Mark Adair

£463bn worth of housing tied up in England’s brownfield

Research from new-build sales optimisation platform, Unlatch, reveals that there is sufficient brownfield land to create £463bn worth of new homes, with brownfield capacity seeing a significant annual increase.

Boris Johnson and his Levelling Up secretary, Michael Gove, have recently spoken about plans to use more of the country’s brownfield land that has previously been built on to provide an answer to the the nation’s ongoing housing crisis.

Despite the government’s constant promises in this vein, analysis by Unlatch has revealed the amount of brownfield land available is actually increasing.

In 2020, there was capacity for just over 1 million homes to be built on brownfield sites while the latest data shows that this has increased by 9.6 per cent to more than 1.1 million homes, suggesting that the Government is far from following through on its promise to better utilise this type of land.

Unlatch then looked at this brownfield availability in line with current new-build market values, to reveal just how much building on this under-utilised land could add to the topline value of the market.

The research shows that with the national average for a new-build property sitting at £398,167, £463bn worth of housing is tied up within the nation’s brownfield.

London is home to the most available brownfield land, with capacity increasing by 22.6 per cent year on year, meaning there is space for 355,644 new homes. With the average London new-build valued at £565,192 in the current market, there is the potential to add £200bn worth of housing to the capital’s housing market.

Lee Martin, head of UK for Unlatch says, “Brownfield sites are the ideal place to build new homes. Unlike greenbelt land, brown sites do nothing to detract from the nation’s natural beauty or open spaces.

“It’s little surprise, therefore, to see the government leaning heavily on these sites for their levelling up plans, but it doesn’t seem that they’ve yet put their plans into action because the amount of available brownfield land has actually increased.

“We have to hope that the government follows through on its pledge to utilise this land and deliver the affordable homes that so many people need. Not only will it deliver much-needed homes, but it will also bring a huge boost to the housing market, and therefore the economy, by hundreds of billions of pounds.”

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