6.5% of pandemic property purchases are new-builds

Property Reporter
8th December 2021
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Across Britain, 82,149 new homes have sold during the pandemic, equating to 6.5% of total market activity, according to research by Unlatch.

Market analysis from the new-build sales optimisation platform looked at the total number of new-build homes sold as a percentage of all transactions between February 2020 and July 2021 and found that 6.5% of Brits buy new-builds, with Scotland home to the highest level, with new-build sales totalling 9.9% of total homes sold.

London ranks a close second, with 9,765 new-build sales during the pandemic equating to 8.1% of total market activity, while the East Midlands sits third with 6.8% of total market transactions coming via the new homes sector.

Wales has seen the lowest level of new-build sales in respect of total market activity. Since February of last year, the 1,820 new-build sales to have completed equate to just 3.4% of total homes sold.

New-build homebuyer hotspots

Of course, at a more granular level new-build home buyers account for a far larger level of purchases in some areas.

Nowhere more so than the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, where 1,354 new homes have been purchased since February 2020, amounting to a hefty 35.2% of all pandemic property transactions.

East Lothian ranks as the second strongest pocket of the market for new-build sales, with new homes accounting for 27.1% of total house sales.

In fact, London and Scotland account for the top five with Newham (24.8%), Midlothian (23.2%) and Greenwich (19.2%), while West Lothian (16.4%) and Hackney (16.3%) also making the top 10, which is completed by Harborough (18.6%), South Derbyshire (16.6%) and Rugby (15.5%).

At the other end of the market, new-build properties have accounted for 0.1% of sales in Stevenage, the lowest proportion of market activity across the nation.

Lee Martin, Head of UK for Unlatch, says: “The availability of new homes and the proportion of market activity they account for is always going to differ based on a range of factors including the availability of developments, the time at which they reach the market, their affordability for homebuyers in the area and the profit margins they provide to those building them.

"The latter often means that some areas are always going to benefit from a greater degree of focus from housebuilders and new-build market activity will consistently sit above national and regional averages.

"However, it’s reassuring to see that the new-build sector does account for a healthy level of sales across the board and continues to play a pivotal role in providing the new homes we desperately need."

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