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Practical completion draws near on 157 new homes in Hailsham

Nestled in the rolling Sussex countryside is ‘Ambersley Green’ and its adjoining housing parcel ‘Linnet Place’ – a development of 157 new homes across two phases. V10 were instrumental in acquiring both tranches of land and sourcing a select build contractor for Clarion and its private development business, Latimer. The scheme is now comprehensively advanced with many residencies occupied, creating a successful sustainable community aligning with V10’s objectives.

Achieving social value

The scheme provides a range of two, three and four-bedroom townhouses, semi- detached and detached homes. Coupled with this there are also apartments and bungalows contained within the scheme to create further variety in the housing mix. Some of the non-s106 units were delivered by Clarion as additional affordable units with an affordable rent and shared ownership tenure with Homes England grant – thus creating additional social value.

Historic Hailsham town

Hailsham is an area mentioned in the Domesday Book. It was granted market town status in 1252 by Henry III and is seven miles north of Eastbourne. In recent years Hailsham has grown significantly with many new developments attracting new homeowners to the area from greater Sussex and London seeking value for money.

Thoughtfully considered design

Karl Timberlake, Land Director at V10 Homes commented: “Working in development is mostly about plans and figures especially in the evolving pre-construction phases prior to acquisition. Given this scenario, this was a typical textbook deal for V10 to procure. In this regard we worked with a highly professional land promoter, his agent and legal team, Clarion’s new business team, ECE Architecture and Jenner Construction in true collaborative unison. Together we identified the issues and problems and calmly sought the most cost-effective solutions. It was perfect teamwork in motion to achieve a very successful outcome.

“One of the things I remember mostly about this scheme when it was on the drawing board was in deliberating and deciding the appropriate housing mix, layout and tenures to meet local needs of the area. We wanted to get it just right to cover a broad demographic and cater for a range of occupiers from all walks of life. John Stainton, V10’s Pre-Construction Director and I enjoyed spending many hours with a plan, spreadsheet and some coloured pencils creating the vision which has now been realised in built form today. We were especially conscious of delivering homes for those people who we knew needed an affordable home in the area.

“Fast forward to the present day situation and our drone images show a fantastic development that everyone collectively involved can be proud of. What the aerial footage doesn’t show is the joy and happiness of the occupiers of these well-designed homes – some of whom greeted me when I was filming the scheme with the V10 drone. Knowing that around 500 people now have a home gives me intense professional and personal satisfaction – especially as some of them wouldn’t have had one here in the Sussex countryside without V10’s efforts. A reward worth the toil!”

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When will annual house price growth fall to zero?

Hometrack, which supplies V10 with its market valuation data, released its UK House Price Index and commentary today and claims that the pace of house price rises is expected to drop 40% by the end of 2022.

House Prices

It is predicting that Y-O-Y house price inflation will slow from its current 8.3% to 5% by the end of this year – that’s a 40% drop in the pace of increase. In March house price inflation was running at 9.3% so the peak in Y-O-Y increases seems to have passed which reflects not only general supply and demand trends in the market but affordability in local markets.

Demand Drops

The report also highlighted that demand in April was 58% above the previous April in 2021. However, that peak has clearly passed as Hometrack are now reporting buyer demand to be only 25% above the same period in June 2021 – representing a 57% drop in the pace of demand increases Y-O-Y. Nevertheless, overall demand is up compared to 2021.

Supply Surges

Meanwhile the supply of homes to the market has increased Y-O-Y from 3% last month to 5% this month – up 67%. However, the number of available properties to buy is still 29% less than it was at the same point this time last year. Overall supply is down compared to 2021.

The impact of affordability on house price inflation

Hometrack commented “ This analysis demonstrates that while the direction of house price growth is dictated by the balance of demand and available supply, the pace of price changes is dictated by housing affordability. The Zoopla house price index shows that the fastest price gains continue to be seen in the most affordable housing markets while unaffordable markets lag behind as affordability pressures price out growing numbers of households and limit the potential for price gains.”

So, for example Wigan has seen an 11.8% increase Y-O-Y but central London only a 1.7% rise.

The London Experience

The London market arguably peaked a couple of years ago with rampant house price inflation as demand and sales surged. Anecdotally this has cooled in the last 18 months as prices reached their peak and demand slowed due to affordability. The same effect is likely to occur in other areas outside of London which are likely to slow even faster due to increasing mortgage rates and household cost factors. London has entered a period of market stability whereas outside of London V10 expects local markets to show strong house price inflation before flatlining during 2023.

The Hometrack report comments:

“Our analysis suggests 4% is a key level for mortgage rates and one beyond which we would expect to see zero annual house price growth.”