NHBC finds retirement housing is on the up

The NHBC has released figures showing that more retirement homes were registered to be built in the first six months of this year than in the whole of 2014.

Builders registered a total of 2,337 properties specifically designed for the elderly in the first six months of 2015. During the whole of 2014 only 1,919 were registered.

More generally, NHBC reported that more than 41,000 new homes were registered in the UK during the last three months – an increase of 12% on the same period last year.

In total, 41,268 new homes (30,462 private sector; 10,806 public sector) were registered, compared to 36,986 (27,388 private sector; 9,598 public sector) registered during the second quarter of last year.

According to the figures, Northern regions are helping to “power growth” in the new housing sector with the North West and Merseyside reporting a 74% increase in new homes registered in the rolling quarter from April to June 2015 – up from 2,243 last year to 3,911.

While London and the South East continue to drive new housing growth in terms of volume of homes registered, there was a 2% drop in the numbers of new homes registered in the capital over the rolling quarter. The South East saw a drop of 16%.

The public sector is also showing “encouraging signs” of a revival with a 13% increase in affordable homes registered in the whole of the UK over the last three months from 9,598 in Q2 2014 to 10,806 in Q2 2015.

Meanwhile, the NHBC Foundation – NHBC’s research arm – has commissioned two separate pieces of research to better understand the future housing needs of an ageing population as well as help people looking to downsize.

“We are very encouraged to see an increase in the number of retirement homes being registered. It is widely acknowledged that the UK has a shortage of homes for the elderly, which is having a knock on effect on the rest of the housing market,” said NHBC chief executive, Mike Quinton.

"Our figures show that 2015 is shaping up to be an encouraging year for new housing growth with new housing registrations up 12% on the second quarter of last year.

“However, we have made clear that while all signs of growth are to be welcomed, the UK is still building way below the volumes of homes that we need. There is a long way to go before our housing crisis is over.”

Mike Jennings, group operations director for McCarthy & Stone, added: “As the UK’s leading retirement house builder we are encouraged to see a growing number of retirement property registrations. In the first six months of 2015 we have registered 1,850 new retirement apartments with the NHBC and we will be investing £2 billion in land and build over the next 4 years, which will deliver around 12,000 new retirement properties.

“However more has to be done to address the needs of last time buyers. There is a chronic undersupply of specialist retirement housing in the UK. We would like to see a national strategy for retirement housing and stronger government policies to support its provision.

“We look forward to working with the NHBC Foundation to advance thinking and create solutions to address the housing needs of our ageing population.”

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