Number of new home builds started jumps to nine-year high

The number of new house builds started has increased to a nine-year high, according to figures from Homes England.

Between April 1 2018 and March 31 2019, there were 45,692 new houses started on site under programmes managed by Homes England – the highest level of starts for nine years.

Some 40,289 houses across England were completed – the highest for four years.

Two-thirds (67%) or 30,563 of the starts on site were for affordable homes – a 10% increase on the previous year.

But Labour pointed to figures showing the number of housing completions for social rent in 2018-19 stood at 961.

John Healey, Labour’s shadow housing secretary, said: “Deep cuts to investment mean the country is now building 30,000 fewer social rented homes each year than we were when Labour was in government.”

The figures also show 28,710 (71%) of housing completions in 2018-19 were for affordable homes which is an 11% annual increase and the highest numbers for four years.

Homes England is a public body supported by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, with responsibility for increasing the number of new homes built.

Nick Walkley, chief executive of Homes England, said: “At a time where the average house costs around eight times the average income, these are positive signs that the delivery of homes, and particularly affordable homes, is on the up.

“However, there is still a huge amount of work to do to make sure this trend continues.

“We’re just getting started and need the sector to join us in our mission to make sure we continue to deliver homes across the country for the people who need them the most.”