House building has slumped to a record low, with the number of new houses started almost 50% down on a year ago.

Work began on just 22,200 homes in the three months to the end of September, according to the Department of Communities and Local Government – 48% lower than the same period last year. The number of houses completed also fell, by 10% from the previous quarter.

However, there was a glimmer of hope for the housing market as mortgage lending increased by seven per cent last month, to £18.7bn. However, it was still 44% off the figure a year ago.

Falling house prices have also led to many house builders delaying starting new projects, with the sector shedding thousands of jobs.

Daily Telegraph, The Independent