New build market tapering off

Demand for new builds has apparently fallen, with fewer properties being bought off plan and concerns around revaluations.

That’s according to analysis from Rebecca Hempstead, partner and head of residential conveyancing at Ellisons Solicitors.

She said: “Where we could see the market taper out is in the middle, specifically around new build homes.

“We are already seeing some of this come to pass. It used to be that you would buy a new build home off plan and it would be ready in six or nine months’ time with buyers not completing until long after they have discovered their new home.

“Now there are more properties ready to move into almost straight away. One of the issues we have seen in the last year are buyers who have secured a new build home, secured a mortgage offer but then that offer running out in six months’ time.

“Because of the volatility in the housing market, that property has then been revalued for a new mortgage offer and often priced higher, increasing the risk for buyers.”

She also discussed levels of demand in Suffolk and Essex.

Properties in Suffolk should continue to attract good interest thanks to their country appeal.

However Essex is one of the most diverse counties.

At the highest end of the spectrum, properties close to Ingatestone in the south of the county can demand millions of pounds – prices similar to celebrity pads in Sandbanks.

But travel to Essex’s Jaywick on the north east coast and you will find one of the most deprived areas in Britain, with house prices at the bottom end of the market and as little as £150,000.

Hempstead added: “It’s incredibly diverse. Because of that, I cannot see demand reducing in the county; you are always going to have people moving house at both ends of the spectrum because the demand is going to continue to be there, and supply simply cannot keep up with it.

“At the top end, Shenfield is a great example and continues to do well because of Crossrail coming into the town and offering that great trip into London for commuters.

“While the introduction of home working during the pandemic saw people wanting to move out of London, with an emphasis on staying at home more, we are going to see an increase in this reversing.

“Already employers in the city are calling people back to the office, and those Essex properties with a good train line into the capital will continue to be important and demand higher prices.”