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New homes registrations slump

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New housing registrations slumped by 16 per cent in London during the first six months of this year, contrasting with a boom in the rest of the UK

Figures released by the National Housebuilding Council showed the number of new registrations in the capital fell from 15,088 in the first two quarters of last year, to just 12,643 from January to June this year.

However, all other regions saw growth, with an overall rise for the UK of 14.5 per cent and a jump of 53 per cent in Northern Ireland.

Neil Jefferson, business development director at NHBC said that London’s performance might be explained by the nature of the economic recovery spreading out from the capital.

He said: ‘In 2013 and 2014 the growth was huge – the first year, registrations more than doubled, then stayed at a high level the following year.

‘We are still extremely busy in London, but now the rest of the country is beginning to catch up with the growth levels that were sparked in London and the South East.’

He added that the government’s Help to Buy scheme has also had more effect outside of London than in the capital.

But Jefferson also warned that registrations could be quite ‘lumpy’, even when taking in six month samples.

‘It will be interesting to see if registrations remain down next year – if so then we could read more into it than from just one set of figures.’

The statistics also showed a huge surge in the retirement home market with more properties designed for the elderly registered to be built during the first six months of the year than during the whole of last year.

Builders registered 2,337 retirement homes during January to June, compared to 1,919 during all of 2014.

NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton said: ‘We are very encouraged to see an increase in the number of retirement homes being registered.

‘It is widely acknowledged that the UK has a shortage of homes for the elderly, which is having a knock on effect on the rest of the housing market.’

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