28 Nov 2019
Construction firms in the UK have affirmed plans to build over 15,000 new homes, marking a slight increase from the same time last year.
The news arrives amid prolonged uncertainty surrounding Brexit and prior to Britain’s general election on December 12.
The latest figures indicate construction activity has escalated sharply in the affordable and rental sector, rising 22% during the August-October period, compared to the same three months in 2018. This includes social housing, developer homes at ‘affordable’ rent and shared ownership, Yahoo news reports.
In total, 15,343 new homes were registered with the National House Building Council (NHBC) in October. The NHBC offers warranties and insurance to around 80% of all new homes in Britain.
This marked a 6% increase compared to last year, despite the growth not being spread evenly across all of the UK.
Over the summer months, four out of 12 regions witnessed a jump in construction activity, with the West Midlands recording a whopping 56% rise in the sector. Construction work in London also edged higher, climbing 10% from the same time last year.
NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said: “Following several months of slowdown as a result of Brexit uncertainties, it is promising to see encouraging numbers for October.”
The data includes all registrations, and not the start or completion of work. Builders register new plots or home to be constructed over the future weeks or months with warranty and insurance providers.
The figures arrive following a more extensive survey across the broader UK construction sector revealed activity contracted in October, but was up from the month prior.
According to the IHS Markit/CIPS constructing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), construction activity climbed to a level of 44.2, higher than the 43,3 recorded in September but still below the 50 mark.