Good news on the new house building front as 2015 saw increase of 7% year on year
It is news that we have all being waiting for as it is reported that registered new homes built in the UK increased last year by 7% to a new high of over 156,000. The National House Building Council (NHBC) are naturally pleased with the increase which shows that 75% more new homes were registered in 2015, compared to time before the housing crash which occurred in 2009 and when 156,140 homes were register and last year compares with 146,359 in 2014.
Although the Private sector recorded the most registrations of 118,611 up by 7%, the public sector also saw an increase of 5% to 37,529 from 35,685 in 2014. Detached homes are still the most popular reaching 42,173, which is the highest for over a decade, semi-detached homes accounting for 35,423, the best figure for more than 20 years. The spread of registrations is across most regions, but as expected London leads the way, only slightly down on the 2014 figure of 28,518, which is now 25,994, or 9% down.
Because the NHBC is the provider of warranties for new homes, the registrations with them are a good indication of how many new homes are coming on stream. As we see from the figures, both the public and private sectors have performed well, across all regions of the country.
The Federation of Master Builders however was quick to point out that the figures do not mean that this is providing work for smaller builders as they have seen a downturn in workloads towards the end of last year. Although the industry as a whole may be confident, the slowdown in the last quarter of last year is a major concern for smaller builders. They point out that this last quarter small and medium sized house building was in a negative balance and it will be necessary for all those SME’s to be up and running flat out if we are to get a grip on the housing crisis. Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB commented that in spite of the good figures and growth in registrations both current and expected construction workloads are down in every region.
In spite of his slight pessimism, he still believes that 2016 will see growth form the disappointing last quarter of 2015 and that business will bounce back, but warned that 2106 will see considerable headwinds, not least the fears over the wider economy slowing down.