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Housing starts up 15 per cent year on year in England – government

  • 15/09/2022
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Housing starts up 15 per cent year on year in England – government
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities also said housing starts increased by 21 per cent in Q2 when compared to the previous quarter.

It said this amounted to building work beginning on 51,730 dwellings in Q2. The seasonally adjusted figures also showed that 44,940 dwellings were completed in Q2, six per cent more than the same period a year earlier and three per cent more than in Q1.

Housing starts in Q2 were also six per cent higher than their previous 2007 Q1 peak. New-build completions in England were estimated to be 44,940, which is again six per cent higher than in the second quarter of last year. 

EPC applications up

In terms of the country’s past housing supply, the government said that in 2020-21, England saw an 11 per cent slump in the number of additional homes to a net of 216,490.

However, data on Energy Performance of Buildings Certificates (EPCs), which are considered to be another indicator of supply, showed that 63,910 new-dwelling EPCs were lodged in Q2 of this year, a rise of six per cent compared to the same quarter last year. That figure was four per cent lower for the overall year ending in June 2022.

Question of sustainability

Malcolm Davidson, director of the Hull-based broker UK Moneyman, said: “One major worry is that our new PM seems against the very idea of housebuilding targets. Whatever your political persuasion, though, our population is growing exponentially but housebuilding hasn’t kept up and we have seen property prices rise in the region of 20 per cent since Covid alone.

“This is simply not sustainable if we want to continue to be a nation of homeowners. What we need is a clear vision and plan, utilising all available new technologies to enable the UK to embark upon a long period of building the homes we desperately need, including re-purposing buildings in our crumbling city centres.”

Rhys Schofield, managing director at the Belper-based Peak Money, commented:If you cut through the numbers that look big on paper, the UK needs to build 340,000 new homes a year until 2031. The government’s own target is 300,000 a year. These latest numbers all fall well short, meaning that house prices can only be forced in one direction. With the lack of urgency around housebuilding, having a place to call your home is becoming increasingly out of reach for many people.”

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