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NHBC: New home starts continued to rise in June

New home starts increased further in June, up 95 per cent on the low in December 2008 and the highest number since July 2008.

The National Housebuilding Council received 8,305 applications in June from builders to start new homes in the combined private and public sectors.

The figure is 95 per cent up on December 2008’s low of 4,259 and the highest since July 2008’s 9,530 applications.

NHBC statistics for the three months to the end of June 2009 also revealed the fourth successive rolling quarter-on-quarter rise in applications to start new homes.

Some 21,637 applications were received by NHBC to start new homes in the combined private and public sectors during the three months – a 12 per cent increase on the previous rolling quarter of March to May when 19,286 were received.

Yet there is still a significant fluctuation in the number of applications across the UK, with figures for some regions, including Greater London and Merseyside, more than 50 per cent lower than a year ago.

NHBC chief executive Imtiaz Farookhi said: “While this is encouraging in the short-term, it is important to point out that house-building output is still greatly reduced compared to previous years.

“There needs to be a recovery in demand before housebuilders can increase the number of applications to build new homes to the levels that the Government’s targets demand.

“Improving liquidity in the mortgage market and, in particular, the relaxation of strict lending terms that are currently applied to many would-be buyers, is a key step to attracting buyers back in to the market and ensuring a sustainable recovery.”