The latest Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) construction output data reveals the impact the anticipated earlier end date for the stamp duty holiday has had on activity, according to Andy Sommerville, director at Search Acumen.
Sommerville said: “The slight rise in new private housing construction output may be partly driven by strong buyer demand in the property market.
“Housebuilders may have been more responsive to push ahead with new construction projects to capitalise on higher buyer activity.”
Construction output up 0.9%
Construction output rose by 0.9% in January 2021, however was 2.6% below the February 2020 level.
Sommerville goes on to say that the extension of the stamp duty holiday into June and the tapering off of the threshold in September may incentivise firms to continue to push to complete projects.
He believes that buyer activity could remain strong in the medium to long-term, driven in part by the pandemic changing consumer preferences toward favouring larger properties with access to green space and the weakening of ties to physical offices.
He added: “Stronger willingness to relocate to areas beyond cities and commuter belts will create a more even distribution of demand for properties in different areas across the UK, offering housebuilders more possibilities over where to begin new projects.”
Sommerville explained that if there is rise in buyer interest in areas not traditionally associated with high transaction levels, the property market would need to adapt to improve the accessibility and quality of housing location data.
He said: “This is so that is easily available to conveyancers, planners and prospective homeowners alike.”