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Newbuild starts plummet by 40%

Newbuild starts fell by 40 per cent in January.

Assetz chief executive Stuart Law forecast at the debate that there would be 90,000 newbuild starts in 2008, against a Government target of 240,000.

He said: “New build start-ups are imploding. We are down by 40 per cent in January year on year. We were at 260,000 in 2006 and probably 150,000 in 2007. We have a severe hous- ing shortage which is going to dramatically spike up rents.”

He said the Government’s target should be increased to 280,000 new houses a year.

Hometrack director of research Richard Donnell said there is no chance that the Government’s targets will be met.

He said: “We are stuck in a numbers game. The current policy is just made about big numbers. There is a big chance that we will be building fewer homes in five years time.”

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