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Home Counties see rapid rise in house building as property prices push commuters out of London

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Home Counties see rapid rise in house building as property prices push commuters out of London

Home Counties see rapid rise in house building as property prices push commuters out of London

The Home Counties have seen an 11.3% increase in residential planning application approvals over the last year as rising property prices drive Londoners to look for homes out of the capital, says EMW, the commercial law firm.

EMW explains that the number of successful residential planning applications in the Home Counties rose to 12,010 in 2015, up 11.3% from 10,793 the year before. Meanwhile, the figure for London was just 9.8%- rising from 9,996 to 10,971 over the same period.

EMW says that the rise in approvals in the Home Counties comes as developers respond to a surge in demand from Londoners looking to buy homes outside the capital, where a shortage of properties is driving up prices.

EMW adds that to help meet growing demand for homes in and around London, the Government is also giving developers incentives to increase the number of new properties being built.

EMW notes that in the 2016 Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced developers would have access to £2 billion from the Local Growth Fund to build more housing. The Government has also simplified the planning application process to make this process less time-consuming.

EMW found that many of the areas that saw the greatest increases in housing applications are key commuter towns in the Home Counties. Tunbridge Wells in Kent and Lewes in East Sussex saw increases of 82% and 88% respectively.

Marco Mauro, Associate at EMW, comments:

"With rising property prices pushing people out of London, the Home Counties are becoming ever more popular places to live. Commuters are willing to travel longer distances in order to purchase a property. It is now normal to commute from as far away as Lewes, Swindon, or Chelmsford. Property developers want to match the growing demand for less expensive housing in the Home Counties, which is often available at lower prices than in London. With the current housing shortage, the Government understands the need for increased development. The Government is now actively encouraging developments and the construction of more homes. With the recent Housing and Planning Act, the Government has placed a particular emphasis on building more starter homes, which are available for sale at a discount for first time buyers."

Top ten areas by increase in planning applications for residential developments, 2014-2015.

For more information, contact Marco Mauro.