Ten years on from the crash and we still don’t have an accurate measure of housing output. The one metric that might give us an understanding of the scale of the current crisis and how to remedy it is essentially an unknown.Traditionally, the Department of Housing uses electricity connections as a proxy for counting new builds, but this method has proved entirely unreliable. This is because new connections can be triggered by formerly vacant units – think of the myriad of ghost estates left over from the boom – coming back on stream. Even so, a figure of 19,300 completions for 2017, based on this questionable method, has been adopted.
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