The number of new homes started in England in 2016 reached a record level of 153,370, the highest since 2007, according to latest data released by the UK’s Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

The number of new homes started in 2016 is 5 per cent higher than that of 2015, indicating the robust activity in the housing sector. However, the gap between the demand and supply of quality homes at affordable prices continues to widen. While the private sector witnessed an 8 per cent increase in new home starts, the housing associations starts decreased by 12 per cent in 2016.

As many as 140,660 new residential buildings entered the housing market last year in England. The private sector new residential building completions were 3 per cent higher in 2016 when compared to 2015.

On a quarterly basis (Oct-Dec 2016), new build dwelling starts in England were estimated at 41,620 (seasonally adjusted), a 5 per cent increase when compared to the previous 3 months and 13 per cent increase on a year (Oct-Dec 2015) earlier.

 “Annual new build dwelling starts were increasing from 2003-04 until reaching a peak of 183,600 in 2007. Starts fell sharply during the downturn to a low of 75,350 in the year ending June 2009. Since then, starts have experienced some periods of growth and levelling off, and have more recently been increasing, averaging around 150,000 for the past two years,” the DCLG report summarised.