Record numbers of affordable homes completed in 2023 as private house building slows

6 February 2024

two people in site safety clothing discussing documents on some scaffolding
  • Rental and affordable completions at all-time high, up 10% on 2022
  • Total new home completions down 12%, with a 20% drop in private sector
  • New home registrations drop by 44% in 2023, compared to 2022

Figures released by the National House Building Council (NHBC), the UK’s largest provider of new home warranties and insurance, show 133,213 new homes were completed in 2023, down 12% on 2022 (151,308). 

45,649 new homes were completed in the rental and affordable sector, up 10% on 2022 and the highest figure ever recorded by NHBC. In contrast, private sector completions were down 20%.


New home registrations drop by 44% in 2023

In 2023 there was a decrease in new home registrations - the process by which a developer registers their intent to build a new home - to 105,449, compared to 189,009 in 2022. Across the UK, all regions saw a fall in registrations, with the biggest drops in North West (-61%), West Midlands (-59%) and Eastern region (-52%).

Private sector registrations were hit hardest, down 53% on last year (64,877 vs.136,805 in 2022). The rental and affordable sector saw a shallower decline with 40,572 registrations in 2023, down 22% on the previous year (52,204). 

The demise of the bungalow continued with 1,466 registrations in 2023, 48% down on 2022 (2,819). Semi-detached homes saw the greatest number of registrations by house type at 31,363 in 2023, followed by detached homes (29,925) and apartments (25,099) respectively. 

Steve Wood, CEO at NHBC said: “Whilst there were considerable supply and demand pressures on the new homes market in 2023, it is very encouraging to see record numbers of new home completions in the affordable sector. Several major house builders have partnered with housing associations and Build to Rent providers, re-focusing parts of their output to help address the demand for affordable homes. The backdrop of high interest rates, significant inflationary pressures and challenges with planning consents has supressed private sale output in 2023. That said, there are some signs of demand returning to the market and we would expect an improved position in 2024 as consumer confidence begins to recover and mortgage rates start to fall.”

Looking to the year ahead, Steve Wood, CEO at NHBC adds: “With a general election looming, we may also see new home-buyer incentives that influence build volumes. In the mid to long-term, the industry would welcome measures that restore consumer confidence and encourage market growth.”

New homes statistics

Our latest new homes data shows a record number of affordable homes were completed in 2023 as private house building slowed.