General election 2024: A truer picture for housebuilding stats that will surprise you | Business News | Sky News

Sky’s Ed Conway explains how party promises on housebuilding might actually seem more achievable, given a better measure that paints a rosier picture for progress.

We need to talk about the main parties’ plans for housebuilding, but before we get to that there’s something important we need to discuss. Everything you thought you knew about the housebuilding numbers in this country is wrong. Quite dramatically wrong. And that has a bearing on, well, rather a lot when it comes to this topic.

I realise this is probably the last thing you need to process, with only a few weeks left until the election and rather a lot going on besides, but bear with me, because this is rather important.
Let’s start with the conventional picture most of us have in our heads about housebuilding in this country (actually in this case we’re talking about England, since most of the main statistics – and political housebuilding pledges – focus on England). It comes courtesy of a dataset published each quarter by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
This dataset shows us the number of homes built in England – either housing starts (when work begins on a home) or completions (when the work is done).

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