On a quarterly basis, house building starts in England were estimated at 35,530 (seasonally adjusted) in the latest quarter, a three per cent decrease compared to the previous three months and nine per cent decrease on a year earlier.
Completions were estimated at 32,950 (seasonally adjusted), nine per cent lower than the previous quarter and three per cent lower than a year ago.
Annual housing starts totalled 139,680 in 2015-16, up by one per cent compared with 2014-15. During the same period, completions totalled 139,690, an increase of 12 per cent compared with last year.
Seasonally adjusted housing starts in England are estimated at 35,530 in the March quarter 2016, a three per cent decrease compared from December quarter in 2015. Compared to a year ago, starts this quarter are down by nine per cent. Starts are still 27 per cent below their March quarter 2007 peak, but are 107 per cent above the trough in the March quarter of 2009. Seasonally adjusted starts decreased in the private enterprise tenure (-3 per cent) as well as for housing associations (-9 per cent). Starts by local authorities increased but this sector is small and can be quite volatile.
Completions were at 32,950 (seasonally adjusted) in the March quarter 2016, nine per cent lower than in the previous quarter, and 3 per cent below their level in the same quarter a year ago. Completions are now 32 per cent below their peak in the March quarter 2007 and 33 per cent above the trough in March quarter 2013. Seasonally adjusted completions decreased in the private enterprise tenure (-7 per cent) and also decreased in the housing association tenure (-24 per cent).
However, there are strong areas of new build starts in Cambridge and in parts of London, in particular Ealing. Areas north of the London green belt in Northamptonshire and Leicestershire have been experiencing high levels of starts, along with areas in North Oxfordshire and the Thames estuary. Housing Statistical Release Levels of starts increased between the year to March 2015 and the year to March 2016 in 174 out of 326 authorities. The geographic spread of increases and decreases is mixed. Some of the greatest increases and decreases in starts levels were in parts of London.
The highest rates of completions are found a band starting to the north of the London green belt running through Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. There are also strong levels in from Devon through Gloucestershire. Areas with the lowest completion rates include Kingston upon Thames, Wirral and Gravesham. Completion rates between the year to March 2015 and the year to March 2016 are increasing in 197 out of 326 authorities. The geographic spread of increases and decreases is very mixed. Particular areas of increasing completions rates include some areas in London, Essex and Reading.
Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said, “We’ve got the country building again and are seeing our housebuilding efforts paying-off with this considerable increase in the number of homes built in just one year.
“This is real progress but there is more to do. That’s why we are going further and increasing our investment in housebuilding to ensure many more hard-working people can benefit.”