More retirement homes were registered to be built in the UK in the first six months of this year than the whole of the previous year, according to new figures released by the National House Building Council (NHBC).

Builders registered a total of 2,337 properties specifically designed for the elderly in the first six months of 2015 - outstripping the total 1,919 registered for the whole of 2014.

Statistics on registration of the UK’s new homes are released monthly by NHBC, a warranty and insurance provider for newbuilds.

NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton cautioned against complacency, however, saying that housebuilding numbers remain well below the kind of figures required to meet a national housing shortage.

The growth in retirement homes comes as NHBC reported that more than 41,000 new homes were registered in the UK during the last three months – an increase of 12% on the same period last year.

In total, 41,268 new homes were registered (30,462 private sector; 10,806 public sector) over this quarter, compared to 36,986 registered during Q2 last year (27,388 private sector; 9,598 public sector).

The figures show that northern regions are helping to power growth in the new housing sector, with the North West & Merseyside reporting a massive 74% increase in new homes registered in the rolling quarter from April to June 2015 – up from 2,243 last year to 3,911.

While London and the South East continue to drive new housing growth in terms of volume of homes registered, there was a slight 2% drop in the numbers of new homes registered in the capital over the rolling quarter. The South East saw a drop of 16%.

The public sector is also showing encouraging signs of a revival with a 13% increase in affordable homes registered in the whole of the UK over the last three months, up from 9,598 in Q2 2014 to 10,806 in Q2 2015.

The NHBC Foundation, NHBC’s research arm, has commissioned two separate pieces of research with a view to better understanding the future housing needs of our ageing population in addition to people looking to downsize.

Mr 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.

“We have made clear that while all signs of growth are to be welcomed, the UK is still building way below the volumes of homes that we need. There is a long way to go before our housing crisis is over.”

Mike Jennings, group operations director for housebuilder McCarthy & Stone, said: “We are encouraged to see a growing number of retirement property registrations. In the first six months of 2015 we have registered 1,850 new retirement apartments with the NHBC and we will be investing £2 billion in land and build over the next 4 years, which will deliver around 12,000 new retirement properties.

“However more has to be done to address the needs of last time buyers. There is a chronic undersupply of specialist retirement housing in the UK. We would like to see a national strategy for retirement housing and stronger government policies to support its provision.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock/ Imran's Photography

A full regional breakdown of new house registrations is listed below:


Q1&2  2015

Q1&2 2014


England - Regions


North East




North West




Yorkshire & the Humber




West Midlands




East Midlands








South West




Greater London




South East




Totals for England




Scotland - Councils




Wales - Unitary Authorities




Northern Ireland - Counties




Totals for UK