The number of new homes registered in the North East has reached its highest number since the start of the recession in 2008.
The National House-Building Council (NHBC) has revealed that 5,178 new houses were logged in the region last year, a 30% increase on the 2012 figures, which stood at 3,996.
In 2013, Tyne and Wear had the most entries with 2,098, followed by Cleveland at 1,680, Durham at 999 and Northumberland with 401.
Before the economic downturn, the North East had 8,574 registrations in total. But this fell sharply to 2,845 after the recession hit in 2008.
Overall, annual figures in the UK increased by 28% in 2013, compared to the previous year.
The statistics also show a broad-based sustained recovery across England with all regions reporting an increase in house-building from last year. Mike Quinton, NHBC chief executive, said: “Looking back at 2013 it is very clear that it has been the best in a number of years for the sector as a whole, across the entire country.
“Over the year, we have seen a genuine return of confidence to the industry as builders strive to meet the growing demand for new homes that the UK clearly needs.
“Government initiatives such as Help to Buy have also contributed to registrations increasing at their fastest rate since the downturn.
“According to our records, the North East saw a 30% rise while London enjoyed its highest ever annual total of new home registrations.
“However, let’s be clear that we are not popping the champagne corks just yet. As we have stressed throughout the recent upturn, this recovery has been from a historically low base.
“The UK still has a chronic shortage of new homes, with an unprecedented amount of young people still living at home and unable to get on the housing ladder.
“There is much work still to do, but the UK’s house-building industry is up for the challenge.”
Last week we reported that more than 13,000 new construction jobs were set to be created throughout the North East during the next five years.
Industry body CITB’s Construction Skills Network (CSN) predicts 13,400 additional posts will be required for major housing and industry projects now lined up for the region.
With an annual demand for 245,000 new homes across the UK, it is predicted that average output for public housing in the North East will grow 6.7% each year to 2018.
Private housing is not far behind as a driver for growth at 4.7%, while infrastructure output is forecast to rise 5.3%.
Between now and 2018, the North East as a whole will see average annual output grow 2.4%, slightly ahead of the national average of 2.2%, according to the CSN.
Key projects expected to contribute to this rise include Newcastle City Council’s £130m plan to build 1,200 new homes by 2017, and MGT Power’s new £400m biomass power plant on Teesside.
Steve Housden, sector strategy manager for CITB in the North East, said: “The CSN report shows that the economy is turning the corner and the North East’s construction industry will benefit from that.
“The Government’s Help-to-Buy scheme has kick-started demand across the housing market and new infrastructure projects in the North East will help create jobs.
“However, growth needs to be sustainable, underpinned by long-term infrastructure projects and continued investment.”