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English housing completions rise by six per cent

Published: Thursday, 1st September 2016

The latest house building data shows that 139,030 new homes were completed in the year to June 2016, although housing delivery remains short of the rate needed to meet the government’s target…

The number of newly built homes in England has increased by six per cent in the past year, according to the latest figures published by the government.

The latest house building data shows that 139,030 new homes were completed and more than 144,280 homes were started in the year to June 2016.

Meanwhile, figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show there are more first-time buyers than at any time since 2007, with 72,800 in England in the second quarter of 2016.

According to the Department for Communities and Local Government the data showed strong regional growth in London, Swindon and Wakefield, which are all experiencing high levels of completions.

Delivery in London saw 24 per cent more homes being built in the year to June 2016 than the previous year with local authorities in Greenwich and Waltham Forest seeing completions soar 126 per cent and 103 per cent respectively over the same period. In Swindon and Wakefield completions were up 104 per cent and 41 per cent respectively.

Figures published last year show that the total number of new homes across the country rose by 25 per cent between 2014 and 2015, taking in to account all homes, including new builds, houses that have been converted into flats and buildings whose use has been changed to residential.

Although ministers admit that housing delivery remains well short of the rate needed to meet the government’s target of building one-million new homes by 2020.

Meanwhile press reports insist that the administration will unveil a fund worth up to £5bn aimed at helping to solve the housing crisis in the weeks leading up to the Autumn Statement.

The Home Building Fund is apparently in line to be beefed up and aimed at small and medium-sized builders who will be offered long-term loans to unlock a pipeline of 160,000 and 200,000 homes, as well as providing funding for small developments and custom builds.

It will be distributed via the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), and is expected to be an extension of the £525m Builders Finance Fund launched in April 2014.

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Roger Milne