15 November 2012 | By Rhiannon Bury, Inside Housing

The number of homes started this year is 9 per cent lower than last year, according to government statistics.

Figures from the Communities and Local Government department published today show housing starts totalled 98,020 in the 12 months to September 2012, down by 9 per cent compared with the year before.

Annual housing completions in England reached 117,190 in the 12 months to September 2012, an increase of 6 per cent compared with the previous 12 months.

On a quarterly basis, starts are now 52 per cent above a trough in the March quarter of 2009 but 45 per cent below the December quarter 2005 peak. Completions are 44 per cent below their March quarter 2007 peak.

Jack Dromey, Labour’s shadow housing minister, said: ‘These figures show that over the past 12 months we started to build less than 100,000 homes in England, a decrease on the previous year and only two fifths of what is needed to meet housing need.

The government needs to take real action now to tackle the growing housing crisis which thus far their policies have made worse, not better.’

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