Economic growth in the city of London is spilling over into the South East, creating an ever-rising demand for new housing and office space in the region. The growth in these areas has been steady and consistent for the last two decades, with reports in 1997 showing that London and the South East accounted for a third of national input – a figure that rose to 37.7 in 2015.
In fact, if current trends continue, the two regions are expected to account for as much as 40% of national output by the end of the next parliament in 2022. While both Labour and Conservative MPs have revealed that they have plans to regenerate regions that have seen its share of GDP fall, the South East is expected to continue benefiting from the number of families and companies moving to the region from London.
Despite this consistent economic growth there was a shortfall of around 90,000 homes, between 2011 and 2015, in the South East. This is due to a combination of the overspill from the capital and the increasing population in the region. The South East is the third highest region in terms of population density, with an average of 440 residents per square kilometre.
This is reflected in the value of the properties within this region, with annual house price growth in the East and the South East outpacing London for the fourth year in a row. In the South East, house prices have risen by an average of 8.6 per cent – the national average is 7.1 percent. This means the annual house price growth in the region is the second highest in the country.
A similar story can be seen in South East office investment volumes, which are well ahead of the long term average. As a result, the demand for properties in this region – particularly commercial and industrial sites – is also increasing.
But what does this mean for site owners? Well, to put it simply – the economic growth in the South East increases the number of opportunities for owners of sites that have the potential to be redeveloped.
While the development of Brownfield land in the region will be one of the primary focuses, it has been noted that some areas in the South East have a very limited amount of brownfield land available. In order to tackle the chronic undersupply of housing in the South East, and stimulate and rejuvenate communities, the number of commercial and residential developments in urban areas needs to become the focus of the mission.
With the creation of these spaces, new communities will thrive and attract more businesses and homeowners – further increasing the region’s national output. The upkeep of this cycle can determine the future of the area. It is therefore important that planners, developers, house-builders and property owners use their knowledge, resources and expertise to create places in the South East where people can live, work and prosper.
If you think you have a plot of land with development potential please contact us.