33 Executing a successful housing development, large or small, is a tricky business with many factors to consider, such as identifying appropriate sites, planning and design justifications, right through to the sale of plots. Our team of experts argue that stumbling blocks tend to appear when a developer hasn’t received sound advice on the market and needs of the people surrounding the acquired land at an early stage. Speaking about the importance of market knowledge, Gemma Miller, Residential Sales Manager at George F. White said: “For any housing developer, knowledge is king; we cannot stress that enough. You might have a fantastic vision, but does it fit the market in the area you’re looking to build? The agency team at George F. White work closely with our planning, investment and site finding teams, ensuring that private investors and developers are looking at the bigger picture, and are better advised on a market before progressing with new build development plans. We’ve seen it too many times before where a developer has come to us for advice after they’ve already progressed through the architectural and planning stages and are ready to commence the development, or when a new build is complete and ready for sale, only to be disappointed that there’s no demand in the area for the style of home they’ve created, or that the profit margins they hoped to achieve are not feasible for the area.” “It’s extremely important for a developer to be in touch with a local estate agent in the early stages of a new build project to fully understand the market, the constraints and motivation they’re working with, and the values; if this stage of the development process is cut, it’s more than likely that the developer will lose out financially. I would strongly suggest speaking to your local estate agent within the first phase rather than at the point of marketing.” Motivations for new build housing differ depending on location; however, a report by the Joseph Roundtree Foundation found that the majority of new build buyers are largely influenced by both internal and external design, stating that buyers prefer developments where there’s more flexibility on bespoke design and where there’re a larger variety of property types available. That’s certainly a factor that we’ve found to be vital for a housing development to be successful. Gemma continued: “As modern living continues to progress; we’ve found that selling housing plots off plan has become more popular as it is giving buyers the option to design their home to suit their lifestyle. There’re so many housing developments now with specific blue prints; buyers want to be able to make a property their home, therefore offering that flexibility prior to building increases the attractiveness and likelihood of a swift sale.” “We are lucky to have a team of in-house estate agents, planners and architects, allowing us to ensure that each of our developments is executed professionally and to an excellent standard. It also means that our clients are dealing with the same people but with the individual that has the most relevant expertise, meaning they receive the same level of service from beginning to end.” If you’re considering developing housing opportunities, be it a large or small scale project; get in touch with your local team today to find out more about how we can help you. ▪ NEW BUILD HOUSING: WHY KNOWLEDGE IS KING It’s no secret that housing developers are now nationally recognised as a solution to the UK housing crisis, and if executed correctly, they can deliver sustainable new communities.