Development FinanceNews

Changes to building regulations cause delays for new builds

Changes to building fire regulations since the Grenfell Fire have significantly delayed new build sales in blocks above 18 metres, according to new home specialists, Stone Real Estate.

Changes to the Building (Amendment) Regulations in December 2018 restricted combustible materials contained in the external walls of builds in England.

All sales across the eight major developments of new build blocks currently listed by Stone Real Estate have seen the time period between reservation and the exchange of contracts delayed by at least double the usual time frame.

Michael Stone, founder and chief executive of Stone Real Estate, said: “There is absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that this legislation was needed and these tighter rules and regulations around fire safety have been welcomed industry-wide.

“However, I think the speed at which it was introduced due to the urgency of the issue resulted in a lack of prior-warning and implementation of new procedures to cope with these changes.

“The result has been a sizeable bottleneck of applications at the point of reservation and a slowdown in the number of sales progressing from this point to completion.

“Not only has it caught many in the industry by surprise, but new build homebuyers remain blissfully unaware that if their development of choice is yet to receive the correct certification, there will be a notable delay in the time taken to secure a mortgage offer.

“The good news is that this seems to be a temporary issue and once the initial surge has subsided, things should return to normal very quickly.

“Unlike the regular market, buyer appetite is alive and well and we have the properties to satisfy it, we just need to overcome the initial teething issues caused by these changes.”


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