Latest Public Sector News

20.02.14

House building up by 23%

There were 122,590 starts on new homes in 2013, up by 23% on the previous year, new statistics show. The government welcomed the figures as evidence of “fixing a broken housing market”.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles said the Help to Buy scheme and almost 100,000 new affordable homes delivered were helping small businesses and creating jobs in construction, as well as providing more housing for families.

He said: “This government is fixing the broken housing market we inherited in 2010. Last year we built the most homes since 2007, and even the appalling weather conditions this winter have not stopped our hardy builders from getting the job done. That means an increase in small firms benefiting from the surge in construction orders, and more business confidence in the economy.

“None of this would have been possible without our tough action to cut the deficit and keep interest rates low. We have also prioritised resources to increase the number of affordable homes, and help credit-worthy buyers onto the housing ladder. 

“But there’s still more to do, and improving the housing market will remain a vital part of our long-term economic plan.”

Campbell Robb, Shelter's chief executive, welcomed the “uptick” but said the country was still building less than half of the 250,000 new homes it needs each year.

He said: “With thousands of young people and families already beginning to give up hope that they will ever be able to afford a home of their own, this woeful gap between the homes we need and the homes we have spells disaster for future generations.”

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