Brownfield Sites Could Unlock More Conveyancing Work

Surplus regional brownfield land could potentially open up doors to extra vital conveyancing work for the property industry.

Vacant land could help the Government meet its target of 300,000 houses per year and welcomed clients for conveyancers across the country.

The potential brownfield land available covers 75% of the houses England will need across the next decade, according to the private rented housing developer Platform, which commissioned the research.

Furthermore, adding Scotland and Wales into the mix would mean that such sites could account for 71% that is required.

Developer Platform, which plans to build approximately 1,000 build-to-rent homes confirmed 6,131 sites have the capacity to develop 367,771 homes across 23 urban areas in England, Scotland and Wales.

The sites were reserved for housing or left lying vacant, but Platform believe that if they were put aside for private sale homes delivery it could take decades to get permissions to build.

However, the developer has claimed that if the homes were designated as rental properties, due to their faster absorption rates, the built-out rate would be much faster as it would be reduced from 16 to less than 5 years.

Research previously carried out by the Investment Property Forum indicated that rates of sale for housing development generally averaged one to two units a week, if the houses were designated to letting it would be much higher, averaging around seven a week.

Jean-Marc Vandevivere, Platform’s Chief Executive, said:

“Clearly not all this housing is going to be built out at the same time, or even all for rent.

“But what we want to show is the sheer quantity of brownfield land there still is available, and how much more quickly we could start building that out if we targeted it at renters.

“Quite simply, rental blocks don’t have the same rates of absorption problems as housing for sale, and because of that we can build faster.”

At the end of last week, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government published new data that found the number of new homes completed by developers in the year ending June 2019 had surged to over 170,000 – which is the highest number built over the same period in the last 11 years.

The figures show a total of 173,660 new homes were built for the year ending June 2019 – representing an 8% increase compared with the previous year.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP commented on the figures. He said:

“As Housing Secretary, it’s my mission to get Britain building.

“The data released today is hugely welcome, with the number of new homes built reaching an 11-year high. We are moving in the right direction, but there is still much more to do if we are going to deliver the numbers needed by communities up and down the country.

“I’m determined to deliver homes that are high-quality, well designed and good for the planet. Faster and simpler planning regulations will help us reach that goal, which is why I have announced measures to accelerate planning decisions for homes and reduce the use of unnecessary conditions by up to a third, freeing up developers so they can get on and build in a locally appropriate way.

1 Comment

  • test

    I did hear of a local Council doing a deal with the Land Registry to have all its houses registered on separate titles to ease sales under the right-to-buy.

    Should not house builders be required to have new houses prepared for marketing and sale by first making the plots separate title?

    The council mentioned above later did a transfer of its stock to a housing association which had to make 5k searches of whole

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