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Leeds the best location for building new homes, research reveals

New research has revealed that Leeds is the best city in England for building new homes. Analysis of official figures by Argyll Property Partners has shown that Leeds has the best combination of planning success, demand for homes, value and house price growth.

On average, new build homes in the Yorkshire city are worth 41% more than existing properties, while the value of new homes in the area has increased by 13% year-on-year.

Leeds has one of the largest local authorities in England, with nearly four times as many property sales compared to the monthly average, helped by the fact the city’s planning authorities approve 95% of major residential applications.


Birmingham, Cornwall, County Durham, Bradford, Manchester and Liverpool were other locations that made the list of the top 10 local authorities for building new homes.

“Developers should head to Leeds if they’re looking to build homes in England,” Brian Markovitz, Director of Argyll Property Partners, said. “Property values for new builds in the city are seeing double-digit growth as increasing employment drives demand for homes.”

He added: “The significant gap in the price of new homes compared to existing properties means there are healthy profits to be made, while the high transaction figures suggest homes should be relatively easy to buy and sell.”

Surrey Heath, by contrast, is the worst local authority for developers to build new homes. Argyll’s analysis found that the high property values in Surrey – which means that developers have to pay a premium price to secure a site – make it unattractive to developers.

New homes in Surrey Heath, once complete, are typically worth 23% less than existing properties in the area. What’s more, homes in rural areas can be harder to buy and sell. In Surrey Heath, for example, monthly transactions are 50% lower than the nationwide average.

While the local council approves 75% of major residential applications, this number is still lower than the majority of other local authorities.

However, despite being a poor location for new build homes, the average value of new properties in Surrey Heath is still rising by 7% year-on-year.

Hambleton, Ribble Valley, Richmondshire, Pendle, Islington and Hammersmith & Fulham were other locations that fared poorly, with all these areas being ranked in the list of the top 10 worst local authorities for new builds.

“For developers, Surrey Heath doesn’t appear to be the best location for new builds,” Brian Markovitz continued. “The higher land values in the area mean that profit margins will be squeezed. Despite Surrey Heath’s proximity to London, the large amount of Green Belt land in the area means home sales are also significantly lower than the average for a local authority.”


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