Market confidence on the up

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MILLER Homes has reported a sharp increase in off-plan sales during the second quarter of 2011 – with the East Midlands recording especially strong performances.

The news comes as the Nationwide reported a flat housing market for June. In contrast, the National House Building Council (NHBC) recorded a sharp increase in new homes completions for May – up 29 per cent since April.

In line with the NHBC findings, Miller Homes, the UK’s largest privately owned-housebuilder, said its off plan reservations were at their highest level since 2008 – suggesting consumer confidence is creeping back into the housing market, or at least the new homes market.

Chris Endsor, operations director for Miller Homes, said: “Obviously, off-plan sales are something usually associated with a property boom when competition is such that buyers can’t wait for a property to be built if they want to get the best plots.

“We are not suggesting that we are seeing a return to those days – but this would seem to suggest that buyers have a greater degree of confidence in the new homes market now than they have had for some three years or more.

“It will be interesting to see whether this is an emerging trend – or an unusual bubble. Naturally, we hope it is the former.”