WINCHESTER fell well short of its house-building target last year, Government figures show.

Ministers seized on new figures showing only 120 homes were completed across the district, down by 60 from the previous year.

While Southampton was praised for having one of the largest number of completed homes in the last year, other Hampshire districts failed to deliver including Eastleigh (from 150 to 40), Fareham (from 70 to 40) and the Isle of Wight (from 140 to 90).

The rate of house-building has continued to slide under the coalition Government, falling far short of the number needed to cope with an expanding population.

Emma Reynolds, Labour's housing spokeswoman, said: “This is yet more evidence of the Government's failure to build the homes the country needs.

“The increase in home starts is welcome, but the number of homes built over the past year is down eight per cent compared with the year before.”

The figures show in 2013 Winchester started building 90 houses but failed to complete as many as the year before when 180 houses were completed.

Across the district, there was a fall in both the number of completed homes (from 760 to 690) and housing starts (from 900 to 640).

However, Test Valley was the only area to record a rise in housing starts in the last quarter, a surge from 70 to 200.

Head of strategic planning at Winchester City Council, Steve Opacic, said: “We are predicting that house-building in Winchester is going to rise over the next five years and we would dispute these figures based on our own predictions in accordance with how the market is responding at present.”