Economic Update – Winter 2018

Briefing paper

Standard Methodology… Another Way?

In September, new 2016-based ONS population projections were incorporated into the Standard Method, with the effect that housing demand estimates were reduced in many areas; particularly those with known housing pressures. In response, chief planner at MHCLG, Steve Quartermain, stated in October:

“the policy direction is clearly to maintain a higher figure than the current projections suggest.”

The Government swiftly released details of a new consultation and advised authorities to go back to the 2014-based figures. The consultation document also states an intention to review the formula in line with three principles:

  • Stability and certainty for authorities
  • Responsiveness to household projections and price signals
  • Support for a housing market that works for everyone.

It is also made clear in the consultation document that the overall target of 300,000 homes per annum remains.

So, what’s going on? The Government remains committed to the national annual target, essentially pursuing a top down approach. This requires the numbers produced by the Standard Method at the local level, to be fitted to a fixed figure at the national level.

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