A NEW report reveals that house building in Kirklees has plummeted.
The study shows there were just 660 homes being started in the area last year. This is down from 1,380 just five years ago.
The figures cover all types of housing – private developments, council stock and social housing groups.
The study has been released by the Home Builders’ Federation which has revealed that the number of new homes in England has fallen to the lowest since 1923.
The drop is set against recently-released Government figures showing that the number of families in the Kirklees area will increase by an average of 1,840 each year up to 2033.
The additional households will put added pressure on housing in Kirklees where there are currently more than 11,000 families on the council’s list for social housing – almost double the number in 2000.
The council is committed to finding land for housing in the Local Development Framework plan, but that is still in the consultation stages.
Meanwhile, the new study shows Kirklees’ house prices have soared and are currently running at more than five times the average income.
This, combined with a lack of mortgage availability, is particularly hitting beleaguered first time buyers, requiring them to find deposits of around £20,000 to buy a home.
A spokesman for the Home Builders Federation said: “Clearly this is out of the reach of most, forcing them to stay with parents or rent and possibly delay starting their own family.”
The report also shows the financial rewards Kirklees would receive from building the homes it clearly needs.
The Government’s new incentive for house building, the New Homes Bonus, could see funding for the area increase significantly at a time when grants across all service areas are being slashed.
If enough homes in Kirklees were built to meet household projections the area could see around £16m extra funding every year and 2,750 jobs created.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, said today: “Kirklees is suffering from a serious under supply of housing and is no exception to the crisis in the UK.
“It is crucial that more homes are built, particularly for younger families and first time buyers.
“On top of the obvious social benefits, building the homes the area needs would create thousands of jobs and bring in millions of pounds from central government.”
Planning permissions for fewer than 34,000 new homes were approved in the first three months of 2011 in England, compared with 40,000 in the same period last year.
Fall in house building