Final figures from the UK Statistics Authority on land use change, released this month, updated estimates for 2007 which were published last May.

They reveal that 77% of new homes built in 2007 were constructed on brownfield sites, compared to just 76% in 2006.

It marked a continuing rise from 2002, when just 67% of new homes were built on previously used sites in the country.

The figures also revealed a rise in the density of new build homes, reaching 44 homes per hectare compared to 41 in the previous year – and showing a massive rise from five years earlier, when just 27 homes were built per hectare.

Energy efficiency in new homes is also on the rise, according to the latest official statistics.

The average SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) rating – Government’s system for rating the energy efficiency of homes – for new homes in 2006 was 49, compared to 48 in 2005.

The percentage of homes with loft insulation also rose in 2006 to 33%, compared to 30% in 2005.

The UK Green Building Council said brownfield building and house density were “hugely complicated” issues that needed further investigation beyond the headline figures published by the UK Statistics Authority.

But the organisation said the energy efficiency figures were encouraging.

A spokesman told edie: “These figures show refurbishment of existing homes is gradually creeping up, but we need to go much further, much faster to meet our climate change goals.

“Government’s recent draft Heat and Energy Saving Strategy (see related story) is a significant step forward and the industry needs to work with government and other stakeholders to get on with making it easy and affordable for householders to eco-refurbish their home.”

Kate Martin

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