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As housing market builds strength – how will you benefit?

The UK housing market is celebrating after buyers returned to the market in their biggest numbers for four years, according to the latest RICS Residential Market Survey (August 2013).

 

Those looking to enter the market grew at the fastest rate since July 2009, with the number of buyers steadily growing since the beginning of this year.

 

Significantly, this growth was seen in each and every part of the UK. While initially focused in the South East, the increase in buyers has spread to the Midlands, North West, North East, Wales and Scotland, according to RICS.

 

In fact the West Midlands and the North East – areas which have suffered more than most during the housing market downturn – experienced the biggest increases in buyer activity in July.

 

So what does this mean for the new housing sector and those working in it?

 

Figures taken in England show seasonally adjusted house building starts estimated at 29,510 in the June quarter 2013, which is six per cent higher than the previous quarter.

 

Furthermore, completions were estimated at 27,270 in the June quarter 2013, an impressive nine per cent higher than the previous quarter.

 

National house builders are also reporting an increase in sales, including Taylor Wimpey, which said it had seen “measurable improvement for the first time since the downturn of 2007/08”.

 

The government’s Help to Buy Scheme for those looking to buy a brand new home has also had an impact. More than 1,000 Taylor Wimpey customers are said to have taken advantage of the scheme since its April 2013 introduction, with a further 232 currently going through the qualification process.

 

Redrow has also seen impressive growth in the past six months, with group revenue up by more than a quarter - 26 per cent - and the number of homes legally completed up by 15 per cent.

 

There are a number of reasons behind these statistics, including increased consumer confidence, improved access/ affordability of mortgage finance and new government measures.

 

The forecast is also looking good for the latter part of the year, which in turnshould mean good news for smaller contractors and property developers across the UK.

 

 

Indeed the Federation of Master Builders is calling on the government to extend the Help to Buy Scheme further to SME builders.

 

Brian Berry, the chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “The Help to Buy initiative is helping to revitalise the flagging housing market, and the government is to be applauded for having worked hard to make the scheme more accessible to small builders and developers. Rekindling demand in this way helps create the environment for developers to start bringing more homes to market, but there is still a long way to go before we are once again building the 200,000-plus new homes we need each year just to keep pace with demand.”

Berry continued: “In 1988 SME house builders built two thirds of new homes in the UK, but now that proportion has dropped to just one third. This trend has not been helped by the recent recession, the worst in living memory. To build on the current tentative upturn in economic conditions, and to secure the diversity of housing supply, we need government at all levels to properly engage with smaller housebuilders to establish how we can bring more homes to market.”

 

Have you felt the benefit of the housing upturn? Email us your replies

 

Posted on September 1, 2013 by

As housing market builds strength – how will you benefit?