Yorkshire based housebuilder, Stonebridge Homes, has seen a year of significant growth, despite the recent economic challenges.
The developer has grown in volume by nearly 50% in the past year, securing an impressive turnover that is up by 60%. Stonebridge has seen successful launches of new Yorkshire developments, launched their first ever North-East site and continued to secure quality land opportunities for delivery this year and into 2024 and 2025.
The UK saw an increase in mortgage rates in October last year, where mortgage rates spiked to be averaging over 6%, tripling from the previous 2% 12 months earlier. However, rates have since reduced with some lenders now offering products around the 4% mark, and there’s no denying that this, alongside the cost-of-living crisis, has put a strain on some households.
However, Stonebridge Homes can see light at the end of the tunnel and have more confidence in the economy than what is often being reported.
Steve Errington, Managing Director at Stonebridge Homes, said: “Interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis is certainly real, and for many, things are tighter than they have been for a long time. However, since the start of this year, we’ve seen a significant drop in mortgage rates. This doesn’t mean that rates will go back to what they once were, as the economy is certainly not the same as it once was, but mortgage rates are moderating, there’s increased competition from lenders now, which in turn, is improving affordability for buyers.”
According to Rightmove, after two months of falls, average new seller asking prices have risen again by 0.9% (+£3,301) in January, which is the biggest increase at this time of year since 2020. And it’s not just these numbers which are showing signs of positivity. Rightmove also released that the number of prospective buyers contacting agents is up 4% compared to the same period in 2019, and up by 55% compared with the two weeks before Christmas, the biggest New Year bounce since 2016 after the extended lull at the end of the year. All of this is proving positive for the housing market.
Steve added: “At Stonebridge, we are clearly monitoring the situation, but we’re still committing to forward build and buying good quality sites, and we still have a growth plan that we expect to achieve. We’re seeing positive signs that this year might not be as bad as predicted.
“Our position in the market, building in sought-after locations and our high-quality product and specification, provides an extra layer of protection against a moderation of the market.”
Another reason why UK housebuilders, including Stonebridge Homes, are confident about the market, is because of the environmental and fuel efficiency of new homes. Owners of new build house are saving on average £2,600 per year in energy costs compared to owners of older houses (source: HBF). The average new build home emits a third of the carbon of older properties, reducing emissions by 2.5 tonnes each year.
Stonebridge Homes now also offer the Deposit Unlock scheme to its customers, a fantastic new scheme backed by the Home Builders Federation, that enables you to buy a new build home with just a 5% deposit. Both first time buyers and home movers can take advantage of Deposit Unlock using a maximum mortgage of £750,000, giving more people the opportunity to buy their own home.
Stonebridge believe that a big factor in the housing market is consumer confidence, so if customers are seeing mortgage rates coming down, the cost-of-living crisis easing and employment holding up, then it’s still a good time to buy a house in terms of overall affordability levels.