Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Housebuilders Look to the Future

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Housebuilders Look to the Future

Article excerpt

Byline: By Karen Overbury

CONFIDENCE in the property market is the lowest it has been for many years. New home builders have been particularly hit, with few properties being started now than at any time since the Second World War. And this at a time when there is a widelyrecognised shortage of homes.

Reports from the market are not good - redundancies, closed sites and deals not getting that final handshake.

The long-term picture for property is always up, but it's clear that the graph is going to be pointing down for some time to come. The market affects every one of us, so it is cheering to hear good news and efforts to try to restore a little confidence.

Many builders are offering deals to attract buyers, and now several companies are going that bit further.

North East-based developer Strathmore Homes have announced a ground-breaking promise to customers, built upon the company's total confidence in the quality of their homes and the eventual upturn in the property market.

Strathmore are offering qualifying purchasers a two-year guarantee that their new home will retain the value of the original purchase price.

Sales manager Julie Bell said: "Our experience tells us that house prices historically go up much faster than they go down. Also, in a rising market it is infinitely more difficult to buy your dream home as there are generally more buyers than houses available. So, the idea of waiting 'until the market picks up a bit' before buying your next home is just - if not more - risky as buying in today's market.

"Buyers are understandably a little downbeat, as the majority of news is full of lack of consumer confidence. I hear on a daily basis that customers are going to wait. So to tempt buyers into the market - which will benefit them in the long term - we decided to guarantee our home values and make them future proof. …

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