New build sales make up just 14% of market

Ryan Fowler

November 27, 2017

New builds accounted for less than 14% of all properties sold in England and Wales last year with the most sold in Cambridge and London and the least in Oxford and Ipswich, research from Fasthomes has shown.

With more new homes being built to meet demand there is theoretically more choice for buyers but they still make up quite a small proportion of overall sales, according to the analysis of sales recorded by the Land Registry in 25 major cities.

Adrian Smith from Fasthomes said: “Buying an existing property offers several advantages over a brand new home. Firstly, there is the price factor as new builds are on average more expensive. Secondly, old homes, especially those built before 1980 tend to be bigger than new builds. And finally, there are simply not enough new homes.

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“According to some estimates, the UK is short of some 100,000 homes a year when it comes to the ratio between the supply and demand of new builds. Until the gap between the demand and supply of new homes closes, we can’t really expect any major changes in the housing market when it comes to new builds compared to existing properties.”

New builds accounted for 36,179 of all properties sold in 2016 with the highest proportion in Cambridge at 21%, followed by 20% in London, 19.9% in Newport, 18.2% in Exeter and 17% in Newcastle.

The lowest proportion sold was in Oxford at just 4.3%, followed by Cardiff at 5.9%, Ipswich at 6.6%, Stoke on Trent at 6.8%, Swansea at 7%, Nottingham at 8.2%, Birmingham at 8.7%, Leeds at 9.2%, Hull at 9.3% and Southampton at 9.8%.

The analysis also shows that overall the busiest market for all home sales was London with a total 73,066 properties sold of which new-builds accounted for 14,591.

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