The number of new homes built in England has fallen for the first time in eight years, following restrictions on construction sites during the pandemic.

There were 216,490 new homes in 2020-21, according to new government statistics, down 11% on the previous year.

This is the first drop since 2012-13 and the lowest annual delivery since 2015-16.

The number of new homes is just 72% of the government’s housing target of 300,000 homes per year, which it aims to hit by the mid-2020s.

The highest rates of net additional dwellings were seen in areas from the west of London’s commuter belt across the Midlands to East Anglia.

The bulk of areas reported drops, with just 37% of local authorities recording increases. Redbridge, South Derbyshire and Ashford all stood out with high rates, with Walsall, Lewisham and Halton at the lower end. In London, 19 boroughs reported drops and 14 saw rises.

The figures include some 10,603 homes via permitted development rights. Despite efforts from the government to expand PDR, the number of homes fell by 14%, with office-to-resi in particular down 17%.

Separate figures on affordable housing reveal 52,100 affordable homes built during the period, contributing 23% of new homes. That figure fell by 12% over the year, in line with the overall housing decline.

Emily Williams, research analyst at Savills, said: “Clearly, much of the slowdown is due to the disruption caused by multiple lockdowns, the summer’s ‘pingdemic’ and supply chain disruption.

“Given the falls in planning consents and starts in previous years, we expect that net additional dwellings numbers won’t increase next year and won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025-26.”