(Reuters) The number of new homes coming onto the market in England reached nearly 220,000 in 2016-17, just short of the pre-financial crisis peak.
The newly-released figure is still below the roughly 250,000 homes per year experts say Britain needs to build just to keep up with demand.
Chancellor Philip Hammond is under pressure to find more money to boost housebuilding in his Budget statement next week.
Help for housing associations
The number of new homes coming on the market in England stood at 217,350 homes, comprising 183,570 new homes being built and 40,000 properties converted from other uses into homes, according to the latest government data.
In 2007-8, the total stood at 223,530 units after which the construction of new homes nearly halved at its lowest ebb.
The government said on Thursday it would help housing associations boost the number of homes they build, in a further sign that ministers are looking away from traditional builders who are unable to meet demand on their own.
‘No silver bullet’
But Hammond said on Wednesday there was no one solution to the country’s long-standing housing crisis and hinted at further plans in the budget on 22 November.
“There is no silver bullet,” he said at a round-table Downing Street event. “There isn’t a single thing that solves the challenge of affordability in the housing market.
“Next week we will start to set out our plan for addressing the housing challenges in this country, making sure that the next generation has the same opportunities that their parents did for home-ownership.”