Race for Space with More Detached Houses Built

New Detached Houses being built on site

THE LATEST FIGURES released today by NHBC shows that detached houses now make up the largest proportion of new home registrations in the UK, as demand for more space increases.

More Detached Houses 

In Q3 2021, 36% of new homes registered to be built were detached, vs. 28% in Q3 2020, and are now at their most popular since Q2 2002. The data shows a significant shift away from apartments, making up just 13% of new home registrations in Q3 2021, falling from 29% in the same period last year.

David Campbell, NHBC Commercial Director, said: Builders are more mindful of space after the pandemic and the need for home owners to work from home, with demand for more square footage.”

Total new home registrations were up by 14% to 33,779 in Q3 2021 (29,566 in Q3 2020). 10 out of 12 UK regions saw increases in new home registrations in Q3 2021. The highest rises were in the East Midlands (103%), North East (86%) and Yorkshire & Humberside (63%), with the only fallers being London (-78%) and South West (-1%).

New home completions were down 5% to 31,908 in Q3 2021 (vs 33,600 in Q3 2020), reflecting continuing post-lockdown recovery.

Material and Labour Shortages

Material shortages are now becoming a real concern, NHBC says, with a sense that these might be driving the fall in completions according to anecdotal reports from the house builders. Some housebuilders considering alternative products such as concrete bricks.

Likewise, labour shortages, the impact of which was first felt in 2019, pre-pandemic, “remain a concern”. David Campbell commented, “How much is due to the pandemic or Brexit, it’s hard to draw a conclusion.” The industry is attempting to address labour shortages through setting up academies to recruit and train new talent into the industry. NHBC established a new training hub in Tamworth earlier this year to help meet demands for skilled construction labour.

Land and Planning

Land supply is reported to be at a premium currently as housebuilders are burning through their land banks at an unexpected rate. However, they are cautious in new land purchases as they seek to avoid buying at cost rates that may not be sustainable or match future demand.

Planning is “it’s usual concern” according to the NHBC. As Michael Gove takes over the housing portfolio, Robert Jenrick’s planning reforms are expected to be watered down and there is speculation that there will be a new emphasis on affordable homes and increased building in northern England to as part of the levelling up government policy.

Inflation is a real concern according to NHBC and David Campbell said the organisation will be keeping a weather eye on it.

NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said, “With new home registrations up by a healthy 14%, the market remains buoyant. There is confidence in new homes despite the significant supply-chain disruption presently being experienced.

“Housebuilders are responding swiftly to shifts in consumer demand for detached houses that offer more space. The move away from apartment blocks is affecting London but this is only one quarter’s data.”

New home registrations – UK regions

Region Q3 2020 Q3 2021 % movement Q3 vs Q3
NORTH EAST 986 1,834 86%
NORTH WEST & MERSEYSIDE 3,619 4,430 22%
YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE 1,542 2,517 63%
WEST MIDLANDS 2,287 3,229 41%
EAST MIDLANDS 2,370 4,810 103%
EASTERN 3,228 4,184 30%
SOUTH WEST 2,969 2,949 -1%
LONDON 5,113 1,139 -78%
SOUTH EAST 4,070 4,319 6%
SCOTLAND 1,746 2,627 50%
WALES 838 888 6%
NI & IOM 798 853 7%
Grand Total 29,566 33,779 14%

 

 New home registrations – UK house types

  Detached Houses Semi-Detached Houses Apartments Terraced Houses Bungalows
2007 Q3 8,682 6,944 23,507 9,141 1,137
2008 Q3 2,765 2,867 12,239 4,526 654
2009 Q3 4,207 4,137 10,021 5,328 648
2010 Q3 5,337 5,667 11,233 6,769 636
2011 Q3 6,131 5,616 11,515 6,108 501
2012 Q3 6,268 5,887 9,130 6,611 480
2013 Q3 8,282 7,025 10,878 7,050 613
2014 Q3 10,594 8,307 10,664 6,743 423
2015 Q3 10,026 8,250 11,286 5,694 563
2016 Q3 10,677 9,789 8,933 5,993 499
2017 Q3 12,603 10,608 7,714 6,190 758
2018 Q3 13,772 11,580 11,169 6,236 611
2019 Q3 11,788 10,238 11,583 5,175 493
2020 Q3 8,444 8,529 8,424 3,705 464
2021 Q3 12,249 11,180 4,444 5,352 554

 

 >>Read more about housing building trends in the news 

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