The current buoyant housing market, driven by a fast-growing domestic economy, higher employment levels and rising urban populations is presenting both opportunities and challenges in the residential sector. Residential developers are trying to balance the requirement for higher densities and building heights, against the commercial consideration of delivering the type of product the market wants, or introducing a new types of residential offerings to the marketplace.
In recent years, the emergence of new residential sub-sectors including specialist student accommodation, build-to-rent and the co-location of dedicated residential accommodation to service specific office developments, have come to compliment the more traditional offerings in residential developments. The sector has also seen large institutional developers and investors take strong positions, with longer term outlooks or slightly different commercial strategies that might have traditionally been the case.
The Strategic Housing Development (SHD) avenue has presented a streamlined process for securing planning permission for larger developments, but presents its own challenges and uncertainties. The new requirements for fulfilling social and affordable obligations have also presented challenges, but also opportunities as Local Authorities have continued to grapple with large housing lists.
Following the best planning strategy to secure the right planning permission remains key to maximising the commercial potential of any residential site, and ensure high-quality, sustainably-planned developments continue to meet the requirements of the marketplace.