Demand from consumers, including buy-to-let investors, for new build homes has increased over the past 12 months, new figures show.
Fresh applicant data collected by the global property consultancy reveals that interest for new build homes in the first two weeks of June 2020 is up 4% year-on-year, with interest expected to rise further as the month progresses.
Pent-up demand for new homes in the UK is triggering a rise in the number of people looking to buy a new build home, with viewing numbers having picked-up noticeably over the last few weeks.
With many sales and marketing suites starting to reopen, viewing levels were only 6% below the five-year weekly average
Oliver Knight, a residential research partner at Knight Frank, said: “The initial signs suggest that sentiment in the new homes market has held up relatively well, with a market that was dormant for eight weeks coming back to life.”
Knight Frank has witnessed a marked uptick in interest for new build schemes across the UK.
In the capital, for instance, property investment firm Almacantar has agreed seven sales across its London schemes since the beginning of lockdown, which it says demonstrates “the enduring appeal for best-in-class homes in the capital”.
While demand is high, supply has been effected by the widespread suspension of development in April, which has impacted housing delivery.
Knight Frank is predicting that total new build housing delivery will fall by 35% in 2020, compared with last year.
James Mannix, head of residential development at Knight Frank added: “Housebuilders will be keeping a close eye on the recovery of the housing market; once they start to see demand return, they will look to gradually increase output.
“The speed of this demand increase will also effect land-buying decisions. Deals are still taking place, but at a slower rate with delayed completions, Covid-19 clauses, and extensions to bid deadlines.”
Knight Frank’s outlook suggests supply is likely to remain constrained for the next 12-18 months, but an immediate pick-up in the demand for new homes, coupled with pricing remaining firm and the long-term planning pipeline looking strong, paints a fairly positive picture for development, despite current challenges.