Rise in house building insufficient

Chris Papadopoullos
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The foundations were laid for 40,300 new homes in the first quarter but it is still below target
THE NUMBER of houses being built in the UK is climbing, but experts are warning that it needs to pick up further if affordability is to improve.

Builders began work on 40,300 new houses in the three months ending a March, according to figures published yesterday by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Housing starts are up 11 per cent on the same period last year, but experts have long said more need to built to meet the UK’s demand for homes.

“Our research show that London provided planning permission for just 27,000 homes, against a target of 40,000. The capital is more than just our financial centre, it’s a symbol for the entire country. It’s no good setting our sights on housing targets if we’re just going to run into the brick wall of planning applications before so much as a trowel leaves the toolbox,” said Andrew Bridges, managing director of estate agents Stirling Ackroyd.

House prices rose 9.6 per cent year-on-year in March across the UK, according to official figures. Data released today by the Council for Mortgage Lenders show housing market activity slowing around the General Election, with mortgage lending down four per cent year-on-year in April. But lenders said they expect lending to pick up on the back of extremely competitive mortgage rates.