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 WEST & MERSEYSIDE||3,619||4,430||22%|
|YORKSHIRE & HUMBERSIDE||1,542||2,517||63%|
|NI & IOM||798||853||7%|
New home registrations – UK house types
|Detached Houses||Semi-Detached Houses||Apartments||Terraced Houses||Bungalows|