Business

NHBC finds fewer new homes being built in Northern Ireland

House building in the north appears to have slowed down according to registration data

THE number of new homes being built in Northern Ireland have dropped by almost 18 per cent in the past year, according to the latest figures.

Statistics from the National House Building Council (NHBC) revealed there were 651 new houses registered in the first quarter of the year - compared to 777 for the same three-month period in 2015.

The rate of decline is greater than the UK average, with overall home registrations down 9 per cent to 36,566.

However, taking the past 12 months together total registrations were 10 per cent up on the previous year and 80 per cent than recession figures.

Overall, there were 28,398 new homes registered in the private sector, a 7 per cent decrease on a year ago, with the public and affordable sector down 15 per cent with 8,168 new homes registered.

NHBC is the leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK with 80 per cent market share.

Its chief executive Mike Quinton said the latest data show "that the industry is consolidating on the strong growth in registrations seen in recent years".

"Registrations are now around 80 per cent higher than the depths of the financial crisis in 2008/09, driven by increased activity from private sector house-builders."

The statistics follow a warning from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) earlier this week that Northern Ireland building firms were over-reliant on work in Britain.

In its latest State of Trade report for the first quarter of 2016, the federation noted an increase in workloads which was "masking" a lack of indigenous activity in the industry.

Its analysis showed a 15 per cent increase in work for the private housing sector, although building of social housing, while improving, remained static for the majority of building firms surveyed across the north.

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