Councils are under too much pressure to build new homes rather than improving existing properties, according to the Audit Commission.

The public sector watchdog will say councils are 'pressured' into focusing on building new housing, which is a priority of the Westminster government. Ministers have ordered local authorities to spend more money on construction after years during which they built only a handful of new council houses.

Yet they could use money more efficiently by improving rundown homes to make them fit for habitation, the Audit Commission argues.

Financial Times