Press release

Housebuilding at highest for 6 years

New housing figures confirm Britain is building again.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

New houses.

New housing figures confirm Britain is building again, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said today (20 February 2014).

The latest statistics reveal starts on new homes in 2013 totalled 122,590, up by 23% on the previous year, and the highest since 2007.

Despite the poor weather conditions this winter, work on new homes in the last 3 months of 2013 was also up by 23% compared to the same period in 2012.

Mr Pickles said the housing market inherited in 2010 was broken, and fixing it was an essential part of the government’s long-term economic plan.

The government is prioritising limited financial resources and ensuring progress continues to be made across the whole housing market, including:

helping people onto the housing ladder

  • since 2011 almost 58,000 households have been helped onto the housing ladder, with over 38,000 in new build properties through Help to Buy and earlier schemes; housebuilders are using this momentum in the housing market to increase output, because if people can buy homes, builders will build them

building more affordable homes

  • almost 100,000 affordable homes have been delivered through the affordable homes programme, which is on track to deliver 170,000 new homes by 2015

helping small businesses

  • construction orders are growing at their fastest rate for 10 years, providing a boost to thousands of small businesses that supply building materials to developers; almost a million independent firms are involved in the construction industry, accounting for 20% of all small and medium-sized companies

creating jobs in construction

  • housebuilders are taking on new apprentices, trainees and graduates, while new research by the Construction Industry Training Board predicts 182,000 construction jobs will be created over the next 5 years

housing registrations highest since 2007

  • the National House Building Council recently reported housing registrations rose by 30% in England in 2013, and in London by 60%, the highest annual total since their records began 26 years ago; registrations across the country are at their highest since 2007

housing construction at its highest level since 2007

Eric Pickles said:

This government is fixing the broken housing market we inherited in 2010. Last year we built the most homes since 2007, and even the appalling weather conditions this winter have not stopped our hardy builders from getting the job done. That means an increase in small firms benefiting from the surge in construction orders, and more business confidence in the economy.

None of this would have been possible without our tough action to cut the deficit and keep interest rates low. We have also prioritised resources to increase the number of affordable homes, and help credit-worthy buyers onto the housing ladder.

But there’s still more to do, and improving the housing market will remain a vital part of our long-term economic plan.

Progress across the housing market

Improvements across the housing market are delivering progress throughout England, for example:

  • Winchester, Hampshire - starts increased by over 150%, from 356 to 894
  • Horsham, Surrey - starts increased by over 45%, from 629 to 929
  • Wychavon, Worcestershire - starts increased by over 60%, from 478 to 783
  • North West Leicestershire - starts increased by over 25%, from 499 to 627
  • Corby, Northamptonshire - starts increased by over 30% from 266 to 349

Progress was replicated in every area of the housing market. Compared to 2012 starts by private builders were up 24%, while starts by housing associations increased by 24% and councils by 23%.

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Published 20 February 2014