Housebuilding strongest since 2007, NHBC

by: Carmen Reichman
  • 29/07/2016
  • 0
Housebuilding strongest since 2007, NHBC
The number of new houses registered to be built in the UK has hit a nine-year high in the second quarter of this year denying any signs of post-Brexit turmoil, according to latest figures from the National House Building Council (NHBC).

The organisation, which collects data from about 80% of the UK building industry, said it has registered a total of 41,222 new homes in the three-month period from April, 1% more than in the same period last year when 40,931 homes were registered.

The quarter, which included data from the run-up to the June 23 EU Referendum, was the best performing quarter since 2007, NHBC said.

The private sector performed particularly strongly in the period, with the number of new homes up 6% on last year, from 30,086 to 31,753.

Public and affordable homes on the other hand saw a stark decline from 10,845 homes registered in Q2 2015 to 9,469 in the latest quarter – a fall of 13%.

The data also indicated a regional divide with half of the 12 regions showing an increase in registrations during Q2, including the South East (+37%) and the North East (+34%) and the other half reporting a decline, such as Wales (-30%) and London (-29%), compared to the same period last year.

NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton said the statistics showed continued consolidation on the strong growth in registrations seen over recent years.

“These registrations reflect continued industry confidence in the run-up to the EU Referendum at the end of June. Indeed, this period was the strongest quarter since Q4 2007, albeit still some way off levels seen over a decade ago,” he said.

Although, arguably, too early to tell, NHBC’s figures seemed to provide an early indication the housing market would defy expectations of subdued activity post-Brexit.

Similarly, national housebuilder Taylor Wimpey had reported stable trading conditions in the six months to July, although it noted a small rise in sales cancellations immediately after the result.

The firm said it was encouraged by the competitive lending attitudes of mortgage providers and its business volumes at the start of H2. Consumer confidence was also solid, it added.

Fellow housebuilder Countryside Properties also saw a rise in cancellations in the last quarter, according to its latest interim results, but the firm sought to reassure investors cancellations “have now returned to more normal levels” and cancelled products had been “reselling well since, often at higher prices”.

The firm’s completions between April and June were up 29% on the same period last year and net sales grew slightly from 0.72 to 0.76 per active outlet. The firm’s land bank increased 4% to 27,115 plots from the first half of the year.

The average selling price for private properties also increased 7% in the year, from £235,000 to £348,000.

Group chief executive Ian Sutcliffe said: “Despite some fluctuations in the market as a result of the EU Referendum, we continue to see robust visitor levels and sales reservations. We remain on track to deliver expectations for the current year and our strategy remains unchanged.”

Conversely there have been signs of trouble in the London luxury market with developer CapCo having had to drop the valuation of its Earls Court development.

The company’s latest interim statement showed the company valued the site at £1.2bn, down 14% from its £1.4bn December valuation. However, its second development, Covent Garden, was unaffected.

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