A STRONG residential market, coupled with an easing of lockdown measures, has brought renewed confidence in the development land market in Yorkshire.

Transactions of development land had slowed significantly during the Covid-19 lockdown, during the second quarter of 2020, however activity in the land market has seen an increase since June.

Savills is poised to start the marketing in September of 12 sites with more than 2,200 units across the north of England.

Matthew Jones, head of northern development at Savills based in Leeds, said: “Activity in the land market across Yorkshire and the north of England is certainly picking up, fuelled in no small part by the uptick in the housing market and the release of pent up demand.

"The confidence from land owners and housebuilders across the region is quite clear with the high number of units that we will be marketing this month, especially as housebuilders see the opportunity to produce more stock for a housing market that is experiencing record levels of activity.

“The stamp duty holiday the Chancellor announced in July will reduce costs for home buyers which should help to support transactions across the market, including new homes.

"The impact will be greatest where access to mortgage finance is less of a barrier, such as for downsizers or those using Help to Buy.

"However, it puts further pressure on developers to complete transactions before 31st March 2021, when the holiday ends.”

Research from Savills in July showed that while regional developers, housing associations and the major housebuilders continue to be active in the land market, they are all adopting a mixed approach.

Some housing associations have been competitively bidding for land, supported by grant, while others direct funding towards the improvement of existing stock.

Despite many housebuilders having been constrained by lack of staff resource throughout lockdown, appetite for the right type of site hadn’t waned and many now have greater workforce to look at new land opportunities.

Some PLC housebuilders are taking a more cautious view on the land market, focusing on their committed pipelines, whereas there are a few that are actively raising money for new land buying.

Savills recently completed the sale of a 27.2 acre site in South Yorkshire which could see almost 300 homes built if newly submitted plans get the go ahead.