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Covid-19 Impacts to Housing Land Supply

The likely impacts of Covid-19 are clear for house builders; a decrease in the number of completions for this year and potentially longer build out rates for sites already under construction. This is expected to affect the land supply position of many local authorities across England and be a slow down on any recovery to the economy. But what could be done about this? In our recent client briefing note, Alex Roberts explores how Government can respond through policy and what local authorities should do to ensure their land supply positions are sufficiently robust.

Government have already announced there will be a change to the standard methodology to get closer to their target of 300,000 new dwellings built each year. This change may come in shortly, and could lead to some 5YHLS assessments slipping under 5 years. A change to the standard method has been discussed since it came in to place in 2018.

Whatever the alteration Government make, it will need to remain simple and be genuinely effective in achieving what is a central objective of Government policy, to boost housing (and economic) growth across England. Post the Covid-19 lockdown, the need to boost short-term economic performance will likely become even more pressing so increasing supply could take on an extra importance

We consider there are going to be different impacts for land supply assessments for the 2020/21 period and the 2021/22 period, in general we consider the challenges faced this year will be around presenting evidence that sites are deliverable. For next year, it is likely some authorities will move into the 20% HDT buffer and could have fewer applications to put into the housing supply, both factors could reduce land supplies, even in areas with previously very strong levels of supply. .

 Click here to see the full briefing note.

John HelyarCovid-19 Impacts to Housing Land Supply