UK housing crash

17 June 2008

Housing starts in the UK in 2008 are expected to be the lowest since 1945 according to the latest Construction Output Forecast from the Construction Products Association. The association expects 147000 starts this year - -27% less than 2007, with private sector housing starts -30% lower than last year to take them back down to 1992 levels.

The Association expects UK construction output to fall -1,3% in 2008, reversing previous forecasts for marginal growth this year. It says prospects still remain good in the infrastructure sector, and that other areas such as school construction and the London 2012 Olympics are providing a boost.

However, the Association sees the negatives outweighing the positives, with the housing market decline, a fall in investment in new industrial buildings and cuts in repair and improvement to social housing, dragging the industry down.

Commenting on the forecast, Construction Products Association chief executive Michael Ankers said, "The impact on the new build housing market has been more sever than any of us anticipated. To be starting fewer homes than at any time of the last 60 years illustrates the scale of the problem we now face."

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