There were 125,110 houses built in England in the 12 months to March, which is 11 per cent higher than the previous year.
Official figures published today show this was the highest number of homes built over a 12-month period since the end of 2009, although the figure is still 29 per cent below the recent peak of 183,600 in the year ending December 2007.
There were 140,500 homes started in the 12 months to March, a 5 per cent increase on the 12 months to March 2014. This is 24 per cent below the peak in the year to December 2007, but up 86 per cent compared with the trough in the year to June 2009.
The number of starts in England are estimated at 40,300 in the first quarter of 2015, a 11 per cent increase on the same quarter a year earlier. Further, there were an estimated 34,040 completions in Q1, a 21 per cent year-on-year increase.
Mortgage Advice Bureau new-build director Andy Frankish says the figures are “encouraging”.
He adds: “It is now up to the new government to ensure that momentum is carried forward: the country’s housing crisis must be addressed with long-term solutions that outlive a five-year government. Part of this must include looking at new solutions.”
However, most commentators believe there needs to be at 230,000 new homes built in England each year.
Home Builders Federation director of economic affairs John Stewart adds: “Significant constraints remain, and if the Government is to deliver on its manifesto commitment to further increase build rates we now need to see more action.
”Maintaining the Help to Buy scheme to 2020 is absolutely essential, as are policies to increase the speed at which land for housing comes forward through the planning system. Swift action by the new Government will allow the industry to maintain momentum and provide decent homes for thousands more people.
“Increasing housebuilding will also create tens of thousands of jobs and lead to infrastructure and amenity improvements in every part of the country.”
Table: Trends in starts and completions, England, 12 month rolling totals