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New home registrations up by a third annually

The number of new homes being registered was a third (33%) higher between July and September than in the same period a year earlier, according to an industry body.

Some 44,729 new homes were registered to be built – marking the highest total for the third quarter of any year since 2007 – the National House Building Council (NHBC) said.

Plans for new London apartments helped to boost the total, although new home registrations rose annually for every house type, including detached and semi-detached houses, terraced homes and bungalows.

Some 9,006 apartments were registered in the third quarter of 2022, which was more than double the total of 4,205 in the same period a year earlier. Nearly half (45%) of all new apartments registered in the third quarter of 2022 were in London.

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

Its figures indicate the stock of new properties in the pipeline, as homes are registered with the NHBC before being built.

The majority of UK nations or regions experienced annual growth in new home registrations, the NHBC said, with London, Scotland, Wales and West Midlands experiencing significant rises, due to lower levels in the previous year and the impact of some large site registrations.

There were small dips in the South West of England and Northern Ireland, with developers in these areas reporting a slight cooling of the market, it said.

New home completions also increased from 32,100 in the third quarter of last year to 34,977 in the latest quarter, despite some ongoing disruption in the supply chain, according to the NHBC.

There have been signs of a cooldown in the housing market, following jumps in mortgage rates which are stretching housing affordability.

Separate figures released by Rightmove on Monday showed that the average price tag on a home fell by more than £4,000 in November compared with the previous month.

NHBC chief executive Steve Wood said: “Despite prevailing conditions, the third quarter was a strong one for new home registrations. In part, this is the ‘bounce-back’ post the pandemic, but it also reflects a confidence that the underlying demand for new homes is holding across a range of tenures.

“That said, housebuilders and new home buyers are becoming more cautious, especially in the face of higher costs of living and open questions about the nature and length of any recession in the UK. It seems likely that a slowdown is coming which will at least help ensure that homes continue to be built to the quality required.”