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House-building starts down 8% year-on-year

4 Oct 19 Latest government figures show that the number of new homes under construction is in decline.

In the second quarter of 2019 new build dwelling starts in England are estimated at 37,220 units (seasonally adjusted), which is a 2% decrease compared to the first quarter and 8% down year-on-year.

New house-building starts are 24% below their peak in Q1 2007 but 117% per cent above the trough Q1 of 2009.

According to the numbers released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, annual new build dwelling starts totalled 160,640 in the year to 30th June 2019, a 1% decrease on the previous.

During the same period, completions reached 173,660 in the year to June, an increase of 8% on the previous year.

Secretary of state for housing Robert Jenrick preferred to focus on the rise in completions rather than the fall in starts. “The data released today is hugely welcome, with the number of new homes built reaching an 11-year high,” he said. “We are moving in the right direction, but there is still much more to do if we are going to deliver the numbers needed by communities up and down the country.”

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Clive Docwra, managing director of construction consultant McBains, said: “Today’s figures show the amount of new homes being started or completed are still nowhere near the number required to meet the government’s target of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid 2020s.

“Brexit uncertainty continues to bite, with many housebuilding projects on hold until the picture on the UK withdrawal from the EU becomes clearer, while the weak pound means the high cost of imported materials is holding back construction.

“Demand for housing is far outstripping supply, but today’s figures prove there is still no light at the end of the tunnel in terms of solving the housing crisis.”

Source: The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
Source: The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

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