Demand accelerates for co-ownership scheme in Northern Ireland
The number of homes built in Northern Ireland has gone up 12% to 6,467, new figures have revealed.
The housing statistics for 2016 to 2017 from the Department for Communities also show there were a total of 783,272 properties in the province in April, up 6,746 on the year before. It's part of an overall increase in the housing stock since 2008.
There were 1,387 social housing dwelling completions, up from 1,209 the year before.
And there were 7,795 planning applications for new homes during the year - an increase of 8%. Of the 7,744 decisions on these, 94% were positive.
The figures were revealed as Co-ownership Housing announced that 27,000 new homes have now been purchased through the scheme, in which buyers are helped on to the housing ladder through a combination of renting and owning.
The scheme said results for 2016/17 show first-time buyers made up 96% of completions, up 2% on the year before.
Mark Graham, chief executive of Co-Ownership Housing, said: "We have seen significant year-on-year increases in applications to Co-Ownership Housing.
"Demand for co-ownership as a route to home ownership continues to increase as the struggle for many to raise funds to get a mortgage persists.
"Indeed, this is clear from our recent annual report showing that 96% of home purchases this year were first-time buyers."
Co-Ownership Housing is a not-for-profit organisation part-funded and regulated by the Department for Communities.