House building starts hit 7-year high

The number of starts and completions on new build homes continued to rise last year to the highest level since 2008, new figures released today show.

More than 143,500 new build homes were started up to December 2015 – a rise of 23% on the same quarter a year earlier and up 91% when compared to the low point of the year up to June 2009.

The House building: December quarter 2015 also showed that the number of new build homes completed were up 21% on the previous year.

It means both starts and completions for new build homes are at their highest level since 2008 with more than 700,000 new build homes started since April 2010.

Meanwhile, figures from the Home Builders Federation also published today show a 12% rise in planning permissions on the same quarter last year, paving the way for new jobs in the building trades.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “Aspiring homeowners should get the help they need to turn their dream into a reality – key to that is building the homes our country needs.

Today’s figures show how our reforms to the planning system are delivering the permissions needed and schemes like Help to Buy have given builders the confidence to invest and build, with starts and completions now at their highest since 2008.

But we’re determined to do even more, and fulfil our ambition to deliver 1 million new homes by 2021.”

Housebuilding growth across the country

Today’s figures show that the number of new build homes completed by private housebuilders have risen 20% on the previous year, while those completed by housing associations are up 27% over the same period.

They also show strong regional growth with Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire experiencing high levels of starts along with areas in North Oxfordshire and the Thames estuary.

Figures also released today by the Home Builders Federation show that planning permission for 59,875 homes was granted in England during the third quarter of last year, up 12% from 53,409 permissions in the corresponding quarter the previous year.