NHBC reports 25% boost in UK new home registrations in 2021

a man and a woman in site safety clothing and hard hat looking at a site
  • Private sector key driver of uplift in new home registrations
  • Growth in 11 out of 12 UK regions
  • Industry responds to high demand for detached homes

The house-building industry has demonstrated its resilience after figures published today by NHBC show there were 153,339 new home registrations in 2021, a 25% increase on 2020.

Compared to the 8-year-low seen in 2020, where registrations fell to 122,935, the sector experienced a significant rebound as it emerges from the pandemic. New home completions also showed a significant uplift in 2021, increasing by 21% to 139,333 (2020 115,561).

Private sector registrations were the key driver, rising from 80,475 in 2020 to 114,477 in 2021, an increase of more than 40%. In contrast, new home registrations in the rental sector decreased 8% from 42,460 in 2020 to 38,862 in 2021, in part due to the deflection of Housing Association capital budgets towards building safety remediation on existing housing stock.

11 out of 12 UK regions saw growth in new home registrations in 2021. The North East experienced the strongest growth (registrations up by 74% to 7,467), with significant increases in the North West (26%), Yorkshire & Humberside (31%), East Midlands (50%), Eastern (46%), South West (33%), Scotland (43%) and Northern Ireland & Isle of Man (28%). London was the only region to see a decline in registrations in 2021, down 27% compared to 2020, due to a combination of pandemic effects and some hesitation on apartment block registrations.

The pandemic has caused some change in attitude towards housing, with more people using their home for work, as well as reflecting on recreational and family life. Registrations for detached, semi-detached, terraced homes and bungalows all
increased in 2021. Detached homes saw the largest increase, rising 47% from 35,520 in 2020 to 52,190 in 2021. Apartments were the only house type to see a year-on-year drop (-15%) from 32,625 registrations in 2020 to 27,867 in 2021.

Commenting on the latest figures, NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said, “The house-building industry demonstrated considerable resilience in 2021, rebounding well from the pandemic and coping with significant strains in the supply chain.

“The pandemic has resulted in a real shift in the way people work and use their homes, with this likely to have some long-lasting effects, as seen in the high demand for detached properties. Whilst there has been a clear drop in the number of apartment registrations, the ‘death of the city’ is over-stated and we expect to see these start to increase in the medium-term, particularly with the continued investment in the build to rent sector.”

a photo of a red brick house with a for sale sign in front of it and a blue sky in the background

New home statistics review 2021

Read the full New homes statistic review to learn more