Housebuilding target constructionsite

Boost for housebuilding target as new home registrations rise

The government’s housebuilding target of 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s has faced plenty of obstacles, but the latest figures show positive progress.

The latest figures from the National House Building Council (NHBC) have revealed that new UK home registrations have increased by 25% in the first quarter of this year compared with Q1 2021.

This equates to a total of 45,991 new-builds registered to be built across the country. Of these, 35,134 were in the private sector, while only 26,773 were private sector properties in the first quarter of last year.

Affordable and build-to-rent properties also saw an increase in registrations of 10%, to 10,857. The build-to-rent sector is seeing a huge increase in interest and investment at the moment, with many in the market expecting the niche to see significant gains in the coming years.

Strong start after difficult period

The government’s housebuilding target was first unveiled in 2017 by then Chancellor Philip Hammond. The aim was to significantly increase supply, which would to prevent skyrocketing house prices and keep enough affordable homes available for those who need them.

While the housebuilding target has yet to be met, the NHBC’s figures show a strong start to the year ahead. There are some major regional variations, too, with certain areas performing particularly strongly.

London, for example, has seen a 51% increase in new homes registered to be built there in Q1 2022, compared with Q1 2021. In England, the East and West Midlands have both seem significant increases of 65% and 52% respectively.

Both of these areas are seeing some big regeneration projects take place, and growing levels of investment there have been influenced by people and businesses leaving London in favour of other regions.

When separated by property type, the NHBC also noted that ever house type had seen an increase in registrations, contributing towards the overall housebuilding target. Detached homes in particular saw a strong rise, to a 20-year high of 16,090 registrations in the quarter.

Overcoming challenges

The target was set before the Covid pandemic hit, and before the ongoing effects of Brexit were to become apparent. Rising costs as well as shortages in the industry have all negatively impacted the ability to build.

Steve Wood, NHBC’s CEO, said: “We have seen a strong start to the year with a 25% uplift in new home registrations in the quarter, reflecting a reasonably buoyant new-build market and strong forward sales.

“Material and labour supply shortages continue to be a challenge, but this is now being managed by housebuilders as ‘the new normal’.

“Inflationary pressures and the strain on household budgets may yet impact market activity, with this likely to be dampened by continued strong demand in both private sale and rental sectors.”

Housebuilding target still to be reached

In a recent interview between Michael Gove and BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the Levelling-Up Secretary addressed the challenges that the industry has faced in meeting its goals.

“We’re going to do everything we can [to meet the target] – but it’s no kind of success simply to hit a target if the homes are shoddy, in the wrong place, don’t have the infrastructure required and are not contributing to beautiful communities,” he said.

“Arithmetic is important but so is beauty.”

The UK came relatively close to hitting the housebuilding target in 2019-2020, with 242,700 net additional dwellings recorded. This fell to 216,490 in 2020-2021, which was partly due to the effects of the pandemic slowing the sector down.

Since the government set its target, house prices have risen significantly. In 2017, the average property price was £215,113, while this figure has now risen to £276,755 according to February’s ONS figures. As such, building affordable homes also remains a key part of the promise.

Self-certified Sophisticated Investor

Please read

I declare that I am a self-certified sophisticated investor for the purposes of the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. I understand that this means:

I am a self-certified sophisticated investor because at least one of the following applies:

I accept that the investments to which the promotions will relate may expose me to a significant risk of losing all of the money or other property invested. I am aware that it is open to me seek advice from someone who specialises in advising on non-mainstream pooled investments.

High Net Worth Investor

Please read

I make this statement so that I can receive promotional communications which are exempt from the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. The exemption relates to certified high net worth investors and I declare that I qualify as such because at least one of the following applies to me:



Sign-up for first access to new developments and exclusive property investment opportunities.

We send limited and targeted emails on new launches and exclusive deals which best fit your areas. We are trusted by over 30,000 active buyers as their source for new stock.

  • New property developments
  • Professional market reports
  • Property deal alerts
  • Development updates
UK holiday let


Receive trending news straight to your inbox and stay up to date on all of the property market trends and advice.

Established since 2005 we are a leading voice of authority and commentary on the UK property market. Our news is trusted by Apple News & Google News.

  • UK housing market
  • Mortgage & money
  • Buy-to-let landlords
  • Guides & advice

Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today:


+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT


+852 6699 9008

Open from 9am-6pm HKT