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UK faces housing shortage; Population on the increase.

ENGLAND is facing a housing shortage of more than three million properties by the year 2026 as building levels fail to keep up with demand, research showed today.

A total of 209,000 new households will be formed each year on average, according to recent Government figures, pushing the population of England up from 20.9 million in 2003 to 25.7 million by 2026.

But the rate at which homes are being built is failing to keep up with this growth, rising by just 146,003 a year, according to new homes warranty provider Premier Guarantee.

As a result there are nearly 63,000 too few new homes being built each year, which will lead to a property shortage of 3.35 million by 2026.

London is going to be the hardest hit as a result of new build failing to keep up with population growth, with the region facing an annual deficit of 18,000 homes.

But the problem is not confined to southern regions of England, with the north west, Yorkshire and the Humber and East Midlands all facing annual housing shortages of more than 4,600 as the creation of new homes fails to keep up with demand.

The group said that developers were keen to increase the number of new homes they built, but they were being held back by the current planning system.

Robin Plaster, director of Premier Guarantee, said: "The planning system is already creaking under the weight of existing planning applications and causing enormous frustration for house-builders who are keen to get on and start solving the housing crisis.

"The Government must modernise the planning system to make it faster and less complicated, so house-builders can get on with the job."

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OVERCROWDING: The housing industry can't keep pace with the number of people packing the streets
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 22, 2006
Words:306
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