More than 20,000 newly built private homes are lying empty and 60-70,000 more properties are being built. What does this mean for housebuilders and housing associations?
Yolande Barnes, director of residential research at Savills
"The over all effect on house prices at a national level theoretically should not be that great. Even though they are big numbers, if a maximum of 90,000 came onto the market it is not huge as a proportion of the whole. But at local level, apartments tend to be concentrated in particular areas and demand for them has fallen through the floor. There’s localised over supply and new build cannot command a premium anymore so new build has fallen in value particularly hard. New builds are also what you might call a forced sale because the seller really has to sell to maintain their cashflow. Housebuilders without debt will probably manage because the urgency to create cashflow is not so great. If housebuilders have started apartments they have to finish them and they are lowest demand area. Where individual houses are on greenfield sites we will see them built to order where rates of sale and build will be way down. Those ones are easier to manage. The future and value of different housebuilders depends on the level of indebtedness, what it takes to service the debt and whether there will be any assets left over."
Max Steinberg, chief executive Elevate East Lancashire
"We were developing new build in Lancashire later than some pathfinders so we have not had the same issues they are facing. We found we had to renegotiate proposals about new build so we have revised timescales and looked at the mix and whether it is relevant. The situation will vary region by region and depend on what is not selling."