The number of new homes registered for construction by British builders in 2015 rose to its highest since the financial crisis, despite a slowdown in the second half of the year, an industry group has said.
The National House Building Council (NHBC) said 156,140 houses and apartments were registered in 2015, up 7% from 2014 and a level last exceeded in 2007.
House-building is a hot political topic in Britain, as it is here, as demand for housing outstrips supply.
The increase was driven by a surge in housing starts in the first half of 2015, which levelled off in the second half of the year.
The overall growth rate was similar to 2014.
The NHBC said it expected further single-digit percentage growth in 2016.
Total registrations rose 7% in 2015, slowing slightly from the 8% rise in 2014.
“There is still a long way to go before we are building the levels of new homes that were seen before the economic downturn, but 2015 represents consolidation on the growth seen over the last three years,” said NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton.
Britain’s government aims to build an extra 1m homes by 2020, amounting to 200,000 houses per year.
“It’s a challenge, we’re already at 170,000 completions. It’s heading in the right direction but I can’t guarantee we’ll get to [200,000],” Peter Andrew, deputy chairman of the House Builders Federation, said.
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