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Chancellor’s promise to build 300,000 new homes a year is on shaky foundations

The number of private-sector built new homes dropped by 6% over the past quarter, the Government's own figures reveal.

Nigel Lewis

new homes being builtFigures just published by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) reveal that the number of new homes built in England between July and September dropped by 4%, and by 1% year-on-year.

The number of new homes started totalled 40,070 during the quarter, and 166,100 year-on-year, although the figures for completions were marginally better, up 2% to 39,250 on a quarterly basis and by 5% on an annual one.

But the figures, which include both local authority and private new builds, reveal that the most marked downturn took place in the private market where quarterly starts were down by 6% compared to the previous quarter, and completions down by 2%.

The figures also reveal how much the UK is becoming a nation of house dwellers, despite many governments’ attempts to build more ‘high density’ housing.

New homes

Just after the Millennium flats made up 25% of all new builds and, despite rising to 50% during the mid-noughties, has slumped back to 25% again.

new homes housing ministerEarlier this month Housing minister Alok Sharma (pictured, left) revealed a £25 million fund to help “ambitious local authorities and third sector organisations in areas of high housing plan for new homes and infrastructure”.

“Locally-led developments have enormous potential to deliver the scale and quality of housing growth that we need,” he said.

“By supporting our local authorities, we will be able to unlock more homes where people want to live.”

Read more: 80% of buyer unimpressed by new homes.

December 19, 2017

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