Housebuilder Mathew Carpenter, Director of Wedgewood Homes, reflects on an intriguing 12 months for the property market and considers what is in store for the world of housebuilding in 2017.
With frosty mornings and the advent calendar well dented by now, we can see the New Year on the horizon. 2016 is coming to a close, and what a year it has been for housebuiling.
It has been a bumpy journey, with Brexit clearly taking centre stage. Despite some understandable initial fears and an early drop in housebuilders shares directly after the announcement to leave, the industry has made a quick turn around, now showing a buoyancy that many people would never have expected.
Housebuilding activity remained the best performing category of construction output during November, and with positive news coming from the recent Autumn Statement including the launch of a Home Builders Fund of £1bn to help small housebuilders, custom builders & innovators, I am extremely optimistic about the condition of the industry leading into 2017.
At Wedgewood Homes we consider ourselves a success story of 2016, with our developments selling well and a number of new sites secured. Longview, our scheme of 8 homes in Boughton-under-Blean, has been filled with happy new owners, and anticipation surrounds our latest sites.
The Willows, a delightful scheme in Chestfield, is well under way and generating plenty of interest already in its early stages, surely due to its excellent location between Whitstable and Herne Bay. The scheme of 5 barn-style homes with 4 & 5 bedrooms are expected to be ready in April 2017.
We are moving into 2017 with a spring in our step, safe in the knowledge that we have done the groundwork to be able to supply our fair share of new homes - precisely what the UK needs most at the moment.