House building booming, but not by enough

 
Chris Papadopoullos
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UK HOUSE building has hit its highest level for seven years, but there is still a “chronic shortage” of housing, a leading home warranty provider said today.

The number of new homes in­creased eight per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, figures from the National House Building Council (NHBC) have shown.

Much of the growth was due to the private sector builds, which grew by 14 per cent. However, the NHBC believes public sector registrations will begin to grow again as the next phase of the government’s Afford­able Housing Programme has recently been allocated.

“We must not lose sight of the fact that the UK still has a chronic shortage of new homes,” said NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton.

Regionally, the biggest year-on-year per cent gains in house builds were the West Midlands, the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber which saw rises of 51, 32 and 32 per cent respectively. However, only six per cent more homes were built in Greater London.

“Our figures show that the sharp housing upturn we have seen over the last couple of years is a genuine broad-based recovery across the whole of the country,” Quinton said. Merseyside did the worst – home builds there fell by 50 per cent.

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