Is “City Living” new build marking a return?

I have been carrying out some work on city centre development sites and the potential of attracting developers to these sites for building city centre apartments.

The credit crunch and downturn that followed global events in 2008 hit the market for city centre apartment living, certainly outside of London, probably harder than any other sector of the residential market.

From 2008 onwards the volume house builders had to work very hard on their own balance sheets and aside from the city living, the property market largely headed into a period of hibernation. The fall in property values meant new build simply stopped in most areas.

So, has anything changed? Well, yes. The global economy has improved; UK Plc is “healing” itself; values have stabilised and market demand has returned. This means that whilst city living may not yet be back in vogue, it is certainly on the agenda.

New development is happening once more in the greater Midlands cities and large towns when you start to look at reports of new build schemes. From Coventry to Wolverhampton and Leicester there is a return to building one and two bedroom apartments in an urban setting. Not only is the Midlands seeing this market return strongly, but also elsewhere in the UK, aside from London where some would say the market never stopped. From Sheffield to Glasgow and Swansea there are schemes from 25 units upwards being built and in the planning pipeline.

Whilst not all developers are back in the market for building city apartment’s there are some significant ones; Barratts being one of them. Many housebuilders are sticking with what suits them best at the moment – the low risk estate type property.

The market for city living though may well be coming back to us.

For details and information on residential development sites contact Sara or one of the agency team at Harris Lamb on 0121 455 9455.