Property News

Sales of New Homes Growing in 2018 According to the Land Registry

Sales of new homes increased significantly in April 2018, up by 28.2% on the same month the previous year. According to the figures just released by the Land Registry, there were 78,408 sales overall and 11,758 of them were newly built properties, a new record despite house sold prices making it difficult for first time buyers.

The figures come on the back of a number of government schemes aimed at encouraging the building of new homes, with a number of garden cities planned and new incentives to encourage property developers. With increased pressure on the rental sector and sold property prices rising, the United Kingdom is still suffering from a chronic shortage of affordable homes. Anything which can be done to improve the situation can only be good news for those with a vested interest in the property market.

New Builds Gaining in Popularity

The popularity of new build homes is on the up, with those hoping to take the all-important first step on the property ladder keen to snap up the limited stock which comes to market. Of the 78,408 properties sold in the year to April, some 57,657 of them were freehold - a rise of 5.2% on the same month in 2017.

The Government has been keen to encourage the building of new homes as the population size increases, sold property prices rise and the housing shortfall becomes worse. A loosening of the rules surrounding building on brown belt and greenfield sites has helped, as have greater incentives being offered to property developers. The proposals for a new wave of garden cities have been broadly welcomed by property industry analysts, and it is hoped that they will give families and younger generations the chance to buy their first homes in areas of the country where housing shortages are at their worst.

Nevertheless, property prices are rising and many will still find themselves priced out of the market despite the increase in the number of new builds.

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Other Findings

There were some other interesting figures to be gleaned from the Land Registry statistics. Of all the properties sold between April 2017 and April 2018, some 363 residential homes were sold for more than £1 million and 213 of them were in the capital. There were two £1 million homes sold in Manchester and another two in the country’s second city of Birmingham.

According to the Land Registry sold prices, the most expensive residential house sold over the course of the year was in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea. In an area notorious for its wealth divide, one property there sold for £19.8 million.

At the other end of the spectrum, Land Registry sold prices revealed that the cheapest home sold went for just £17,500, in Burnley, Lancashire. 

When it comes to the sale of commercial properties, the property with the largest price tag was in Westminster and went for a staggering £95,370,000, while the cheapest went for a modest £425 in Bolton.

The Overall Property Picture

Overall the number of properties sold went down, despite the increased number of newly built homes reaching the market. In March 2018 there were 90,284 properties sold according to the Land Registry, but in April that number dwindled to 78,408.

Sales of detached properties fell from 20,144 in March 2018 to 16,728 in April - that’s a drop of just over 3,400 homes month on month. There was a similar fall in the number of semi-detached homes sold, falling to 19,362 in April from 22,040 in March. Apartment sales fell by almost 2,800 month on month, with 15,457 sold in April 2018.

Sales themselves might be falling but UK house prices on the whole are on the rise. Despite the increase in the number of new homes being built, available housing stocks remain low and that is partly responsible for the growth in property prices. People are often willing to pay more than the asking price in order to secure their dream home. With more and more buyers chasing the limited number of affordable homes which are put up for sale, many will willingly stump up more than a house valuation says a property is worth.

As the Land Registry sold prices show, house values by postcode can fluctuate wildly depending on where in the country you are buying. London has actually seen a slight drop in house prices in recent months, while the east and south east of the country have been enjoying big price hikes. The north east of the country is the region struggling the most, seeing only small increases in property values according to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Where Next for the New Build Market?

In January 2017 the Government unveiled its flagship policy to build fourteen new garden villages and three new garden towns in areas of the country most affected by the housing crisis. The garden villages are set to be made up of between 1,000 and 10,000 homes, and will be erected close to existing conurbations.

The three new garden towns would have more than 10,000 houses apiece and are set to be built close to Aylesbury, Taunton and Harlow and Gilston. In total there would be 250,000 homes added to the country’s overall housing stock, an announcement which was widely welcomed.

Previous governments of all colours have been heavily criticised for their failure to address the housing crisis in the United Kingdom, but until work begins on these new developments it is difficult to say just how much of an impact they will make on filling the housing shortfall. The developments could, however, be welcome news for first time buyers and landlords with an eye on buying new buy to let properties as an investment.

The growth in the number of new homes built and sold will be music to the ears of many with an eye on the property market. To keep up with future developments, keep an eye on Nethouseprices as we explore some of the exciting new developments set to shake up the housing market in the coming months.

You can sign up to our newsletter and join Nethouseprice’s community of over 190,000 members who get regular property tips, relevant offers and news, click here

Source: Nethouseprices 31.05.18


Richard Saul said:

Would love to see how many of the new builds are true Freehold and how many are Fleecehold. The more Fleecehold hit the market, the more unhappy homeowners and the message to avoid a Fleecehold (Freehold with unregulated fee paying covenants / burdens) will spread - ultimately there will be a slowing of buying Fleecehold homes.There are aleady estates that have fought the process and have the burden removed from their deeds and cases in England that have been deemed an unlawful monopoly by the MC - the housing market is about to undergo a radical shake up in the next 5 years

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