Empty homes have now fallen to a 10 year low, according to official figures released today.

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  • The construction of new homes is now 84 per cent higher than at the bottom of the housing crash in June 2009, with empty properties now at a 10 year low.

    Housing minister Brandon Lewis declared that the Government is “delivering the homes this country needs” as official figures released today showed that building work started on 138,640 homes between September 2013 and the same month in 2014.

    It marks a 16 per cent increase compared with last year.

    Up to 700,000 new homes have been delivered in England since the end of 2009, while the number of empty homes has dropped by 160,000.

    The figures also revealed a growing number of people accessing Right to Buy, which allows council tenants to buy their home at a discount. Some 2,845 council-owned properties were sold under Right to Buy between July and September, with London boroughs accounting for nearly a third.

    The number of affordable homes is also on the march, with construction starting on 11,556 affordable properties between April and September, according to figures from the department of Communities & Local Government. Almost 217,000 new affordable homes have now been delivered since 2010.

    It follows widespread agreement that Britain needs to build 250,000 homes a year to meet demand. Major business groups called on politicians in September to develop 240,000 homes a year to tackle the housing shortage.

    Lewis said: “Whether it’s building new homes or bringing empty properties back into use, we have pulled out all the stops and are delivering the homes this country needs.

    “This is all thanks to the efforts we’ve made since 2010, reforming the planning system, paving the way for developers to do their job and giving aspiring homeowners the help they deserve as part of our wider and long term economic plan.”

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