Housebuilding optimism increases in Q1 2024

The outlook for new private housebuilding work over the coming year has brightened in recent weeks, reveals new research from Glenigan.

After some tough times in 2023, an upturn in new housing output in January and a series of encouraging industry surveys point to better times ahead for the sector, particularly in the North and the Midlands.

Recent falls in mortgage rates and the prospect of cuts in interest rates has given a lift to the overall housing market.

The latest February RICS UK residential survey of estate agents shows a more positive trend in buyer enquiries and new listings, with sales expected to rise modestly in the near-term and gain further momentum over the year.

Most UK regions showed a recovery in buyer interest.

This pattern is reflected in the March edition of the Glenigan Construction Review, which highlights various regional brightspots beyond the Southeast where opportunities for new housing work has been picking up.

It shows that the value of new housing project starts in the West Midlands rose to £854m in the three months to February, up 19% compared to the same period a year ago.

On the same basis, the East Midlands saw an 8% increase in new housing project starts to £768m.

Meanwhile, the new work pipeline for housing shows signs of improving in the Northwest.

Detailed planning approvals for new housing work in the region rose 13% to £1.97bn in the three months to February, making it the second most active region in the country.

Residential planning approvals in the Southwest also rose 27% in the period and were worth £1.41bn.

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