Housebuilding is set to fall to almost half the government’s target as development activity continues to slow in the face of the housing market crisis.

The number of new homes produced annually is forecast to drop to just 130,000 by the end of 2010, when the development market is expected to trough, according to Savills.

This compares to the 240,000 new homes being demanded by the government every year in order to meet its aspiration of building 3m new homes by 2020.

Savills' figure includes around 30,000 refurbished homes, with the number of actual newly built homes expected to drop to around 100,000, leaving the government a mammoth task to meet its 2020 agenda.

Given current production, housebuilders would need to produce an additional 325,000 new homes each year by 2016 to meet targets, Savills said, and keep building at this level for four further years.

Financial Times