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House building starts up 30% year-on-year

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  • 15/05/2014
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House building starts up 30% year-on-year
Total house building starts increased by 31% to 133,650 in the 12 months to March compared to March 2013, statistics released by the department of communities and local government have shown.

These non-seasonally adjusted figures were 77% higher than house building starts during the downturn in June 2009.

But they still lag some way behind activity seen in the peak of March 2006 when starts were up 27% on today’s figures.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said: “The end of the unsustainable housing boom devastated our construction industry leading to the loss of a quarter of a million construction jobs.

“It’s taking a massive government effort to get Britain building again and today’s figures show it’s working in no small part thanks to the measures we’ve taken to help aspiring homeowners onto the property ladder.”

Private house building has increased 34% since the launch of the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, focused on helping people purchase new build homes, in April 2013.

But Peter Williams, executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, said the ‘deep deficit’ of new homes in the UK ‘leaves us staring into the abyss of a severe supply problem’.

IMLA’s housing report on the role of buy-to-let as an alternative to buying a home, released today, highlighted the growth of the private rented sector in recent years to cater for changes in society.

The report suggested that failing to increase UK housing supply in line with population and household growth is the major cause of first-time buyer frustrations driving up competition for buying homes.

And if current housing trends continue, IMLA has predicted over half of UK homes will be rented by 2032, a trend not seen since the early 1970s.

“The lack of new homes coming onto the market has put the squeeze on first-time buyers and threatens to consign mass homeownership – and the UK as a predominantly home owning society – to the history books,” said Williams.

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