Residential Property Focus
2015 – Issue 2

Residential Property Focus 2015 Issue 2
Residential Property Focus
2015 – Issue 2

24 June 2015, by Yolande Barnes

Understanding the complexities of the built environment is vital in this post-election climate.

Into the Blue

With election uncertainty over, Savills Research has relaunched its weather balloon to gauge the temperature of the UK’s housing markets.

This Focus covers a wide range of themes including the future of land supply, demographics, the economy, finance, and investment. In doing so, it illustrates the complex interactions in the climate of the built environment.

The Built Environment Triangle is formed of three elements: Land, Money and Buildings. If conditions in one corner of the triangle are not favourable, they have severe implications on the others.


This is illustrated by Neal Hudson on What's Driving Residential Investment where he shows how demand for both housing investment and renting is significantly affected by lending policy and investing conditions (in the money corner), demographic impacts and regulation (in the money and buildings corners) and housing supply (in the land and buildings corners).

All three elements of the triangle are impacted by economic, demographic, and policy forces and so cyclical and structural changes take their toll on each. Lucian Cook highlights how changing economic conditions and the structure of local economies impacts the geography of house prices (Crossing the Trend-Line) and how the experience of the built environment differs according to age and other demographic factors.

He also shows how housing cannot be considered in isolation from other land and building uses, that a successful economy depends on the accommodation of businesses and visitors as well as residents.

The dynamics of these interactions are further illustrated by Sophie Chick who adds to the complex picture on Are There Blue Skies Ahead? by revealing more of the interactions between money, land and buildings and the impacts of housing equity migrating from location to location.

What our commentators show is that policy makers need to have a full understanding of demographics, and land supply together with the cyclical, geographic and structural impacts of changing economic conditions in order to address issues in the built environment. A focus solely on say planning or first-time buyers will remain ineffective window dressing by comparison.

Post-election climate

In assessing the weather conditions of the post-election climate, we urge all parties to make a concerted and long-term commitment to understanding the complexities of the built environment and their interaction rather than expecting a single, shaft of sunlight to magically dissipate housing problems.

We would argue there is a strong case for treating the built environment in the same way as other long-term infrastructure investment to ensure that long-term consensus dominates the climate on a long-term basis rather than a five-year tenure.

In the run up to polling day and since, we have heard some ‘sound and fury’ from certain commentators in relation to solving Britain’s ‘housing crisis’. We hope this issue of the Focus will assist all types of decision makers with clear evidence of how the housing market works and behaves.

Articles from Residential Property Focus 2015 – Issue 2

Video: Residential Property Focus

Lucian Cook, Sophie Chick and Neal Hudson discuss the complexities of the housing market post-election.

Post-Election Prospects

Will we see a surge of demand back into the housing market?

Crossing The Trend-Line

What are the key drivers of house prices at a regional and local level?

Are There Blue Skies Ahead?

What next for the prime market now that the cloud of mansion tax has been lifted?

Debt In The Prime Markets

Will mortgage reform affect the prime housing markets?


The housing market remains an attractive investment opportunity, but risks need consideration.

Increasing Housing Supply

Housebuilding could reach over 200,000 units per year by 2020 if sufficient land is brought forward and barriers to construction removed.

Mapping Out The Market

24 June 2015

Mapping Out The Market

Over the past 10 years, real house prices have varied dramatically across England and Wales; with early indications that the pattern is changing.


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