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Rate of housebuilding highest for 6 years

Government figures show the rate of housebuilding is now at its highest level for six years.Some 122,590 new homes were begun in 2013 - a rise of 23 per cent on the previous year. During the last three months of 2013, work on new homes rose by 23 per cent, despite the adverse weather conditions.Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: "This government is fixing the broken housing market we inherited in 2010. Last year we built the most homes since 2007, and even the appalling weather conditions this winter have not stopped our hardy builders from getting the job done."   "That means an increase in small firms benefiting from the surge in construction orders, and more business confidence in the economy."The number of completions fell by five per cent however, to 109,370, compared with the previous 12 months. According to the government, the figures show that Britain is building again and its initiatives to boost construction are working.Several schemes are in place to ensure financial resources are diverted to stimulate the housing market. The Help to Buy programme has provided assistance to almost 58,000 households since it was introduced in 2011.Nearly 100,000 affordable properties have been delivered through the affordable homes programme, which is currently on course to provide 170,000 new homes by 2015.The government says small businesses forming part of the supply chain are benefiting from its initiatives, with construction orders growing at their fastest rate since 2010.Jobs are also being created, according to the government, and the Construction Industry Training Board predicts 182,000 construction jobs will be created over the next five years.Several major housing providers have reported strong results and announced expansion plans during recent months, suggesting confidence in the market is returning. Barratt Homes, Taylor Wimpey and Bellway all posted strong housebuilding figures.The issue of housing supply is likely to remain a contentious one in the run-up to the 2015 general election, with major political parties announcing measures to ensure more new homes are built. 

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