Leading agency Knight Frank says demand for new homes is generally robust, dependent upon the location and pricing.
It says its regional teams have observed a so-called “flight to quality” during 2023 with units priced at £500,000 to £1m seeing substantial demand, particularly in stronger locations. This trend has contributed to heightened activity throughout the year from both land acquisition and sales perspectives.
Buyer confidence, if a little delayed, lifted the autumn market, hinting at a heightened appetite among buyers and sellers expected to carry into 2024, the agency says, adding that how long this will last will be dictated by the timing of the general election.
Mark Evans, partner at Knight Frank and head of regional residential development, says “The sales of off-plan property have faced challenges during 2023 in the regions, and this trend is anticipated to persist into 2024. Overseas investment markets are increasingly exploring regional opportunities, especially in cities with renowned educational institutions. Second home owners are gravitating towards areas housing these educational hubs, presenting an investment opportunity.”
Evans further highlighted the shift among several residential developers towards student accommodation, where more certainty in funding partnerships is perceived. A discernible trend among high-quality developers is the strategic focus on prime city sites, as peripheral locations and secondary sites pose considerable challenges in terms of viability.
In advising clients for the year ahead, Knight Frank says realistic pricing and high quality presentation of products are essential.
It suggests that buyers today exhibit a preference for turnkey solutions, seeking to move seamlessly into their new homes. Incentives hold considerable allure, especially given the current cost of living and mortgage expenses. Energy-efficient properties, which positively impact monthly outgoings, are increasingly attractive in this sector.
Knight Frank gives examples of the developments which it promotes and which show these characteristics - Spitfire Homes’ Malabar in Daventry, Northamptonshire, and Rosedale in Wolston, Warwickshire as well as HBD’s SETL development in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.