NHBC has released new data that shows that new home build registrations were up 10% in the first quarter of 2021 from the same period in 2020.

This is further proof of a strong recovery following a slump in Q2 of 2020 caused by the national lockdown which later rebounded in Q3 and Q4.

In Q1 of this year, 36,863 new homes were registered with NHBC, compared with 33,388 in the same period of 2020. House completions also saw an increase of 4% from Q1 2020 to 33,074 houses completed in Q1.

House registrations from the private sector have also increased by 10% from 24,615 in Q1 of 2020 to 26,985 in the same period for 2021.  The rental sector increased by 13% with 9,878 registrations, up from 8,773 in Q1 of 2020.

NHBC have put the increase down to the desire for long-term working from home instigated by the pandemic and which has resulted in increased demand for detached (up by 18%) and semi-detached (up by 30%) houses and with 21% less demand for apartments than in Q1 of 2020.

Nine out of 12 UK regions have seen increased registrations in Q1 compared to last year, with the highest uplifts in the North East (+61%), Eastern (+42%) and South West (+31%). London (-29%), West Midlands (-21%) and Wales (-14%) were the fallers.

Steve Wood, NHBC’s chief executive, said: “It is encouraging to see that new home registrations at the start of 2021 have overtaken registrations from the same time last year. Demand for detached and semi-detached houses has increased significantly during the pandemic, which has accelerated the longer-term trend to more home-based working.

“Increased new home registrations reflect growing confidence amongst builders, most of whom are forward sold through the summer. Allied to continued investment in Build to Rent, this suggests a strong outlook for the new-build sector in the year ahead.”

John Doughty, financial services director, new build division at Just Mortgages, added: “It is encouraging to see the rise in both new build home registrations and completions and housebuilding has certainly been picking up since last June after the first lockdown was lifted. This reflects our mortgage activity in the new build space, which has been boosted by the stamp duty holiday, Help to Buy and people’s desire for more space.

“Interesting, more detached and semi-detached houses are now being built compared to flats which saw an annual fall in registrations of 21% in Q1 2021. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have seen a rise in mortgage enquiries for houses than for flats. More people want a larger property for home working purposes and an outside garden area for relaxation and exercise.”