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Monday, January 19, 1998 Published at 09:00 GMT


Household growth expected to rise

Projected demand for homes is expected to rise

Demand for new homes into the next century could be greater than previously thought.

The Government is expected to increase its estimate for the growth in households in England for the next 18 years because of changing lifestyles across the population.

A projection of 4.4 million new households from 1991 to 2016 was drawn up by the Department of the Environment under John Gummer in 1995. It is now thought that figure could be more than 1 million homes too low.

Statisticians involved in planning say that, while the overall number of people living in Britain is expected to remain relatively stable, a series of demographic shifts is expected to increase the number of new households.

They say new accommodation will be needed to cater for a rise in the number of young people setting up home, increases in the divorce rate, the number of people choosing to remain single, and the fact that many people are living longer.

A new figure of 5.5 million new homes is bound to cause controversy.

Assessments of household growth are used to set house-building targets for local authorities. Environmentalists fear a rise in demand for new homes will increase the pressure for development in the countryside.

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