Housing registrations increase as detached homes return

nhbcNew figures have shown that house-builders are working on more detached homes than at the market’s peak in 2007, following an increase in the number of new homes registered with the National House-Building Council (NHBC).

According to the NHBC’s latest report for 2014, the overall volumes of new homes registered grew by 9% last year from 133,670 in 2013 to 145,174. A large contributor to this overall result for 2014 was Q4, which accelerated the year’s performance by growing 17% higher than the previous year’s final quarter. The NHBC says this was the best single quarter in terms of registrations since Q4 2007.

The NHBC also recorded boosts to registration figures nationwide, with 11 of the 12 regions it monitors gaining increased numbers, with the exception of the East of England. Of these areas, five outstripped growth in London, suggesting that a more geographically even growth rate could be expected in 2015.

Neil Jefferson, business development director at NHBC, said:
“Overall the story here is that we have widespread growth, and although there has been growth in London, in fact it has been what has been happening elsewhere in the UK that is more noticeable for 2014.”

This continued resurgence in the house-building sector was driven by the private sector, which recorded a 13% increase on 2013’s figures, making up 76% of all new registrations and taking the private sector level to 50% higher than that of 2009. Meanwhile, public sector contributions dropped by 4%, likely due to changes in funding available through the Affordable Housing Programme.

Among these figures, the NHBC recorded a 24% increase in the number of detached homes, which reached over 38,000 spread out across the country. It is believed that this marks a return to a more traditional market after a period of house-builders concentrating their efforts on first time buyers.

Speaking at the NHBC’s press briefing, John Tutte, group chief executive of Redrow Homes, said:
“I’m not necessarily surprised about the industry shifting into more detached [homes]. There are a number of things that drive that. There has been a big focus on first time buyers and lots of housing built for first time buyers, not least in response of course to Help to Buy.

“There’s only so much growth you can get in that first time buyer market so I think developers are looking at their incremental growth over that first time buyer market and naturally, particularly in the regions [outside of London], you push towards more semi-detached and detached homes.

“I don’t think there’s anything particularly alarming about this, I don’t think it’s particularly unusual. It’s just re-balancing, or correcting, back to where the market should be.”

Mike Quinton, chief executive of NHBC, said:
“It looks like the detached home is making a comeback with our figures showing that house-builders are building the highest number of properties for a decade with semis also performing well. Following an oversupply of flats outside London over the last decade, the growth in detached homes in restoring balance to the country’s housing stock to meet the diverse needs of the UK population.”

Looking forward into 2015, uncertainty surrounds the General Election, with many house-builders hesitant to commit to new projects prior to May’s vote. Due to this, and the strong performance of 2014, a small reduction in registrations is expected, particularly in the first half of 2015.

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