Busy House Builders

There have been several recent reports of UK house sales having increased this autumn and Persimmon, who are this Country’s second biggest house builder last week reported a 19% increase in sales since the beginning of September compared to 12 months previously.

Persimmon attributed the improvement to an increase in mortgage availability plus the introduction of Government sponsored incentive schemes introduced in July to help first time buyers.

From our perspective at Harris Lamb I would add a couple of other potential reasons for an increase in house sales and those would be pricing and availability.  The house builders have gradually been increasing their available stocks of new build homes on the back of having a more competitively priced stock of housing land on which to develop.  Many of the sites the house builders are now working on also cost them less to ‘hold’ as their stock of sites includes land which they only pay for when they develop it.  This means their holding costs are less and with their costs less they can sometimes pass these benefits on through higher specified houses.

Persimmon said they had sold the 9,300 houses they are building this year and forward sales looked strong.  In value terms 2011 is showing 7% ahead of 2010.  “The man on the street is not worried about Greek debt.  The only worry for us is mortgage availability” was the Chief Executives comment.

We are also seeing an increase in activity from the house building sector with us being busy on preparing new planning applications for sites and lobbying for residential land allocations.

For more information about Harris Lamb’s Planning Department, Mark would be happy to speak with you. Call him on 0121 455 9455 or email mark.alcock@harrislamb.com.       

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