The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) publishes statistics on House Building starts and completions in England.
These figures relate to permanent dwellings only. A dwelling is counted as started on the date work begins on the laying of the foundation, including ‘slabbing’ for houses that require it, but not including site preparation. Thus when foundation work commences on a pair of semi-detached houses two houses are counted as started, and when work begins on a block of flats all the dwellings in that block are counted as started. The starts of houses in building schemes are usually phased over a period of weeks or even, in very large schemes, months.
In principle, a dwelling is regarded as complete when it becomes ready for occupation or when a completion certificate is issued whether it is in fact occupied or not. In practice, the reporting of some completions may be delayed and some completions may be missed if no completion certificate was requested by the developer or owner, although this is unusual.
Data on house building is collected from three sources on building control.
House building start and completion statistics are reported by DCLG both annually and quarterly, they publish figures at local authority (County and District) level by tenure (private enterprise, housing association or local authority) in Table 253 (annual data) and Table 253a (quarterly data) of their house building “Live Tables”.
The GOV.UK website has more information on these house building statistics including the live tables. The latest quarterly (for October to December 2015) update was published on 25th February 2016.