Despite the trials and tribulations that many developers and house builders face in the UK, supply in the country’s housing market reached its highest level since March this year, writes property developer Richard Carr.
Property supply on the up – but will it continue?
The number of new homes available to buyers increased by 41% in August, which is the highest level experienced by estate agents since March 2016 when there was an average of 54 properties registered per branch.
This has resulted in there being an increase in the number of first time buyers with the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) reporting that the number of sales made to new property owners increased in August from 25% of total sales in July to 28%.
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has blamed a lack of available and viable land in the UK as to why small and medium sized builders are struggling to deliver new homes, according to propertywire.com.
Is land really an issue for construction firms?
It’s the second year in a row that a large proportion of SME house builders have cited a lack of land for not building more homes. The FMB’s research found that two thirds of SME house builders believe there isn’t enough viable land in the UK.
Furthermore, they cited problems with the planning system and difficulties accessing finance as other challenges.
Property Developer Richard Carr understands the problems and also agrees with their complaints regarding under resourced local planning authorities, as he believes the government should be doing more to help councils.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has given the green light to plans for the single largest regeneration development site in the capital.
How the new scheme will look fully developed
The 10,000 new homes plan on a 180 hectare brownfield site in Barking will deliver approximately 5,000 affordable properties.
The affordable homes, located on the northern banks of the River Thames, will be available to rent and buy for first time buyers.
Khan is keen to offer more affordable homes in the capital and has agreed a scheme that includes a minimum of 35% affordable from the outset, but with provisions to raise this to 50% over time through additional investment and viability reviews.
Developers and the construction industry are continuing to do their upmost to lift the country from the housing crisis with the latest figures revealing that new house building increased in July, up 5.6% on the previous year.
Output is increasing
The amount of orders being placed for new homes increased by a massive 25% between the first and second quarter of 2016, which is the highest increase since 1967 when growth rose to 44.1%.
A major factor in the increase was the amount of new orders being received in the second quarter of the year for private new houses, which increased by 28.2% to a level of £3.5billion. That level is the highest second quarter for nine years when, back in 2007, it was £3.6billion.
Once again, the quarter on quarter increase highlights that the gloomy Brexit predictions are yet to be realised.
Poole-based property developer Richard Carr is annoyed and disappointed to read that developers are being blamed for the country’s housing supply crisis.
Property Developers aren’t to blame for the housing crisis
Richard Carr has been in the industry for three decades and believes the problems start and end with the government and the restrictions that they place on developers, which slow down and prevent properties being built.
However, after analysing recent research independent think-tank Civitas has claimed that councils have granted enough planning consents to meet the government’s target of building one million new homes by 2020.
Civitas’ editorial director, Daniel Bentley, told planningportal.co.uk: “Local authority planning departments have been under enormous pressure in recent years and are frequently blamed by developers for holding up housebuilding.
Despite the many warnings and concerns that were raised ahead of the UK’s referendum in June about a possible collapse of the housing market, the industry has remained strong according to the latest analysis.
The finger has been pointed at many possible reasons, but who or what is responsible for the current state of the country’s housing shortage?
Who is to blame for the housing shortage?
Poole-based property developer Richard Carr has worked in the industry for 30 years and has seen just about everything. He’s currently managing a number of high profile developments in the south of England including the £100m redevelopment of Salterns Marina in Poole.
New analysis produced by the London School of Economics has pointed the finger squarely at the government for the housing crisis, explaining that decades of planning policies that constrain the supply of houses and land and turn them into something like gold is to blame.
Salford, Greater Manchester, is leading the way in terms of brownfield development with a recent report from its council showing that 87.9% of new homes were built on brownfield land, writes property developer Richard Carr.
Middlewood Locks in Salford
Richard Carr believes that councils and home builders should target brownfield land before looking at green belt land for developments. Building upon disused brownfield land can regenerate communities and bring life into areas that was suffering economically.
Salford City Council’s report covered the period between April 1 2015 and March 31 2016. The result is pleasing one for the council who have encouraged developers to use brownfield sites as far as possible.
Councillor Derek Antrobus told salfordonline.com: “Salford needs new homes and we need as many as possible to be built on brownfield sites. This not only eases pressure on green spaces but it means new homes are built closer to existing jobs, schools and shops.