skip to main content

Home construction slumps to record low

The number of new homes beginning construction during 2012 fell below 100,000 for only the second time in 30 years, government statistics have revealed.

Experts have urged the Government to boost residential construction after home building starts fell by 11% on 2011 figures to 98,280 properties.

Housing start numbers below 100,000 has only previously been charted during the height of the recession in 2009 since records began 30 years ago.

Housing charity Shelter recently warned that average annual rents of almost £300 had left a generation in a ‘rent trap’, with communities in six local authorities witnessing rent rises of over £1,500 during 2011/12.

Shelter’s chief executive, Campbell Robb, said: ‘Ultimately, it’s ordinary people who pay the price, with families struggling to meet ever-rising rents and young couples unable to get on the housing ladder no matter what they do. The slump in our construction industry is one of the main reasons we’re facing the threat of a triple-dip recession.

‘Unless action is taken now, it’s hard to see our housing crisis improving any time soon.’

Labour’s shadow housing minister, Jack Dromey, said: ‘This Government’s failing housing and economic policies are depriving millions of people of a decent home. Young families are locked out of home ownership. Too many are struggling with the choice between paying rent and feeding their families because rents have soared.

‘The Government needs to take urgent action to kick-start the economy now, building affordable homes and creating thousands of jobs and apprenticeships which Labour has been calling for.’