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Housebuilding makes ‘solid return’ to pre-pandemic levels – industry body

Housebuilding in the UK has made a solid return to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, according to the NHBC (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Housebuilding in the UK has made a solid return to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, according to the NHBC (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Housebuilding in the UK has made a solid return to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, according to an industry body.

Some 40,289 new homes were completed in the second quarter, 16% higher than the second quarter of 2021, the National House Building Council (NHBC) said.

It was the highest quarterly figure since 42,354 completions were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Wales was the only part of the UK to see a decrease in new home completions in the second quarter of this year compared with the second quarter of 2021, with 1,183 completions recorded, falling slightly from 1,189.

In the second quarter of 2020, when strict lockdown restrictions were in place, just 11,059 new home completions were recorded.

Growth in new home completions in the second quarter was driven by the private sector, where completions were up by 23%, while completions in the affordable and build-to-rent sectors were level, the NHBC said.

The NHBC has a 70% to 80% share of the UK warranty market.

It also releases figures which indicate the stock of new homes in the pipeline, as homes are registered with the NHBC before being built.

Some 66,855 new home registrations were recorded in the second quarter, which was a 45% jump compared with the second quarter of 2021.

NHBC chief executive Steve Wood said: “Our latest figures demonstrate that output from the new homes market has made a solid return to pre-pandemic levels.

“At this stage we are not seeing evidence that the cost-of-living crisis or risks of recession are affecting consumer demand, whilst registration levels reinforce continued confidence within the sector.”

House prices have jumped to fresh highs in recent months, although some reports have indicated a cooling in the market.

Mortgage rates are also climbing, following a string of Bank of England base rate hikes, which will have an impact on how far borrowers can stretch themselves financially when buying a home.

According to Moneyfacts.co.uk, the average five-year fixed-rate mortgage on the market has passed 4% for the first time in nearly eight years, reaching 4.08% this month, a high not seen since October 2014, when it was 4.08%.

Here are the numbers of new home completions in the second quarter of this year and the percentage increase or decrease compared with the second quarter of 2021, according to the NHBC:

– North East, 1,781, 39%
– North West, 3,506, 9%
– Yorkshire and the Humber, 2,855, 25%
– West Midlands, 3,414, 7%
– East Midlands, 4,117, 34%
– Eastern England, 5,077, 32%
– South West, 3,844, 19%
– London, 4,239, 11%
– South East, 5,878, 3%
– Scotland, 3,351, 14%
– Wales, 1,183, minus 1%
– Northern Ireland and Isle of Man, 1,044, 5%