House building activity on a downturn this quarter

The number of new properties currently being built in England is down 8% on last year, new government figures have shown.

For the quarter ending in June 2019, new build dwelling starts were estimated at 37,220, down 2% on the previous quarter and a drop of 8% annually.

Build completions were approximately 45,190 – a 4% increase on the previous quarter and 11% up on a year ago, reflecting how building activity had been greater in the lead up to this summer.

Private enterprise new build dwelling starts in Q2 2019 were down by 2% on the previous quarter, and completions were up by 2%, according to the statistics released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

Starts by housing associations were 4% lower compared to the last quarter, but completions were up by a notable 20 per cent.

Outlining England’s long-term building trends, the report noted: “Annual new build dwelling starts were increasing from 2003-04 until reaching a peak of 183,600 in 2007. Starts fell sharply during the downturn to a low of 75,350 in the year ending June 2009. Since then, starts have experienced some periods of growth and levelling off, and have been averaging around 162,000 for the past two years.

“Similarly, annual completions increased from 2003-04, reaching a peak of 176,650 in the year ending December 2007,” it continued. “Completions then fell gradually through 2008-10. Despite fluctuations, completions have increased gradually since 2013-14, averaging around 167,000 for the past two years.”

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