According to recent research by Housesimple.com an average of 12.5 per cent of properties currently on the market have been for sale for six months or longer. Given that we are in a situation where even the government recognises that the UK has a desperate shortage of housing, this percentage seems hard to understand.
Of course, this is an average and there are various reasons why some properties are less attractive to buyers. Location and state of repair are factors, but in reality, not particularly significant in the grander scheme. Even in the City of Westminster, a most desirable location, the percentage of properties on the market for six months or more has reached 22.5 per cent of the total for sale.
Looking at the latest housing supply figures it was encouraging to see that, although the net additional figure may still be below the peak in 2007-08, it was still the second highest in 25 years, and up 15% on last year.
There were of course a few contributing factors to the increase in new build, including government schemes such as help-to-buy and the relaxation in planning regulations. New build has become more popular across the board, not just for first-time-buyers and second steppers, but also for the older generation downsizing. Schemes, such as part exchange, have also made new build more attractive. Part exchange in particular makes the process much quicker and in many cases less stressful and ultimately less expensive.
Our fully funded part exchange proposition is not only designed to help house builders and developers. It also helps home owners who want to buy a new home but cannot sell their existing property or do not have the time to sell it.
While working with the developer and the home buyer, we typically arrange two independent valuations of the property, provide a valuation report to the developer and facilitate a cash offer to the home buyer for their existing property. We also work with developers who have their own in-house part exchange schemes, offering them appraisals and comparisons while managing the sale of the existing property through a UK wide chain of group and independent estate agents.
Assisted move schemes are a growing option for retired people looking to downsize. McCarthy & Stone recently reported that almost half of all pensioners are considering moving to a smaller home. Increasingly older people are choosing either new build properties or sheltered accommodation as their downsizing option as it means they will have little or no decoration or maintenance for some years.
Spicerhaart Part Exchange and Assisted Move has seen a big increase in the past year of people using a property assisted move arrangement to help them to move, giving people the opportunity to sell their property quickly, with minimum hassle and cost.
Government initiatives relaxing planning regulations, finally appear to be filtering through. The good news came out on the 10th August in the Office of National Statistics’ Construction Index that private housing new build figures are now higher than at any point in the past 15 years. This applied both for quarter two of 2017 and for the month of June.
There has been much rhetoric on the need for new housing and it is something that consecutive governments have failed to address. There is still much more to be done but it is refreshing to see the numbers heading in the right direction.