The latest figures from the Home Builders Federation show the second lowest number of planning permissions granted in a quarter in the last five years.
Just 25,171 residential planning permissions were granted in England in Q2 of 2011, 24% fewer than were granted in Q1 2011, and 23% fewer than were granted in Q2 2010.
To meet projected household formations on average 60,000 permissions are required per quarter.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, said: “These new figures paint a bleak picture. We already have an acute housing crisis that is affecting the quality of life of families, young and old, across the country and the economy. Today’s extremely low levels of permissions will only make things worse in the short term.
“The figures clearly reveal that while the debate about planning is currently being hijacked by irresponsible scaremongering from anti-growth groups our housing crisis is set to worsen.
James Abraham, economist at Glenigan, commented, “Planning approvals have been on a downward trend for eighteen months, and this continued over the second quarter of 2011. Although there was a pickup at the beginning of the year, the number of housing approvals has dropped to the lowest level in two years. The 29,100 units approved represented a 26% annual decline, and is less than half the number of houses approved on average per quarter in the years before the credit crunch.”