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UK housing land values tick up but rising ‘green’ agenda will limit growth

UK residential land values have returned to growth and activity levels picked up across the market after a two-year period of broadly static prices, according to the latest analysis from Savills.

Uncertainty peaked in the final quarter of 2019 leading up to the election with slowing transactional activity and deals taking longer to complete in some areas of the country.  But the election result has triggered a rapid uptick in confidence both amongst buyers of land and in the underlying housing market.

The value of UK greenfield land increased by 0.9% in Q4 2019, taking annual growth to 1.6%, according to the Savills quarterly residential development land index. Urban land values ticked up 0.3% between October and December and 0.9% year on year.

House prices rose by 0.4% in the final quarter of 2019 and 1.4% across the whole year according to Nationwide. However, while house prices are now an average 16% above their 2007/08 peak (according to Nationwide), greenfield land values remain down 11.7% and urban land values down 22.0%.

The eastern region (East Midlands and East of England) was the strongest market, with greenfield land values up 2.2% in 2019 and urban land up 2.5%.

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