Government figures show low levels of house-building

Live HouseLess than 113,000 new homes were completed in England between April 2013 -2014, according to the government’s latest provisional house-building figures.

Live tables released by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have shown that an estimated 112,400 homes were built in the 12 months to April 2014. These make up the majority of those built throughout the UK, which totals 140,880.

On a quarterly basis, the tables show that an estimated 86,700 homes were completed in the first nine months of 2014.

These provisional figures, which are subject to revision, also include historic figures dating back over several previous governments. These show that between May 2010 – when the Coalition entered government – and April 2014, 446,760 new homes have been completed. This averages around 111,700 completions a year, which is comparably lower than the same figures compiled for the previous Labour Parliaments between 1997-2010.

These figures show that national house-building levels have yet to reach pre-recession levels, with 170,610 homes estimated to have been completed in the financial year to 2008.

These volumes are in stark contrast to the targets set by each of the major parties in the run up to the 2015 General Election. While the Conservative party has not set a clear target, instead outlining several schemes with smaller targets of their own, the Labour party has pledged to build 200,000 homes a year by 2020, while the Liberal Democrats have promised 300,000. The DCLG figures show that the last time over 200,000 homes were built in England alone was in the financial year 1988-89 under the Margaret Thatcher government.

The DCLG also published the latest figures for housing starts, which were higher than those completed. This suggests that 2015 will see more homes completed, assuming that the properties under construction are not delayed by planning restrictions or limited access to funding, both of which have been highlighted by the house-building sector for causing interruptions to building schedules.

To view DCLG’s live house-building tables, click here

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