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New housing report shows big changes in the mix

* HobsonFord-housing-mix-chart.jpgChanges in the housing mix since 1999 have started to unwind, according to the latest report on housing trends from HobsonFord Associates in association with The National House-Building Council. The Market Insights report, Trends in the Mix of UK New Build Housing, is a summary of trends from more than 4 million housing starts over the last 24 years.

"Changes in the mix can have a profound effect on material usage and value for many buyers," comments Glen Ford, Director of HobsonFord Associates, who produced the report, and has been given exclusive access to previously unavailable NHBC data.

The report shows a return in 2010 to traditional housing, with family housing in England at 54% in 2010, rising from a low of 40% in 2008. A return to traditional build methods (eg bricks and blocks over timberframe) is also marked in most of the UK with the notable exception of Scotland. As the construction of apartments has levelled off, the previous sharp increase in off-site construction has proved to be a blip in the market thus far.

Free-market housing is also on the increase, although at 32% of new housing the affordable housing market is still considerable. However, prospects for affordable housing are uncertain given government cuts. As 55% of off-site residential new build and 49% of apartments were built for affordable housing in 2010 any reduction in affordable housing, even temporary, will have significant implications for apartments and the off-site industry. Regional differences are also marked - London leads the market for affordable housing with just over 50% of new build in 2010.

"Changes in the mix of new housing since 1999 have had a fundamental effect upon the housing industry. Companies need to have greater certainty about future demand and, importantly, the nature of this demand. Accurate analysis about these trends is vitally important to the supply-chain, something that has been sadly lacking in the past", adds Glen.

HobsonFord's housing report tracks changes in plot area, average number of bedrooms and changes in build methods, so contractors, suppliers and social housing landlords can understand the impact of trends and determine their future strategy. Information is broken down to Local Authority level so trends in regional and sub-regional builds can be tracked.

Caption: The mix of new dwellings (traditional build, free-market, the number of houses) changed dramatically in the last 10 years, but 2010 indicates a partial reversal of these trends, which could have a profound effect on material usage and value for buyers.

E: [email protected]
W: www.hobsonford.co.u

11th March 2011

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