The net injection of new homes into England’s housing supply is at its highest levels in a decade, official figures show.
There were 222,190 net additions in 2017-18 – up by 2% on 2016-17, figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show.
It is the highest annual total recorded since 2007-08 – although the overall rate at which supply has been increasing year-on-year has slowed down.
In terms of housing gains last year, there were 195,290 new build homes – a 6% increase on the number of new build additions a year earlier.
And there were 29,720 gains from change of use from non-domestic properties to residential ones, such as by converting former offices and agricultural, storage and light industrial buildings into properties for people to live in.
There were also 4,550 gains from conversions from houses to flats and 680 other gains made up of homes such as caravans and house boats.
All of these increases were offset by 8,050 demolitions – making a total net increase of 222,190 homes between the start of April in 2017 and the end of March in 2018.
The latest net increase in housing supply is just 1% below a peak seen in 2007-08, when there was a 223,530 net increase.
The net increase in housing supply dropped off in the economic downturn but has since been recovering.
The net injection of new homes in 2017-18 sits 78% above a trough in 2012-13 when the figure was 124,720.
However, the annual increase of 2% in England’s net housing supply is lower than a 15% annual increase seen in 2016-17, an 11% rise in 2015-16 and a 25% upswing in 2014-15.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It’s good to see that the number of homes being delivered has risen again in the last year.
“To end the housing crisis, it’s crucial this progress continues and that as many as possible are social homes.”
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at the Home Builders Federation (HBF), said the figures show the home building industry is delivering the increases in housing supply the country needs.
He said: “Whilst the second-hand market remains sluggish amidst wider economic uncertainty, with Help to Buy enabling first-time buyers to purchase new build homes, builders have continued to invest and increase output.”
He continued: “Whilst huge progress is being made, the Government needs to continue to work with all parts of the housing sector to assist them to deliver further increases if we are to hit their 300,000 target.”