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Government urged to pledge New Year's resolution to the housing industry - New data shows year-end drop in house building

Figures out today from NHBC show the total number of new homes registered remained static in 2011 compared with 2010. With little relief for the housebuilding industry at the end of 2011, NHBC is urging the Government to keep housebuilding high on its agenda for 2012.

The number of new homes registered with NHBC in the UK reached 115,020* by the end of 2011; a little below 2010 figures (115,458). And, in 2007, when house building was at a pre-recession high, this figure was almost double, with 200,700 new homes registered that year.

Following a relatively stable level of registrations through the first half of 2011, figures declined in the final quarter of 2011, to 21,152 (compared to 27,262 in Q4 2010).

Commenting on the year, NHBC Chief Executive Imtiaz Farookhi said;

"While December is always a short month in which registrations inevitably dip, the last quarter of 2011 was particularly weak, with little sign of the cautious growth the industry experienced earlier in the year.

"Independent reports predict housing shortfalls over the coming years and a decline in the wider construction sector during 2012**. Such figures are therefore a cause for concern and place even greater pressure on the successful delivery of the Government's Housing Strategy.

"There is general consensus that the combined efforts of the housing and mortgage industries could have a positive effect on sentiment and volumes, but it is important not to underestimate the factors holding back new homes construction. Smaller builders in particular will continue to find the current situation difficult and will require increased access to finance. Our own figures show that the number of small builders working in housebuilding is lower than any time in the last 20 years.

"The question for 2012 therefore will be whether the Government's measures will be enough to actually achieve volume growth or only serve to stabilise the market. Either way, it is critical that housing remains high on the Government's agenda this year.

"Our figures do however indicate that there is regional variation in this picture and that, unsurprisingly, London experienced better growth other parts of the UK; but this may mean that the differences between London and the rest of the UK become more pronounced."

* Year on year overall house building figures, 2010 vs 2011

NUMBER OF NEW HOMES 
UK REGISTRATIONS 
 2010  115,460
 2011  115,020
 UK COMPLETIONS
 2010  103,800
 2011  113,340

For full data breakdowns see NHBC report:

New Homes Statistics Review 2011

**Institute for Public Policy Research - We Must Fix It: Delivering reform of the building sector to meet the UK's housing and economic challenges- 28th December 2011
Construction Products Association forecast -December 2011

NHBC publishes a quarterly booklet of its new house-building statistics - subscribe here.

Media contact at NHBC

Nadia Bedra or Tom Howard
nbedra@nhbc.co.uk, 01908 746 734
thoward@nhbc.co.uk, 01908 746 735

News Date: 09/01/12