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Thu May 23 2019

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House-building picks up pace in the capital but slows in the northwest

2 May Private sector house-building appears to have slowed in the first three months of 2019, but growth in rented and social housing more than made up for it, in unit terms.

The National House-Building Council (NHBC), whose Buildmark warranty scheme is used by about 80% of the market, reports that the number of new homes registered by the UK’s house-builders and developers in the first three months of the year reached more than 37,500 – a 3% increase on the same period in 2018.

In total, 37,672 new homes were registered to be built in the UK in the first quarter of 2019, compared to 36,508 last year.

Private sector registrations were down by 6% to 26,841 (2018 Q1: 28,554); registrations in the affordable and rental sector were up 36% to 10,831 (2018 Q1: 7,954).

The NHBC attributes the overall increase to a slow first quarter in 2018 because of strong weather – dubbed ‘the beast from the east’ – disrupting building work across the country.

The rise in the affordable and rental registration numbers reflects the continued growth in the private rental sector in many UK towns and cities, NHBC said. London saw a 58% increase in first quarter NHBC registrations, reaching 5,625 (2018 Q1: 3,549), boosted by a number of large schemes being registered at the start of this year.

However, registrations in the Northwest & Merseyside region were down by more than a fifth to 3,968 (2018 Q1: 5,059).

NHBC chief executive Steve Wood said: “We are pleased to report good numbers for the start of the year, although we do need to bear in mind the situation 12 months ago when freezing conditions caused major hold-ups in registrations as well as build-rates across the bulk of the UK.

“Although Brexit uncertainties are impacting consumer confidence and causing some dampening of new-build and second-hand sale markets, housing remains an attractive asset class for inward investors, which does cause us to be more optimistic about build-to-rent.”

NHBC - UK Registrations by Region
England – Regions Jan 19 – Mar 19 Jan 18 – Mar 18
NORTH EAST 1,298 1,433
NORTH WEST & MERSEYSIDE 3,968 5,059
YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE 2,511 2,459
WEST MIDLANDS 3,285 3,185
EAST MIDLANDS 2,650 3,460
EASTERN 3,658 3,800
SOUTH WEST 3,737 3,237
LONDON 5,625 3,549
SOUTH EAST 6,267 5,820
TOTAL ENGLAND 32,999 32,002
SCOTLAND 2,444 2,435
WALES 1,230 1,220
NORTHERN IRELAND & ISLE OF MAN 999 851
TOTAL UK 37,672 36,508
MPU

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