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New home building starts plummeted in summer 2015

PUBLISHED: 17:57 21 August 2015 | UPDATED: 17:57 21 August 2015

The number of new homes being started by builders in England fell at its steepest rate for three years

The number of new homes being started by builders in England fell at its steepest rate for three years

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The number of new homes being started by builders in England fell at its steepest rate for three years in the latest quarter, official figures showed today.

A 14 per cent decline in housing starts to 33,280 in the April-June period was the sharpest since the January-March period of 2012, according to the Government’s own seasonally-adjusted data. Starts were 6 per cent lower year-on-year.

It meant the pace of new house building was 32 per cent below its peak level in 2007, though 94 per cent above a trough at the height of the financial crisis in 2009.

The sharp decline in the number of new housing starts in the latest quarter puts the brakes on after a 29 per cent quarter-on-quarter rise at the start of 2015 – which was the biggest increase on records going back to 2006.

For the year to June 2015, starts totalled 136,320, down 1 per cent on the year before, according to the figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Housing completions for the quarter were 4 per cent up on the previous period at 35,640, and 22 per cent up year-on-year. But they remain 26 per cent below their 2007 peak.

In the year to June, completions totalled 131,060, a 15 per cent increase on the previous 12-month period.

Housing charity Shelter said this was only half the level of 250,000 needed to deal with the country’s housing shortage.

Chief executive Campbell Robb said: “Once again, these figures show that we’re not building anywhere near the number of homes needed each year, leaving millions of ordinary hard-working people priced out.

“And worryingly, despite claims by the Government that progress is being made to solve our chronic housing shortage, the number of new homes started has actually decreased.”

Housing minister Brandon Lewis said: “Our One Nation Government has got the country building again with today’s figures showing that 131,060 extra homes have been built in the past year.

“This has provided a real boost to the UK’s construction industry and is delivering the homes that hard-working people rightly deserve.”


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