Public sector house -building is down

Figures released by the National House-Building Council (NHBC) show public sector registrations to build new homes in the UK are still below last year’s figures.

New home registration figures for the public sector during the rolling quarter February to April 2012 were 49% down, compared to the same time last year (5867 – 11,521).

Although overall figures to build new homes in the UK were also down 15% (26,035 – 30,649), registrations to build new homes in the private sector were up 5% when compared with the same period last year (20,168 – 19,128).

The comparison against the February to April 2011 period is affected by the registration of approximately 2800 London Olympic Village properties. Taking these units out of the equation, private sector registrations in the UK rose by 14% overall, with almost all the English regions experiencing some growth. However, even excluding the London Olympic Village properties in the 2011 comparative figures, 2012 saw a substantial drop in social housing registrations continuing a consistent trend during the year to date.

Richard Tamayo, NHBC commercial director, said: “Despite seeing modest, but sustainable and widespread growth in private housing, the large drop-off in social housing registrations mean that overall volumes have fallen compared with the same period last year.

“This reduction in social housing may simply be a hiatus as the industry moves from one funding model to another. Meanwhile, it seems clear that the private sector is likely to continue to be the engine for much-needed growth in overall housing supply. Therefore monitoring the success of initiatives such as the New Buy scheme and changes to make the planning system more flexible will be key to understanding how the next few years will play out.”