In a housing market that is already showing definite signs of recovery, there is one sector that is leading the way. New figures reveal that new build housing has undergone a 12 per cent price rise nationally in the last five years. According to analysis by one of the UKs leading mortgage lenders Halifax bank, average prices of newly built homes are now £233,822, which is nine per cent higher than the rest of the market.
There are regional variations, of course, including the Yorkshire and Humber area which is not as buoyant. Overall, however, it is true that, politically and socially, there is a will and a burgeoning market for newly built homes which address modern needs. This is helped by the variety of schemes on the market such as NewBuy and FirstBuy that help first-time buyers get onto the housing ladder.
According to the research, thirty seven per cent of these new builds are flats. This reflects the changing demographic of our nation, which is now more about smaller families and less stable living arrangements. A low maintenance flat can now be seen as the home of choice for young people who want to step onto the housing ladder. Many people seek the security of a communal compound for their cars and prefer a communal garden they dont have to tend. They are often more concerned about good heat insulation standards, as fuel bills claim an ever greater proportion of income, particularly for those living in older housing stock.
Housing developers have changed their game to ensure their design is not only functional, but is also attractive to modern eyes. They are keying in to new ways of thinking. Communities of people are now made at work and among established networks, not necessarily among neighbours. People increasingly want to close the front door, shut out the busy world and relax in comfort. A new survey by the Yorkshire Building Society shows 26 per cent dont even know who lives next door.
Prospective buyers of new homes know that the Government wants to create a favourable climate for them because it knows that house building is crucial to the general economic recovery. Thats why a raft of policies and schemes are now in place that encourages builders, investors and local councils to work together and to increase the supply of new builds. And thats why new buyers now find it easier to buy those new homes.
The higher than average prices of new build housing have become one of the essential market drivers, providing much needed impetus to get the housing market moving.
Martin Williamson is Head of Residential Property at Latimer Hinks Solicitors in Darlington. Latimer Hinks has a team of around 40 people serving private and corporate clients. For further information: www.latimerhinks.co.uk or call 01325 341500.
Please note: This article is intended as guidance only and does not constitute advice, financial or otherwise. No responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by Latimer Hinks. In addition, no responsibility for loss occasioned/costs arising as a result of any act/failure to act on the basis of this article can be accepted by the firm.