Belfast Telegraph

Increase in new homes being built in Northern Ireland 'not enough'

By John Mulgrew

The number of new homes registered in Northern Ireland has risen by a third year-on-year, new figures have shown.

The latest statistics from the National House Building Council (NHBC) showed there were 780 finished new homes across Northern Ireland between March and May this year.

That's up 33% on the same period a year earlier.

And it's more than double the rise witnessed across the UK as a whole.

Registrations increased by 15% to 43,987 across the UK, compared to the same period last year.

But John Armstrong, managing director of the Construction Employers Federation, said it's still not enough.

"We welcome the figures very much, but we are still not building enough houses, based on the Government's housing growth indicators," he said.

That view was echoed by Stephen Kane, chairman of the Construction Industry Group.

"I don't think it's enough to sustain the industry - we are starting from a low base. While it is welcome, we are some way off where we need to be."

"We need to invest in the infrastructure to support new housing."

Commenting on the latest statistics, NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton said this year new home registrations "remain consistently ahead of 2014 levels, which is clearly encouraging news for the industry".

Meanwhile, the latest figures come after two of Northern Ireland's biggest housing associations announced they had merged, with plans for a £340m investment - creating more than 2,500 homes.

Belfast Telegraph