MHCLG: New build starts down 11%

Jessica Nangle

January 29, 2020

New build dwelling starts in England were down 11% year-on-year according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Annual new build dwelling starts totaled 157,550 in the year to September 2019, which is a 7% decrease compared to the same period a year previously.

Completions in the same period saw an increase of 9%.

Private enterprise new build dwelling in the September quarter 2019 rose by 3% from the previous quarter and completions rose by 5%.

Starts by housing associations saw a quarterly decrease of 4%, with completions down by 14%.

All starts between July and September 2019 were 130% above the trough in the March quarter in 2009 and 19% below the March quarter 2007 peak.

All completions between July and September 2019 were 82% above the trough in the March quarter in 2013 and 5% below the March quarter in 2007 peak.

Joseph Daniels, founder of Project Etopia, said:”This official housebuilding data paints a very mixed picture for the industry.

“While completions are up significantly on an annual basis, the latest quarter of housing starts is down by some margin.

“This points to the chilling effect that so much political and economic uncertainty had over the past year with aborted Brexit deadlines and gridlock in Westminster.

This should mean that now the mist has cleared, and with the wind in Britain’s sales once we leave the EU in a few days’ time, the pace of construction should pick up in the short term.

“This performance is also leaving government housing targets in the dust, as the industry has shown itself unable to put the accelerator down to deliver the homes necessary.

“More policy ideas are needed.”

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