Social housing declines

New figures released today by National House-Building Council (NHBC) have revealed public sector housing registrations in the UK continue to fall.

Social housing numbers are down 41% for the rolling quarter March to May 2012, compared to the same period last year (7090 in 2012 as opposed to 12,003 in 2011).

Registrations to build new homes in the private sector, the current engine for much-needed growth in the UK’s overall housing supply, have also decreased (3%) from the same period last year (20,035 in 2012 – 20,559 in 2011).

However, comparison against March-May 2011 is affected by the registration of approximately 2800 London Olympic Village properties (split equally between the private and public sectors) during this period. With these units taken out of the equation there was actually an increase of 5% within the private sector during this quarter and 33% decrease in the public sector.

Several regions did, however, experience overall growth over the last three months across, including the West Midlands (2271 in 2012 – 1879 in 2011) and Wales (1286 in 2012 – 750 in 2011).

Commenting on the latest figures, Richard Tamayo, NHBC commercial director, said: “Our registration statistics continue to show a divide between the direction of travel for private and public sector registrations in the UK – with social housing levels falling but slight increases in the private sector.

“It is clear the government is maintaining its focus on increasing housing levels, as seen by Vince Cable’s recent housing crisis summit with Grant Shapps. It is critical that we also continue to monitor initiatives such as the NewBuy scheme to assess their success in increasing the number of new homes built across the UK.”