Property developers target North of England

by Property 118

9:06 AM, 1st October 2019
About A year ago

Property developers target North of England

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Property developers target North of England

In a national study of developers, almost two-thirds (65%) plan to increase their investment activity in the North substantially over the next two years, with the biggest opportunities seen as being in houses and flats, according to a study by finance specialist Together.

Over half (57%) earmarked the North East as Great Britain’s most opportunity-rich region, followed by the North West (42%). Wales (40%) and Scotland (38%) were also seen as strong contenders for investment, trailed by Yorkshire and Humberside (22%) and the South East (13%).

Property developers are almost unanimously supportive of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative with 96% describing it as having had a positive effect, of which 64% said it has been ‘very positive’.

Andrew Charnley, head of corporate relationships at Together, said: “Given the uncertainty around Brexit and the prospect of tougher economic headwinds, it’s encouraging to see developers remaining so bullish, particularly when it comes to the North. Our own experience reflects these findings having supported a significant number of new developments in the North with a healthy future pipeline too.

“The chronic supply/demand imbalance in residential housing is creating the biggest opportunities yet many developers continue to be hampered by obstacles such as a shortage of suitable sites and access to finance. We understand the pressures facing developers and take a highly flexible approach to meeting their finance requirements, often delivering solutions under highly challenging timescales.”

According to the study, houses and flats (selected by 91 per cent and 80 per cent of respondents respectively) offer the biggest development opportunities in the North of England, followed by semi commercial properties (42%) such as bed and breakfasts and restaurants (28%).

Despite property developers’ optimism, the survey identified several headwinds that are likely to impede their ability to invest in new assets. Half (51%) of developers cited a shortage of available sites closely followed by insufficient access to finance (47%) and a lack of government support (40%). A third (33%) of developers worry about Brexit uncertainty.

The table below shows the areas of the country where property developers see the biggest opportunities over the next two years – and the areas where they see the least opportunities.

REGION WHERE DO YOU SEE THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITIES OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS? WHERE DO YOU SEE THE LEAST OPPORTUNITIES OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS?
North East 57% 36%
North West 42% 26%
Wales 40% 27%
Scotland 38% 15%
Yorkshire & The Humber 22% 35%
South East 13% 19%
East Midlands 13% 38%
London 12% 10%
West Midlands 8% 34%
East Anglia 7% 29%
South West 6% 9%

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