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New-build starts decreased in June quarter

Words: Laura Edgar
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Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) statistics show that there was an 8 per cent decline in the number of homes started in the three months to June 2019 compared with the previous year.

An estimated 37,220 homes were started between April and June 2019, which is 2 per cent less than the number of home started between January and March 2019.

In the year to June 2019, 160,640 homes were started, a 1 per cent decline on the number started in the year to June 2018.

Private firms started 2 per cent less homes in the June 2019 quarter compared with the previous quarter, while housing associations started 4 per cent lower.

The ministry noted that all starts between April and June 2019 are up by 117 per cent on the March quarter of 2009, but 24 per cent lower than the March 2007 peak.


The ministry estimates that there were 45,190 completions, which is 4 per cent more than the previous quarter and 11 per cent higher than a year ago.

In the year to June 2019, 173,660 homes were completed – 8 per cent more than the year to June 2018.

Private firm completions increased by 2 per cent in the quarter ending in June. Housing association completions were also up, showing an increase of 20 per cent.

Completions between April and June 2019 are 79 per cent above the level in the March quarter 2013 and 7 per cent below the March quarter 2007 peak.

Clive Docwra, managing director of construction consulting and design agency McBains, said the figures prove that the number of homes started and completed are “still nowhere near the number required to meet the government’s target of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s”.

“Brexit uncertainty continues to bite, with many housebuilding projects on hold until the picture on the UK withdrawal from the EU becomes clearer, while the weak pound means the high cost of imported materials is holding back construction.

“Demand for housing is far outstripping supply, but the figures prove there is still no light at the end of the tunnel in terms of solving the housing crisis.”

House Building; New Build Dwellings, England: June Quarter 2019 can be found on the UK Government website (pdf).

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