The share of flat completions sold off-plan dropped from 58% in 2019 to 50% in 2020, however the share of off-plan house completions increased from 29% in 2019 to 30% in 2020, shows research by Hamptons
According to Hamptons’ Off-Plan Sales Index, a third of new home completions in England and Wales last year were sold off-plan, equating to 49,000 homes.
It is the lowest recorded since 2014, and is down from 35%, 58,000, in 2019, the research shows.
The share of flat completions sold off-plan dropped from 58% in 2019 to 50% in 2020, however the share of off-plan house completions increased from 29% in 2019 to 30% in 2020.
Historically more new homes have been sold off-plan in London compared with anywhere else in the country.
More than half of new homes (52%) completed in the capital last year were sold before completion.
Meanwhile, of the total number of new home sales in London, flats accounted for between 90% and 95%.
New build homes in the South West and Yorkshire & Humber were least likely to be sold off-plan, with just 22% of completions in 2020 bought before the end of construction.
More flats sold off-plan in the North West and North East than anywhere else in England and Wales during 2020.
80% of flat completions in the North East last year were sold off-plan, compared with 68% in the North West.
On a local authority level, Spelthorne in Surrey had the highest percentage of off-plan completions last year at 81%. This was followed by Waltham Forest at 80% and Lambeth at 77%.
David Fell, senior analyst at Hamptons, said: Securing off-plan sales is fundamental to the health and profitability of most new developments.
By selling some homes before they are built, developers can reduce the sales period and generate an income before the scheme is complete, often using the money to fund ongoing works and repay loans, he said. While overall fewer new homes were sold off-plan last year than in 2019, there was an increase in houses sold off-plan.
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