Affordable home starts to drop by one third

Construction will start on a third fewer social homes next year, in a vivid sign of wider impending restraints on government spending.

The news comes as the country’s property quango the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) reveals that the value of its development assets has plunged £1.1bn as a result of the housing crash.

But this financial fillip will only have a temporary impact, according to targets set by the HCA. Overall completions will continue to rise from a total of 55,625 this year to 61,500 next year, partly as a result of the government’s injection of money.

But housing starts will drop away next year, suggesting that there will be fewer completions in the coming years.

Only 29,900 grant-funded housing starts are scheduled for 2017-11, a drop of 34 per cent from the 45,500 target for the current financial year.

Of those, the number of social rented homes built under the National Affordable Housing Programme will halve from 30,389 in 2015-09 to 14,500 next year.