Study suggests Leeds is the best place in England to build new homes

Leeds is the best location in England for building new homes in terms of value, house price growth, planning success and demand for property, according to new research.

New build homes in Leeds are worth 41% more than existing properties in the city on average and the value of new homes in the area are also increasing 13% year on year, the study from Argyll Property Partners shows.

It also shows that as one of the largest local authorities, there are almost four times as many property sales in Leeds, compared to the monthly average for England. The city’s planning authorities also approve 95% of major residential applications.

In second place is Birmingham, followed by Cornwall, County Durham, Wiltshire, Bradford, Bristol, Manchester, the East Riding of Yorkshire and then Liverpool while Surrey Heath was found to be the worst local authority for developers of new homes.

‘Property values for new builds in Leeds are seeing double digit growth as increasing employment drives demand for homes. The significant gap in the price of new homes compared to existing properties means there are healthy profits to be made, while the high transaction figures suggest homes should be relatively easy to buy and sell,’ said Brian Markovitz, director of Argyll Property Partners, said.

‘Leeds City Council is also one of the best for encouraging house building, approving almost all of the major applications it receives. Major new developments such as the Seacroft site in the east of the city suggest many are already discovering the opportunities Leeds has to offer for house builders,’ he added.

When it comes to the opposite end, the research shows that the high property values in Surrey mean that developers will have to pay a premium price to secure a site, compared to other areas of the country and once complete, new homes in Surrey Heath are usual worth 23% less than existing properties in the area.

It adds that homes in the area may also be harder to buy and sell, with monthly transactions in the area 50% lower than the nationwide average and the local council approves 75% of major residential applications, but this proportion is still lower than the majority of other local authorities. However, the average value of new homes in Surrey Heath is still rising 7% year on year.

After Surrey Heath the next worst authority for new home building is Hambleton, followed by Epsom and Ewell, Ribble Valley, Richmondshire, Pendle, Spelthorne, Three Rivers, Hammersmith and Fulham, and finally Islington.

‘For developers, Surrey Heath doesn’t appear to be the best location for new builds. The higher land values in the area mean that profit margins will be squeezed. Despite Surrey Heath’s proximity to London, the large amount of green belt land in the area means home sales are also significantly lower than the average for a local authority,’ Markovitz explained.

‘Renovating an existing home may yield better returns for anyone looking to invest in Surrey Heath. It’s also noticeable that two London boroughs feature close to the bottom as stamp duty, high land values and a decline in transactions combine to hamper prime central London’s attractiveness to developers,’ he pointed out.