Leading land agent Aston Mead Land & Planning says that the UK property market is now running at two speeds, in which second-hand properties stagnate while the sale of new homes continues to rise.
The company’s comments come after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) predicted a “fairly flat” market in the months ahead, whilst the UK’s largest house builder Barratt released figures indicating that it will build more homes in 2017 than the in the previous eight years.
Aston Mead Land & Planning Director Adam Hesse said: “A clear line is starting to divide the property market into two groups. The second-hand market continues to be hampered by a lack of supply, with the number of properties on estate agents’ books hovering just above a record low. However, the building of new homes is powering ahead, with some companies reporting completion levels higher than at any time since 2008.
“For buyers, the difference with a new home is that the developer absolutely has to sell. Second-hand sellers may only agree a price if they find a house to move to, and there is always the possibility of getting gazumped. But in the new homes market, the developer is driven and motivated to ensure that a sale goes ahead.”
Adam Hesse’s comments coincide with ‘New Homes Week’ – an initiative developed by the Home Builders Federation (HBF), which runs from 15-21 May. The organisation claims that buying a new home could save the purchaser spending over £50,000 to upgrade an older property to the same standard.
Adam Hesse adds: “Some buyers will be committed to purchasing an older home, whatever the cost. But there are those who could easily be tempted into buying a new home – particularly considering the high level of service and support they receive from the companies concerned, as well as the benefit of brand new fixtures and fittings, the latest energy saving technology, and schemes like Help to Buy.
“Uncertainty created by the snap election and the fallout of changes to stamp duty continues to provide a challenge for the market as a whole. But the fact that developers are guaranteed sellers of the increasing number of new homes now available means that a two-speed market is likely to run throughout the summer, and perhaps until the end of the year.”