Concrete evidence is emerging that widespread materials and labour shortages are stifling new housing starts.

Fresh figures from the National House Building Council show that new homes registrations slumped 27% in the third quarter to 33,780 albeit from a 14-year record high of 46,440 in the second quarter.

The fall was also partly attributed to housing associations prioritising remedial works like fire safety measures ahead of building affordable rented homes.

New home registration returns also reveal a shift away from apartments living back to houses, suggesting a post Covid focus on houses ahead of apartments.

Third quarter split by home type

Across the regions, the East Midlands surged into life with registration doubling to 4,810 starts in year-on-year comparisons, making it the busiest region just ahead of the fast recovering East of England up nearly a third.

The regional recovery contrasted with London, which records a 78% plunge in registration year on year in the third quarter to September.

New home registrations – UK regionsRegionQ3 2020Q3 2021%changeNorth East9861,83486%North West3,6194,43022%Yorks & Humbs1,5422,51763%West Midlands2,2873,22941%East Midlands2,3704,810103%Eastern3,2284,18430%South West2,9692,949-1%London5,1131,139-78%South East4,0704,3196%Scotland1,7462,62750%Wales8388886%NI & IOM7988537%Total29,56633,77914%

NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said: “There is confidence in new homes despite the significant supply-chain disruption presently being experienced.

“House builders are responding swiftly to shifts in consumer demand for detached houses that offer more space. The move away from apartment blocks is affecting London but this is only one quarter’s data.”


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