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More new home starts

The National House Building Council said its latest statistics show the third successive rolling quarter-on-quarter rise in the number of applications from builders to start new homes in the UK, providing further evidence of a 'mild recovery in house-building production'...

It said that it received 19,286 applications from the combined private and public sectors in the three months to the end of May 2009.

This is eight per cent higher compared to the previous rolling quarter February to April 2009 when it received 17,859 and 19 per cent higher than January to March this year with just 16,232 applications.

Although the council's figures show that house-building activity is still extremely low compared to the same three month period a year ago, the drop in applications to build is becoming less pronounced.

The council's figures for the three months to the end of May show a 43 per cent reduction in the number of applications compared to the same period a year ago, while in the three months to the end of March and April 2009, the year-on-year drop in applications was 57 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.

Andrew Oulsnam, Managing Partner of Robert Oulsnam & Company said the latest figures point to further improvements in house-building production, albeit from an extremely low base

'Any recovery is likely to be fragile in the short term and volumes in the next few months will be key in determining if this recovery is sustainable. The significance of these figures is that they suggest we may now have passed the lowest point in housing production for the current cycle,' he said.

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