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Private housebuilding starts down but new HA homes up

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Private housebuilding starts down but new HA homes up

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development

Housebuilding Housebuilding

The amount of private housebuilding starts in England dropped in the final quarter of 2013 but housing association starts rose, official statistics have revealed.

The Office of National Statistics' has estimated that 32,320 new homes were started in Q4, while 28,150 were completed.

And while housing association starts rose by 3%, private housing starts dropped by 1%, compared with the previous quarter.

However, seasonally adjusted private completions increased by 2% and housing association completions decreased by 12% from the previous quarter.

Seasonally adjusted starts are now 89% above the trough in the March quarter 2009 but 34% below the March quarter 2007 peak. Completions are 41% below their March quarter 2007 peak.

Total housing starts for 2013 came to 122,590, up 23% compared with the year before, while completions totaled 109,370 across the period, 5% lower compared to 2012.

Chartered Institute of Housing chief executive Grainia Long said: “These figures are further confirmation that we are nowhere near tackling our national housing crisis, which means that millions of people are being denied access to a decent home at a price they can afford. While it is encouraging to see a 23% increase in the number of new homes started in 2013, this rise is from a very low base.

"Annual completions dropped by 5% in the year to December to 109,370 – that’s less than half the number we need to be building to accommodate our growing population. Most importantly starts remain 34% and completions 41% below their March 2007 peak, showing just how much ground remains to be made up.

"We think it’s time for the government to step in and take direct action – George Osborne has an ideal opportunity in next month’s budget. Allowing councils to borrow more so they could build more homes for example would mean they could build 15,000 homes a year, supporting 23,500 jobs and adding £5.6 billion to our economy.”

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