Following eight months of steady progress the UK’s residential property market is picking up with prices and buyer demand rising, writes property developer Richard Carr.
Property market enjoying post Brexit growth
According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), 8% of surveyors reported an increase in buyer enquires in September 2016, which is a significant turnaround based on June when a net balance of 34% of respondents report a drop.
Despite this small positive there’s still the major use around the supply of new homes. As a result, the number of new instructions being received by agents fell once again meaning the average level of stock on estate agents books remains close to historic lows at just over 45 properties.
Richard Carr, a Poole-based property developer, believes that investment into new housing should be spread fairly across towns, cities and counties in the UK. The Housing and Finance Institute believes more money should be given to councils in districts that are leading the way as they are currently under resourced.
According to the Institute, large cities in the UK receive higher amounts of investment, however they are responsible for only around 30% of new homes.
The HFI’s report found that around 70% of new homes and granted planning permissions are in the district and unitary councils, who are facing resource problems.
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 Sadiq Khan is building on his commitment to provide more affordable homes by launching a new tenancy scheme to help renters save money for their home deposit, writes property developer Richard Carr.
London Living Rent
Can the Mayor help improve the housing situation in London?
The London Mayor made making London more affordable to live in one of his commitments when he took over from Boris Johnson earlier this year. The early details of the London Living Rent outline proposals to help average earners in London save for a deposit by offering them a below market rent based a third of average household incomes in each borough.
Although the scheme is in its infancy, Khan has already began discussions with housing associations and boroughs to kick start the delivery of new homes.
On top of his tenancy scheme, the Mayor has also signalled his intention to protect London’s stock of social housing for those on low incomes.
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.
According to propertywire.com new measures in the UK’s updated Neighbourhood Planning Bill will support more house building and will give local councils more say over housing developments, writes Richard Carr.
Will the new bill speed up the delivery of new housing?
New Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell has promised that the new bill will speed up and strengthen the neighbourhood planning process by making it easier for plans to be revised if local circumstances change.
Barwell told propertywire.com: “We need to build more homes and this Bill is the first of a number of measures to deliver on that. We have already built more than 900,000 homes since 2010 and now this Bill will help speed up delivery of the further new homes our country needs and ensure our foot is still firmly on the pedal.
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.
The majority of property planners believe that a more stable planning system would provide greater certainty for developers and communities and help get the country building again.
According to recent research from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) an overwhelming majority of planners blame decades of planning changes for their ability to work effectively and deliver new homes.
TheDelivering the Value of Planning report showed that a massive 73% of planners believe “constant changes” to planning rules have “hindered their ability to deliver good places”. Richard Carr, a property developer in the south of England, understands the problems and believes the government needs to loosen its grip on the system and make it easier for planners to deliver new developments.
Over half of respondents said that government policy changes had provided obstacles to the delivery of new homes, whilst almost 75% said that the profession had a reduced capacity to deliver.