Housebuilders are buying land at a pace not seen since the start of the financial crisis.
Research by the Financial Times (FT) has shown out of all major construction firms, only Berkeley, an upmarket London housebuilder, reduced the number of plots it bought in the last 12 months.
This shows the government’s Help to Buy scheme has begun to spark action among firms like Barratt and Bovis, which had – at first – been conservative over their building programmes to make sure they did not have unmanageable numbers of vacant properties – as was the case following the financial crisis.
Charlie Campbell, an analyst at Liberum investment bank, told the FT market demand has rocketed in recent months because of government initiatives to get first-time buyers on the housing ladder.
Mr Campbell added he thinks the land will be used to build houses on quickly, adding: “Help to Buy has a finite life … if you were a housebuilder, why on earth would you hoard land to develop after 2016?”
Help to Buy has faced substantial criticism in recent weeks, with Ed Balls and Vince Cable expressing scepticism as to its value.