Britain is building more houses than has been thought.
Mis-reporting of numbers means that around 30,000 new homes are ‘missed’ from official numbers.
The House Builders Federation attacked the official statistics as ‘wildly inaccurate’.
The HBF’s Ghost Town Report shows that the ‘House Building Statistics’, released on a quarterly and annual basis by the Department of Communities and Local Government, under-report new-build completions in 75% of local authority areas.
More than half of new-build homes in Birmingham, Liverpool, Leicester, Salford and many London boroughs are completely unaccounted for in the quarterly series.
As a result, says the HBF. a town equivalent to the size of Stevenage is being ‘lost’ every year, or over the course of a Parliament, in which the Government is targeting a million homes, a city larger than Nottingham, Coventry or Newcastle simply vanishes.
The HBF says the “confusingly named” Net Supply of Housing data series, which is published once a year and is drawn from sources linked to the numbers local authorities use for determining their Council Tax base, show that more than 181,000 homes were added to the housing stock in 2014/15 – the latest numbers available.
Of these, 155,000 were new-builds, up 20% year on year.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: “House building has increased significantly in recent years but the continual publication and use of inaccurate statistics is painting a negative picture that is undermining the progress being made in tackling the housing shortage.
“The Government’s housing policies and the industry are delivering, and it is incredibly frustrating that official statistics are not reflecting what is happening on the ground but instead presenting an open goal for critics.”
The published data excluded:
At least 75% of the London Boroughs of Brent, Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea
1,280 new homes in Birmingham (two-thirds of all new-build completions)
920 new homes in Liverpool (63% of all new-build completions)
640 new homes in Salford (half of all new-build completions)
570 new homes in Leicester (6 out of 10 new-build completions)
570 new homes in Sheffield (40% of all new-build completions)
400 new homes in Chester West & Chester (29% of all new-build completions)