New build starts surge 21% in Q1

On a quarterly basis, new build dwelling starts in England were estimated at 43,170 for the first quarter of 2017, a three per cent increase compared to the last quarter and a 21 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Completions were estimated at 39,520, nine per cent higher than the previous quarter and 21 per cent higher than a year ago.

Annual new build dwelling starts totalled 162,880 in the year to March 2017, up by 15 per cent compared with the year to March 2016. During the same period, completions totalled 147,960, an increase of six per cent compared with last year.

Private enterprise new build dwelling starts were four per cent higher in the March quarter 2017 than the previous quarter, and completions were 12 per cent higher. Starts by housing associations were two per cent higher compared to the last quarter and completions five per cent lower.

All starts are now 152 per cent above the trough in the March quarter 2009 and 12 per cent below the March quarter 2007 peak. All completions are 57 per cent above the trough in the March quarter 2013 and 18 per cent below their March quarter 2007 peak.

Craig Hall, New Build Manager, Legal & General Mortgage Club, said, “It is encouraging to see housebuilding activity has increased in the first quarter of this year. New build completions hit 163,940 in the year to Nov 2016, and today’s results stand us in good stead to improve on that figure. Although that is promising, more still needs to be done if we are ever going to meet the Government’s ambitious aim of building one million new homes by 2020.

“Increasingly, the new build sector is becoming an attractive option for lenders, as we continue to see more entrants to this essential market.  The government, developers and housing associations must also work to support this sector, or we run the risk of restricting the homes for hundreds of thousands of people across our country.

“The simple fact is that more houses need to be built across all tenues. Shared-ownership, private rental, and owner occupier. New Build offers the perfect opportunity to restructure our housing market once and for all, by tackling our nation’s chronic housing shortage.”

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