Homes England: Housing starts at highest level for 10 years

Michael Lloyd

December 3, 2019

Housing starts are at their highest for 10 years and completions are at their second highest levels since 2011, Homes England has revealed.

Between 1 April and 30 September, 16,955 housing starts and 14,792 completions were delivered by schemes managed by Homes England, excluding London.

Andrew Southern, chairman of property developer Southern Grove, said: “The industry is providing affordable homes at an increasingly rapid rate and this is one of the most important trends in house building right now.

“Affordable housing is a growing focus for both private companies and those responsible for spending government support wisely because of the disconnect between property prices and the scale of housebuilding being achieved nationwide.

“The longer the housing crisis persists, the harder it becomes for developers of all kinds to build enough homes to begin to tame rampant house price growth.

“This is a problem that has kept policymakers awake at night for as long as the housing crisis has been a live issue.

“It has now become received wisdom that affordable housing is the only way to deliver realistically priced homes for first-time buyers, young families and young professionals on anything approaching a sensible time scale.

“It’s an incredibly important card to hold now, and in some areas such as London, where house prices are least affordable, this socially conscious initiative has already become an essential strategy.”

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of starts were for affordable homes from the beginning of April to the end of September, up 24% from the same period last year.

However, 10,295 completions were delivered as affordable homes, 70% of the total and 7% fewer year-on-year.

Michael Stone, founder and chief executive of Stone Real Estate, added: “Good news on the face of it with a commendable number of homes being delivered, with the majority of these being affordable.

“While the devil in the detail is a slight drop in completions, the level of homes being delivered is still some of the highest in the last 10 years.

“Wider market trends suggest that with such a positive uplift in the number of homes started, the knock-on effect will be yet a further increase in the level of homes being delivered early next year, despite who takes the keys to number 10.”

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