New home registration figures for the public sector during the rolling quarter February to April 2012 plunged 49% to 5,867, compared to the same time last year.
Although overall figures to build new homes in the UK were also down 15%, registrations to build new homes in the private sector were up 5% at 20,168 when compared with the same period last year.
The comparison against the February to April 2011 period is affected by the registration of approximately 2,800 London Olympic Village properties.
Taking these units out of the equation, private sector registrations in the UK rose by 14% overall, with almost all the English regions experiencing some growth. However 2012 still saw a substantial drop in social housing registrations.
Richard Tamayo, NHBC Commercial Director said: “Despite seeing modest, but sustainable and widespread growth in private housing, the large drop-off in social housing registrations mean that overall volumes have fallen compared with the same period last year.
“This reduction in social housing may simply be a hiatus as the industry moves from one funding model to another.
“Meanwhile, it seems clear that the private sector is likely to continue to be the engine for much-needed growth in overall housing supply.
“Therefore monitoring the success of initiatives such as the New Buy scheme and changes to make the planning system more flexible will be key to understanding how the next few years will play out.”