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London housebuilding registrations drop a third

London saw a steep contraction in housebuilding registrations in 2012, while affordable housing drops by a quarter nationwide.

According to the latest figures from the National House Building Council, UK registrations dropped 9 per cent in 2012, to 104,510, from 114,930 in 2011.

Completions, however, increased 1 per cent, from 113,880 in 2011 to 114,550 in 2012.

Private housing continued to outperform affordable, which saw a 28 per cent contraction in registrations, falling to just 26,390, and a 7 per cent drop in completions, which stood at 34,280 in 2012.

The largest contraction in registration across sectors was in London, where they dropped 33 per cent.

The North East, conversely, saw a 24 per cent increase in registrations between 2011 and 2012.

Regional directors at the NHBC said the English market had seen a “leveling out”, but saw a continued undersupply of new homes, particularly in the affordable sector.

Wales saw increases in both private and public completions as large, stalled sites were realized, while Northern Ireland experienced a “moderate decline”.

Scotland experienced a stabilization in registration levels, with a slight decline on 2011.

NHBC commercial director Richard Tamayo said: “2012 was a challenging year for the house building industry overall but ended on an encouraging note with Q4 figures 17% up on the same period for 2011. 

“With Government-backed schemes such as NewBuy and Funding for Lending helping to increase mortgage availability, there are reasons to believe that 2013 may see the industry able to build on some of the positive momentum we saw towards the end of 2012, which does seem to be carrying over into January. “

“Nonetheless, with house-building volumes so far below the numbers desperately needed in the UK, this is clearly an issue that needs to remain at the heart of government policy.”

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