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Population, Migration and Housing Demand - a Confused Picture based on Estimates and Out of Date Data

August 29, 2022 9:50 PM
House BuildingDo we really need so many houses in South East England? Or perhaps more? Or perhaps fewer?

Governments have at least to try to plan ahead - and all parties currently support a national housebuilding target of 300,000 to 340,000 to cope with the expected population increase.

The current interim 2020 estimates predict births and deaths will be in balance in 2025. From then on further increases will be due to a steady 200,000 annual growth due only to continued net immigration.

But is either now likely?

Might not the death rate actually start to exceed the birth rate - possibly due to Covid deaths, Long Covid morbidity or reduced fertility?

Could the net immigration drop below the estimated steady 200,000 per year?

Could the accustomed year on year population increase therefore start to slow down or even stop?

So could the housebuilding targets now be excessive and could we now be, under government pressure, sacrificing Green Belt and otherwise green field sites unnecessarily?

Might we end up with unsold houses on agricultural land that might become more important in the future?

As more data comes in later in the year on emigration, immigration, the death rate and the birth rate we might get a clearer picture as to some of these questions.