RMI market revival
Published: 28 August, 2009
NORTHAMPTON: Travis Perkins reported a switch among DIY homeowners and one man general contractors from decorating and outdoor products to bigger projects such as kitchen and bathroom refurbishments and extensions.
This coincides with the rebound in house prices that has surprised commentators, who had predicted falls of between 10% and 15% this year.
Nationwide's latest index shows the three-monthly rate of change rose from 2.7% in July to 3.3% in August – its highest level since February 2007, although house prices are still 14.4% below their peak in October 2007, the building society said.
Separate figures from the National House-Building Council show house builders starting new houses in the East Midlands, West Midlands, and Northern Ireland. House building in these regions was up by 12%, 8%, and 36% respectively in the three months to July, compared to the same period last year.
The NHBC recorded a 9.4% rise in the number of new starts across Britain to 23 661 between May and July compared with the previous three-monthly figure to June.
Imtiaz Farookhi, chief executive, said: "The Midlands was one of the earliest regions to feel the effects of the recession and its housing market one of the hardest-hit. Our statistics suggest that there are now clear indications of recovery."
Renewed confidence from house builders, Bovis and Persimmon, has encouraged the market although the supply of new homes is still well below past averages and behind government targets.