Residential market looks positive so bring development sites forward now

Published January 14th, 2014

With the residential property market turning the corner, now could be a good time for property owners to release and source sites for residential development.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicts house prices in the UK increasing by eight per cent over the course of 2014 driven by the acute imbalance between demand and sluggish supply.

“Agents are reporting fewer new properties coming onto their books so we are urging land and property owners with potential development sites to get them on the market now,” said chartered surveyor Hollie Savage of Berrys in Shrewsbury.

“The residential market is picking up now and developers have seen the signs and are back looking for sites to develop,” she said.

“Some property owners have obtained planning consent in the past but have been sitting on their sites, holding them over until the market picks up.

“The planning permission only lasts for three years so we are urging them to make the sale now while the market is livelier because if they hang on and then have to renew the planning permission they might incur Community Infrastructure Levies (CIL) and Affordable Housing Tax.

“Remember, it takes time to get through the planning system and these additional obligations could add thousands of pounds to the development costs.”

Barns that languished on the market during the recession have in the most part all been sold, with Berrys completing sales on barns in the Shrewsbury, Baschurch, Oswestry and Shifnal areas. These sites now have construction in progress.

“Shropshire has a shortage of housing to meet its five year housing target so there is more scope for property owners to get planning consent for greenfield sites as well as redundant farm buildings.”

New build sites are obviously the most desirable but barn conversions are coming back into vogue again.

“Although many barns have been developed in the county there are still some that have great potential for residential use and with the government looking at relaxing permitted development rights it may become easier to get residential planning consent for these buildings,” Hollie pointed out.

Barns still have the potential to be exempt from CIL if they have been used in some way, perhaps for storage, making them an attractive proposition for developers.

Agents at Berrys have received a lot more enquiries recently from potential residential buyers and also from property developers looking for sites.

“As a diversified practice incorporating surveyors, planners and designers, we have all services under one roof meaning that we can easily process your planning project and we have a high success rate,” she explained.

“When it comes to marketing a site we have excellent relationships with developers in the area who are looking for sites and we have the contacts to do a private deal if this is required.”

Also with a number of infrastructure projects in the pipeline across the Midland and Wales it may be worth enhancing the value of farm buildings in advance of any negotiations with acquiring authorities.

“We offer a free land and property appraisal so please contact us so we can help you make the most of your property assets and optimise the market conditions,” Hollie added.

For further information or to book a free appraisal contact Hollie Savage at Berrys on 01743 267067, email

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