Number of new UK homes registered to be built hits 13-year high

house building

The number of new homes registered to be built in the UK last year rose 1% to a 13-year high – but is still far below the government’s target.

The National House Building Council (NHBC) said 161,022 homes were registered with the organisation last year, the highest level since the start of the financial crisis in 2007. The number of affordable or rental homes rose 13% to 48,936.

The government wants private housebuilders, housing associations and councils to ramp up annual construction to 300,000 a year by 2025.

The housing charity Shelter noted that the last time housebuilding was at that level was in 1969, when almost half was social housing delivered by councils.

Polly Neate, the chief executive of Shelter, said: “Relying on big developers to build unaffordable homes means the government is falling well short of their ambitious housebuilding targets … Right now, only a tiny fraction of new-build homes are genuinely affordable social rent homes – a paltry 6,287 were delivered last year.”

The NHBC figures are taken from builders responsible for about 80% of homes constructed in the UK. Builders are required to register houses with the NHBC or another warranty provider before starting work. There is typically a time lag of nine to 15 months between the registration and completion of homes.

Last year, growth was driven by a revival in London, where new home registrations climbed 37% to 21,726.

New housing projects across the UK include the Commonwealth Games athletes village in Birmingham, which will be converted into 1,400 homes after the 2022 games; 6,500 homes on the site of a former army barracks in Waterbeach near Cambridge; and 518 at Bellway’s Eastside Quarter in Bexleyheath, Kent.