Six per cent increase in the number of new homes built

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Official figures have revealed the number of new homes built over the past year has grown

New figures show a six per cent increase in the number of new homes built in the past year.

According to the latest data 139,030 new homes were completed in the year to June. This has continued to grow over the past two years.

In relation to home starts, more than 144,280 were started in the year to June 2016, and the Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed there were more first-time buyers than at any time since 2007. These figures hit 72,800 in England during Q2 2016.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We’ve got the country building again with more new homes started and built than this time last year.

“This is real progress but there is much more to do. That’s why we are going further and increasing our investment in house building to ensure many more people can benefit.”

Areas that saw significant numbers of completions included London, Swindon, and Wakefield. London saw a 24 per cent growth in new builds in the year to June 2016 when compared to the previous year. Local authorities in Greenwich and Waltham Forest saw completions increase 126 and 103 per cent respectively. Swindon and Wakefield saw growth of 104 and 41 per cent respectively.

Across the country new homes rose by 25 per cent in 2014 to 2015. This includes new builds, properties converted into flats, and buildings that changed use to residential.

Councillor Martin Tett, Housing spokesman at the Local Government Association, said:  “Councils and the Government both share the same ambition to build more homes.

“Bold new action is needed to solve our housing crisis and a renaissance in house building by councils must be at the heart of this.

“We need to be building up to 250,000 a year to tackle our housing crisis. The private sector clearly has an important role to play but these figures only serve to confirm that they cannot build the homes we need on its own, and will likely be further restricted by uncertainties in the months and years ahead.

“Councils want to get on with the job of building the new homes that people in their areas desperately need.

“If we are to stand any chance of solving our housing crisis, councils must be able to replace sold homes and reinvest in building more of the genuine affordable homes our communities desperately need now more than ever.”

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