New build starts drop 10.5 per cent – ONS


The second quarter of the year saw 38,020 new build properties started in England, a 10.5 per cent drop on the 42,480 started in the same period last year.

This figure was also down by 1.7 per cent from the previous quarter which saw 38,670 new builds started, the Office for National Statistics’s (ONS) UK house building data showed. 

Higher completions 

The number of new builds completed in England from April to June were a little more promising at 46,960 compared to last year’s 42,370. 

This 10.8 per cent increase was the second highest rate since Q4 2007, which saw 49,050 completions. 

There was also a 16.8 per cent increase from Q1’s figure of 40,190 new builds completed. 

The number of completions has now surpassed 40,000 for six of the last nine quarters, having previously not broken the barrier since Q4 2007.

Other regions 

Wales saw a quarterly rise in new build starts and completions; for Q2 there were 1,690 started, up from the 1,390 in the previous quarter and 1,600 new builds were completed up from 1,330 between January and March. 

Annually, new starts were down from last year’s 1,820 while completions increased from 1,560. 

In Northern Ireland, there were 1,820 new builds started in Q2 down from 2,590 in the same period last year. 

Completions also saw a decline as the 1,590 new builds completed were fewer than the 2,060 in the same period in 2018. 

For the financial year 2018-19, there were a total of 202,460 new builds started across the UK, an increase from 2017-18’s 198,860. 

In 2018-19, there were 203,780 new builds completed in the UK, up from 192,150 the year before. 

Diminishing appetite 

Founder and CEO of Stone Real Estate, Michael Stone, said the decline in the number of new homes being started was concerning. 

He added: “This well may be symptomatic of a diminishing pipeline of appetite by developers given the political climate and falling house prices in the capital in particular.  

“However, regardless of our political position, the appetite for home ownership remains, and so we have no time to rest on our laurels where current performance is concerned and must act now to reverse the negative trends developing in terms of new homes being started.”

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