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Developer appetites for land only plots down year on year 

by | May 13, 2024

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The latest research by property development appraisal software, APRAO, has revealed that developer demand for land only plots has declined by 11% on an annual basis, with just a handful of locations bucking the national trend.

APRAO analysed the latest data on land only development opportunities across England, looking at developer appetites based on the proportion of all listings that have already been sold and how this demand for land development has changed year on year. 

The research shows that, across England, just 43% of all land only plots have currently been sold, marking an 11% annual decline. 


Bristol ranks top of the table in terms of current demand, with 64% of all land only plots having found a buyer in the current market. 

Suffolk (60%), Bedfordshire (58%), East Sussex (56%) and Leicestershire (56%) are also home to some of the highest current demand for land only development opportunities, as are Cheshire (54%), Northamptonshire (54%), Dorset (54%), North Yorkshire (53%) and Essex (53%). 

However, with the exception of Bristol, all of the top 10 hottest spots have seen a decline in demand on an annual basis, as have a further 31 counties.


Along with Bristol there are a handful of counties that are going against the national grain, having seen an uplift in developer appetites over the last year. 

Bristol has seen the sharpest increase on an annual basis, with demand 20% higher versus this time last year. 

Across South Yorkshire, demand is up by 5%, while Tyne and Wear (+3%), London (+3%), Rutland (+3%), Berkshire (+2%) and Lancashire (+2%) have also seen an increase. 


CEO of APRAO, Daniel Norman, commented: “Although there are always a range of factors to consider with any development, a land only plot is often hot property as it provides a relatively blank canvas for developers to work with, whilst also lowering the costs involved in preparing the land for development.

“In a market that is notoriously under-supplied, land only plots are often in high demand, however, this demand has declined on an annual basis which demonstrates the difficult landscape the nation’s housebuilders are currently facing. 

“With interest rates yet to come down, financial pressure has no doubt contributed to this reduction in appetites and the long-term impact is likely to be a slump in housing delivery.”


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