New builds hit high as builders scramble before Net Zero deadline

The highest quarterly total of new build homes in 45 years was recorded in Q2 as builders strived to beat a deadline for carbon emissions.

house building net zero

A record high of new build housing starts was recorded in Q2 as developers rushed to beat a deadline for Net Zero carbon emissions.

Figures from the Government show a 34% jump in building work beginning on site of 73,600 new homes.

The total is the highest since at least 1978, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Any new homes started after 15 June were subject to the Future Homes Standard on carbon emissions.

net zero

But with no requirement to finish the homes before the deadline, the number of completions fell 12% to 40,720 between April and June as the housing market struggled.

And the number of new starts probably dropped off after the June deadline.

Capital Economics forecasts housing starts will fall to 15,000 in Q3, which would be the lowest quarterly total on record.

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Andrew Wishart, Senior Economist, Capital Economics

Andrew Wishart, senior economist at Capital Economics, says: “Monthly data from the National House Building Council shows that housing starts being brought forward led to a collapse in starts in July and August.”

Other data suggests housing starts will drop 20% between October and December, he adds.

Capital Economics predicts builders will make a start on only 140,000 new homes this year, a drop of a fifth compared to last year.

Watered down

The Government’s target to build 300,000 new homes a year was watered down in December when housing secretary Michael Gove agreed to make it advisory rather than mandatory.

Wishart says housing starts next year will fall to just 107,000, which would be the lowest figure since 2012.


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