The target to build three million new homes by 2020 is not high enough to meet the growth in the number of elderly people and young families, a report says.

A paper from the Town and Country Planning Association obtained claims the latest analysis of 2006 population statistics shows that at least a further 500,000 homes are needed in England within 12 years. The new pressures are partly because men and women are living even longer but also because more women are having their children later and long-term migrants are starting families in this country.

There is likely to be a big demand for extra houses in the North East and the Midlands as migrants move from the South East.

But with the credit crunch slowing construction, the authors admit that their targets will be almost impossible to achieve and that there will be a shortfall of more than 750,000 homes by 2016. The number of new builds this year is expected to fall from about 170,000 per annum to 120,000 and is unlikely to pick up for four years.

The Times