According to Land Registry data, of the 78,408 sales received for registration in April 2018 11,758 were newly built, a 28.2% increase on April 2017.
In the year to end April 2018 new build house prices rose on average by 7.6% across the UK which is up on last year’s figure of 7.2%, according to the LSL New Homes Index.
The latest figures from HMRC on UK property transactions indicate a possible slowdown when compared to last year, but the projected year-on-year figures for 2017/18 remain around 1.2 million which is broadly where they have been for the past five years.
The latest trading updates from various leading housebuilders indicate that they are continuing to perform well and to deliver strong financial performances. The challenge for the new homes industry continues to be how to grow in a relatively flat market where the main competition is second hand housing.
A main driver of the low GDP in the latest quarter was the construction sector which was badly hit by the cold weather and the ‘Beast from the East’. However, the most recent health check on the construction sector, which accounts for 6% of the economy and of which house building is a main contributor, has shown a healthy bounce back.
As anticipated the Bank of England kept interest rates on hold at 0.5%, with weaker than expected economic growth being the key reason for not implementing the anticipated rise to 0.75%.
The latest news from the House Price Indices points to the continued woes of the London housing market where prices are falling in half of London postcodes. The prime market is being hit hardest and time will tell how this plays out with the 40% Help to Buy Loans that have been made by the Government. Better news for other cities and regions though, where healthy house price increases continue to be recorded.