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Housing starts rose in 2016

Words: Laura Edgar
New builds / Shutterstock_403894639

The number of new homes that have started to be built rose by 5 per cent in 2016, according to government statistics.

This is the highest level of building starts since 2007, said the government.

The latest house building data suggests that 153,370 new homes were started in the year to December, up 5 per cent on 2015 starts.

More than 140,660 homes were completed in the year to December 2016, a decrease of 1 per cent when compared with 2015.

Housing and planning Minister Gavin Barwell said: “We’ve got the country building again with the highest number of housing starts for nine years. However, we know there’s more to be done to build more homes in the places that people want to live.

“Our housing white paper sets out an ambitious set of proposals to deliver more land, speed up build-out, diversify the housing market, and support people who need help now.”

Martin Tett, housing spokesman at the Local Government Association (LGA), said: “Between 220,000 and 250,000 homes a year need to be built to meet growing housing need. The private sector clearly has an important role to play but these figures clearly show that they cannot build the number of homes we need on its own.”

He said councils are well-placed to “plug the housing gap” and want to get on with the job of building the new homes that people in their areas need.

“A renaissance in housebuilding by councils is needed if we are to stand any chance of solving our housing crisis. This means councils being given the ability to borrow to invest in housing and to keep 100 per cent of the receipts from properties sold through Right to Buy to replace homes and reinvest in building more genuine affordable homes,” Tett said.

House building: new build dwellings, England: December quarter 2016 can be found here.

Image credit | Shutterstock