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Out with the old, in with the new-build – demand soars across Britain

New-build homes are proving ever-popular among homebuyers, and the latest research by Unlatch has revealed where the nation’s demand for new-build homes is accelerating at the fastest pace.

The new-build sales optimisation platform analysed demand for new-builds across 22 major UK cities between Q4 2021 and Q1 2022. It then studied the ratio of new homes already sold subject to contract or under offer as a percentage of all new-build stock listed for sale.

Where has new-build demand risen the quickest?


Across the UK, new-build demand in Q1 2022 stands at 35.5% – an increase of 1.8% since the previous quarter. 

According to the findings, Cardiff is home to the fastest-growing appetite for new builds, where buyers have snapped up 50% of available properties, making a quarterly increase of 28%.

In Oxford, demand has risen by 12.9%; in Southampton, it’s up 11.7%; and in Birmingham, the quarterly rise is 8.8%.

Where has new-build demand dwindled?

In some cities, however, new-build demand is falling. In Portsmouth, it’s declined by 16.7%; in Manchester, it’s down 14.1%; and in Plymouth, demand dropped by 11.6%.

What do these changes mean for overall demand figures? Not much, according to Unlatch.

It found that, despite the figures, demand is currently the highest in Bournemouth – the UK’s new-build hotspot. Buyers here have already jumped on 68.8% of listed properties.

This is followed by Southampton (63.1%), Bristol (62.7%), Plymouth (55.9%), and the two Welsh cities of Cardiff and Swansea, where demand stands at 50%. 

New-build popularity is set to climb even further

Commenting on the results, Lee Martin, head of UK for Unlatch, says: “The UK’s new-build market is performing very well at present and we’ve seen 2022 start strongly where the appetite for new-build homes is concerned.”

“There are a myriad of factors driving this new-build popularity, with a lack of housing stock driving this demand as buyers are snapping up homes as quickly as they reach the market.”

However, Martin believes that the rising cost of living is currently ‘looming large’ in buyers’ minds and this is no doubt having an influence as well.

“New builds provide excellent energy efficiency which significantly reduces household bills and they also offer an improved level of sustainability at a time when the climate is a big concern for all,” he adds.

“Therefore, many current homebuyers recognise that while a new-build may cost them an initial premium, the long term cost benefits outweigh this initially higher cost.”


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