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Housing starts rise 27%

According to the National Housebuilding Council’s latest figures, 9,163 new homes were started in October, the highest number since July 2008.

In the three months from August to October 2009, the council received 24,896 applications to build new homes in the UK – an increase of 27% on the same period a year ago.

Greater London saw the most new starts with 4,167 registrations during the period August to October 2009, up 24% on last year.

The North-east region saw the biggest change – 869 starts between August and October compared with 214 in the same period last year, a rise of over 300%

The NHBC statistics for the three months to the end of October 2009 also show:

  • Private sector applications were up 45% 16,630 from 11,507 for the same period last year.

  • Public sector figures were also up, – 3% higher than the 8,041 in the same period a year ago.

  • The average number of daily sales of new homes was just 8% lower than the 375 in the same period a year ago.

    NHBC chief executive Imtiaz Farookhi said: “It is encouraging that this month’s figures yet again show steady improvement in house building, supporting what many in the industry are saying – that the worst may be over.

    “However, these figures are still well below the buoyant levels we saw in late 2007 and it is still very difficult to predict when and to what extent recovery will come, especially as we enter the winter period.

    “The coming months will be a testing time for the industry, and it may be some time before we can confidently say that the industry is in recovery.”

  • About Fiona Russell-Horne

    Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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