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Housing starts up by a fifth

Housing starts have grown by more than a fifth in a year, according to the National House-Building Council (NHBC)

The body published data showing that 22,871 homes were registered in the three months to the end of February 2013.

This was up from 18,680 in the same period a year earlier as government initiatives boosted the housing market.

There was great regional variation in the figures, however.

In Greater London, registrations grew by more than a third over this period to 4,804. In the North East starts were flat at 938.

Affordable housing registrations more than doubled from 1,373 in February 2012 to 2,986 homes in February 2013.

The government’s £2.2 billion Affordable Homes Programme aims to deliver 170,000 new homes by April 2015. State schemes such as NewBuy and Funding for Lending also helping buyers afford home purchases.

NHBC commercial director Richard Tamayo said: ‘The big rise in new homes being registered – particularly affordable homes – is very encouraging news for Britain’s housebuilding industry, which has been through a very difficult time in recent years.

‘These figures, combined with the boost for housing announced in the Budget, are a welcome shot in the arm for builders up and down the country.’

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