The Inside Edge
New homes have been firmly in the news of late with government schemes announced that attempt to encourage construction companies and local authorities to build the houses that will meet demand. Now, as we enter the second quarter of 2012, leading house builder Barratt Homes have announced that they have experienced their busiest start to a year for five years.
The increase in activity began with a vastly increased number of searches on the company’s website back in January and this has subsequently been supported by a rise in visits to new sites and reservations on new properties.
As a result, Barratt claim that some sites are selling homes at twice the national average. The company’s figures have also been backed up by Right Move, who confirm a 27% rise in property searches since the start of the year.
Barratt believe that potential buyers are making their move as they become aware that home ownership is more cost effective than renting.
“We believe that one of the key factors is that savvy customers have worked out it’s now cheaper to buy than rent,” said Lisa Preston of Barratt West Midlands.
“We simply can’t believe how busy we are especially at a time when all you hear in the news is doom and gloom. It just feels like the people of Burton have decided to get on with their lives.”
Lisa Preston also added that she believes people are becoming aware that there may never be a more affordable time to buy their own property.
“In recent years many people have had to put their lives on hold but it seems that they are not prepared to wait any longer,” she added.
“Home buyers have also woken up to the fact that with interest rates low and house prices still some way below their peak, buying is more affordable now than many believe.”
Staying in the Midlands, home builder David Wilson have announced the development of six new sites across Leicestershire as they also start to meet an increase in demand.
“The Prime Minister has said again and again that one of the best ways to boost economic growth and get people working is through building more homes,” said Philip Lacey, David Wilson’s sales director for the area.
Mr Lacey also went on to confirm that over 1,500 jobs would be created for local people as a result.
“In addition to the local construction jobs created in building the new homes, the local people who move into the new housing will also spend their wages locally. This translates into a significant boost for local retailers at a time when concerns remain about the national financial picture. It’s exactly what this area needs,” he concluded.
In the midst of government announcements, the claims from these two home builders may just be tangible proof that the housing market, for new properties at least, may show a marked improvement in 2012.