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New home registrations down 23% due to COVID-19

Jake Carter

January 29, 2021

build building

The number of new homes registered to be built by UK housebuilders fell by 23% in 2020 due to coronavirus, according to NHBC.

However, in Q4 2020, the number of new home registrations was down just 2% on the same period in 2019.

NHBC registered a total of 123,151 new homes in 2020, compared to 160,319 in 2019.

The data shows that the largest falls were seen in Q2 2020, as the first lockdown halted work on site.

Following the pause housebuilding activity rebounded, with a total of 39,749 new homes being registered in the final quarter, 34% up on Q3 2020.

On a regional basis, the number of new home registrations fell in every UK region in 2020.

Northern Ireland noted the greatest decline, with the figure falling by 38%.

The South East of England and Scotland followed, both recording a decline of 28%.

The data indicates that many UK cities saw greater falls in new home registrations than their wider regions.

For example, Manchester declined by 42% annually compared with a 27% drop in the North West.

Furthermore, new home registrations in the private sector fell by 26% to 81,067, with the affordable and build to rent sector seeing fall of 16% to 42,084, compared to the previous year.

Steve Wood, chief executive of NHBC, said: “Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new build housing market has held up very well, with housebuilders showing resilience and adaptability throughout 2020.

“Last spring saw a sharp shock to the housing market and it is heartening that by the close of 2020, productivity levels had moved very close to those seen in late 2019.

“Confidence in the housing market, particularly for newly-built homes, remains strong with many larger housebuilders forward sold into the summer despite the continued impact of the pandemic and prevailing economic uncertainties.”


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