Number of new homes being built reaches five year high

The number of new homes registered in Northern Ireland rose by 27 per cent at the end of 2016 on the same period in 2015
The number of new homes registered in Northern Ireland rose by 27 per cent at the end of 2016 on the same period in 2015

THE number of new homes built in Northern Ireland in the final three months of last year rose by over a quarter on the same period in 2015 according to the latest government figures.

There were a total of 1,760 new dwelling 'starts' recorded from October to December 2016, the Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin has revealed.

The figure is a 27.4 per cent increase on the same quarter in 2015 (1,381) and is part of an overall rise in new starts, now at its highest level in five years.

Last year there were 6,713 starts, up 12 per cent in comparison to the 2014/15 figures (5,990).

The statistics, published yesterday show the total number of new dwelling completions increased by over 10 per cent to 1,750 in the final quarter of 2016 on the same period in 2015, but a six per cent decrease in 12 months in the number of new houses sold to 292.

The average new house price was up by almost six per cent at the end of 2016 in comparison to the previous quarter rising from £151,500 to £160,500, while overall the Northern Ireland House Price Index (HPI) increased by 5.7 per cent between the last quarter of 2015 and the same period last year.

There was further good news with a 24 per cent reduction in the number of households presenting themselves as homeless to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive during the last quarter of the year.

In total 3,752 households presented as homeless during October to December 2016, a decrease of 1,172 from the previous quarter.

The most common reason reported by those presenting as homeless was that their accommodation was not reasonable (880). This was followed by those who reported a sharing breakdown or family dispute (803).

The Housing Executive took on 2,147 applicants over the period, a significant decrease of 30.7 per cent on the previous quarter (3,096).

In terms of social housing in the financial year 2015/16 there were there were a total of 1,568 Social Housing Development Programme (SHDP) new social housing dwelling starts and 1,209 SHDP new social housing dwelling completions.

The Northern Ireland Housing Bulletin is produced each quarter by the Department for Communities.

The bulletin contains statistics on starts and completions, homelessness, the House Price Index and new National House Building Council (NHBC) registered dwellings sales and prices. The next edition will be published in late summer.