Published results show the number of housing starts on site and completions

11,530 new houses were started and 11,297 new homes were completed from housing programmes delivered by Homes England between 1 April and 30 September 2023.

The figures in the official housing statistics report represent a decrease in both starts and completions compared to the same period in 2022.

The report points out that while actual numbers were lower, a higher percentage of starts on sites were for affordable homes than in the same period last year (86% and 74% respectively).

It states this is largely due to the living cost and mortgage rate increases associated with an economic downturn that typically results in a fall in market housing demand, but an increase in affordable housing demand.

Therefore, while the number of starts and completions fall, the decline is less pronounced within affordable housing.

Of the affordable homes started in this period:

  • 1,058 were for Affordable Rent (a decrease of 51% on this period last year)
  • 1,182 were for Intermediate Affordable Housing Schemes, including Shared Ownership and Rent to Buy (a decrease of 32%)
  • 722 were for Social Rent (a decrease of 14%)

It’s worth noting the tenure is still to be confirmed for a further 6,965 of the affordable homes starts (an 11% increase on this figure for the same period last year). This is because providers are not contractually required to identify the tenure of a unit until completion.

Of the 11,297 housing completions from 1 April to 30 September 2023, 7831 were for affordable homes. For the same period in 2022, 7,905 affordable homes were completed – proportionally 2023 represents an increase (69% versus 64% respectively).

Of the affordable homes completed in this period:

  • 3,092 were for Affordable Rent – a decrease of 16% from the same period last year
  • 3,084 were for Intermediate Affordable Housing Schemes – an increase of 1%
  • 1,174 were for Social Rent – an increase of 4%
  • The remaining 481 were for First Homes – an increase of 1,103% on 40 First Homes completed in the same period last year.

Peter Denton, chief executive at Homes England, said: “The current economic downturn, with escalating interest rates, abnormal inflation, particularly in building material costs, and the growing cost of living crisis, have all had an impact on housing delivery.

“As the government’s housing and regeneration agency, we have acted as quickly as we can, working with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to introduce flexibilities and ease the strain on our partners. We know that these pressures are likely to continue, and we shall continue to work with our partners and central government to support the sector to keep building.

“Times are tough and I’d urge existing and potential partners from the building industry, home providers, developers, investors and local authorities to engage with the Homes England team. We are here to help unlock solutions to problems and pave the way for more homes and regenerated places where people want to live and thrive.”

National housing statistics are published twice a year showing half and full year starts and completions as part of planned national statistical releases.

The next release is full year starts and completions, which are due to be published in May or June 2024.

Homes England programmes are funded by central government to enable private registered providers, house builders, community groups and local authorities to deliver affordable housing.

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