Tentative Signs of House Building Recovery: NHBC

Tentative Signs

The number of new homes being built in the UK has been declining, but there are early indications of a potential recovery, with new build registrations rising month-on-month in the first quarter of this year, according to the National House Building Council (NHBC).

Despite political promises, new home registrations fell by 20% in Q1 2024 compared to the same period the previous year, with completions down 13%. The NHBC, the UK’s largest provider of new home warranties and insurance, reported 21,967 new homes registered and 26,240 completed in Q1 2024.

The fall reflects economic challenges such as higher interest rates, skills shortages, and the eighth wettest winter on record. However, NHBC noted more encouraging data, with registrations increasing each month from January to March. March saw 8,320 new homes registered, up from 7,090 in February and 6,557 in January, and Q1 2024 registrations were higher than both Q3 and Q4 2023. Regionally, nine out of twelve areas saw a drop in registrations compared to Q1 2023, with significant declines in the East Midlands, Wales, and North West and Merseyside. However, registrations increased in London, Scotland, and Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

NHBC CEO Steve Wood highlighted the cautious optimism among house builders, citing the monthon-month growth in registrations despite challenges like a cumbersome planning system and a significant skills gap in the construction sector.

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