The estimated 27,670 completions in the same quarter, however, were 3% down on the previous quarter although still 12% ahead of the first quarter of 2013, in all cases using seasonally adjusted figures.
Overall in the 12 months to the end of March 2014 some 133,650 housing starts were made. The rate of increase has accelerated, as the difference between last year and the year before was only 4%.
Private housing starts in the first quarter of 2014 were 15% higher, while housing association starts were 22% lower. But completions were down in both sectors – down 2% in the private sector and 8% among housing associations.
Seasonally adjusted starts are now 113% above the trough of the first quarter of 2009, but still 27% below the peak achieved two years earlier in the first quarter of 2007. Completions are 43% below the peak also achieved in that quarter.