19 Nov

Housing starts rise in third quarter

Housing starts rise in third quarter

Seasonally adjusted figures for housing starts across England have shown an 18 per cent rise in the number of new houses under construction in the three months to September 2009, compared with the previous quarter.

Data released by the Communities and Local Government (CLG) was greeted with cautious optimism by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The organisation said that although the level of housing starts had risen for three successive quarters, historically, the figures were still low.

Chief economist at RICS Simon Rubinsohn warned that, at current levels, there would not be enough new homes constructed across the country to meet demand.

He said: "The resulting shortfall in new property coming to the market represents a medium-term time bomb for the housing market, potentially making it even harder for first-time buyers to take that initial step on the property ladder."

Mr Rubinsohn added that the future lack of supply could push house prices considerably higher and consequently squeeze large sections of the population out of the property market.

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