London is now building fewer houses than the Home Counties

Helen Cahill
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Political Uncertainty Dampens UK Housing Market
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The number of houses being built in London has fallen by more than a fifth, putting the capital’s building rate behind the Home Counties’ for the first time in five years.

Around 16,800 new homes were started in London in the year to March 2017, a sharp fall from the 23,000 homes built in the year before, according to figures from the Housing and Finance Institute.

Read more: Cooling off? UK house price growth remains pretty subdued

Housebuilding levels are now lower than they were in 2013, the Institute said.

However, in the Home Counties, construction on more than 24,300 new homes started during the same period, up from 21,500 homes started in the prior year, a growth of 13 per cent.

Across England as a whole, the number of home starts rose from 143,000 to 163,000, growth of 14 per cent.

Natalie Elphicke, chief executive of the Housing and Finance Institute, said that parts of the Home Counties were "powering ahead" with house building.

"The Home Counties areas have maintained the overall proportion of homes against the overall national increase in numbers, which is impressive," she said.

"But relying on the Home Counties isn't good enough. The London mayor has set out a clear ambition for a step change in housing that is welcome. But London needs national support. It isn't right for government just to leave London to solve its own housing crisis."

City Hall Conservatives have criticised London mayor Sadiq Khan for not building enough new homes in his first year in office.

However, the mayor has argued that solving London's housing crisis will take time. Last year he secured £3.15bn from central government for the construction of 90,000 affordable homes, and he has started allocating that funding this summer.

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