January 03, 2021
England will need to build nearly 300 homes per day solely as the result of immigration should it run at the level of last year following introduction of the Points-Based System.
That is the finding of new research by Migration Watch UK.
Just over half (57%) of extra homes needed in England until the early 2040s would be the result of immigration - 107,400 per year or one every five minutes.
The impact of arrivals from abroad alone would drive the need to make available nearly 2.7 million homes between 2018 and 2043 - equal to about nine cities the size of Glasgow or thirteen cities the size of Bradford (which have been 200,000 to 300,000 homes each).
The findings emerged following analysis of a special dataset that was released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) after Migration Watch UK pointed out that the most recent household projections did not include the usual ‘zero migration’ scenario, a set of figures that helps enable calculation of the impact of immigration on projected housing demand.
Even if immigration fell to 2013 levels (between 180,000 and 190,000 per year), the impact of immigration alone would still account for nearly half - 1.7 million, or 46% - of the total of 3.7 million homes estimated to be needed under that scenario by the early 2040s.
This is 67,800 per year, or 186 homes per day.
Yet if immigration reverted to last year's level, it would - on its own - drive the need for 294 more homes per day - over half of the total 519 per day (equal to a total of 4.7 million by 2043) that are projected to be needed to accommodate colossal and soaring demand.
Overseas net migration to England was 263,000 in 2019 and averaged nearly 260,000 from 2014 to 2019.
Although immigration has fallen in the midst of the pandemic, the government’s serious weakening of work visa rules for citizens in four-fifths of all countries alongside decaying enforcement and the introduction of yet more uncapped avenues into the UK makes post-Covid immigration levels highly uncertain.
Immigration - which clearly has a massive impact on housing demand - is a factor too often ignored in commentary about the housing crisis.
The arrival of a new city from overseas every year cannot help but add hugely to pressure on communities up and down the UK to bulldoze countryside - even “protected” green belt land - in order to make way for housing.
Tighter immigration control is necessary to tackle the housing crisis and to protect our precious green space.
Commenting, Alp Mehmet of Migration Watch UK, said:
These figures are staggering. Something like one in every two homes needed to meet England’s soaring demand looks set to be the result of immigration over the next 25 years.
That’s the case even if the colossal scale of overseas net arrivals fall to a level not seen for years.
Reducing immigration is essential in order to halt the gobbling-up of green space. When that goes it’s gone forever.