Industry figures show 9% fall in home registrations

Figures represent homes that are to be built in the months ahead
Figures represent homes that are to be built in the months ahead

The number of new homes being registered fell by 9% in the first three months of 2016 compared to a year earlier, industry body figures show.

A total of 36,566 new homes were registered across the UK in the first quarter of 2016, down from 40,144 in the first quarter of 2015, according to the National House Building Council (NHBC), which said the industry was consolidating strong growth seen in previous years.

The NHBC is a warranty and insurance provider. The body’s registration figures are taken from builders who are responsible for around 80% of homes constructed in the UK.

Builders are required to register a house with the NHBC before starting work, which means its figures represent homes that are to be built in the months ahead.

Most UK regions saw a decrease in home registrations in the first quarter of 2016 compared with a year earlier, with the exception of Wales, where registrations were flat, and the North West and Merseyside, where they jumped by 17%.

London saw a 15% fall in registrations, although those behind the report said building activity was still bustling in the capital, particularly in the outer London suburbs.

The NHBC cautioned against placing too much significance in the recent drop-off in the quarterly figures compared with a year earlier.

It said March 2015 had been an exceptionally high month for registrations.

This year’s early Easter, when many people were away on holiday, would also have affected the figures for the first quarter of 2016, it said.

Asked if the looming EU referendum was having an impact on the industry, those behind the report said this did not seem to have caused any significant uncertainty.