New Homes Market
During Covid-19 we have all had to adapt and look at new ways of living and working. New homes is a part of our marketplace that has remained consistently busy both with investors and first-time buyers who are still eager to purchase a property.
With the ever increasing, competitive rental market, low interest rates and a number of schemes now available on new build property purchases, many buyers are looking to secure buy to let investments while others are seeing a great opportunity to get onto the London property ladder for the first time.
We have certainly seen the resurgence of the “Buy to Let Investor” on many of our current developments for sale across London. Some looking to buy their first investment property, but others are looking to grow their existing portfolio. Many of the properties we have sold since lockdown commenced have achieved their asking prices and received multiple offers.
Why New Homes?
Buying a new home is an appealing option for many buyers and investors who want a new, hassle-free property to either live in themselves or rent out. New homes tend to have the latest gadgets, use smart technology and are energy efficient with heating and cooling systems. Often, they come with a 10-year warranty giving the peace of mind that little or no maintenance will be required compared to an older second-hand property. Like so many other purchases in life, it is nice to know that something really is ‘brand new’ and no one has ever lived in the property before.
Buyers who get in early, before a development has been built, will be able to choose the flat they like most within the development and benefit from any incentives on offer by the developer. In some cases, the property may have even increased in value by the time you get the keys.
With some of the restrictions we have seen affecting the property market recently, this is one type of purchase where no physical viewing is needed, and final decisions can be made based on virtual tours, floorplans, marketing material and a knowledgeable Estate Agent who will be able to talk through the development in detail.
Help to Buy
The Government’s Help to Buy Scheme aims to assist first time buyers and existing homeowners to move up the housing ladder and is still proving to drive some serious interest in the current climate.
The criteria for the Scheme mean that just a 5% deposit is needed, so the purchaser needs to obtain a 55% mortgage and the Government provides a 40% equity loan which is interest free for the first five years. This is available on all new build homes in London up to £600,000, if the development is signed up for the Scheme.
Applicant registration numbers remain high across our new home development sites in London where the Help to Buy Scheme is offered. One site in Southfields, South West London, has seen a property a week sold through the Help to Buy Scheme during the lockdown period.
With the ever-increasing London population adding further pressure to the underlying supply and demand issues in London, the Government have some ambitious building targets in place. They plan to build 300,000 new homes per annum by 2025, however in 2019 they managed just over half this amount. New homes are certainly going to play a significant role in supplying more housing and remain a very attractive option for many home buyers in the market.