SmartNewHomes.com claims that it is the UK’s leading new homes website, representing 85% of all new homes for sale in England, Wales and Scotland.
Steve Lees, Marketing Director of SmartNewHomes.com said “June saw the lowest number of new homes brought to market since the start of the SmartNewHomes.com New Homes Index. House builders have long been warning of the dire shortage in the supply of new homes, caused by a lack of suitable land and excessive regulation, but planning authorities have not taken action. Now the scale of the problem is becoming clear, as schemes that stalled due to early-stage funding and planning issues during the worst of the downturn are now delayed in coming to market, interrupting the normal flow of new homes available for sale.
Average prices for new homes slipped by -1.2% to £217,845.
The report did identify a number of positives for builders.
Steve Lees said “Developers have shown impressive initiative in overcoming the problems posed by inflexible mortgage providers. The latest example of the sector’s imaginative response is the innovative ‘Perfect 10’ deal between Bovis and the Woolwich, whereby the developer takes on a proportion of the risk, allowing buyers easier access to credit while also appeasing the lender. As well as helping individual buyers, the confidence of Bovis in its product, implicit in the structure of the mortgage offer, can only help breed confidence in the wider market and we expect to see similar deals struck over the coming months. However, while such a refreshing approach to finding solutions is to be encouraged, it is not a long term solution. Housebuilders are clearly taking action to address funding issues and help buyers move up the ladder. We wait with interest to see to if government and lenders are prepared to do their bit as well.
Developers also welcomed density target U-turn
“Although the overall picture of the market is one of reassuring stability, signs of the difficult recent environment for the industry remain. The density targets imposed on the industry by the Labour government tipped the mix of properties built in favour of apartments, especially in the North of England. The scrapping of these targets will allow developers to offer a more balanced mix of properties in line with consumer demand. The industry is already building 8% more detached homes now than it was last year. “Such changes in the mix and location of new developments inevitably affect the breakdown of prices by region and house type. The industry is anxious that the new government’s localist policies do not encourage a new distortion of the market, prevent it from meeting consumer demand.”