The Housing Secretary has talked up an 8% year-on-year increase in English housing completions, but he failed to mention new build start numbers.
According to the Government’s annual Housing Supply: Net Additional Dwellings release, new build dwelling starts in England were down 2% in the last quarter (37,220), and annual new build starts in the year up to June 2019 are down 1% compared to the year up to June 2018.
Private enterprise new build dwelling starts are down 2% from the previous quarter while completions are up by 2%; and the disparity between starts and completions continues with housing associations, where starts were down 4% on the previous quarter but completions were up 20%.
Nevertheless, Robert Jenrick has painted this mixed bag in a glowing hue. "The data released today are hugely welcome, with the number of new homes built reaching an 11-year high," he says. "We are moving in the right direction.
"I’m determined to deliver homes that are high-quality, well designed and good for the planet. Faster and simpler planning regulations will help us reach that goal, which is why I have announced measures to accelerate planning decisions for homes and reduce the use of unnecessary conditions by up to a third, freeing up developers so they can get on and build in a locally appropriate way."