The number of new homes registered by the UK’s housebuilders and developers in the first three months of the year reached more than 37,500 – a 3% increase on the same period in 2018.
37,672 new homes were registered to be built compared to 36,508 last year. The private sector was down by 6% (26,841; 28,554 in 2018) with the affordable and rental sector up 36% (10,831; 7,954 in 2018).
The overall increase, despite the ongoing Brexit uncertainty, is partly due to the low levels seen in the corresponding period 12 months ago when the ‘Beast from the East’ caused severe disruption on sites 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.
At a regional level London saw a 58% increase compared to Q1 2018 (5,625; 3,549 in 2018), boosted by a number of large schemes being registered at the start of this year.
NHBC is the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK and its registration statistics are a lead indicator for the new homes market.
Commenting on the new figures, 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.
“At NHBC, we will continue to work with developers, builders and housing associations to help to improve the quality of new homes for the people who will live in them.”