Housing starts climb 13% in Q2
Edited by Andy Jowett.
Builders in England started work on 28,590 new properties between April and June, according to government figures.
This represented a 13 per cent rise on the previous three months and an 84 per cent increase compared with the low seen between January and March of last year, the Department for Communities and Local Government said.
Nevertheless, housing starts remained 42 per cent below the peak achieved in the first quarter of 2007.
Housing completions in England stood at 26,550 units between April and June, up one per cent on the previous three months.
"This is the first quarterly rise since the final quarter of 2007, and follows a five per cent fall between the December 2009 and March 2010 quarters," the report noted.
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said that while the figures appear encouraging, there are "good reasons" to doubt whether the positive trend in house building will continue for the rest of this year and into 2011.
He said funding cuts will hit social housing and with the private sector now replenishing its inventory, output will "soon begin to stabilise".
Rics has estimated that total residential property
starts will top 110,000 units this year - yet recent analysis suggests double this number of homes will be needed to meet medium-term demand for quality accommodation.