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RICS 'encouraged' by housing start news

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has welcomed recent positive news regarding the number of housing starts.

According to the Communities and Local Government department, the second quarter of 2009 saw a rise in housing starts and completions.

Brigid O'Leary, senior economist at RICS, said: "It was encouraging to note that housing completions rose to 39,320, the highest level since 2008 Q1 and above the average quarterly completions rate (of 37,300) since 1997.

"However, completions may fall back again in coming quarters, reflecting the recent low levels of housing starts. Even if that level were maintained, it still suggests an annualised rate of completions of only 160,000."

Recently it was suggested that many new British homes were too small.

According to a study by Cabe, new homes built in the UK had on average just 76 square meters of space.

The number is almost three times smaller than the US, where the average floor space is 214 square meters.