The number of new build starts fell by 7% to 157,550 in the year to September 2019, signalling that the government is failing to meet its housebuilding targets.
On a more positive note completions rose by 9% to 177,980 – however that is still well short of the government’s aim to deliver 300,000 homes a year.
Clive Docwra, managing director of leading construction consulting and design agency McBains, said: “The government has set a target of delivering a million homes in the next five years, yet today’s figures show that the construction industry is way off meeting those rates on current trends.
“Annual new build starts in the year to September 2019 saw a decrease of 7% on the previous year, and while completions totalled close to 178,000, we need to be building more than 200,000 homes each year to meet the government’s ambitions.
“Last month’s Queen’s Speech contained lots of detail on demand-side measures – such as first-time buyers being offered a discount on purchases – but nothing on the supply side.
“The government needs to set out how it intends to boost housebuilding and increase the supply of new homes needed to tackle the housing crisis, such as freeing up more land to build and cutting red tape on planning.”
New build dwelling starts in England were estimated at 39,510 in Q4 2019, a 2% increase compared to the previous three months and an 11% increase on a year earlier.
Completions were estimated at 46,000, a 2% increase from the previous quarter and 11% higher than a year ago.
BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE
Source: Property Wire