Housing starts and completions


Nationally, there was a moderate decrease in housing construction starts for England, down from 148,520 in 2019/20 to 139,750 in 2020/21. In total, 79% of the national figure was allocated to the private sector in the 2020/21 financial year. In the Lancashire-12 area, 84.4% of the 3,920 starts were in the private sector, whilst in Lancashire-14, the private-sector accounted for 85.8% of the 4,370 starts.

Preston had a substantial 710 starts in 2020/2021, following 640 and 740 starts in the preceding two years. Wyre, with 550 starts has jumped into second place although West Lancashire and Fylde have recorded more than 400 starts in the last three years. With only 370 starts in 2020/21, Ribble Valley narrowly missed out on a similar record. In contrast, across the past three financial years, Hyndburn had fewer than 400 starts in total. The districts which had considerably more starts in the latest year than the previous included: Wyre (100 more), Pendle (90 more), Preston (70 more) and Chorley (80 more). With around 200 starts in each of the last three years Lancaster is no longer the major house-building area that it was before 2005.

The latest figure of 155,950 housing completions in England constitutes a sharp fall of -11% from the 2019/20 total of 175,330. This coincides with the lockdowns which the Covid-19 pandemic brought about, although construction was not one of the economic activities most restricted. The figures for Preston show an impressive 630 completions in 2020/21 which combined with 560 in 2018/19, and an unchanged 560 in 2019/20 gives a three-year total of 1,750. Ribble Valley is the least populous authority in the Lancashire-12 area, and has fewest households, but had the second largest number of completions in 2020/21 at 470. The three-year total was also high in Ribble Valley with 1,370 completions, just behind that of Fylde with 1,380. In contrast, the most recent results show fewer than 100 completions in Burnley, Hyndburn, and Rossendale, although Burnley and Hyndburn's results are imputed by MHCLG.


The Lancashire Insight Housing Dashboard now has a slide devoted to housing starts and completions. This contains graphs of the time-series dating back to 1986/87, and it has a table showing the sum of the starts or completions for any specified discrete time period and for any combination of districts in the Lancashire-14 area, but with the proviso that there are some records missing between 1998 and 2011, which renders the sum of starts or completions over the whole time period somewhat unreliable for some of the districts, and as a consequence the county as a whole.

Further analysis

Housing starts and completions, 2020/21 (PDF 112 KB) 

Page updated January 2022.