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South to experience 'large housing shortfall'

New research reveals there is to be a significant shortfall in the number of homes in the south of England over the next five years.According to figures published by estate agent Savills, the number of properties planned by local authorities in London, the east of England, the south-east and the south-west of the country will be 160,000 short of that needed to satisfy demand.Savills compared locally planned targets with the needs predictions from the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA).It says the planned number of homes will be 21 per cent short of requirements even before the undersupply backlog or the numbers needed to slow house price inflation are considered.Recent analysis from the University of Cambridge has concluded that 240,000 homes a year are needed over the 20 years to 2031 - the equivalent of a 1.04 per cent annual increase in housing stock. In the south-east, requirements are likely to be even higher.The problem is most acute in London, according to Savills. Its analysis states that while the London Plan's 42,000 homes a year for the ten years from 2015 represents a significant increase on the previous target, it is still 7,000 homes a year short.It based these calculations on the finding of the strategic housing market assessment carried out by the Greater London Authority, which concluded that a minimum 49,000 homes are needed.Analysis of TCPA predictions reveals an even greater shortfall of 14,400 properties a year, or a total of 72,000 over the next five years, the estate agent claims.The south-east, south-west and east of England will be short of 91,323 houses relative to their needs over the next five years, taking no account of the demand likely to spill out of London.According to Savills, while 147 local planning authorities across the three regions in the study claim they have more than five years' supply, the figures are less robust than they appear to be. It says that in Sevenoaks, where the LPA reported a 9.7-year land supply, underestimation of housing needs meant the figure was actually less than five years. 

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