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New home registrations in the UK have hit a seven year high, with the private sector continuing to drive growth, according to the latest figures from the National House Building Council (NHBC).
 
The total number of registrations for quarter three of 2014 - 36,343 - was an 8% increase on quarter three 2013, up from the 3% annual increase witnessed in quarter two. These figures signified the strongest third quarter since 2007.
 
Private sector registrations went up by 14% to 28,468, whereas public sector registrations continued to spiral downwards, falling 8% to 7,875 when compared with the same period a year ago. However, this trend for the public sector is likely to reverse in the near future as the next phase of the government’s Affordable Housing Programme has recently been allocated.
 
NHBC’s CEO, Mike Quinton, said that the previous quarter’s level of registrations had suggested that growth was slowing. Now, though, it could be starting to accelerate again.
 
“Following the dramatic growth in 2013, we saw a period of consolidation in the first half of this year, but our latest data would suggest that the price of growth is picking up again.” He added: “Our figures show that the sharp housing upturn we have seen over the last couple of years is a genuine broad based recovery across the whole of the country, with pockets of strong growth in the North East, Yorkshire & Humberside and West Midlands.”
 
However, he warned that numbers are still from a low base and are nowhere near where they should be. “That all main political parties viewed housing as an ongoing crucial issue reinforces the fact that the country urgently needs more high quality and affordable new homes,” he concluded.
 
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, also offered comment: “Help to Buy has increased the demand for new homes and builders are responding. The industry has increased its output at the quickest rate for 40 years and is looking to continue ratcheting up supply still further.”
 
He added: “The industry is developing its supply chains and recruiting thousands of employees across the country from apprentices to experienced workers. This is giving the economy a huge boost whilst delivering more of the high quality homes the country needs.”
 

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