Amidst the continuing chaos of the Covid-19 outbreak, MHCLG published its house building figures for the fourth quarter of 2019 revealing that the number of new build homes started and completed in 2019 fell below government targets.
The main findings of the publication show that:
- “On a quarterly basis, new build starts in England were estimated at 34,260 in the latest quarter, an 11% decrease compared to the previous 3 months and a 17% decrease on a year earlier.”
- “Completions were estimated at 44,980, a 1% decrease from the previous quarter and 3% higher than a year ago.”
- “Annual new build starts totalled 151,020 in the year to December 2019, a 10% decrease compared with the year to December 2018.”
- “The number of completions totalled 178,800, an increase of 9% compared with last year.”
- “All new build starts between October and December 2019 are now 99% above the trough in the first quarter 2009 and 30% below the first quarter 2007 peak.”
- “All new build completions between October and December 2019 are 78% above the trough in the first 2013 and 7% below the first quarter 2007 peak.”
House building is set to take a further hit this year with the unprecedented outbreak of Covid-19. Although Government advice states that construction should continue, many housebuilders across the UK including Taylor Wimpey have shut down their sites and those that remain open have come under increasing pressure to close from the public. This makes the ambitious target of building 300,000 homes a year unlikely as the Government focuses its effort on containing the virus.