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New figures: collapse in public housebuilding laid bare

Darbishire Place Peabody Housing by Niall McLaughlin Architects
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The Construction Products Association has spoken of ‘major concern’ as annual public housing output has dropped by more than a quarter

Public housing output is collapsing as private housebuilding continues to accelerate, new figures show.

Statistics from the Office for National Statistics released today (Friday, 11 December) show that public housing output in October was 3 per cent lower than the previous month and 25.9 per cent lower than a year ago.

However, private housing output rose 2.3 per cent in October compared with September and was 4.6 per cent higher than a year ago.

Total construction output increased marginally by 0.2 per cent in October compared with September and was 1 per cent higher than a year ago, the ONS reported.

Noble Francis, economics director of the Construction Products Association called the falls in public housing a ‘major concern’.

He said: ‘There are mounting concerns regarding affordability in the housing market, especially in London where average house prices are already 9.6 times average earnings.

‘The falls in public housing are a major concern, despite the Chancellor’s announcement of “400,000 new affordable homes” in November’s Autumn Statement…The ONS figures also highlight that new orders for public housing in Q3 were 26.7 per cent lower than a year ago due to funding issues for housing associations as they face falling public sector funding, cuts in social rent and the extension of Right to Buy. As a result, the trend for public house building appears to be sharply negative over the next 12 months.’

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