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House-building activity continues to hit new heights, says ONS data

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House-building output has continued to reach new heights, official data has revealed

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that £3.38 billion of work on new housing took place in December 2017.

This represents the highest value since the statistics began being collected in their current format at the start of this decade.

Both private and social housing work grew from November on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the ONS.

Private house-building activity was up 3 per cent to £2.89 billion while social residential output soared by 7 per cent to £490 million.

The figures contrast with separate data from construction economics unit Glenigan, which recently suggested that social housing starts on site had plummeted by more than a third since last winter.

Construction Products Association senior economist Rebecca Larkin said: ‘Underscoring the supportive effects of the government’s Help to Buy policy, private housing output is now 29 per cent higher than its pre-recession peak.

‘By contrast, commercial output is 26 per cent below its historic high, while industrial output is 29 per cent lower.’

Overall construction activity grew slightly from November to £13.06 billion in December, according to the ONS.

However, it fell 0.7 per cent in the final three months of 2017 as a whole, marking a third consecutive quarter of decline. This was the most sustained fall in quarterly construction output in five years.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • isn't this simply reflecting the increase in building costs being experienced across the sector rather than an increase in the output of new homes?

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