The number of homes registered to be built in London nosedived from 5,756 in May 2017 to 3,219 in May 2018, according to NHBC data.
Government stats show that, on a quarterly basis, new build dwelling starts in England were estimated at 39,350 in the latest quarter, a 5% decrease compared to the previous three months and an 8% decrease on a year earlier.
Completions were estimated at 38,160, 9% lower than the previous quarter and four per cent lower than a year ago. Annual new build dwelling starts totalled 157,480 in the year to March 2018, down by 3% compared with the year to March 2017. During the same period, completions totalled 160,470, an increase of 8% compared with last year.
Private enterprise new build dwelling starts in the March quarter 2018 are down by three per cent from the previous quarter, and completions were also down by 9%. Starts by housing associations were 14% lower compared to the last quarter and completions 10% lower.
However, all starts are now 109% above the trough in the March quarter 2009 and 14% below the March quarter 2007 peak. All completions are 50% above the trough in the March quarter 2013 and 9 per cent below the March quarter 2007 peak.
Alex Depledge, CEO & co-founder Resi.co.uk said, “This week’s Letwin report has shown that housebuilders haven’t been land banking, although there is still some way to go to achieving government targets of 300,000 new homes annually by the mid-2020s. So, it is disappointing to see a dip in figures as problems remain in the housebuilding process, with the speed of planning approvals one of the most challenging.
“These planning delays are only adding to the widely publicised slowdown in the housing market. Simplifying planning laws will help go some way to solving this problem, as well as a greater number of architects focused on the residential space. Technology provides a solution to this as it is evolving to support demand and can now provide access to high quality design and builders that are faster, more affordable and easier.”
New figures from NHBC show that, overall, 14,753 new homes were registered to be built in the UK during May, one up on the May 2017 figure of 14,662.
11,126 new homes were registered in the private sector in May 2018 (10,123 in 2017), with 3,627 registered in the affordable sector (4,539 in 2017).
In the rolling quarter, between March and May 2018, 39,322 new homes were registered compared to 44,900 in 2017. During this period, there were 29,049 new homes registered in the private sector (32,259 in 2017) and 10,273 new homes were registered in the affordable sector (12,641 in 2017).
NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said, “Despite the challenging economic climate it is encouraging to see that new home registrations for May were in line with the strong numbers we saw this time last year.”