New homes 'only account for 14% of sales'

by Gary Whittaker

Only 14 per cent of homes purchased in the UK are new builds, a new survey has revealed. 
The Land Registry data for 2016 may come as a blow to anyone thinking the shortage of homes for owner occupancy is well on its way to being resolved, despite the recent news from the government that annual housebuilding in England has topped the 200,000 mark for the first time in nearly a decade after years of increasing output. 

During the course of last year, 36,179 new builds were sold, with the regional variations being highly pronounced. The highest proportion of sales accounted for by freshly constructed properties occurred in Cambridge at 21 per cent, followed by 20 per cent in London and 19.9 per cent in Newport, with Exeter and Newcastle close behind.

By contrast, the other historic university city of Oxford saw just 4.3 per cent of sales accounted for by new builds, while the figure in Newport's neighbour Cardiff was 5.6 per cent. New build sales also accounted for less than ten per cent of the total in Ipswich, Stoke-on-Trent, Swansea, Nottingham, Birmingham, Leeds, Hull and Southampton. 

While the supply remains short, many will look to go on renting, while some might also consider it better to go for an older home than a newbuild.

There are good reasons for such a preference, according to Adrian Smith from Fasthomes. He said: "Buying an existing property offers several advantages over a brand new home. Firstly, there is the price factor as new builds are on average more expensive. 

"Secondly, old homes, especially those built before 1980, tend to be bigger than new builds. And finally, there are simply not enough new homes."

He said the preference will change until such time as supply and demand are closely matched.

The news comes a week after chancellor Philip Hammond used his Budget speech to outline plans to bolster housebuilding output to 300,000 a year.

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28-November-17General Lettings News