The key stats, speeches and snippets from the housebuilding industry this week
New Build House Prices
In the year to end August 2017 new build house prices rose on average by 5.3% across the UK which is down on last year’s figure of 6.0%, according to the LSL New Build Index.
“If Greater London is taken out of the calculation and we take a crude average of the remaining regions, then the average house price growth is 4.3% compared to a figure of 4.6% last year. In common with other indices, we are seeing a ripple effect as the heat has now come out of the London market and a gentle price wave moves out across the regions,” LSL said.
New Homes Registrations
More than 13,500 new homes were registered to be built in August, according to NHBC’s latest new home registration statistics, an increase of 9% compared to a year ago.
13,569 new homes (10,811 private sector; 2,758 affordable sector) were registered during the month, compared to 12,489 (9,153 private sector; 3,336 affordable sector) in August 2016.
NHBC Business Development Director Neil Jefferson, said, “The sustained growth in new home registrations has continued as we approach the latter part of the year. The demand for new homes remains strong, so it is a promising sign that August’s registrations show growth in both the private and affordable sectors and across half of the UK regions.”
Help to Buy
More than 130,000 completions have now taken place through the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, although the government has yet to commit to the scheme beyond 2021.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said, “These latest figures are yet another sign that Help to Buy is achieving its objectives to support first time buyers, increase housing supply and boost the economy.
“This help for first time buyers is encouraging builders to invest, with permission being granted for more new homes than ever before. This investment by home builders is not just only giving tens of thousands of families a place to call home, it’s generating jobs and driving local economic growth in communities around the country.”
Labour Party Conference
The main takeaway from the Labour Party Conference on housing was that Jeremy Corbyn would introduce rent controls, in a direct contrast to the Conservative government who have sworn this won’t happen while they’re in power. The policy has been criticised by those who believe it will deter investment in new property and restrict supply.
David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark, said, “The Labour Party clearly hasn’t learnt the lessons of history. The last time rent controls existed the private rented sector went from housing 90 per cent of the population to just 7%. Whenever and wherever rent controls are introduced, the quantity of available housing reduces significantly, and the conditions in privately rented properties deteriorate dramatically.
“Landlords, agents, and successive governments over the last 30 years have worked hard to improve the conditions of rented properties and this is like taking two steps backwards. Rent control is not the answer – to bring rent costs down we need a concerted house building effort to increase stock in line with ever-growing demand.”