Welcome rise in England’s housebuilding starts

The latest statistics report on the period April to June 2010 and update those previously released on 20 May 2010.

Private enterprise housing starts (seasonally adjusted) were ten percent higher than in the March quarter 2010. By comparison starts by registered social landlords were 17 per cent higher over the same period.

Housing completions in England rose by one per cent to an estimated 26,550 (seasonally adjusted) in the June quarter 2010 compared to the previous quarter. This is the first quarterly rise since the final quarter of 2007, and follows a five per cent fall between the December 2009 and March 2010 quarters.

Private enterprise housing completions (seasonally adjusted) were one per cent higher in the June quarter 2010 than the March quarter 2010; completions by registered social landlords remained the same over the same period.

Annual housing starts reached 98,500 in the 12 months to June 2010, up by 44 per cent compared with the 12 months to June 2009. Annual housing completions in England totalled 110,210 in the 12 months to June 2010, down by 13 per cent compared with the 12 months to June 2009.

All regions experienced a rise in annual starts between the 12 months ending June 2009 and the 12 months ending June 2010.

Steve Lees, Director at SmartNewHomes.com, comments on Q2 2010 housebuilding statistics showing a rise in starts:

“A 13% rise in housebuilding starts in England is welcomed, however, this figure is still a shocking 42% below the March 2007 peak. The new government’s current housing policy vacuum, leaving planners in limbo and industry with its hands tied, could very quickly wipe out this small increase in starts. The latest SmartNewHomes.com Demand Index shows the second consecutive monthly low for the number of new homes for sale in July.

“With a consultation paper not due out until late October at the earliest, the industry faces the prospect of further uncertainty. At present, Housing Minister Grant Shapps has only offered outline details of his proposal to offer a ‘New Homes Bonus’ to councils to encourage development and there is little proof that the money on offer will be enough to incentivise communities to agree to much needed new homes.”

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