a £220 million development of 600 homes in Stanway, Essex (pictured), from the county council (Project ID: 21462883). Known as Viridis and designed by architects PRP, the scheme will provide 420 homes for sale and 180 affordable units.

This development is one of five major schemes Weston wants to start work on in the next year. Others include the £28.4 million Jasper Wharf development of 167 mixed-tenure apartments in a 29-storey tower in Barking (Project ID: 24046453).

Other housebuilders are also busy securing approvals across the UK’s planning departments. Jones Homes has permission to build 300 homes at Grange Lane in Rotherham (Project ID: 23250792), while Wheatley Homes won consent for 56 homes in Stranraer after an appeal (Project ID: 21528297).

Bulging pipeline

Glenigan’s construction research has identified nearly 11,200 private residential developments with planning permission and with work due to start over the next 12 months.

The region with the largest number of approved private housing schemes due to start in the forthcoming year is the South East with 1,985 approved developments. David Wilson now has permission to build 289 flats at Newbury Racecourse (Project ID: 23176284) while Bloor has approval to build another 99 units at its Brize Meadows development in Oxfordshire (Project ID: 22315594).

In the neighbouring South West, there are 1,270 approved schemes including the £120 million regeneration of Haven Banks in Exeter to include 184 houses and 239 flats (Project ID: 22339213). Glenigan’s industry information suggests work could begin next March.

London rebound

London was hit hard by the housing market downturn but is set to rebound strongly. After the South East, London has the second largest amount of approved private housing schemes that are set to start over the next year.

Schemes in the capital’s 1,600 project pipeline include 443 flats in the 18 Blackfriars Road development at Southwark (Project ID: 04515377), and Royal Mint Gardens in the City of London, where plans are approved for 354 homes, a 236-bed hotel, and 33 serviced apartments.

With a strong pipeline of approved developments across the UK and a political drive to build more homes, the private housing sector is set for more buoyant times.

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