Private registrations up 31% in Q1 – NHBC

UK new home registrations increased 25% in the first quarter of 2022 against the same period last year, with private registrations up 31% but completions slightly down, according to the latest NHBC data.

In Q1 2022, a total of 45,991 new homes were registered to be built. Of these, 35,134 were for the private sector – a “key driver” of the growth – compared to the 26,773 of Q1 2021, with housebuilders continuing “to respond to high consumer demand for new homes”.

Meanwhile, new build registrations for the affordable and Build to Rent sector grew 10% against Q1 2021 to 10,857. This was partly due to gains in Build to Rent, NHBC said.

Within the UK regions, London recorded a “bounceback to growth”, with registrations in the capital climbing 51% in Q1 2022 year-on-year. Wales, East Midlands and West Midlands also witnessed significant registration increases, at 84%, 65% and 52% respectively. But Northern Ireland, Scotland and the East saw decreases at -8%, -6% and -16%.

Registrations for every house type rose during the quarter – those for detached homes hit a 20-year high of 16,090, driven by housebuilders responding to buyers continuing to work from home and seeking extra space, NHBC said.

At the same time, new home completions during the quarter dipped 4% to 31,874 against Q1 2021. NHBC noted ongoing material shortages and supply chain challenges. Private sector completions fell 6% to 21,794.

Steve Wood, NHBC’s ceo, said: “We have seen a strong start to the year with a 25% uplift in new home registrations in the quarter, reflecting a reasonably buoyant new build market and strong forward sales.

“Material and labour supply shortages continue to be a challenge, but this is now being managed by housebuilders as ‘the new normal’.

“Inflationary pressures and the strain on household budgets may yet impact market activity, with this likely to be dampened by continued strong demand in both private sale and rental sectors.”