Tuesday, September 27, 2022
HomeLifestyle37% of new homes snapped up while under construction

37% of new homes snapped up while under construction


Some 37 per cent of new homes sold in England and Wales found a buyer before they were completed last year. This was up from 35 per cent in 2020, estate and lettings agent Hamptons discovered.

While this figure is below a 47 per cent peak recorded in 2017, it ended the negative trend of recent years.

For the first time since 2007, a terraced house was more likely to be sold off-plan than an apartment, it found.

Meanwhile, 24 per cent of new detached home completions in 2021 were sold off-plan compared with 21 per cent in 2020.

For semi-detached properties, the figure rose from 31 per cent to 33 per cent.

Off-plan sales for terraced homes soared from 41 per cent to 45 per cent – but the proportion of newly built flats purchased in advance fell from 50 per cent to 44 per cent.

David Fell, senior analyst at Hamptons, which examined Land Registry data, said: “The lack of second-hand homes available to buy has meant owner-occupiers are increasingly turning to new-builds.

More are willing to buy off-plan due to limited options on the market – and typically buyers are chain-free homeowners who have more flexibility on moving dates.

“Despite this, owner-occupiers don’t buy as far in advance as investors who are often happy to wait a year or two, particularly when prices are rising.

“They’re also more likely to seek out bespoke, individually designed houses in smaller schemes, rather than flats in big city centre blocks.”

He said the rise of off-plan sales “will provide respite for developers looking to maintain sales rates as Help to Buy winds down”.

He added: “Whether this shorter-term shift has the potential to turn into a longer-term trend remains to be seen. But unlike what we’ve seen in the past, it’s owner-occupiers rather than investors who are likely to continue driving off-plan sales in 2022.”

New-build buyers often hand over a standard 10 per cent deposit on exchange of contracts, with the balance payable on completion.

Last year, buyers collectively paid £1.1billion in deposits to developers for homes that had yet to be built, Hamptons calculated – around three times the £348million handed over in 2007.



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