Although NHBC figures show that activity levels during the three months to the end of April were still severely depressed, with a 53% reduction in the number of applications received compared to the same period a year ago, some encouragement can be taken from April’s figures, which show applications to start new homes in the combined private and public sectors rose for the fourth successive month in a row to 6,379.
Imtiaz Farookhi, NHBC Chief Executive, said: "While it is still too early to assume that these are definite signs of a recovery, some positive indicators are emerging which suggest that the severe downturn in house-building activity may be beginning to turn a corner. Anecdotal evidence from house-builders and developers also suggests that conditions are easing slightly on site, no doubt boosted by the Government’s recent £1billion budgetary pledge to help the housing market and the Homes and Communities Agency’s (HCA) Kickstart initiative to open up mothballed sites."
NHBC statistics for the three months to the end of April 2009 also revealed:
– Regions in the South East and Greater London attracted a total of 4,436 new build applications in the three months to the end of April 2009, accounting for a quarter (25%) of the overall UK volume.
– Of the 17,859 applications to start new homes in the combined private and public sectors during the three months to the end of April, over half, (9,627) were related to private sector activity (i.e. excluding housing associations) – 66% lower than the same three-month period a year ago (28,492).
– Public sector figures for the three months to the end of April totalled 8,232 – 11% lower than the same period a year ago (9,270).
– New build completions in the combined private and public sectors totalled 27,661 in the three months to the end of April 2009 – 30% lower than the same period a year ago (39,603).
– The average number of daily sales of new homes in the UK from February to April 2009 was 319 – 30% lower than the same period a year ago (452).
NHBC publishes a quarterly booklet of its new house-building statistics – to subscribe visit www.nhbc.co.uk
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