New home applications rise

Applications to build houses across the UK rose in the last quarter of 2016, according to the NHBC. It said applications to build new homes between October and December 2016 rose 64 per cent from 15,879 to 26,078 compared with the same period in 2015. This was driven by the private sector, where applications surged 113 per cent, from 8,646 in the last quarter of 2015, to 18,393 in 2016. Public sector demand saw a six per cent rise, from 7,233 to 7,685. Imtiaz Farookhi, chief executive of the NHBC, said: ‘Our house building colleagues across the industry have shown cautious optimism as they reveal their predictions for 2017. Now the nation’s housebuilders need support from the government as they see their way out of this downturn and try to meet the need for new homes.’