The new-build market is gaining momentum across the UK, and the latest data shows further signs of growth as more new homes reach completion.
With all the news of rising energy prices, poor housing efficiency and the climate crisis, it isn’t necessarily a surprise that new-build homes – and property investments – are increasing in popularity. Alongside this, the government’s housebuilding target is pushing towards greater availability.
New research from whathouse.com has revealed the extent of this soaring appetite, showing an 11% increase in the number of house-hunters searching for new-build properties in July compared with the previous month. This was evident across all regions in the UK, and every property type.
The total number of people seeking new-builds, according to whathouse.com, was 48,310 in the month. This was greatest in the south east (7,326 searches), followed by the east (6,289), the West Midlands (6,046), the south west (5,697) and the north west (5,212).
The biggest increases in July were seen in the north east, with a rise of 23% in the number of searches month on month, and the north west (an 18% increase).
Buyers seeking luxury
While most buyers recognise that new-build properties tend to be more expensive than their existing counterparts, they are attractive due to a number of benefits that win out over older homes. Energy efficiency is one of the biggest selling points, particularly with people looking to lower their bills.
Other plus points include, when buying off-plan, the ability to sometimes tailor the design of the home, making it higher spec, for example, or choosing a specific plot. There is also the draw of no one having lived in it before, meaning no work needs to be done for a while.
The whathouse.com report also noted an increase in buyer searches for luxury new-build homes in July, up by 22% compared with June across the UK on average. However, London saw a 67% drop in this area, potentially demonstrating a loss of confidence due to the rising cost of living.
Collapse prediction is “extremely premature”
Daniel Hill, managing director of Show House and whathouse.com, said: “This month’s positive data regarding new build searches highlights that predictions about a widespread collapse in the housing market are extremely premature. Demand across all key sectors and all regions covered remains robust.
“High prices, the general cost-of-living crunch, and especially August’s interest rate rise to 1.75% – the biggest jump in 27 years – may well cause buyer demand to gradually cool later this year.
“But for now, our search data shows that there is a continuing desire to move, and it seems that those who are in a position to buy are keen to act now rather than wait, perhaps in a bid to lock in more favourable fixed-term mortgage rates.”
New-build construction at pre-pandemic levels
Another sign of strength in this side of the market is the news that in the second quarter of 2022, new home completions were up by 16% compared with last year. This has brought the level back to where we were before the pandemic hit, according to NHBC.
The data showed that 40,289 new residential properties were completed in Q2, while registrations also increased by 45% – bringing them to 66,855.
The increase in completions was led by the private sector, said NHBC, which reported an increase of 23% compared with the second quarter of 2021 with 29,963 new properties.
Steve Wood, NHBC’s CEO, said: “Our latest figures demonstrate that output from the new homes market has made a solid return to pre-pandemic levels.
“At this stage, we are not seeing evidence that the cost-of-living crisis or risks of recession are affecting consumer demand, whilst registration levels reinforce continued confidence within the sector.”
BuyAssociation has a range of new-build and off-plan property investment opportunities available across the UK, as well as renovated existing homes. Get in touch for more information.