Housing starts plunge to lowest level since 1945
Housing starts for 2008 are forecast to be the lowest since 1945, according to the latest forecasts for construction output from the Construction Products Association. Little more than 147 000 new housing starts are expected in Great Britain this year, 27% down on 2007 and the smallest number since 1992. In addition, the social-housing programme is failing to grow in line with the Government’s plans for 45 000 new homes a year by 2011. Projects remain good for construction work on infrastructure projects, contracts are now being let for the major Building Schools for the Future programme, and work has started on building the Olympics projects. Growth in these sectors is, however, more than outweighed by the decline in the housing market, a sharp fall in investment in new industrial buildings and reduction in the repair and improvement to existing social housing.