Preston hit record number of homes being built

Hundreds of new houses in the city achieves landmark level

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 3:45 pm

House building in Preston reached record levels at the start of the year.

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data shows work was completed on 280 homes in the area between January and March – the highest number for the three-month period since records began in 2005.

It was also a record quarter for the number of housing starts, with building work beginning on 170 properties.

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House building reaches record levels in Preston

Across England, 49,470 homes were completed in the first quarter of the year – the highest number for any quarter in more than 20 years and a four per cent increase compared to the last three months of 2020.

During the same period, work began on 46,010 homes – a seven per cent increase on the previous quarter.

The Home Builders Federation says demand for new build homes is extremely strong nationally, and wants to see the Government continuing to invest in the industry.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman, said: "The industry is looking to deliver further increases in supply that have seen output double in recent years.

"As well as addressing the social need for more housing, increasing supply creates jobs, generates investment in local economies and delivers improvements to infrastructure and amenities that benefits both new and existing residents.

"The Government needs to continue to evolve the policy agenda such that the industry can continue to invest in the land and people needed to build the homes the country needs."

However, the organisation warned that quarterly figures at local authority level can be volatile, as they can potentially exclude data for some sites.

The MHCLG figures show that in the year to March, 630 new homes were completed in Preston – 70 more than in 2019-20.

The Government has committed to investing nearly £20bn into new housing as part of its Spending Review, including more than £12bn for affordable housing, as part of its levelling-up agenda.

After initially halting all construction work at the start of the pandemic, the Government later introduced measures to allow builders to seek more flexible construction site working hours from their local councils.

Certain planning permissions that would otherwise lapse were also extended, in order to support the sector.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "It is encouraging to see a continued rise in the number of new homes being built.

"The house building sector has shown extraordinary resilience and the Government has continued to demonstrate its support for the industry throughout the pandemic.

"By enabling construction sites to remain open and operate safely, builders have been able deliver the homes this country needs as we build back better from the pandemic."