Strong start for 2017 home registrations

Over 42,000 new homes were registered in the UK by NHBC in the first three months of the year, according to figures released at the NHBC’s Q1 statistics briefing.

42,470 new homes were registered in Q1, an increase of 17 per cent on the 36,351 registered 12 months ago, resulting in the highest quarter in 10 years.

For the first time in seven years, all 12 regions across the UK experienced growth in registrations, when compared to the same period 12 months ago. The North East (up 39 per cent), London (up 38 per cent) and Eastern (up 31 per cent) were among the regions with the most notable growth.

Commenting on the figures, NHBC managing director Neil Jefferson said: “These figures, which show growth across the entire country, are clearly encouraging for the sector, at a time when there is considerable demand for new, high-quality homes.”

Brexit doesn’t appear to have affected registrations to any long term degree yet, and though numbers haven’t risen back to the highs preceding the 2008 financial crash, the results were almost equal to the long-term average over the last 40 years.

It was unclear which way the election would swing registrations, but past further uncertainty, it was generally agreed across the table that an expected Conservative win was only likely to stabilise the market.

Speaking alongside Neil Jefferson and NHBC business development director Mark Jones, Colin Cole, chief executive of Lioncourt Homes, gave a housebuilder’s perspective on the current market.

When asked whether the execution of Brexit will exacerbate the skills shortage, Cole said he believed that “it might.”

“We just have to be careful about looking two years ahead now,” he said, “It’s all about land buying in the housebuilding industry, and the land we buy today we’ll be building on between 18 months from now and five years.”

He revealed the company were treading careful when looking to the future. “Whereas once we would be buying sites of somewhere between 50 and 150 plots, I’m starting to think I want to buy sites at 50 plots.”

“I don’t know all the answers,” concluded Colin, “I just know there’s something in my mind that makes me think I want to be a bit more careful.”