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Fall in starts and completions of new homes threaten housebuilding target

New official figures show a decrease in the number of new build homes being started or completed in England over the latest quarter (to March 2019) and only a small rise over the last 12 months.

According to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the new build dwellings figures should be regarded as the leading indicator of overall housing supply, but the figures show that:

  • New build dwelling starts in England were estimated at 36,630 in the latest quarter, a 9% decrease compared to the previous three months and a 9% decrease on a year earlier;
  • Completions were estimated at 42,870, a 1% decrease from the previous quarter.

Annual new build dwelling starts totalled 162,270 in the year to March 2019, a 1% increase compared with the year to March 2018. During the same period, completions totalled 169,770 an increase of 6% compared with last year.

Clive Docwra, managing director at consulting and design agency McBains, said: “The government has set a target of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, but (these) figures show that this will remain a pipe dream unless measures are implemented to help boost the number of new build starts and completions.”

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