Number of new homes continues to rise

Homes England has published its latest official housing statistics, indicating that the number of homes being built in England has continued to rise in the first half of this financial year.

Between 1 April and 30 September 2018, programmes managed by Homes England started building 15,766 homes on site and completed a total of 15,704 homes, representing 15 per cent and 31 per cent increases on the first half of 2017-18.

The government claims that affordable homes represented 63 per cent of the housing starts, just shy of 9,909 homes, representing a 42 per cent increase on the same period last year. However, only 307 affordable homes completed were for Social Rent.

Of the affordable homes started, 5,714 were for Affordable Rent – a 26 per cent increase on the 4,526 started in the same period last year. A further 3,702 were for Intermediate Affordable Housing schemes (including Shared Ownership and Rent to Buy), representing a 71 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Nick Walkley, chief executive of Homes England, said: “These latest figures show the overall number of homes being built continues to rise, reflecting the hard work being carried out by the housing industry to build better homes faster. However, while they are encouraging to see, we cannot be complacent. We know there is more work to be done to meet the Government’s ambition to deliver 300,000 new homes a year, so we will continue to intervene in the housing market and use our land, powers and influence to make homes happen.”

John Healey, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, commented on the latest figures, aid: “It is shameful that in the last six months the Government has funded only 307 new homes for social rent, when over a million households are on council waiting lists. After eight years of Conservative failure on housing, Labour will build a million new genuinely affordable homes over ten years, the majority for social rent.”

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