Number of housing starts the 'worst that the industry has seen' with 68% decrease in Q3 2023

According to new data from DLUHC, the number of dwellings where building work started on site was 21,300 in Q3 2023 — a 68% decrease on Q2 2023, and a 52% decline on Q3 2022.

Starts are also 28% above their 2020 Q2 trough.

The number of dwellings completed was 39,990 (seasonally adjusted), a 1% increase on the previous quarter and a 5% dip when compared to the same quarter in the previous year. 

Samuel Mather-Holgate, independent financial advisor at Mather and Murray Financial, commented: “Under this government, house building has all but stopped.

“There is no incentive for housebuilders to build, no confidence in the market, higher interest rates, and no demand from first-time buyers.

“The situation is the worst that the industry has seen.

“Britain needs a fresh approach, and the Labour party need to have ideas how they will stimulate this crucial area of the economy.

“Successive governments have failed.”

Graham Cox, founder of Self Employed Mortgage Hub, said: “With building projects cancelled, paused or mothballed, it's no wonder so many companies in the construction sector are in significant financial difficulty right now.

“Lower mortgage rates and, with luck, a lower base rate this year should start easing the pain.”

Darryl Dhoffer, mortgage expert at The Mortgage Expert, added: “I'm not surprised at all by these latest figures, which show the shellacking the property market and construction sector received when mortgage rates went through the roof.

“Sadly, I expect the figures in the last quarter of the year to be even worse.

“If these don't figures highlight the effects of higher mortgage rates and inflation to the government and the Bank of England, then nothing will.”

Charles Breen, founder of Montgomery Financial, concluded: “So much for the government's house building target.

“Like most targets with the current gaggle of clowns leading the country, it will be missed.

“Sadly this is just going to keep on compounding and exacerbating the current housing crisis.”

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