Has home-building performance been built too high?

Figures released by the Government last week indicated that new home starts were at a nine-year high, with housebuilding levels described as “soaring”.

However, experts have suggested that the data published by the Department for Communities and Local Government might not be showing the whole picture, with many feeling that the figures masked the market reality.

Adopting this view was Neal Hudson, who alleged that the government were acting irresponsibly in using the results as an accurate measure of housebuilding. The director of Residential Analysts stated highlighted that the results were unlikely to encompass homes being started by smaller builders and build-to-rent developers, meaning that the diversity of the market is less accurately reflected.

Reinforcing the doubts were figures from a number of other organisations during the month of August.

For example, data was recently released by Nationwide which showed annual growth of house prices falling from 2.9% in July to 2.1%. The monthly 0.1% drop in house prices also suggested that the market was cooling.

Problems have also been forecast in the run-up to the UK’s departure from the European Union. The analyst Capital Economics highlighted that Brexit is likely to “intensify skills shortages” and put further pressure on the market when paired with the existing labour and material deficiency.

Although the figures indicate that the property market has remained strong throughout political upheaval, whether they provide an accurate reflection of the sector is yet to be seen.

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