As housebuilders reported in their trading updates over the past month, viewings and sales have been positive across the board during the start of the year, suggesting a market which continues to recover from the trough seen in 2009 in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
But supply remains very limited – a reflection of the slowdown in the number of landowners applying for planning in 2009 and 2010.
As a result, there are fewer sites with planning consent available. In addition, given the introduction of new planning rules, it is now taking longer to achieve planning in many areas, further exacerbating the lack of supply.
Housebuilders are still absorbing the potential impact of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which could weigh on land prices outside London.
Furthermore it may deter land owners from putting their land up for sale at this stage in the market. Prime central London
The first quarter saw a relatively flat market from a pricing perspective. This contrasted with demand as buyers continued to demonstrate a good appetite for sensibly priced opportunities.
Developers and investors alike remain keen to secure schemes. However their approach is one of realism as they are aware that unsupportable assumptions will not find favour with their funding sources.
Average property prices in prime central London rose by 2.7% in the first three onths of the year.
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