Buyers in the South West remaining hesitant

Steve Fowler, Managing Director of Allison Homes South West provides his insight on the outlook of the South West property market and what this is looking like for the rest of 2024.

Related topics:  Housing,  Property Market
Property | Reporter
18th June 2024
Steve Fowler - Allison Homes 922

The property market has always been a barometer for the UK’s economy and this is very true in the South West region where we are seeing a combination of factors impacting the ability to build, the appetite for people to move and the motivation for homeowners to sell.

We have seen a tough housing market over the past 12 – 18 months with consumer confidence affected by interest rates, cost of living pressures, inflation and the impact of the war in Ukraine.

Research published by the University of West England in 2023 on the challenges faced around housing in the west country found that there is a 200,000 home shortage, and a 400% increase in house prices over the past 25 years, but wages have only increased by 83% in the same period.

This year, the market has not recovered as quickly as we would have hoped. Buyers have continued to be hesitant, often seeking incentives and deals to commit.

Post-General Election, housebuilders are hopeful that new policies will bolster the new build homes market. Key needs in the market are for renewed government support for First Time Buyers, further Government support schemes similar to Help to Buy, a Stamp Duty Holiday, the reinstatement of housing target requirements and investments in the planning system.

In Devon and Somerset, the new homes market remains highly desirable. The quest for a balanced lifestyle continues to draw people away from dense urban centres, with remote working opportunities acting as a catalyst for this trend. Changing lifestyle patterns means that homes need to offer a creative use of space and have the ability to adapt and flex to the changing daily needs of life and work.

The industry faces additional challenges, including affordability, lack of strategic investment in essential infrastructure such as the National Grid and water companies and a shortage of new skilled labour, both trade and managerial. The industry is also grappling with regulatory changes affecting the cost and design criteria of future homes.

From the perspective of Allison Homes, the outlook for the remainder of the year is optimistic. We are adapting our portfolio to suit market conditions with the positive introduction of the Allison Partnerships brand. This will help us to play our part in delivering high-quality new homes that are available to everyone.

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