Housing completions highest for 20 years – MHCLG

Almost 50,000 new homes were built in the first three months of this year, the highest quarterly figure for more than 20 years, according to the latest government housebuilding figures.

Building control data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for England from January to March 2021, showed that 49,470 home completions were achieved in Q1 2021, also a 21% increase on the same quarter in 2020 and 4% up on the last three months of 2020.

MHCLG said that the latest quarterly completion figures were the highest seen since the seasonally adjusted record began in 2000. They were also 2% above their previous peak in the March quarter of 2007.

Housing starts during the January to March quarter grew 36% year-on-year to 46,010, increasing 7% on the previous quarter. This was the highest quarterly starts figure since the March quarter in 2007 but still a 6% drop on that period.

At the same time, yearly data reflected the effects of the pandemic, with starts falling 4% to 140,170 in the year ending March 2021 compared to the previous year.

And during this period, completions slid 11% to 155,960 against the year to March 2020.

MHCLG also said that in 2020/21, houses made up 81% of all new builds against flats, the highest proportion since 2000/01.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: “It is encouraging to see a continued rise in the number of new homes being built. The housebuilding sector has shown extraordinary resilience and the government has continued to demonstrate its support for the industry throughout the pandemic.

“By enabling construction sites to remain open and operate safely, builders have been able deliver the homes this country needs as we build back better from the pandemic.”