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Kent's Housing Shortfall

View profile for Richard Carter
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New Build Housing Shortfall in Kent - Government threatens to act.

We are hearing more and more about a “housing crisis”, “generation rent” and “new build shortfalls”.  This week in his Spring Statement the Chancellor indicated he would be meeting housebuilders again to see why they continue to fail on increasing house building as hoped. The National Association of Housebuilders issued a curt reply to the effect this was a complex area and problem. But it is clear that the Government is on a mission and Kent Local Authorities could be forced to accept hundreds of more houses every year under Government plans to address what is seen as a chronic shortage of affordable homes in the Southeast.  The Government is seeking to impose higher building targets on Local Authorities and this is likely to cause friction with Kent Local Authorities and some communities.  Under the Government’s plans, over the next eight years, nearly 10,000 more homes are required in Kent and Councils say are needed which they have already put into their local plans.  The revised formula the Government plans to use will force Councils to give the green light to building programmes if average house prices are greater than four times income.  The only Local Authority in Kent that appears to be building more than the Government proposed target is Shepway, mainly as a result of controversial Planning Permission for nearly 12,000 homes on land at Folkestone racecourse.

Kent’s Housing Summary

AuthorityProposedCurrent Permission
Tunbridge Wells692648
Tonbridge & Malling859696


The figures were released by the Government under its Housing White Paper at the end of 2017.  Average prices in the United Kingdom stood at just under £244,000 in January 2018 and are much higher in Kent at an average of £316,000.  This shows growth has been slowing in house prices over the past six months.  This reduces the incentive for buyers to make offers, particularly those that are saving.  The number of first-time buyers has increased to an 11-year high, whilst the number of landlords looking to buy for letting out has reduced to its lowest number for 10 years.

When looking to buy a property it is essential you consider the Planning History of the surrounding area as well as the likely development that can take place under the Local Plan adopted by the Local Authority. At Martin Tolhurst every buyer benefits from our search pack which includes detailed planning information for you to consider planning data, decisions and issues within the vicinity of your proposed property purchase. Please call us on 01474 546013 or email our new enquires team for more information.