First-timers are key to housing market recovery

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Sixty-five per cent of Yorkshire developers questioned in a survey by law firm Clarion said that the availability of first-time mortgages was the single most important factor in ensuring the recovery of homebuilders in the region.

This was ahead of commercial funding that was considered the most crucial aspect by 29 per cent of the developers, architects and landowners who attended a recent event hosted in Leeds by Clarion partner James Lawson.

Six per cent believed the availability of land with planning permission would be a critical factor over the coming year. The survey was undertaken at a seminar giving advice to Yorkshire developers and landowners about housing delivery and ways of maximising opportunities in a new planning regime.

Architect Ian Bryant, of QAD Architects, and Tim Waring, a director at the national planning consultancy Indigo, were also speakers at the event.

Mr Lawson said: “The impact of the Government’s new planning regime was welcomed, with over 90 per cent of the property professionals surveyed stating that the prospects for the residential development sector have improved post the changes introduced by the coalition.

“Whilst challenges remain, there are signs of cautious optimism in the residential property sector at present, with increased activity and available land stock, and it is clear the will and resource are there to deliver the housing – the next crucial step is for the Government, the housing industry and the banks, to focus on effective ways to deliver mortgage lending at the foot of the ladder.”