Developers snap up land for 8,700 new homes

File photo dated 28/02/12 of a construction site. A growing shortage of building workers, including

Developers across the East of England have snapped up parcels of land to refill their land banks - Credit: PA

Housing developers across the East of England have been snapping up deals to refill their land banks following a strong period of sales - including a site in Felixstowe suitable for 560 homes.

Savills completed more than £272million of land sales across the East of England in the first half of 2021 — paving the way for 8,500 new homes to be built.

Richard Janes, who leads the development team at Savills in Cambridge, said the second quarter of the year saw a particular trend towards the sale of larger sites.

“We have had a very strong first half of the year and our development land teams across the region have capitalised on the strength of the housing market in the second half of 2020, which gave land buyers more confidence,” he said.

“The high sales rates of last year have depleted housebuilders’ stocks of new homes and land, meaning that land replenishment will be an ongoing feature of the 2021 market.”

Savills sold 20 sites — spread across Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire — for a total value of £272,126,400. Between them the sites have planning permission for 8,692 new residential units.

Among the more significant sales are a 58 acre site at Candlet Road in Felixstowe, Suffolk, which was sold to Persimmon Homes with permission for 560 properties – 35 per cent of which will be affordable.

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And a 23 acre site with permission for 225 homes was sold to Taylor Wimpey as part of the larger Kingsfleet development at Thetford in Norfolk.

Andy Redman, who leads the development teams for Savills across Essex and Suffolk, added: “Our research tells us land values have remained robust over the last quarter, with UK greenfield and urban values increasing by 1.7% and 1.8% respectively, marking the strongest growth in greenfield land values since 2014.

"We have seen a particularly busy second quarter, with activity levels in the land market higher than previous quarters.

"The momentum has continued through July and we look forward to a busy third quarter. We are seeing lots of new sites being brought forward with increasingly motivated buyers in the market and no sign of a summer lull.”