Housebuilders look to replenish land pipelines as sentiment improves – Knight Frank

Housebuilders have returned to the market for land in greater numbers following a hiatus in 2023, Knight Frank has revealed.

According to Knight Frank’s latest Development Land Index, greater stability in the housing market so far this year has resulted in sentiment in the land market starting to improve.

Nearly half of small and medium sized developer (SME) respondents said that housebuilders were the most active group in their regions.

On average, housebuilder site sales per week ticked up to 0.62, up from 0.56 in H1 2023 and from a low of 0.47 in H2 2022 following the mini-Budget in September.

Nearly 40% of respondents said site visits and reservations had increased – the strongest reading since records began in late 2022.

However, while many noted a strong resurgence in builders looking to replenish pipelines, for the most-part, there is still not much land changing hands.

More than 60% of survey respondents said that in order to combat this, an interest rate cut remains top of their wishlist.

This ranked more highly than either planning reform (48%), a further fall in land pricing (29%) and more first-time buyer support (26%) when it comes to increasing their appetite for land and new development.