A total of 143,560 homes were started in the 12 months to December 2015 in England, according to government statistics, which is a 6% increase from the 12 months to December 2014. This is 22% below the peak in the year of 2007, but up 91% compared with the trough in the year to June 2009.
Private sector house-building starts were up 8% compared with 2014 while public sector starts were down 1%.
There were 142,890 homes completed in 2015, which is 21% more than in 2014 but 19% below 2007. Private sector completions were up 20% and housing association completions rose by 7% on 2014.
For the fourth quarter of 2015, seasonally adjusted house-building starts in England are estimated at 37,080, a 6% increase compared to the previous quarter. The seasonally adjusted level of starts in the December quarter 2015 increased by 23% on the same quarter a year earlier.
Seasonally adjusted completions for the fourth quarter 2015 were 37,230, also 6% higher than the 35,290 in the previous quarter and 22% above their level in the fourth quarter of 2014.
It means both starts and completions for new build homes are at their highest level since 2008 with more than 700,000 new build homes started since April 2010.
Meanwhile, figures from the Home Builders Federation show that planning permission was granted for 59,875 homes in England during the third quarter of 2015, up 12% from 53,409 permissions in the corresponding quarter of 2014.
Housing minister Brandon Lewis said: “We’ve got the country building again with starts nearly double the low point of 2009 and along with completions hitting a seven-year high.
“However we’re not complacent. That’s why we’ve set out the most ambitious housing vision for more than a generation, doubling the housing budget so we can meet our ambition of delivering a million new homes.”
The highest rates of completions are found a band starting to the north of the London green belt running through Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. There are also strong levels in from Devon through Gloucestershire. Areas with the lowest completion rates include Kingston upon Thames, Southend-on-Sea and Gravesham.
In London, previously the hotspot for house-building, starts were down 25% in Q4 2015 compared to Q3, totalling 4,250. Completions in London reached 7,010, up from 6,430 in the previous quarter.
Harrow and Haringey saw the lowest number of starts of any London borough –10 and 30 respectively in Q4. Richmond, Sutton and the City of London saw the lowest completion levels with just 30, 30 and 10 new builds completed.
All the statistics are at www.gov.uk.