Housebuilding starts surged in the year 2016/17, according to just published figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
In England, 162,880 homes were started – up from just under 142,000 the previous year. That is good news in itself – as it is the highest housebuilding starts level recorded since 2008/09. It is the fifth highest year in the last 27 years and eighth highest year out of the last three decades.
This bodes well for the whole of the UK figures when they become available. In previous times when England’s housing supply hits 160,000 or more, the UK as a whole has a good chance of hitting 200,000 new build homes.
These latest figures for 2016/17 add to the strong overall housing supply performance for 2015-16 which saw a total of almost 190,000 net additional homes added to supply in England. Overall housing supply looks at the total number of new homes used for housing, and includes office and other conversions. With change of use as an important component of net housing supply, 30,600 additional homes came about through change of use between non-domestic and residential.
Subject to identified risk factors around the general election outcome, Brexit negotiations and global economic events, the underlying housing market continues to be strong and stable.