England

West Midlands house building drops by 50% since 2006

House building has fallen by about 50% over five years in the West Midlands region, figures reveal.

Work on 15,660 houses began in 2005/6 compared to 7,790 in 2010/11, the Home Builders Federation (HBF) said.

The average house price in the region has more than doubled from £67,000 in 2000 to £147,000 last year, it added.

The HBF said official government projections revealed the number of households in the area was expected to increase by 18,440 each year.

It claimed that if enough homes in the region were built to meet these projections, local authorities would see about £50m in extra funding every year via a government incentive, the New Homes Bonus, and 16,000 local jobs created.

'Social benefits'

HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley said the area was "suffering from a serious under supply of housing".

He added: "It is crucial that more homes are built, particularly for younger families and first time buyers.

"On top of the obvious social benefits - increasing affordability and easing the pressure on social housing waiting lists - building the homes the area needs would create thousands of local jobs and bring in millions of pounds from central government."

The HBF, which represents house builders, said West Midlands housing waiting lists had risen from 96,037 families in 2000 to 157,052 last year.

It added the average price of a property in the lowest quarter of house prices was £108,000 in the region, meaning "young families need to find around £21,000 deposit to get a foot on the property ladder".

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