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Housebuilders Fall Short Of Government Target
New home registrations in the UK hit their second-highest level in a decade in the 2017/18 financial year, however, they still fell well short of government targets.
Last year, 154,698 new homes were registered to be constructed, according to the latest figures from the National House-Building Council (NHBC). This represented a two per cent fall on 2016/17, when 157,805 registrations were recorded.
However, WebFG pointed out that the government has a target of 300,000 new homes being constructed each year to help resolve the UK’s housing crisis.
The first quarter of 2018 saw home building registrations fall by 14 per cent in comparison to the previous year, with those in the industry citing the exceptionally bad weather during the winter as the main reason behind the drop in construction levels.
According to the news provider, anecdotal evidence suggests that as many as 30 working days were lost in that period as a result of the snowy and icy weather that many parts of the UK suffered at the beginning of this year.
While house builders are behind the government’s target nationally, there was some good news for six out of the 12 regions surveyed.
The north west experienced one of the most substantial increases in house building activity, with 18,272 housing starts recorded here, representing a year-on-year rise of 21 per cent. In the Midlands, there was a 12 per cent climb in new homes being constructed, while in Wales there was an 11 per cent jump.
However, regions such as the north east, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the south west all posted falls in activity. London recorded the largest drop in house building activity, with 14,792 housing starts recorded in 2017/18, compared to 19,177 in 2016/17.
NHBC chief executive Steve Wood was upbeat about the industry though, noting that the figures are particularly positive given the freezing start to this year.
“Business confidence in both the private and affordable sectors remains high with clear routes to continued growth in 2018,” he asserted.
This means there could be a rise in the amount of work available for scaffolding companies in Leeds and other parts of the UK as house building gathers momentum as we move out of the winter months.
In fact, house building is one of the areas that’s buoying the construction sector at present. Predictions shared recently by the Construction Products Association (CPA) suggested that private housing and infrastructure projects are the areas that are going to support the UK’s construction industry.
Overall, the CPA expects activity in the UK to be flat during 2018, picking up again in 2019 and 2020. Office construction in particular is expected to fall considerably in the coming few years, which is one of the reasons why the sector as a whole is likely to flatline this year.
Two of the main contributing factors to a poorer performance in construction this year were Carillon’s collapse and the bad weather in the first quarter of the year, the CPA noted.