The number of new build homes that have started to be built continued to rise last year to the highest level since 2007, according to the figures released by Department for Communities and Local Government.

The latest house building data shows that 153,370 new homes were started in the year to December, up 5% on the previous year.

More than 140,500 homes were completed in the year to December 2016.

Meanwhile, figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show first-time buyer lending totalled 338,900 loans in 2016, up 8% on last year.

Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell said:

“We’ve got the country building again with the highest number of housing starts for 9 years. However, we know there’s more to be done to build more homes in the places that people want to live.”

“Our housing white paper sets out an ambitious set of proposals to deliver more land, speed up build out, diversify the housing market, and support people who need help now.”

The figures also show strong growth across the country with Islington and Manchester experiencing high levels of starts in the year to December 2016, with an annual increase of 296% and 323% respectively.

Reforms in the recently published housing white paper set out the government’s bold new plans to fix the broken housing market and build more homes across England.

The 4 key aspects of the paper set out new measures to ensure the housing market works for everyone, and help local authorities, developers and SME builders get building.

Building more homes is an absolute priority, which is why the government plans to invest £25 billion in housing over the Spending Review.

£1.4 billion of funding has been released for Affordable Housing, and restrictions on funding have been relaxed so providers can build a range of homes including for Affordable Rent and Rent to Buy which help people save for a deposit before they buy.

Source: Department for Communities and Local Government