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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Housing starts and completions still below pre-recession levels

A briefing note for MPs prepared from government statistics shows that housing starts and completions have increased from the lows observed in late 2008 and early 2009 but remain below the levels they were at before the recession of a decade ago.

Citing figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the briefing note prepared by the House of Commons library says there were 36,630 house building starts in England in the first quarter of this year - the most recent data available.

This was a nine per cent decrease compared with the previous quarter, and a also a nine per cent decrease compared with the same quarter of 2018. 

This is above the low of 17,120 in the first quarter of 2009 - when the credit crunch was at its peak - but still below the 48,920 starts recorded in the first quarter of 2007, before the crunch came.

There’s slightly better news on completions: there were 42,870 in the first quarter of this year, which is a one per cent rise from the previous quarter, and a 14 per cent increase compared with the same quarter of 2018. 

However, completions remain below the peak of 48,430 in Q1 2007.

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