HOUSEBUILDING is failing to keep pace with population growth in Britain’s fastest growing towns and cities, research suggests.
Analysis of government population and housebuilding data between 2011 and 2017, by peer-to-peer property lending platform Blend Network, found that fewer than half of the UK’s fastest-growing towns and cities are building enough homes to keep pace with population growth.
The study found Belfast was the UK’s fastest-growing city between 2011 and 2017, with the Northern Irish capital’s population increasing by 21 per cent, or 59,989, from 280,211 in 2011 to 340,200 in 2017.
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Over the same period just 4,220 new houses were completed in the city, equating to one new home for every 14 new inhabitants.
Coventry was the UK’s second fastest-growing city.
Its population increased by 13.6 per cent between 2011 and 2017 from 316,900 to 360,100, an increase of 43,200 people.
But housebuilding in the city has lagged behind with just 5,460 new properties completed over the same period equating to one new home for every eight new inhabitants.
Meanwhile, although the population of Birmingham has only increased by 64,200, or six per cent, between 2011 and 2017, housebuilding has entirely failed to keep pace with only 5,650 homes completed in the same six years, equating to one property per 11 new residents.
The population of London was the eleventh fastest growing in the UK, seeing an increase of 651,000 between 2011 and 2017, taking the total population of the capital from 8.1m to 8.8m, a rise of eight per cent. But there were also 146,000 housing completions over the period, equal to one house per four new residents.
Elsewhere in the UK, housebuilding in the Welsh capital, Cardiff, was just about keeping pace with population growth.
Its population increased by 11,200, or three per cent, from 346,000 in 2011 to 357,200 in 2017.
Over the same period 3,629 new homes were completed equalling one new home for every three new residents.
Housebuilding in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, was also keeping pace with its expanding populace which increased by 4,065, or one per cent, from 477,940 in 2011 to 482,005 in 2017.
Over the same period Edinburgh saw 11,107 new houses completed equal to three new homes per new city resident.
“That there is a housing crisis in the UK is well recognised and beyond dispute but the extent of the crisis we are facing has been laid bare by examining this data,” Yann Murciano, chief executive at Blend Network, said.
“What’s also troubling is that we may not be building homes in the right places.”