Searches for new build properties were highest in the North East (up +23% month-on-month) and in the North West (+18% month-on-month), highlighting the popularity of areas with comparatively affordable property prices.
The average price of a new build property rose only marginally in July, up by +0.3% from June to £348,049.
Even luxury new build property searches increased +22% nationally in July, despite a -67% drop in London – the largest search area, where the rising cost of living and affordability concerns are likely to be most notable. The London decrease was offset by search rises in multiple other regions including South East England (+190%), South West England (+50%) and Wales (+100%), which suggests the trend for post-pandemic relocations fuelled by new lifestyle requirements is far from over.
Help-to-Buy searches also rebounded in July, increasing +12% nationally in comparison with June, as prospective buyers rush to beat the final October reservation and December completion deadlines before the Help-to-Buy equity loan scheme ends. Similarly, searches for Part Buy Part Rent (Shared Ownership) rose +25% nationally in July versus June, led once again by the North East region, which registered a substantial +213% upsurge.
Daniel Hill, Managing Director, whathouse.com said, “This month’s positive data regarding new build searches highlights that predictions about a widespread collapse in the housing market are extremely premature. Demand – across all key sectors and all regions covered – remains robust.
“High prices, the general cost-of-living crunch, and especially August’s interest rate rise to 1.75% – the biggest jump in 27 years – may well cause buyer demand to gradually cool later this year. But for now, our search data shows that there is a continuing desire to move, and it seems that those who are in a position to buy are keen to act now rather than wait, perhaps in a bid to lock in a more favourable fixed-term mortgage rates.
“New-build homes offer so many benefits compared with second-hand properties, including lower running, maintenance and repair costs, all of which help to keep monthly outgoings more manageable, which will be a key consideration going forward.”