Navigating Change: 2023 Round up of the Property Sector
The property sector is a dynamic landscape, constantly shaped by regulatory changes, economic shifts, and evolving consumer demands. As 2023 draws to a close, several key factors are significantly influencing the industry. From regulatory adjustments to planning challenges, economic uncertainties, and increasing competition, stakeholders in the property market are facing a landscape that demands adaptability and strategic digital marketing.
Regulation Changes in 2023:
New regulations have been introduced in an effort to accelerate the planning process and meet the government’s aim of building 300,000 homes a year. These changes are intended to create a fair and secure environment for both developers and local communities, but they also require industry players to adjust their practices and procedures accordingly.
There have been no significant reforms to the planning process since 1947, therefore these outdated processes cannot keep up with the speed of housing development in recent years. Currently, it takes approximately five years to go through the planning approval process, and the number of approvals is currently at its lowest since 2006. In order to tackle these issues, new reforms have been announced this year.
One of the most important of these reforms is the plan to increase planning fees by 25% on smaller scale applications, and 35% on major new developments. Increasing these fees for what currently is a frustrating, lengthy, and stressful process is a great frustration for developers. However, in an attempt to accelerate the speed of application approval, a new financial penalty for local authorities has also been introduced.
There continues to be concerns about whether or not this will be enough to drive change, or just create more problems. Outra senior adviser and former Crest Nicholson Chief, Tom Nicholson, said:
“The housing crisis isn’t just about numbers; it’s about overcoming systemic hurdles. The persistent planning backlog stalls meeting housing needs. We must bridge intentions with actions for tangible change.
“A robust framework is essential, with mandatory housing targets for local plans, streamlining planning, reducing risks, and enabling prompt home construction.”
Uncertain Economic Market and Its Impact on Buyers:
The economic landscape in 2023 has seen the introduction of higher interest rates, and a cost of living crisis. It is extremely difficult in today’s climate for people to get on the property ladder, meaning there are less prospective buyers. The knock-on effect of these economic shifts has been particularly pronounced in the new build property sector.
Developers are now navigating a market where buyers, faced with higher interest rates, are scrutinising their investment decisions more than ever. Therefore, the need for developers to provide reassurance and value to potential buyers has become paramount, and a good digital marketing strategy is often the solution to this.
Increasing Competition and the Role of Digital Marketing:
The property market in 2023 is characterised by heightened competition. Developers are challenged not only by economic uncertainties but also by the growing demand for information and assurance. This shift has led to innovative marketing strategies, with a focus on educating buyers about the value and features of new build properties, whilst fostering an emotional attachment to their potential new home in order to drive sales before the building process has even begun.
Active site plans, configurators, and virtual flythroughs have emerged as powerful tools in this landscape. Buyers now seek more than static visuals; they want assurance in their upgrade options before making a purchase. Configurators allow buyers to personalise and visualise their potential homes, providing a tangible understanding of the property’s features and possibilities.
The growing need for information about new build properties has prompted developers to adopt interactive, digital tools that increase transparency and creates a sense of trust for buyers. Educational marketing, coupled with interactive tools like configurators, not only enhances buyer confidence but also sets a new standard for customer engagement in the competitive property market of 2023.
Looking forward to 2024
The property sector in 2023 is navigating a landscape shaped by regulatory changes, planning challenges, economic uncertainties, and increased competition.
Developers and stakeholders must stay agile, embracing technology and innovative marketing strategies to meet the evolving needs of buyers.
As we prepare to enter the new year, the ability to adapt to these dynamic changes will be crucial for success in a market defined by both challenges and opportunities.