Miller plans 95 more homes as market confidence returns
SUFFICIENT confidence has returned to the Huntingdonshire housing market for one leading house-builder to be resuming volume building. Miller Homes has all but run out of houses to sell at Loves Farm, east of the railway line in St Neots, where the compan
SUFFICIENT confidence has returned to the Huntingdonshire housing market for one leading house-builder to be resuming volume building.
Miller Homes has all but run out of houses to sell at Loves Farm, east of the railway line in St Neots, where the company has lodged a detailed planning application to put up a further 95 homes.
The recovery of market confidence has been moving northwards from the Home Counties, according to Miller's sales and marketing director Steve Garton.
"The market is most definitely on the up," he told The Hunts Post. "It has picked up since the back end of last year in a slow way and has accelerated since then. Confidence is coming back, and it's quite positive at the moment."
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Miller Homes has completed around 40 units of its 236-home share of the 1,250-home Loves Farm development, but has only two 'stock units' unsold.
"I think we are being a little bit braver than the other developers here because of our stock position. But, although prices have not yet started to rise, the incentives we need to offer are already dropping off.
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"In St Neots, prices did reduce, but the downturn was relatively short-lived and we are slowly climbing back," Mr Garton explained.
"Until October last year it was very tough, but every month since February or March this year we have found we need to give less away."
The news of further building is not yet a shot in the arm for the industry's beleaguered tradesmen, however, because Miller had been working on the site seven days a even through the downturn.
A start of work, if the planning application succeeds, will probably not come until early next year, Mr Garton said.
The company has been sustained through the downturn by the success of its shared equity scheme, under which the developer retains a 25 per cent interest that acts as a surrogate deposit, particularly useful for first-time buyers and others whose retained equity diminished with the fall in the market.
That scheme accounted for nearly half the company's sales at Loves Farm.
Miller Homes is also set to soon to seek consent for 56 new homes in Huntingdon, at the site of the old Springfield education centre in Sapley.