Government figures reveal that 16,000 fewer homes started on site in the last year

New housebuilding starts have fallen sharply since last year, according to government statistics.

Figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government show that starts of new housebuilding declined by 8% over the 12 months to June 2007. Last year, 184,900 new houses were commenced, while this year the figure was only 168,800.

Figures for the first quarter of 2007 show a 10% dip in starts from the same quarter in 2006.

Completions rose slightly over the same period, seeing a 2% increase over the 12 months to June, and a 1% increase on this quarter last year.

Over the longer term, starts have risen 19% and completions 26% since the beginning of the decade, but appear to have levelled off in the past twelve months.