Imtiaz Farookhi, chief executive of NHBC, said: "2011 has got off to a promising start despite the uncertainty that is affecting much of the economy. However, it is important to bear in mind that home registrations for 2010 overall were lower than we might have hoped and completions were low as well. Yet, this month’s figures do offer some consolation that, despite the raft of conflicting economic data that appeared in January, housebuilders’ attitude to new development was robust and they remain committed to recovery.
"At this stage in the year it is extremely hard to assess the future performance of the housebuilding sector but it is telling that registrations increased even while we await important decisions on planning, public sector cuts and interest rates that will have profound effects on the market. It will be extremely interesting to observe the impact on housebuilder sentiment in the coming months now that more details on the New Homes Bonus have been published."
NHBC statistics for the rolling quarter November 2010 – January 2011 show that:
– Private sector registrations were up 3% (to 17,188) when compared with the same period a year ago (16,684)
– Public sector registrations were also up 3%, from 7,631 a year ago to 7,834 this quarter
– Registrations in the combined private and public sectors were 3% higher than the same period a year ago (25,022, up from 24,315)
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