Following a request from the Welsh Government, the Public Policy Institute for Wales (PPIW) commissioned the late Alan Holmans to formulate a new estimate of the need and demand for housing in Wales over the period 2011 to 2031. This report presents the findings of this work.
Two estimates are presented – one based on the Welsh Government’s official projections for the growth in the number of households (the ‘principal projection’), the other based on a projection developed by Dr Holmans (the ‘alternative projection’), who argued that the Welsh Government may have under-estimated future growth in the number of households.
Based on the principle projection, Dr Holmans estimates that in the period 2011-2031, an additional 174,000 houses or flats will be needed, which equates to a need for 8,700 new homes each year. 60% of which are expected to be in the market sector (5,200 a year, 104,000 over the period), and 40% in the social sector (3,500 a year, 70,000 over the period)*.
The alternative projection gives a higher estimate of need and demand: 240,000 units over the period, or 12,000 a year; of which 58% would be in the market sector (7,000 a year, 140,000 over the period) and 42% in the social sector (5,000 a year, 100,000 over the period)
Put alongside historic rates of house building in Wales, Dr Holmans’s analysis suggests that if future need and demand for housing in Wales is to be met, there needs to be a return to rates of house building not seen for almost 20 years, and an increase in the rate of growth of affordable housing.