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Number of new home registrations in London surges

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Last year the number of new homes registered in the capital reached its highest level in more than 25 years

New homes registered in London last year was up by 60 per cent from 2012, with 26,230 new homes registered, according to figures released by the NHBC.

Overall, annual figures for new home registrations in the UK increased by 28 per cent in 2013, compared to the previous year, and numbers are at their highest since the economic downturn began in 2007.

Wales was the only area of the UK that saw a decline in new homes during 2013, with housing registrations dropping by 12 per cent.

Key figures

  • 133,670 new homes were registered in the UK during 2013
  • New home registrations across the UK increased by 28 per cent from 2012
  • UK private sector housing up by 25 per cent to 97,399
  • UK public sector housing up by 37 per cent to 36,271
  • For the rolling quarter October - December 2013 the number of registrations was 32,675, a 33 per cent increase on the same period last year
  • Private sector registrations in October - December increased by 31 per cent 23,598
  • Public sector registrations in October - December increased by 37 per cent to 9,077

Commenting on the annual statistics, NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton said: ‘Looking back at 2013 it is very clear that it has been the best in a number of years for the sector as a whole, across the entire country. Over the year, we have seen a genuine return of confidence to the industry as builders strive to meet the growing demand for new homes that the UK clearly needs. Government initiatives such as Help to Buy have also contributed to registrations increasing at their fastest rate since the downturn.

‘According to our records, London enjoyed its highest ever annual total of new home registrations. This can be attributed to prime sites, such as Nine Elms, now being redeveloped largely for residential use, an increase from overseas investment into the market and the capital’s continued appeal as a property hotspot.’

The figures come as the government announced that 12,875 new homes had been sold through the Help to Buy equity loan scheme since its launch nine months ago.

The scheme, which offers mortgages up to a maximum 95 per cent of the property’s value for new and existing homes with house-buyers only needing a 5 per cent deposit for properties up to the value of £600,000, is thought to be spurring on the housebuilding industry.

Housing minister Kris Hopkins commented: ‘I’m delighted that through the Help to Buy scheme, we’ve helped thousands of hard-working people realise their dream of becoming homeowners, getting onto the property ladder using this valuable alternative to the Bank of Mum and Dad.

‘But the Help to Buy scheme offers more than that: because each home sold is a new-build, we’re also getting Britain building, with workers returning to sites across the country and helping bring housebuilding to its highest levels since 2007.’

Stewart Baseley executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation added: ‘A 28 per cent increase in new home registrations is a huge leap and demonstrates the acceleration in house building activity.

‘The Help to Buy Equity loan scheme is driving demand and builders are responding quickly by increasing output.  

‘Considering Help to Buy only launched in April in England, September in Scotland and not until this year in Wales, 28 per cent is a significant increase in supply for 2013.

‘If people can buy, builders can build, so creating tens of thousands of jobs on construction sites and in the supply chain.

‘However, we are still a long way from building the number of homes the country actually needs. Government needs to work hard to reduce planning and regulatory costs while securing stability on the demand-side if we are to see sustained increases and the associated social and economic  benefits.’

But speaking to AJ sister title Construction News, group land and planning director at Taylor Wimpey, Peter Andrew, warned that the housing industry would need to be ‘weaned off’ the Help to Buy scheme to allow the market to gear up in its place.

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