Detached home “making a comeback”

Published:  02 February, 2015

The number of detached homes being built has surged in the last year, new figures from the National House-Building Council (NHBC) have shown.

Last year saw a sharp 24% increase in the numbers of detached houses registered with NHBC, from 30,849 in 2013 to 38,113 in 2014, with growth particularly marked in the regions. The renewed vigour in the detached market comes as NHBC reported a 9% increase in the overall volumes of homes registered from 133,670 in 2013 to 145,174 in 2014. The final quarter of the year was particularly strong, with an increase in registrations of 17% on Q4 2013.

Significantly, the regions enjoyed a particularly strong year for housing growth, with areas such as Yorkshire and Humber (+24%) and the West Midlands (+16%) seeing big increases. Across the UK, Wales (+33%), Scotland (+9%) and Northern Ireland (+17%) all saw registrations out-stripping last year’s volumes.

After the exceptional growth in 2013, London has returned to growth levels in line with the UK as a whole and several regions have outperformed London in rates of growth. The capital, which has historically been the main driver of housing growth in the UK, recorded a 10% increase in new housing registrations from last year’s record figure of 26,230 to 28,733 in 2014.

Overall, the private sector recorded a 13% increase on last year with 110,403 new homes registered compared to 97,399 the previous year. Public sector volumes were down slightly by 4% from 36,271 in 2013 to 34,771 in 2014, which may be a result of changes in funding through the Affordable Homes Programme.

While there was a significant increase in detached homes, NHBC figures also show there were 31,650 semi-detached homes registered last year – an increase of 12% on 2013.

In contrast, the number of flats increased by just 5% with 48,685 registered last year – just over half the number registered at its peak volume in 2007 (90,221). Meanwhile, there was a 2% drop in terraced homes registered (26,600) and a 16% drop in bungalows registered (2,059).

NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton said: “We are encouraged to see that overall housebuilding levels grew by 9% last year, building on the strong volumes registered in 2013. The regions were the big drivers of growth in 2014, showing that the recovery is no longer centred in London and the South East.

“It looks like the detached home is making a comeback with our figures showing that housebuilders are building the highest number of detached properties for a decade, with semis also performing well. Following an oversupply of flats outside London over the last decade, the growth in detached homes is restoring balance to the country’s housing stock to meet the diverse needs of the UK population.

“Whilst the overall growth last year is to be welcomed, we are still building below the levels seen before the economic downturn and below what this country needs. With the General Election just three months away, it is therefore very encouraging that housing remains a top priority for all the main parties.”

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