Eastern region sees fall in new home registrations as national levels jump to near-high

Housebuilding was held back by bad weather at the start of the year, the NHBC says.

Housebuilding was held back by bad weather at the start of the year, the NHBC says. - Credit: Getty Images/Image Source

The East of England has missed out on a housing boom which saw the number of homes being registered over the last year reach its second highest level in a decade.

Despite freezing conditions disrupting activity in 2018, some 154,698 new homes were registered to be built in the 2017/18 financial year, according to the National House Building Council (NHBC).

But while half of the UK's regions and nations, including the North West and West and East Midlands, recorded sharp jumps in the number of new registrations, the East of England saw a fall of 3% to 16,448, the NHBC said.

More than half of new homes registered in 2017/18 were detached or semi-detached homes and less than a quarter (24%) were flats.

Just 2,579 or 2% were bungalows – compared with 28,831 new bungalows registered in 1986/87.

Last financial year saw 116,451 new homes registered in the private sector and 38,247 homes registered in the affordable sector.

The NHBC's registration figures are taken from builders who are responsible for around 80% of homes constructed in the UK.

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

Neil Jefferson, chief operating officer at the NHBC, told the Press Association: 'Looking forward, there remains continued positivity.'

The new figures also revealed a slower start to 2018, with 36,637 new homes registered in the first three months of the year, a 14% decrease compared with the same period last year.

The NHBC said the fall can in part be attributed to the exceptionally bad weather during the start of the year, which severely affected progress on building sites across the country.

It said there have been anecdotal reports from some house builders that up to 30 days were lost on site in the first quarter of the year as a direct result of the freezing conditions.

Other contributory factors include shortages in skills across the house-building industry, caution around Brexit and short-term market fluctuations, the NHBC said.