Housebuilding Starts fall 11% in Q1 compared to Q4 2011

Published today the Q1 stats.  Of course completions are a lagging indicator and starts a leading indicator.  With starts down and completions up suggests a torrid time for UL housebuilding throughout 2012.  Watch as usual for Grant Shapps to spin the most irrelevant statistic over the most misleading time horizon he can find.  The problem of course is that the government’s ‘affordable housing’ model requires private sector schemes to latch onto.  We no longer see the counter cyclical government funding schemes on anything like the same scale we saw during the Major government at time of recession.  We could see under 100,000 completions in the 2012-2013 March to March period – a disaster.  How long will it take for the government to accept that its policies for housing financing, and securing additional land for housing, are failing and how this is is adding to not reducing government spending because of increased housing benefit and hostel spending?

Seasonally adjusted house building starts in England stood at 24,140 in the March quarter 2012. This is 11 per cent lower than in the December quarter 2011.
• Completions (seasonally adjusted) increased, up 6 per cent to 31,010 in the March quarter 2012.
• Private enterprise housing starts (seasonally adjusted) were 8 per cent lower in the March quarter 2012 than the previous quarter, whilst starts by housing associations were 21 per cent lower.
• Private enterprise and housing association completions (seasonally adjusted) both increased by 8 per cent from the previous quarter.
• Seasonally adjusted starts are currently 42 per cent above the trough in the March quarter 2009 but 50 percent below the December quarter 2005 peak. Completions are 36 per cent below their March quarter 2007 peak.
• Annual housing starts totalled 104,970 in the 12 months to March 2012, down by 6 per cent compared with the 12 months to March 2011. Annual housing completions in England reached 117,870 in the 12 months to March 2012, an increase of 6 per cent compared with the 12 months to March 2011.

3 thoughts on “Housebuilding Starts fall 11% in Q1 compared to Q4 2011

  1. Not sure what this means but is this the statistical jiggery pokery that will allow them to save face?

    A spokesperson for the Communities and Local Government department said: ‘[This] report conveniently ignores how our housing plans are taking centre stage in the economic recovery, getting people into jobs, helping aspiring homeowners and getting Britain building. Far from rents rising, we have seen a real-terms fall in private rents…

    ‘As a lobbying organisation, it is understandable that the National Housing Federation starts from the perspective that there is an endless pot of money. By the end of this parliament, we will have seen a bigger net increase in homes built than in the 13 years under the previous government.’

  2. You’re right – housing starts will fall below 100,000 pa in the next twelve months. Mainly this is because we all have to sit on our hands while local authorities debate whether to have sensible dispersal strategies or continue business as usual; tacking toy towns onto every medium sized settlement across the land.

    Presumably you noticed Shapps wingeing about how we have the lowest self-build rates in Europe? This is the man on whose watch the so-called “garden grabbing” legislation was enacted – removing the land supply for 90% of self-build projects at a stroke.

    Joined up thinking at it’s best!

  3. This is brilliant! I’m really startled that this keeps happening time and time again these days. I was relieved I was sitting down for this. The Owners help answer what will happen to this. I need to keep an eye on what is going on moving forward.

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