The downturn in the construction industry is putting the government’s target of building 2m homes by 2016 more and more out of reach, the RICS said today.

The RICS UK Construction Market Survey showed that, over the last quarter, 60% more surveyors reported a decline in private housing construction levels than reported a rise.

Declining construction over the past two quarters has meant that only 66,220 homes have been built this year.

To achieve the government’s housing goal 200,000 homes need to be built each year.

The survey said next quarter is likely to see less than 25,000 homes built.

‘With finance for projects becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, the government’s ambitious target of 2 million new houses a year by 2016 is likely to fall well short,’ said RICS senior economist Oliver Gilmartin.

‘At current levels of production the number of new homes built will fall below 100,000 in the coming year.’

Overall construction workloads declined at their fastest pace in the survey’s 14 year history with 38 percent more chartered surveyors reporting a fall than a rise.