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Rise in buyer interest for renovation projects

Buying agency Stacks Property Search is reporting g rising buyer demand for wrecks requiring significant levels of renovation.

The agency says that in the current market, where demand for property outstrips supply, more buyers struggling to find what they want, are instead seeking big refurbishment projects or a knock-down and rebuild.

James Law of Stacks says: “Property prices have increased significantly over the course of the pandemic, in some areas by as much as 30 per cent and when buyers do find something they want they’re shocked by the price.

“For example, reluctant to spend £1.2m on something that’s ready to move into that would have cost under £1m two years ago, they start seeking something for £800,000 that needs substantial work.

“The harsh reality is that this strategy is not a certainty. The cost of builders and building supplies have increased by as much as property, and everything is difficult to come by.

“Quotes are coming in at eye-watering levels, and there’s no guarantee that the price will be fixed over the course of the project as prices continue to rise due to a range of factors – Brexit, the pandemic, and energy prices to name the headliners.

“Add to that the fact that builders’ lead times are double or three times what they were two years ago, and the best ones are booked out for months or sometimes years in advance.”

His Stacks colleague Ed Jephson adds: “Buyers are constantly looking for higher quality, and sometimes the only way to achieve this is to do it yourself. Future-proofing from an eco point of view is becoming more important, and buyers are increasingly aware of running costs.

“Buying an old property that is perfect aesthetically but requires retro-fitting makes little sense, so in this respect taking on a project is more sensible in the long term.”

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