Readers will be amazed to learn that no new leasehold homes were built in 2017/18 according to the latest statistics released by the Ministry of Housing (MHCLG)
Everyone will know this claim is utterly implausible. It begs the question yet again, why is taxpayers money being spent to produce this data? And how do government expect to plan when they have no idea how big the leasehold sector is?
In case anyone wants to know what LKP thinks are the real figures – approximately 41,300 newbuilt leasehold homes were sold in England in 2017/18, at a total value of £16.4 billion. That’s quite a lot of homes for the statisticians to miss!
The latest MHCLG statistical report can be found here:
• In 2017-18, there were an estimated 4.3million leasehold dwellings in England. This equates to 18% of the English housing stock. Of these, 2.3 million dwellings (55%) were in the owner occupied sector and 1.7 million (39%) were privately owned and let in the private rented sector. The remaining 249,000 (6%) were dwellings owned by social landlords and let in the social rented sector.
• More than two thirds(69%, 2.9 million) of the leasehold dwellings in England were flats; 31% (1.3 million) were houses.
• These figures have not changed since 2016-17, when this estimate was last produced.
As well as missing the new homes there are lots of other mistakes in this report and readers would be well-advised to be skeptical about all the figures in this report.
What makes the MHCLG statistics so disappointing is that they quote the Land Registry as one of their sources. Even the most basic of reasonableness tests would have shown them they had missed a lot of new leasehold homes.
This is not the first time the MHCLG statisticians have made a mess of things. Here is our report on their data published in 2017.
Here is our report on their 2018 effort.
LKP notes with amusement the MHCLG statisticians, with more than a little bit of revisionism, credit themselves with producing the first set of data in 2014. They omit entirely the initial work that LKP provided and which helped show them the multi-faceted methodology required to get to these numbers. If it were not for a letter from the Minister saying thanks to LKP for helping the officials they might convince themselves it was all their own hard work.
In 2014 the government statisticians tried very hard to keep the numbers down because, prior to LKP’s work in producing the first set of reliable numbers at the start of 2014, the government had wrongly assumed we only had about 2 million leasehold homes.
We have tried to tell the statisticians a number of times why their estimates are getting worse and worse, but they clearly they feel they know best. So, apparently, there were no new leasehold flats or houses built in 2017/18. Really?
If we are being absolutely accurate the MHCLG data does show a tiny increase in the numbers. They record an additional 4,000 leasehold homes built in the year. So that’s only ten times smaller than the number of leasehold homes actually built in the real world.