Residential planning approvals dip in Q1 2016

Residential planning approvals slipped back during the first quarter of 2016 from the high level seen in the final three months of 2015, but remained ahead of a year ago, according to HBF and Glenigan’s latest Housing Pipeline report. June 30, 2016 / Isla MacFarlane
Residential planning approvals dip in Q1 2016

At 73,300, the number of units approved during the first quarter of 2016 was 14% down on the previous quarter, but 4% up on the first quarter of 2015. The year on year rise was driven by 17% increase in the number of private housing units approved. In contrast, 20% fewer social housing units were approved. Overall Glenigan recorded the approval of around 73,300 residential units during the first quarter of 2016. Housing schemes of 10 or more units accounted for 61,800 or 84% of approved units; the remainder being on smaller new build projects including self-build schemes, homes being included within non-residential projects and the conversion of non-residential properties.

At 2,662, the number of private sector housing projects (schemes of three or more units) securing approval during the first quarter was 7% down on the final three months of 2015, but 1% up on a year earlier. However the number of units granted planning permission on private sector projects has been more volatile, being 15% down on the final quarter of 2015 but 17% higher than a year earlier. Over 63,000 private units were granted permission during the first quarter.

The number of social housing projects (of three or more units) remained weak during the first quarter, being virtually unchanged (1% up) on the previous quarter and 38% lower than a year ago. The number of social housing units approved during 2015 Q1 was 10% lower than in the previous quarter and 20% down on a year earlier.

The rise in units approved was broadly based across the country. East & West Midlands, South East and North West of England all saw a sharp increases of 20% or more in the number of units approved compared to a year earlier. In contrast the number of units securing planning approval in London planning approvals fell back in the first quarter and was 18% lower than a year ago. Unit approvals were also 23% lower in the East of England, although this follows a strong performance during the second half of last year. Unit approvals remained weak in Wales; having fallen 13% last year unit approvals during the first quarter were 4% down on the first quarter of 2015. In contrast unit approvals in Scotland were 10% up on a year ago.

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