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Housing completions down 16%: ONS

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There were 14,812 housing starts on site and 12,118 housing completions delivered through programmes managed by Homes England in England between 1 April and 30 September.

The number of housing starts represented a decline of 1,303 (8%) compared to 16,115 in 2021 during the same period.

Housing completions decreased by 2,275 (16%) compared to 14,393 in the same period last year, with the majority of this reduction seen in affordable homes.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that levels of starts and completions were lower than in the same period last year, primarily due to the transition between the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme (SOAHP) and the Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).

Of the total housing starts on site, 10,986 (74%) were for affordable homes, down 7% from the 11,810 affordable homes started in the year prior, when they accounted for 73% of all housing starts.

ONS says the decrease can be attributed to the closure of bidding for the SOAHP in March 2021 and the gradual build-up of starts from the recently launched AHP.

Of the affordable homes that started between April and September, 2,095 were for affordable rent, up 25% on the 1,680 that started in the same period the previous year.

A further 1,751 were for Intermediate Affordable Housing schemes, including Shared Ownership and Rent to Buy, representing an increase of 19% on the 1,471 that were started the previous year.

For social rent, figures show there were 799 home starts, down 8% from the 869 started the year prior.

In addition, a further 6,341 affordable homes started with tenure to be confirmed.

Programmes that delivered the highest proportion of affordable starts were AHP with 65% up from 20%, SOAHP with 29% down from 72%, and the Single Land Programme with no change at 4%.

Meanwhile, 7,848 (65%) of housing completions were for affordable homes, which is a decrease of 22% from the 10,096 affordable homes completed in the same period last year, when they accounted for 70% of total completions.

For affordable rent, there were 3,670 affordable homes completed, representing a 31% decline compared to the 5,346 completed in the same period the year prior.

A further 3,055 were for Intermediate Affordable Housing schemes, down 15% on the 3,576 completed in the previous year between April and September.

The remaining 1,123 were for social rent, a 4% decrease on the 1,174 completed in the first half of last year.

Of the affordable homes completed, the highest delivering programmes included the SOAHP with 76%, AHP with 15% and SLP with 4%.

Castell Group director of property developers says the latest data shows “shows how far away we are from building enough affordable homes and how significant the affordable housing crisis is”.

“One million households are on the housing waiting list according to Shelter. If private house builders slow down construction due to the current market and economic environment, it’s going to have a direct impact on affordable housing provision, arguably at a time when it’s needed the most.”

Mather & Murray Financial managing director Samuel Mather-Holgate describes the lack of housing stock in the UK as “a national disgrace”.

Mather-Holgate comments: “It’s the one main policy area that has dogged the government for over a decade and they simply haven’t grasped the nettle.”

“The term affordable housing means different things to different people but it is clear that there are some developments being recorded as affordable, but you’d need to be on a top salary and have a healthy deposit to afford them.”

“It is really disappointing, but unsurprising, to see that there hasn’t been any major increase in affordable housing development starts or completions.”

The Mortgage Hut managing director Nicola Schutrups adds: “We need to create incentives for house builders to continue building new homes in this more turbulent market. Historically, as prices have softened, house builders have slowed production to support pricing in the market.”

“The government should keep a close eye on this and ensure the market has the right incentives to keep the new build housing market moving, which not only supports consumers but also creates and maintains jobs in the UK economy.”

Finopulse

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Finopulse.
Publisher: Becky Bellamy

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