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New property development opportunities across the UK

Industry Insight December 1st, 2015
New property development opportunities across the UK

A report from the firms Knight Frank and Barton Willmore has named 18 areas in the UK with property development opportunities.

The report identifies 18 areas in the UK with property development opportunities, specifically: Leeds, Manchester, York, Durham, Birmingham, Nottingham, Warwick, Leicester, Brentwood, South Cambridgeshire, Bristol, Bath, Exeter, Cherwell, South Oxfordshire, Guildford, Reigate and Banstead, and Tunbridge Wells.

The report combined local knowledge, such as the council’s responses to recent planning, together with local economic factors, such as employment growth, stock to sales ratios, affordability, and liveability.

Notably, these areas are generally regional and not based around the traditional property growth region of London and the South East. There are regions are spread all over the UK, offering potential opportunities for some cities to experience increases in property prices and the supply of homes.

In particular, experts believe that the government push of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ initiative will increase opportunities for property development in cities such as Leeds, Manchester, and Birmingham, as local infrastructure receives additional planning, investment, and development in order to push foreign and domestic investment in areas other than London and the South East.

Most property development opportunities based in the South East are places that are expected to benefit from the commuter exodus increasingly further away from London, as property prices in the city continue to surge. Consumers seek more space for their money further out, and are turning to areas such as Guildford, Reigate, and Brentwood to satisfy their demands. Brentwood has particularly strong forecasts for growth due to the Crossrail project in 2018, which will connect the attractive Essex town to the city in a shorter period

The identity of these potential ‘hotspots’ for growth are important amidst a period where housing supply is extremely limited. A recent report from Nationwide now claims that a “dearth” of properties for sale has pushed supply down to its lowest levels since the 1970s.

Nationwide has urged the property and construction sectors to increase their property development activity in order to meet demand for the market. Moreover, George Osborne has recently stated that the government would double the government housing budget, with investment into various construction programmes by 2020, building 400,000 new homes. This is in addition to the existing build-to-rent programme, which incentivises construction companies to build housing specifically for rental purposes in order to increase the housing stock. Hopefully, investors will act on these positive indicators and increase the provision of housing in the UK.

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