10-year peak in new build homes started up around England

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The number of new build homes being started across England over the last year has reached its highest levels in around a decade.

An estimated 43,170 homes were started between January and March, jumping by over a fifth (21%) on a year earlier, according to figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The figure was also a 3% increase compared with the previous three months.

Annual new build dwelling starts totalled 162,880 in the year to March, up by 15% compared with the year to March 2016.

The annual total is the highest in around a decade - since 170,440 homes were started in England in the financial year 2007-8.

New build starts in the latest quarter were 152% above a trough reached in 2009, but still 12% below a peak reached in 2007.

The DCLG report said there have been strong areas of new build starts in South Norfolk and Dartford. Areas in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire have also been experiencing high levels of starts.

Kelly Boorman, head of construction at RSM, said: "It has taken some time, but new build dwellings starts are edging back up to pre-crash levels."

But she said this growth will need to be sustained to tackle a lack of supply of homes and the construction industry is also facing a struggle to recruit skilled workers.