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NHBC reveals third successive rise in new home starts

New home starts in the UK rose for a third successive quarter on quarter in May, latest statistics from the National House-Building Council have revealed.

Providing further evidence of a tentative recovery in housebuilding 19,286 applications we received by NHBC to build new homes in the three months to the end of May.

The figure is 8 per cent higher than the previous rolling quarter in the three months to April and 19 per cent higher than the three months to March this year.

Although NHBC figures show that housebuilding activity is still extremely low compared to the same three month period a year ago, the drop in applications to build is becoming less pronounced.

NHBC figures for the three months to the end of May show a 43 per cent reduction in the number of applications compared to the same period a year ago, while in the three months to the end of March and April 2009, the year-on-year drop in applications was 57 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.      

NHBC chief executive Imtiaz Farookhi said: “NHBC’s latest figures point to further improvements in housebuilding production, albeit from an extremely low base.

“Any recovery is likely to be fragile in the short term and volumes in the next few months will be key in determining if this recovery is sustainable.

“The significance of these figures is that they suggest we may now have passed the lowest point in housing production for the current cycle.”

The average number of daily sales of new homes in the UK from March to May 2009 was 332 – 26 per cent lower than the 452 in the same period a year ago.