Published on 19/04/21

Savills RDS Division experiences busiest ever Q1

Savills residential development sales team in Birmingham has experienced its busiest Q1 on record, with more properties reserved in the first three months of this year than in any other quarter.

The Midlands team also saw their busiest ever month with more sales agreed in March than in previous years.

Joe Shorney, head of residential development in the Midlands at Savills, says: “Not only did March deliver our best month ever, but the first quarter of this year has exceeded all records in terms of the number of new sales agreed, registrations of new applicants and undertaking more viewings on behalf of our esteemed developer clients, across a wide price point.

“Our successes this year are due in part to the strong buyer demand, with visits to the new homes pages of our website doubling year on year, at a national level. We also saw brochure downloads up by over 40% which resulted in a 73% increase in website enquiries.

“The national lockdown has given people the time to think about what they really want from their homes and, here in the Midlands, we have registered 50% more buyers than in any previous Q1. Not only does this demonstrate the resilience of the Birmingham and wider West Midlands residential property market but it also shows the robustness and depth of high quality and well-priced homes.”

Savills residential development sales teams across the country have also seen the number of first time buyers increase. First time buyers now represent the highest proportion of all new build sales in the regions, including Birmingham.

The national lockdown has also brought about other changes – working from home and flexible working hours has meant people are less tied to a location because of job. This additional flexibility has meant regional centres, including Birmingham and the West Midlands, have seen an increase in buyers coming out of London.

Joe adds: “The biggest tool in identifying buyers has been our website which generated a third of Savills viewings and sales across the country. Our own website gives us more enquiries and sales than any of the other portals which puts us in a unique position when marketing new developments. With several highly anticipated schemes due to launch over the coming months, and life slowly coming back to normal, we are confident the trend is set to continue, but I am sure there will also be some continued headwinds as we navigate the rest of 2021.”

However, more broadly, there is a shortage of new build product in the market place. Savills head of residential development sales, George Cardale says: “New starts fell by 25% last year, which will result in short term price rises. If prices rise beyond affordability levels, rates of sale will slow and the market will be constrained. What is desperately needed is more open market supply. We are seeing a real opportunity now to launch new schemes off plan and take advantage of the busier market conditions.”