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Drop in number of new homes

The amount of new homes added to England’s housing stock last year fell by nearly a quarter, say government figures.

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Data, released by the department for Communities and Local Government, shows 128,680 homes were completed last year, compared to 166,570 in 2008-09, a drop of 23 per cent.

The largest decrease in percentage terms was in the north west region, where completions fell by 38 per cent. A total of 10,240 fewer homes were built in the south east.

The figures will add to concerns from house builders’ organisations that the scrapping of regional spatial strategies and a failure to introduce the New Homes Bonus, which aims to incentivise authorities to build homes, quickly enough is affecting supply.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: ‘There is no doubt that the previous planning system was not succeeding in delivering enough homes – but housing delivery, crucial to solving the housing crisis, is not yet increasing and in many areas has actually fallen.

‘These figures reveal the extent of the housing supply problem and the need for real action now – cutting red tape and implementing incentives so we can build the homes the country needs.’

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