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Brokers must identify opportunities and scenarios to benefit from new build – Calder

by: Craig Calder, director of mortgages at Barclays
  • 18/11/2019
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Brokers must identify opportunities and scenarios to benefit from new build – Calder
Back in the Summer my colleague Matt Aston penned a piece on Modern Methods of Construction and how proptech is helping to shape the modern housing market.


This focused on finding the balance between quantity, quality, affordability and accessibility – factors which will help generate a wider variety and greater number of opportunities within the new build sector.

With that in mind, let’s revisit the new build sector to highlight some recent data which could help intermediaries recognise where, how, why and what form these opportunities are taking.


Build to rent

Research published by the British Property Federation (BPF) shows that between Q3 2018 and Q3 2019, the number of build-to-rent homes completed, under construction or in planning across the UK jumped by 20 per cent.

There are now suggested to be 148,046 build-to-rent units at varying stages of development across the country, up by 24,509 units compared to last year.

The sector continues to go from strength to strength, with the build-to-rent pipeline growing considerably in the year to Q3 2019. This is highlighted by the number of units in planning, which has soared by 23 per cent to 77,446.

From this data it is clear that build-to-rent is making an increasingly important contribution to housing delivery.

The question for intermediaries is – how can they form closer relationships with housebuilders, landowners, landlords, developers and institutional investors to help finance such ventures?

This is a tricky one to answer with any great clarity, however, such strong early growth and rich potential for the future certainly makes this an area worthy of further investigation.


Burgeoning new build perception

It’s fair to say that new build developments have not always been welcomed with open arms by local communities or by homebuyers who may have previously shied away from larger-scale projects.

However, the latest findings from the annual British Social Attitudes survey, which is backed by a number of government departments including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, revealed that 57 per cent of people polled said they were happy to see more homes being built in their neighbourhood, while only 23 per cent opposed such developments.

The survey also reported that the proportion of people backing new build schemes has come a long way since 2010 and six years ago, when they garnered just 28 per cent and 47 per cent support respectively.

When it came to whether new developments are “attractive” or “beautiful” to look at, 46 per cent of people thought new-build homes were well designed, compared with less than a quarter who felt such homes were not.


Identifying the opportunities

The image and perception of new build has not always been so positive, but this data shows just how far this sector has come in recent times.

That is not to say it is perfect, far from it, as the quality of builds must keep rising in line with quantity with a continued focus on affordability.

What is not up for debate though is how integral a buoyant new build marketplace is for people to achieve their homeownership aspirations.

And with demand for new build properties mounting, intermediaries, whatever their speciality or background, need to be aware of the type and variety of products and lending scenarios within this sector.

And they must be in a position to at least identify the available opportunities, be this in handling the cases themselves or understanding the appropriate point of referral to a market specialist.


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