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House building down 9% in year to March: MHCLG

In the first three months of 2019, the number of new builds starts declined by 9 per cent compared to the previous three months, and dropped 9 per cent annually, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government.

The number of new build starts, seasonally adjusted, in the first quarter of 2019 was 36,630.

Completions were estimated at 42,870 in Q1 2019, having dropped by 1 per cent. However, they were up by 14 per cent on an annual basis.

In the year to March 2019, 162,270 new builds were estimated to have had work started, a 1 per cent increase year-on-year. Between March 2018 and March 2019, completions totalled 169,770, representing a rise of 6 per cent.

The data shows that all starts were, as of March 2019, 114 per cent above lowest point in March 2009, and 25 per cent above the peak in March 2007.

Furthermore, all competitions within the same time frame were 71 per cent above the trough in March 2009, and 25 per cent above the high in March 2007.

The government’s new build dwelling figures are based on building control inspection data, submitted to the ministry by local authorities, the National House Building Council and other independent approved building control inspectors.

Project Etopia founder Joseph Daniels says: “House building has swung into reverse yet again, and it is a further sign that the industry is not consistent enough in its delivery of new homes. A slump in the pipeline of new homes is now programmed in for later this year.

“With new build starts down on the pre-crisis peak, the structural problems of the UK’s housing market and the industry’s timid reply are still painfully obvious.

“For all the talk about the government setting ambitious housing targets, there is still a lack of urgency when it comes to walking the walk.

“Housing is in a state of crisis, yet the response has not reflected how high a priority house-building needs to be in the UK.

“The UK needs a revolution in housebuilding, not a peaceful protest.”

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