New home registrations surged by 25% and new completions were up by 21% in 2021


There were 153,339 new home registrations in 2021, a 25% increase on 2020.

Figures from the National House Building Council show that compared to the eight-year-low seen in 2020, where registrations fell to 122,935, the sector experienced a significant rebound as it emerges from the pandemic. New home completions also showed a significant uplift in 2021, increasing by 21% to 139,333 (2020 115,561).

Despite the large increase in the number of new home registrations, Housing Today stated that: “The figure is still down… on the previous three years, with 160,159 registered in 2017, 158,873 in 2018 and 160,159 in 2019.”

Private sector registrations drove growth

Private sector registrations were the key driver, rising from 80,475 in 2020 to 114,477 in 2021, an increase of more than 40%. In contrast, new home registrations in the rental sector decreased 8% from 42,460 in 2020 to 38,862 in 2021, in part due to the deflection of Housing Association capital budgets towards building safety remediation on existing housing stock.

11 out of 12 UK regions saw growth in new home registrations in 2021. The North East experienced the strongest growth (registrations up by 74% to 7,467), with significant increases in the North West (where Advantage has its headquarters, at 26%), Yorkshire & Humberside (31%), East Midlands (50%), Eastern (46%), South West (33%), Scotland (43%) and Northern Ireland & Isle of Man (28%). London was the only region to see a decline in registrations in 2021, down 27% compared to 2020, due to a combination of pandemic effects and some hesitation on apartment block registrations.

Registrations for detached homes saw the largest increase

The pandemic has caused some change in attitude towards housing, with more people using their home for work, as well as reflecting on recreational and family life. Registrations for detached, semi-detached, terraced homes and bungalows all increased in 2021. Detached homes saw the largest increase, rising 47% from 35,520 in 2020 to 52,190 in 2021. Apartments were the only house type to see a year-on-year drop (-15%) from 32,625 registrations in 2020 to 27,867 in 2021.

Although there has been a clear drop in the number of apartment registrations, NHBC believes that the ‘death of the city’ is over-stated and they expect to see apartment registrations start to increase in the medium-term, particularly with the continued investment in the build to rent sector.

From the archives: Advantage looks at why build to rent construction is on the rise.

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