The construction of new homes throughout the UK has fallen sharply, which is impacting greatly on consumers and the financial institutions. The Office for National Statistics (OFT) reported that £1.44 billion worth of private housing was started during the first quarter of the year. This is the lowest figure since the first quarter of 2000.
The number of new homes being built fell by 27 per cent during the first quarter to hit a seven year low. The slow down in the new homes sector also appears to be gathering pace, with the level of starts, falling for the fourth consecutive month during March 2008, to just £420 million worth of properties, the lowest figure since November 2000 and nearly half the recent peak of £793 million last year.
Orders for public sector and public infrastructure were 24 per cent higher than during the three months to the end of December 2007 at £1.32 billion, while demand for public projects, excluding housing, rose by 20 per cent to £1.37 billion. Commercial orders fell by 15 per cent quarter on quarter, and industrial orders were down 6 per cent at £2.66 billion and £609 million respectively.
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