Nearly a quarter said their completions would jump by 10% while 11% said they were anticipating an increase of 25%.
The supply of new housing is also expected to rise: 22% of respondents reported that they plan to increase start volumes by up to 10% and 17% said they were estimating an increase of between 25% to 50%.
More than half (56%) of the housebuilders surveyed for the company’s Housebuilding Report 2016 also said that that they were planning to recruit more skilled workers in the next three years. However, almost three quarters of respondents warned that the cost and availability of labour would have a negative impact on future housing supply.
Upwards of 75% of respondents said that they would urge local authority planning departments to increase resources while nearly a third said that development numbers could be boosted if the planning process for public sector land could be streamlined. More than half reported that they had not seen an increase in access to public sector land.
Housebuilders also expressed doubts about the government’s Starter Homes goals. The government aims to deliver 200,000 of these homes, which are primarily for first-time buyers, by 2020. The scheme offers starter homes at a 20% discount on homes worth up to £450,000 in London and £250,000 outside the capital.
However, only one in 10 respondents said that the government was likely to meet its target. Respondents were divided in their views about whether Starter Homes would increase the number of affordable homes in the UK.
Some 37% of the housebuilders consulted said they thought that Starter Homes would increase the volume of affordable housing, while 46% expressed the opinion that Starter Homes would not make any difference.
Knight Frank said that one of the key factors affecting the Starter Homes scheme was that it has not yet been confirmed how long the discount would continue for. Knight Frank also said that the delay in finalising the details of the scheme was likely to make it more difficult for the government to achieve its target.