New home starts in England rose by 6% during the last quarter of 2011 compared to the previous quarter, according to data from the Department of Communities and Local Government. Seasonally adjusted figures show 25,240 new homes were started in the last quarter of 2011, but this is still 48% less the house building peak in December 2005.
Home starts by housing associations were 1% higher than the previous quarter, while there were 6% more private home starts than in the third quarter of 2011, according to a report in Property Wire.
Seasonally adjusted figures for completed homes in England show they increased by 2% up from 26,180 at the end of the third quarter, to 26,730 at the end of the fourth quarter. Seasonally adjusted figures for completions by housing associations show they increased by 12% between the end of the third quarter and the end of the fourth quarter, but private housing completions were 2% lower for the same period.
Annually there were 98,250 new housing starts last year, which is 4% less than 2010. However housing completions increased by 6% in the 12 months ending September 2011 compared to 12 months ending December 2010. Not surprisingly the largest number of home starts was seen in the South-East, while the region with the lowest number of home starts with the North-East, although this is partly due to the fact that the North-East region has the smallest housing stock in the country with just 5% of homes.
It also looks as if more UK buyers will be interested in purchasing new homes in the future due to concerns over rising energy bills. According to Smart New homes, 82% of buyers now look for more energy efficient features in homes which is a dramatic change in attitude. Previous research conducted in 2005 showed most prospective buyers didn’t take such factors into account. However during this period average energy bills have risen by a painful 117% so it's easy to see why most people are so concerned about energy efficiency.
Government legislation will require all house builders to build new homes to zero carbon standards by 2016.