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New home developers are looking for sites in the county

The new homes market is alive and kicking, and residential developers are scouring the county for locations.

Although the current tightening of available credit has hit housebuilders and mortgage seekers alike, Kent property experts RPC Land and New Homes believes that the right sites in a good location will still attract a lot of interest from residential developers.

House developers are among the groups hit hardest by the credit crunch, which has seen banks wary of lending money or extending credit, while the mortgage market has dried up, making it harder to sell properties already built.

This has made life tougher for housebuilders although many still have an eye on the future and are actively seeking new sites for development.

RPC Managing Director Peter Randall, pictured below, said: "There is no denying, we are experiencing a softening in the land and new homes market like the rest of the country.

"However, for the right sites in the right place we are still seeing a lot of competition from developers. We recently marketed a large site in West Kent which attracted 13 bids and another site in Mid Kent that attracted five bids, which shows there are deals to be done and that the market is by no means dead."

Commercial values were getting closer to residential prices, resulting in some developers being a lot more creative with sites.

More purely commercial or mixed-use investors/purchasers were coming forward and there was a greater demand for family housing rather than flats or apartments.

"It is very important to know whether your site has the potential to attract interest and to see if there are any other alternative uses in the current market," he added.

"Using the skills and contacts of a professional land agent can make sure the right sort of development is devised for a plot, which ultimately should attract the maximum potential price.

"Although the market is currently suffering compared to recent years, there are purchasers once again looking for opportunities and with the amount of time it takes for sites to be sold and then achieve planning, developers are looking at plots now that they can get to work on in 18 months to two years time when the economic situation may have changed greatly."

RPC Land and New Homes has specialist centres in the county and the Thames Gateway. For details visit www.rpcland.co.uk or call Peter Randall on 01732 363633.

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