New-build activity increased in nine out of 12 regions across the UK, says warranty provider, the NHBC.

What’s the latest?

The number of new homes earmarked for construction rose by 7% in 2015 to hit an eight-year high.

According to the National House Building Council (NHBC), house builders registered 156,140 new homes in the UK last year – that’s 75% more than during the 2009 housing crash when just 88,993 new homes were built.

Research revealed a rosy picture across most of the UK. The majority of regions saw an uplift in new housing registrations, with Northern Ireland, east and north west England growing by 30%, 23% and 16% respectively.

Why is this happening?

Confidence in new-build is returning following the last recession when many developments ran out of funding and were left unfinished. And the introduction of government schemes, such as Help to Buy and Starter Homes, has underpinned the recovery.

Who does it affect?

It's good for the nation's buyers who will benefit from a wider choice of properties. The supply of homes on the market - both new and resale - had been in decline since the middle of 2014, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Young buyers are also being attracted back to the market, according to the NHBC. At 39%, the majority of new home buyers are under 34 years old, which is a 6% increase on 2014. Meanwhile, the numbers of buyers aged between 35 and 54 dipped.  

Sounds interesting? What’s the background?

"There is still a way to go before we are building the levels of new homes that were seen before the economic downturn, but 2015 represents consolidation on the growth seen over the last three years." 

London still topped the table for the highest number of new home registrations in the UK last year. Although this activity in the capital was down 9% on 2014, it was still the third highest number of registrations on record.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire and the Humber saw a drop of 13% and Wales fell marginally by 2%.

With the exception of London, where 90% of registrations were flats, there was also a move towards family housing in 2015. In fact, the construction of detached houses reached its highest level for more than a decade. And the number of semi-detached house registrations also reached its highest level since 1994.

Since 2012, when registrations stood at 105,174, the new-build homes market has continued to improve. And the NHBC, the warranty provider for 80% of all new-build homes in the UK, believes the increase in registrations will continue this year.

NHBC chief executive, Mike Quinton, said: "There is still a way to go before we are building the levels of new homes that were seen before the economic downturn, but 2015 represents consolidation on the growth seen over the last three years." 

 Year                Number of registrations Percentage on year before
 2012 105,174 -10%
 2013 135,257 +29%
 2014 146,359 +8%
 2015 156,140 +7%

Your top 3 takeaways:

  • Up to 156,140 new homes were registered in 2015 marking an eight-year high.
  • Nine out of 12 regions in the UK saw prominent growth in new home registrations.
  • The number of under 34 year-olds buying new homes jumped by 6%.

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