New builds reaches seven year high - but campaigners warn there is still much to be done

10 per cent more homes were built in 2014 compared to 2013, government figures claim

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More new homes were built in the UK last year than since 2007, a 10 per cent increase from last year, new figures from the government claim.

But campaigners have warned the increase does not begin to cover the need for housing faced by the country, with one describing the figures as a “damning indictment of our failure to tackle the housing crisis”.

Building started on 137,010 homes last year and 118,760 homes were completed.

The numbers, although a significant improvement from the dip during spring 2009, is still only 25 per cent of the peak experienced by the building industry during December 2007.

Assistant director of campaigns and communications at the National Housing Federation Henry Gregg described the figures as "a damning indictment of our failure to tackle the housing crisis".

"We're creating a housing shortage that will be felt for generations to come," he told the Press Association.

Within the building figures it emerged that private builds were up by 13 per cent compared to the previous year, but there were 10 per cent less housing association buildings started during the same period.

The statistics were attacked by housing charity Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb who labelled them “shocking”.

“For years, successive governments have consistently failed to build enough homes to keep up with demand,” he told PA, continuing: “leaving a whole generation of young people trapped in their childhood bedrooms or paying dead money to landlords while their dream of a stable future slips out of their reach.”


There were also noticeable regional variations in the figures, released by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Areas around the M1 corridor, moving west towards Gloucestershire and Cornwall, reported particularly high levels of construction.

Brandon Lewis, Housing Minister, said the figures are proof that the Government is turning the situation around.

"We inherited a broken housing market in which builders couldn't build, lenders wouldn't lend and buyers couldn't buy," he claimed. "We've done a lot to help get the housing industry back on its legs, but there's more to do.

"Today's figures show we're on track and turning this around. Now, housebuilding levels are at their highest annual total since 2007."

Additional reporting by Press Association