Sector - Housing

Where are Buyers Moving Next



There are early signals are indicating that there is a shift in home buyer sentiment. Home buyers are moving away from living in the city and closer to the office, to the coast and countryside.

Lockdown was lifted for the real estate industry on May 13th, 2020, once this happened, Rightmove reported their largest volume of searches ever.  The online property portal recorded six million visitors to their website on May 27t, 2020, which is 18% above the figure it recorded on the same day last year.

Along with this, Rightmove said that the Coronavirus lockdown seems to be driving the demand for homes in more rural locations, with Kent, Cornwall and Bournemouth seeing the highest spikes in demand.

Buyers have been searching for costal areas the most, with demand for these areas up 23% year on year, the same goes for Canterbury postcodes, and Truro postcodes have seen a 20% increase.

However, buyers won’t be moving right now, as mortgage approvals have slumped 80% in accordance to the Bank of England. Nationwide have also reported their biggest monthly fall in house prices since 2009. Along with this, job security and personal finances are at the forefront of many potential buyer’s minds at the moment.

However, the sentiment to move to more rural and open areas continues, it means that there could be more opportunities for regional construction within the residential sector.

Dorset has seen £129.7 million worth of high value private residential planning applications submitted in the last six months, as well as this, £141.8 million worth of high value private residential planning approvals in the same time frame.

This includes a £150 million mixed use scheme in Dorset town centre which will comprise of 325 residential apartments where VINCI is the main contractor. There is also a £40 million mixed use scheme which will comprise of 68 residential apartments, as well as a hotel with leisure facilities, where Tenders are currently invited.

Kent has seen £834.9 million worth of high value private value residential planning applications submitted and have had £345 million worth of high value private residential planning approvals within the same time.

Devon has had £436.4 million high value private residential planning applications submitted, with 305.4 million high value private residential planning approvals within the same time frame.

Cornwall has seen £229.7 million worth of high value private residential planning applications be submitted in the last six months with £128.2 million worth of high value private residential approvals in the last six months.

However, as the country is still in the early stages of moving from lockdown, it is worth keeping an eye on any new planning applications out with urban conurbations to see whether these initial early searches on property websites have predicted a shift in the focus for future home buyers.

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