Latest data from the UK’s Office of National Statistics shows that despite the overall fall in all work in November 2016, new housing continued to grow at an increasing overall rate of 1.2% in comparison with October 2016, representing the biggest increment since February 2016. A rise in affordable public housing is a significant factor. This has resulted in housing output reaching an all time high of £2,639 million, as seen in Figure 4.
The increase in housing has occurred in part as a result of the notable rise in public housing, which recovered from negative growth in October 2016 to increase by 5.5%. There was an increase of 13.7% compared with the same period a year ago, the largest month-on-year growth rise since December 2014. This high level of growth comes in the shadow of the government committing to “drive up the housing supply” by providing £8.0 billion to deliver over 400,000 affordable housing starts by 2020.
In addition, private sector housing continued to grow at a steady month-on-month rate of 0.6% compared with October 2016. However, similar to public housing, the private sector has experienced large growth in relation to the same period last year, at a rate of 12.5% which has been broadly consistent throughout 2016. This may be in part due to historically low interest rates facilitating borrowing for construction firms, coupled with the loosening of private housing planning restrictions, both of which could have contributed to the continued boom in private housing both in November 2016 and throughout the year.