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The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) statistical release reports national statistics on new build dwellings in England for the year to 31 March 2019. The statistics show the numbers of starts and completions for new build dwellings in England for the year and in each quarter. Click here to download the full document.
Annual new build dwelling starts totalled 162,270 in the year to March 2019, a 1% increase on 2018. During the same period completions increased by 6% on 2018 figures totalling 169,770.
Quarterly new build dwelling starts in England were estimated at 36,630 (seasonally adjusted) in the latest quarter, a 9% decrease compared to the previous 3 months and a 9% decrease on a year earlier. Completions were estimated at 42,870 (seasonally adjusted), a 1% decrease from the previous quarter and 14% higher than a year ago.
Quarterly figures for new build dwelling starts and completions are seasonally adjusted and should be used for quarterly comparisons.
Historical Trends show overall the number of completions increased until the 1970’s with a peak of 352,540 dwellings completed in 1968. Completions then fell significantly in the next decade. From 1946 to 1980’s a large number of completions were delivered by Local Authorities in the form of Council housing. This decreased after the 1980s when local authorities became housing ‘enablers’ working with housing associations rather than direct ‘providers’. Completions delivered by the private sector picked up in the 1950’s and soon started dominating the market through to the current day. Housing Associations have delivered a broadly steady numbers of completions over the years.
Private enterprise new build dwelling starts (seasonally adjusted) in the March quarter 2019 are down by 7% from the previous quarter, and completions are unchanged. Starts by housing associations are 8% lower compared to the last quarter, and completions are down by 5%.
All starts between January and March 2019 are now 114% above the trough in the March quarter 2009 and 25% below the March quarter 2007 peak. All completions between January and March 2019 are 71% above the trough in the March quarter 2013 and 11% below the March quarter 2007 peak.
New build dwelling start definition:
A dwelling is counted as started on the date work begins on the laying of the foundation, including ‘slabbing’ for houses that require it, but not including site preparation. Thus when foundation work commences on a pair of semi-detached houses two houses are counted as started, and when work begins on a block of flats all the dwellings in that block are counted as started. The starts of houses in building schemes are usually phased over a period of weeks or even, in very large schemes, months.
New build dwelling completion definition:
In principle, a dwelling is regarded as complete when it becomes ready for occupation or when a completion certificate is issued whether it is in fact occupied or not. In practice, the reporting of some completions may be delayed and some completions may be missed if no completion certificate was requested by the developer or owner, although this is unusual.
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