New homes enquiries rise by 187 per cent

Enquiries from people looking to buy a new home have risen by 187 per cent since the housing market reopened, Vistry East Midlands has revealed.

Vistry Group is the parent company of Linden Homes and Bovis Homes. Vistry East Midlands, which has its regional base in Peterborough and builds across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, reported an 87% increase in enquiries in May compared with April. The figure has risen to 187% in just the first two weeks of June, when compared with April’s enquiry levels.

Nic Chapman, Sales and Marketing Director for Vistry East Midlands, said: “There has been much talk of pent-up demand in the housing market and we are certainly seeing evidence of that in the East Midlands. “Through the early stages of lockdown, we were encouraged by the apparent level of interest from people looking to move. Since we reopened our sales offices in May, we have been dealing with a huge volume of customers who are seriously committed to buying a home. “Interest is coming from all types of buyer, from first-time buyers to people looking to trade up, and downsizers who want to release equity. Outdoor spaces and flexible layouts are high on their wish lists and new homes are designed to cater for these requirements.  “The appeal of buying a new home is even greater than before. People are reluctant to move into a home that has previously been occupied. Many also want to take advantage of our part-exchange or assisted move schemes, or to secure an equity loan through Help to Buy.”

Property portals have reported unprecedented demand for homes in recent weeks, with Rightmove recording its busiest day ever and Zoopla reporting that sales have risen by 137%. Part-exchange properties purchased by Vistry East Midlands were selling close to their asking prices early in lockdown and are currently achieving 100 per cent of their value. Homes sold through the assisted move scheme, whereby Vistry Group works with local estate agents to market a customer’s property and pays the agent’s fees, are typically achieving at least the asking price. Many are selling for more.

Help to Buy is available on new homes priced up to £600,000. Using the scheme, a new home can be purchased with a five per cent deposit and a 75% mortgage. Up to 20 per cent is provided as a government-backed equity loan which is interest-free for five years. 

The scheme is currently available to people who already own a home. From March 2021, it will only be available to first-time buyers and regional price caps will be introduced. Nic Chapman said: “We are finding that the market is moving quickly and after spending so long at home, people are confident in making decisions about what their next home should look like. “Our sales teams are back on site, helping customers to find the home that’s right for them. We have adapted our marketing suites to allow for social distancing and to ensure our customers and staff are safe at all times. We are welcoming visitors by appointment only and there will be no other customers present during the allotted time slot.” Vistry East Midlands is currently building at the Linden Homes Buckby Grange development in Burton Latimer.

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