Space for 1 million new homes on derelict ‘brownfield’ land, analysis reveals

‘Building on brownfield land presents a fantastic opportunity to simultaneously remove local eyesores and breathe new life into areas crying out for regeneration.’

More than a million new homes could be built on land currently sitting unused across England, according to new analysis.

Brownfield land”, which has previously been built on but is now derelict, could be transformed into vast swathes of housing within the next few years.

The (CPRE) said such measures would regenerate run-down areas without destroying precious stretches of countryside to meet the UK’s housing needs.

As it stands, the government is committed to building 300,000 new homes each year in England to meet demand, and there have been warnings of severe backlogs.

Meanwhile, local groups and green campaigners are concerned about the impact projects such as the massive Oxford-Cambridge development will have on nature and communities. Analysis performed by CPRE using data from Brownfield Land Registers identified over 18,000 sites on which new houses could be built with minimal impact on the environment.

It said two-thirds of this land was ready to be transformed and could begin contributing to the country’s unmet housing needs within just five years.

However, the campaigners said they were concerned with current definitions of “previously developed land” were not comprehensive enough, meaning there could still be a large number of sites being overlooked.

“Building on brownfield land presents a fantastic opportunity to simultaneously remove local eyesores and breathe new life into areas crying out for regeneration,” said Rebecca Pullinger, planning campaigner at the CPRE.

“Councils have worked hard to identify space suitable for more than 1 million new homes.

“But until we have a brownfield-first approach to development, and all types of previously developed land are considered, a large number of sites that could be transformed into desperately needed new homes will continue to be overlooked.”

Research by the group in Enfield identified space for 37,000 homes on sites they identified as a brownfield, 17 times more than official estimates.

CPRE suggested areas including supermarket carparks and “poorly-used industrial or commercial sites” could be regenerated into housing areas with few repercussions.

“The government, local councils and housebuilders, must work hard to bring these sites forward for development and get building,” said Ms Pullinger.

Local Government Association housing spokesperson Martin Tett said: “Councils are committed to bringing forward appropriate sites and ensuring homes are built where they are needed, are affordable, of high quality and supported by adequate infrastructure and services.

“This timely report highlights the availability of sites across the country to deliver enough homes and infrastructure to begin to address the national housing shortage we face.”

Mr Tett said the government must provide councils with the power to speed up developments and set planning fees locally to ensure they are adequately resourced.

Responding to the new analysis, housing minister Kit Malthouse said: “This government is committed to building the homes our country needs while still leaving the environment in a better state than we found it.

“We’re encouraging planners to prioritise building on brownfield land and working with local authorities to ensure sensible decisions are made on where homes get built.”

 


North-South house price divide to narrow over the next five years

House prices in London have risen by 72% over the last 10 years, leaving little wriggle room to rise further, Savills says.

The North-South house price divide could narrow over the next five years, a report predicts – with property values rising at a faster rate in northern England, Wales and Scotland than those across London.

According to estate agents Savills, house prices across Britain are expected to increase by 14.8% from 2019 to 2023. That would add about £32,000 to the average house, valuing it at £248,000 by the end of 2023.

While house prices in London are expected to rise by 4.5% between 2019 and 2023, the rest of the country could see double-digit growth. House prices in the North West are expected to rise 21.6%, Wales will see a 19.3% increase and Scotland will see 18.2% growth.

Savills believes stricter mortgage lending rules introduced following the financial crisis will limit house price increases – but new mortgage affordability rules will also help to protect the housing market from prices nosediving.

Lucian Cook, Savills head of residential research, said: “Brexit angst is a major factor for market sentiment right now, particularly in London, but it’s the legacy of the global financial crisis – mortgage regulation in particular – combined with gradually rising interest rates that will really shape the market over the longer term.

“That legacy will limit house price growth, but it should also protect the market from a correction.”

London, which has been seen as the engine of the housing market recovery, has seen house prices soar by 72% over the past 10 years – well ahead of any other region.

This leaves less wriggle room for house prices there to keep pushing upwards as people stretch their mortgage borrowing.

The report said that, outside London, key regional economies including Manchester and Birmingham which attract both local buyers and investors have the capacity to outperform their surrounding regions.

Here are Savills’ forecasts for house price growth between 2019 and 2023. Based on figures from Nationwide Building Society’s house price index, Savills has also calculated what the average house price could be by the end of 2023 if its projections for house price growth are correct:

:: North East, 17.6%, £147,100

:: Yorkshire and Humberside, 20.5%, £193,117

:: North West, 21.6%, £197,717

:: East Midlands, 19.3%, £222,392

:: West Midlands, 19.3%, £227,394

:: South East, 9.3% (within the South East, house prices in the outer areas including Brighton and Hove, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury could reach £305,885; and those in the outer London area which includes Reading, Slough, St Albans, Windsor and Maidenhead could reach £398,190)

:: East Anglia, 9.3%, £249,958

:: London, 4.5%, £489,628

:: South West, 12.6%, £276,359

:: Wales, 19.3%, £184,773

:: Scotland, 18.2%, £176,308


Build-To-Rent Development Pipeline Exceeds 100,000

New research by Hamptons International proposes that the private rented sector will continue to grow despite recent policy changes.

Demand for rented property will be a key driver of the sector’s performance, due to long-term demographic changes and a consistent decline in homeownership levels as house price increases outpace income growth.

As a result, the estate agency forecasts that 20.5% of households will be renting in Great Britain by 2022, up from 19.4% in 2018, and that there will be six million households renting privately by 2025.

The research goes on to explore the different ways in which properties can appear on the market. For example, it estimates that around 80,000 homeowners decided to let their home out as they struggled to sell.

However, Hamptons predicts that the build-to-rent sector will become a larger part of the market, as it found the development pipeline will deliver more than 100,000 units, with more expected to come in the future.

Cash owners outnumber those buying with a mortgage, the research also highlights, noting that cash buyers have increased for 23 out of the last 25 years.

In 2017 alone, 65% of investors purchased using cash, equating to billion in property.

“The mass of cash in the market alongside increasing institutional interest is acting as an insulation to changes in policy. Creating a firm foundation on which the sector can continue to grow, particularly as the demand for rented homes will continue to rise,” the research concludes.


Number of Build-to-Rent Homes Under Construction Up 47%

The number of build-to-rent properties either completed, under construction or planned has risen significantly across the UK in the past year.

Analysis by Savills, commissioned by the British Property Federation (BPF), reveals there were 117,893 build-to-rent homes recorded across all the stages of development in Q1 2018; a 30% increase on Q1 2017.

Completions, as well as build-to-rent homes under construction, have grown substantially by 45% and 47% respectively, whilst properties in the planning stage have increased by 19%.

Of all the new build-to-rent homes either completed, under construction or planned, 60,530 (51%) are in London, followed by 29,600 in the North West (25%), and 13,009 across the Midlands and Yorkshire & the Humber (11%).

Ian Fletcher, the director of real estate policy at BPF, commented: “The build-to-rent sector is evolving quickly, with significant delivery in the regions and more houses, rather than just apartments, coming forward.

“Policy is also adapting, as to date the sector has grown without a planning blueprint. This is now changing. With the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework, local authorities will now have to specifically identify how many new rental homes their respective areas need.”

Meanwhile, Housing Minister Dominc Raab said: “The 45% increase in completed build-to-rent homes is good news, but we’re restless to do more.

“Our revised National Planning Policy Framework is a crucial next step in supporting the build-to-rent sector, reforming planning rules, and helping to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.”

Recent analysis from Landbay revealed that rental payments across the UK amount on average to 52% of a household’s disposable income.


Extent of North-South Renting Affordability Gap Revealed

Households outside London spend an average of just over half their income on renting…

Households renting in London are putting a significant percentage of their income towards rent compared to the rest of the country, according to new data from Landbay.

Annual rental growth in the UK, excluding London, rose to 1.21% in March, bringing the average monthly rent to outside the capital.

In London, the average monthly cost of renting is more than double the national average, at 2100

However, the average disposable income for a worker in the capital is per 2455 month. As a result, 89% of their take-home pay is used on renting.

Outside the capital, rental payments amount to just over half (52%) of the average disposable income, which is per 1760 month.

In England, renters in the North East have the lowest percentage (41%) of their incomes going towards rent, followed by Yorkshire & the Humber (43%), the North West (44%) and the East Midlands (44%).

“Rents have continued to rise over the last five years, increasing by 9% across the UK since March 2013 and by 7% in London,” notes John Goodall, CEO and founder of Landbay.

“Not a day goes by when there isn’t more news about the supply-demand mismatch in the UK housing sector and until this is resolved, tenants will continue to rely on the private rented sector to support them.

“With the right property and the right location, there are attractive yields to be had, and consistent rental demand will drive returns in the long-term,” Goodall concludes.