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Thu June 24 2021

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NHBC registrations 10% up on pre-lockdown numbers

13 May First quarter numbers from the National House Building Council (NHBC) confirm that the sector has fully rebounded from the troughs of Covid-19.

New-build warranty registrations with NHBC were up 10% in Q1 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

However, activity in London was down nearly a third.

With a slump in registrations in Q2 2020 as a result of lockdown restrictions from 23rd March, followed by a strong recovery in Q3 and Q4, the latest figures show that the sector has continued its rally. As NHBC has the lion’s share of the new homes warranty market, its numbers are considered an accurate representation of the overall house-building sector.

A total of 36,863 new homes were registered with NHBC in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 33,388 in the same period last year.

There were also 33,074 house completions recorded, a 4% uplift on Q1 2020 (31,652).

Private sector registrations were up 10% compared to Q1 2020, from 24,615 to 26,985, while the rental sector saw registrations up 13% to 9,878 (8,773 in Q1 2020).

Perhaps reflecting a surging desire to move out of city centres to suburbs and the countryside, registrations for detached and semi-detached houses were up 18% and 30% respectively compared to Q1 2020, while 21% fewer apartments were registered.

Nine out of 12 UK regions have seen increased registrations compared to last year, with the highest uplifts in the Northeast (+61%), East (+42%) and Southwest (+31%).  London (-29%), West Midlands (-21%) and Wales (-14%) were the fallers.

NHBC chief executive Steve Wood said: “It is encouraging to see that new home registrations at the start of 2021 have overtaken registrations from the same time last year. Demand for detached and semi-detached houses has increased significantly during the pandemic, which has accelerated the longer-term trend to more home-based working.

“Increased new home registrations reflect growing confidence amongst builders, most of whom are forward sold through the summer. Allied to continued investment in Build to Rent, this suggests a strong outlook for the new-build sector in the year ahead.”

NHBC – UK registrations by region

Regions Q1 2020 Q1 2021
NORTH EAST 1,219 1,960
NORTH WEST 2,755 3,221
WEST MIDLANDS 3,174 2,510
EAST MIDLANDS 2,869 3,303
EASTERN 4,063 5,755
SOUTH WEST 2,675 3,502
LONDON 4,382 3,131
SOUTH EAST 5,027 5,730
TOTAL ENGLAND 28,307 31,730
SCOTLAND 3,187 3,336
WALES 1,127 964
TOTAL UK 33,388 36,863

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