Data released by the ONS shows that during the first quarter of 2012 the number of house building starts was 24,140. This is a fall of 11% compared to quarter four of 2011 when there were 27,240 starts. This is 50% lower than the peak in quarter four of 2005.
The greatest fall in new building starts are those by housing associations, which fell by 21% over the quarter. Private enterprise starts fell by 8%.
104,970 homes were started in the year to March 2012. This is a 6% decrease from the previous year.
In the 12 months to March 2012 starts fell in all regions except for the North West compared with a year earlier. In the North West starts increased 7 per cent. The biggest fall was in the Yorkshire and the Humber where starts fell 21 per cent.
In the 12 months to March 2012, the South East saw the most number of starts with 19,110, accounting for 18%of all starts in England. The fewest starts were in the North East with 4,200 starts, which represents 4% of starts in England.
These figures are disappointing as the Government has stated that increasing housing stock is one of its key priorities. The schemes to encourage new builds such as NewBuy, and policies to reclaim public land for home building may help recover housing stock figures.
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