Gordon Brown’s drive to increase the pace of housebuilding is looking increasingly unrealistic, as figures show a drop-off in housing starts in the first half. Financial Times. The Sunday Telegraph

Housebuilders began work on 86,269 homes in the six months to June, a 9% fall year on year and lower than the equivalent periods in 2004 and 2005.

Just weeks ago the prime minister pledged to increase housebuilding with a target of 3 million homes by 2020. The first-half figures equate to about 172,538 new homes a year, which is far below the annual target of 240,000.