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Housebuilding stagnant, new surveys show

Housing down downturn drop
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Housebuilding growth has hit the buffers, according to a raft of new research, with London in particular seeing a significant dip in activity

The findings from three recently released reports reveal the full extent of the malaise in the housing market, with prices, sales, starts and registrations all showing signs of levelling off nationwide and dropping in some areas.

Home insurance body NHBC reported that the number of registrations of for new homes was 1 per cent lower in the second quarter of 2017 than in the same period last year.

Greater London saw a drop of almost a third in registration of homes for construction (3,518 in April and June this year, down 30 per cent on the 5,029 recorded in Q2 2016), while there were also fewer registrations in the South East, North East, East and East Midlands as well as in the South West.

Although Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and pockets of England saw rises in registrations, the overall figure of 40,343 was down on last year’s total (40,810).

Meanwhile new figures compiled by construction industry tracker Glenigan show that a run of five months of year-on-year growth in residential starts on site came to an end in July.

The Glenigan Index registered 157 for housing starts in July 2017 – the same as in the same month a year earlier. This was the first time since January that there had been no year-on-year growth.

Commenting on this month’s figures, Allan Wilén, Glenigan’s economics director, said: ’Private residential starts plateaued during the three months to July, being little changed on the preceding three months or the level of a year ago.

‘The stabilisation in project starts follows quieter conditions in the wider housing market.’

A survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed that house prices were broadly unchanged in July from three months earlier. This was the first time in four years that prices had not risen.

London was hardest hit, with a net balance of almost 50 per cent of respondents seeing prices fall in the capital over the three months to July.

Both sales and buyer enquiries dropped in volume in July across the UK as a whole, the research shows.




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