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Property Development: is the Northern Powerhouse fighting back Post-Brexit?

Napthens - August 25th 2016

With the dust starting to settle on Brexit, is the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ fighting back to keep its hat in the ring when it comes to the New Housing Sector?

The ResPublica ‘A Manifesto for the North’ has laid out scope for increased control for the Northern cities and localities to have their own right to produce their own regeneration plans and lead the housing development sector to meet economic priorities across the local level – not just national. However, with the post-Brexit dust-cloud settling, how does the Northern Housing Development sector look?

At Napthens, our Real Estate Division, has borne witness to a number of positive signs for growth across Lancashire and Cumbria over the recent quarter. With a multitude of new development site opportunities being transacted, across all stages, from land acquisition to development set-up, these past few months have shown us that the North is not only fighting back but is proving itself to be a real contender.

Affordable home ownership schemes, such as Help to Buy, which has been extended by the Government and will run until 2020, are helping drive the success of the new housing sector forward. Making up 30% of the current rate of new build homes in England, the further extension and investment in the scheme will provide greater certainty to housing developers to continue to invest in building more sustainable, new homes.

How about the North?

Help to Buy North West have reported their busiest ever month in June 2016 and our Plot Sales team have advised a further four developers with their registration of the Help to Buy Scheme with the Homes & Communities Agency since June 2016 alone.

It hasn’t slowed down there either with mortgage lending having increased by 12%, according to the latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), with a positive increase of 25% year-on-year for first time buyer loans worth £5.5bn in June 2016. Planning applications still continue to be submitted and there is a wealth of sites being proposed across Lancashire, Cumbria and Merseyside currently.

We are seeing an increased number of small to medium sized sites being proposed and this has opened up the property development market to boutique house builders and developers who want a bite of the proverbial northern apple. With national housing developers continuing to push forward (and in a northern direction too) the initial Post-Brexit uncertainties appear to be diminishing at a steady, albeit cautious, rate.

Guarantees cannot be made at this early stage but we shall be keeping an attentive eye over the course of the next quarter to see whether this flurry of growth continues.

If you are considering or have a development opportunity and would like to discuss it with one of our specialists please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Plot Sales team.