Housebuilding falls 9% in Q1 amid calls for government intervention

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  • 27/05/2016
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Housebuilding falls 9% in Q1 amid calls for government intervention
Housebuilding completions in England fell in the quarter to March, while the number of houses currently in construction also decreased on a quarterly basis.

Figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government show there were 32,950 housing completions in England between January and March, marking a 9% fall on the previous quarter and 3% lower than a year ago.

However, for the year to March a rise of 12% in housing starts was seen, with 139,690 recorded

Starts are now 107% above the trough in the 2009 March quarter, but 27% below the peak reached in Q1 2007.

Speaking about the year-on-year rise, housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis said: “This is real progress but there is more to do. That’s why we are going further and increasing our investment in housebuilding to ensure many more hard-working people can benefit.”

However, Campbell Robb, chief executive of housing and homelessness charity said the figures weren’t good enough.

The government has promised to build a million homes by 2020, yet these figures show one of the biggest quarterly falls in the number of homes built that we’ve seen for a decade,” he said

“We’re still only building a little over half the homes we need each year and it’s simply not good enough.”

He said the government needs to get on the side of people on “typical incomes”.

Private enterprise housing starts were 3% lower in the March quarter 2016 than the previous quarter while completions were 7% lower.

Starts by housing associations were also down, dropping 9% from the previous quarter, with completions down 24%.

 

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