We’ve been working on acquiring sites north and south of the Border since our last update. It’s been a productive 1st half of the year with 5 sites we hope about to come good in the last quarter. Similar to waiting for a bus, all of a sudden there are 5 after a long wait !!
On the land sales side, sites where we are acting for land owner clients are at planning stage and under contract to house builders and we are expecting starts this year and in 2018.
A lot has happened with the political climate for sure. The market has maintained its upward movement in terms of confidence in many locations, perhaps not under influence of the London ripple effect but there is so much complexity and so many pockets of differing market conditions throughout the country.
There are a few clear trends and one we are working on strongly is the continual push towards retirement living developments. We have other requirements knocking on the door also from other sectors.
Another feature is the difficulty level in securing the right sites and this has increased over the years with Planning constraints and the additional hoops to jump through in respect of technical consents.
If landowners could initiate some Planning work themselves for land holdings which have potential for development this would help to move things on a bit quicker, but it is knowing the right specialist planning consultant and the constraints to overcome . That’s is where we can come in.
We work also with SME builders acquiring smaller sites under 20 units for mainstream housing. Funding is better now from private equity backers for this sector .
On strategic land we have a no. of sites at various stage in the planning cycle. It is important to get in as early as possible and we are looking at land now which may take at least 5 years to achieve planning allocations in Local Development Plans.