The government promised one million more homes in England by the end of the parliament and 300,000 a year by the mid-2020s.

But has it met these targets? FactCheck takes a look.

Has the Conservative government built a million new homes since the last election?

The Conservatives promised in their 2019 manifesto that they would build “at least a million” new homes over their term in office – that is, between the last election and this one, also known as “the parliament”. This pledge covers all homes, not just those in the social sector.

Home building is normally measured using “net additional dwellings”. This is the number of homes newly built or buildings newly made into homes, minus those demolished or converted into non-residential buildings.

The problem is, we only have net additional dwelling stats for the financial years 2020-21 to 2022-22. That means we’re missing data for the most recent year – 2023-24.

But two days after Rishi Sunak called the election, the government published its own analysis to try to fill in the gaps.

This analysis used net additional dwellings for the three years that are available, and estimated the missing months using a different measure – the number of energy performance certificates (EPCs) being newly minted each month – as a proxy for the number of new homes being completed. (The government says it has accounted for the number of homes being demolished over the period.)

This government analysis estimates that it has built 1,001,000 new homes since 17 December 2019, the first day of the Conservatives’ most recent term in office.

On that basis, the Conservatives say they have met their million homes target. But we’ll only know for sure once the official statistics – net additional dwellings covering the year to March this year – are published in November.

Will the Conservatives meet their target to build 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s?

The Conservatives also said at the last election that they’d be building “300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s”.

But the latest available data – net additional dwellings stats for 2022-23 – shows the government is only managing to build 234,000 new homes a year.

Of course, that’s still some years away from the “mid-2020s”, but a Parliamentary report published last year warned that the government was not on track to deliver this target.

Clive Betts, chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee, said in July 2023: “Without urgent action, the government will fail to achieve its national housing target of building 300,000 net new homes per year by the mid-2020s.”

A Conservative party spokesperson told FactCheck: “Despite the major disruption caused by Covid, we have delivered one million more homes since 2019, showing our plan to build the right homes in the right places is working. We should not forget Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party oversaw the lowest level of house building since the 1920s and he does not have the courage, conviction or plan to secure Britain’s future.

“The choice is clear in this election: stick to the plan to deliver the homes we need with Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives or go back to square one with Sir Keir Starmer who has said he will ignore communities and ‘bulldoze’ our Green Belt.”

(Image credit: Maureen McLean/Shutterstock)