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New housing registrations drop by 15% compared to last year

A report by the National House Building Council has found that the number of new homes registered between February and April this year has fallen by 15% compared to the same period last year. 25 May 2012

The number of housing starts has also fallen this year, according to new figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The figures showed that housing starts for the first three months of this year fell by 11% compared to the last three months of 2011. 

During the last three months of 2011 building was started on 27,240 new homes, while the number of new housing starts for the first three months of this year was 24,140. The number of housing starts for the first three months of 2011 were 28,520, according to the report.

Registrations to build new homes in the private sector increased by 1,040, a jump of 5%, for the period February to April this year, compared to the same period last year. 

However, this figure is affected by the registration of 2,800 homes at the Olympic Village in 2011. Excluding these homes, private sector homes registrations rose by 14% for the period February to April this year, compared to the same period last year.  

The registration of public sector homes fell by 49% for the period February to April this year, compared to the same period last year. There were 11,521 public sector homes registered between February and April last year, which compared to 5,867 public sector homes that were registered for the same period this year. 

"Despite seeing modest but sustainable and widespread growth in private housing, the large drop-off in social housing registrations mean that overall volumes have fallen compared with the same period last year," said Richard Tamayo, commercial director at NHBC.

"This reduction in social housing may simply be a hiatus as the industry moves from one funding model to another. Meanwhile, it seems clear that the private sector is likely to continue to be the engine for much-needed growth in overall housing supply," Tamayo said. "Monitoring the success of initiatives such as the New Buy scheme and changes to make the planning system more flexible will be key to understanding how the next few years will play out."

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