• With sales across the housing market subdued and re-mortgage activity at a high, we decided to investigate if there was a correlation between sales activity and planning applications
  • 16,100 residential planning applications were made across England during the first quarter of 2018, down 3.3% on a year ago. The majority of those (over 85%) were for minor residential schemes. Three-quarters of all minor schemes were granted permission, a figure that has remained remarkably consistent over the past 5 years.
  • In general, over the past five years, as sales activity has strengthened so residential planning applications have fallen. In Q115, after the introduction of the new stamp duty levies, sales volumes were 7.3% lower than the year earlier. In comparison planning applications rose by 15.8%. Likewise in Q1 2016 when sales volumes rocketed pre the introduction of the 3% surcharge, the number of planning applications remained broadly static.
  • Currently, both residential applications and sales volumes are falling, undoubtedly indicative of the wider economic uncertainty and confidence faced by many homeowners. The GfK consumer confidence indicator remains in negative territory, as many consumers remain wary as to the general economic conditions and their personal finances.