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Extreme Weather Holds Up Housebuilding Recovery

One of the coldest Januarys on record has slowed the recent recovery in house building volumes seen in the latter part of 2009.

Applications to build new homes across the UK during the rolling quarter November 2009 to January 2010 were 65 per cent up from the historical lows of the same period a year ago (from 14,738 to 24,315). This compares however with 38,459 seen in the period November 2007 to January 2008 and shows just how far the recovery has yet to run in order to return the UK to the sort of volumes desperately needed.

The number of new home registrations during January 2010 was 7,400 - a 56 per cent increase on last year (4,752); but still well below the levels seen in January 2008 (11,512) and 2007 (17,770). 

"Optimism is still prevalent across the housebuilding sector, but there is no escaping that the harshness of the weather has held back recovery during January," said Imtiaz Farookhi, chief executive of the NHBC.

"The sense of recovery is still tangible after what has been the worst year for the industry in a century.  We must not let the tough weather conditions distract us from the encouraging signs seen since the autumn. In particular, the Government must not lose sight of the need for new, sustainable homes as the general election campaign gears up during the spring.

"The industry must now wait a further month to see if the recovery witnessed in late 2009 will carry through into 2010."

NHBC rolling quarter statistics show that all regions reported higher levels of registrations for rolling quarter November 2009 to January 2010 than the same period in 2008/9. The South-East continues to lead the way in terms of recovery but those areas hardest hit by the recession are now also showing strong growth, albeit from a low base.   

NHBC statistics for the three months to the end of January 2010 also show that the recovery is largely due to the private sector which was most dramatically affected by the recession.

  • Private sector applications at 16,684 for the quarter to January 2010, were up 115 per cent for the same period last year (7,768)
  • Public sector figures for the three months to the end of January were 7,631 - 9 per cent higher than the same period a year ago (6,970).

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

Ends

Note to editors:

Full regional breakdown of new homes registered November 2009 to January 2010 by region / country:

Region

Nov 2009 to Jan 2010

Nov 2008 to Jan 2009

England - Regions

 

 

North East

626

312

North West

1,587

1,148

Merseyside

309

183

Yorkshire & the Humber

1,304

844

West Midlands

1,901

1,085

East Midlands

2,019

1,063

Eastern

3,215

1,866

South West

2,868

1,850

Greater London

2,514

2,231

South East

4,416

2,399

Totals for England

20,759

12,981

Scotland - Councils

1,835

929

Wales - Unitary Authorities

963

427

Northern Ireland - Counties

746

391

Isle of Man

12

10

Totals for UK

24,315

14,738

About NHBC

NHBC is the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK. It was established more than 73 years ago as a non-profit distributing company. NHBC's primary purpose is to help raise standards to protect homeowners. NHBC's ten-year 'Buildmark' warranty covers more than 80% of new homes built in the UK and currently protects approximately 1.6 million homes.

News Date: 19/02/10