New-build crisis exposed in research

New-build crisis exposed in research

Buyers generally pay a significant premium for new units, in large part due to the significant marketing campaigns which surround new developments. LCP's research has found that in PCL this amounts to 20%, where the average square foot price for a new build stands at £1,701, compared with £1,418 for an older property.

Iconic developments such as One Hyde Park break new ground in price, but even Fitzrovia Apartments, in the now very much “up and coming” Fitzrovia in East Marylebone W1, is posting prices of £4,400 per square foot for its penthouses.

However, the number of new units available to buy in PCL remains very restricted due to the limited land development potential in the very centre of the Capital and the conservation of its architectural heritage. In 2015, only 467 new units were brought to market and on average, this runs at 300 new units each year, protecting the area from any problems of oversupply.

It is a different story elsewhere in Inner London, made up of the remaining nine most central boroughs* and encompassing the new build heartlands of Tower Hamlets and the Battersea to Nine Elms stretch. These boroughs have achieved an even greater new build premium amounting to 25%, where the average price stands at £659,459 compared with £525,307 for older property. In 2015, there were £2.89bn worth of new build sales.

In a market which is heavily saturated with new developments, with 75,229 in the pipeline, there is a risk to buyers of a substantial oversupply of such units, both to buy and to rent, suppressing yields and prices. Units in new builds can also suffer limited re-sale potential once they are no longer new and buyers have moved on to the next marketing phenomenon.

LCP have tracked the erosion of “new build premiums” over time. Taking one particularly well known development launched in 2003, LCP's research demonstrates the significant suppression in price growth, resulting from the initial sale premium. Price growth lags 26% behind the rest of the market, increasing just 7.3% a year since 2003, compared with the PCL average of 9.3% p.a.


New developments also suffer from far more price volatility. LCP’s research has shown than in 2009, during the global financial crisis, prices in the case study development fell right back to their 2004 level. This compared with the rest of the market, where prices fell just 10% that year and remained 44% higher than their 2004 average.

Naomi Heaton, CEO of LCP comments: “Investors are paying a heavy premium for newness which, by implication, has built in 'obsolescence'. At re-sale, units in big schemes which are essentially 'commodities' can only compete on price. They are also unlikely to appeal to the international buyer, the driver of the 'new build' market, once they are second hand. These factors make them far less resilient to market pressures such as a global financial crisis. Shrewd investors should consider buying at the stage in a development’s life-cycle when the premium has been eroded and a downward overcorrection in prices often takes place. They should also consider older property in London’s classic buildings which see much more stable price appreciation. These might need refurbishment, but undertaking this offers the benefit of an immediate uplift in value, rather than paying a premium to a developer.

In LCP’s opinion, the new build effect in Inner London is likely to take a heavy toll on areas like Battersea to Nine Elms where there is extensive oversupply of new property. With over 22,000 units being built there, a significant softening of prices is likely in the foreseeable future, until the new build premium is eroded and prices come back in line with market averages. Tower Hamlets, home to Canary Wharf, already sets a precedent. With the enormous number of new builds developed there over the last decade, prices are up just 37% since 2008, compared to PCL which has seen price growth of 68%.”

The premium pricing of the new build market which tends to get eroded over time also causes major concerns for London’s first time buyers, being assisted into the market through the new London Help to Buy scheme. The marked lag in price growth could result in a bottleneck of first time buyers, unable to trade up, in the coming years. Not only could this have detrimental knock-on effects for normal churn in the property market but it may also impact the Exchequer’s balance sheet, as Government struggle to recoup their 40% loan on sale.”

Join our mailing list:

Leave a comment



Latest Comments

ChristinaReedUK
ChristinaReedUK 20 Jun 2016

I don't understand why it's always a war between the two sides. Either, way the landlord is probably keeping a detailed inventory and will see the changes you've made. I just don't understand why there...

view article
NathanGreen
NathanGreen 16 Jun 2016

Seeing that the tenants are quite satisfied with their landlords and the properties is indeed great. I wonder, though, what is the situation in London alone? The tenants face sky-high rent levels in the...

view article
AndiMur
AndiMur 15 Jun 2016

TheGuardian published the same forecast. But on the other hand, professional brokers express different opinions. According totranio.com, an exit from the EU would not affect the demand/supply imbalance...

view article
Gary Holmes
Gary Holmes 14 Jun 2016

Having a professionally completed inventory at check-in and check-out is clearly (to me at least) of minor value. Tenants make un-authorised modifications and/or walk off with items that belong to the

view article
Violet Gibson
Violet Gibson 14 Jun 2016

Cautious people think buying off-plan is reckless, but over the past few years investors have literally made fortunes.Pre-release prices have obvious benefits for the developer, who gets instant finance...

view article
Kate Windleton
Kate Windleton 14 Jun 2016

An interesting research indeed. I guess that is in complete contrast with the United States where people often move from one coast to another. It will be interesting to hear the trends for people moving...

view article
NathanGreen
NathanGreen 14 Jun 2016

I think it all depends on the market conditions and how well your company is doing. You will agree that you can't demand more when you're killing yourself just to hang in there. Sometimes you need all

view article
ChristinaReedUK
ChristinaReedUK 13 Jun 2016

What does "detecting a bad vibe" mean actually. I've had certain vibes like these and yet have always found a reason , if there's any, why I don't like a certain property. The property maintenance might...

view article
keybanks estates
keybanks estates 08 Jun 2016

Great News for first time buyers, about time two!

view article
NathanGreen
NathanGreen 07 Jun 2016

I agree with #6 - you should maintain your garden according to the target buyer. One thing is universal, though - cleanliness and order. Having the yard clutter-free and clean will help people who do enjoy...

view article
NathanGreen
NathanGreen 06 Jun 2016

I will always say that London is overrated. Sure it is the capital, but it's too stuffed in there. It's more of a business city to me.

view article
Paul
Paul 25 May 2016

Estate agents are pathetic when it comes to fees. They have this 'I had to do it at 1% because that's what the others were quoting' mentality. We are the most expensive agents in our area, charging double...

view article

Related stories

More articles from Property