English house building hits 9-year high

Houses and flats being built

Housebuilding in England achieved a nine-year high, reaching just shy of 165,000 new homes up to June 2017.

With the government committed to building up to a million new homes by 2020, at a rate of 200,000 per year, the figure shows a 13% increase on the figures for the same period of 2016.

Alok Sharma, housing and planning minister, commented:

Building more homes is an absolute priority for this government.

“Today’s figures are proof that we are getting Britain building again, with new housing starts reaching record levels since 2009.

“It’s vital we maintain this momentum to deliver more quality homes in the places that people want to live.

The areas that saw most new build activity were Gloucestershire, South Derbyshire and South Norfolk.

The government’s plans for housing were unveiled in its Housing White Paper earlier this year. You can read Commercial Trust’s analysis of the plans in Breakdown of the 2017 Housing White Paper.

Andrew Turner, chief executive at Commercial Trust, said:

The new government figures are a step in the right direction but whilst the six months to June are encouraging, we need to see this level of activity sustained over a much longer period.

“The longer term evidence suggests that building 200,000 new homes a year remains a big challenge in the UK and there remain questions over the resources available to achieve this figure.

“In the meantime demand remains high for new homes, with thousands of would-be first time buyers still priced out of the market by lack of availability and the impact of affordability.

“Those individuals continue to look to the rental market for somewhere to live in the interim – however long that might be. That in turn will help to sustain the buy-to-let market.

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This information should not be interpreted as financial advice. Mortgage and loan rates are subject to change.