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2022 Predictions

Following the news that house prices have seen the fastest growth rate in 17 years*, amid ‘robust’ demand and low supply, we predict housing and construction trends for 2022.

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Escape to the Country

Following lockdown and an increase in the number of people working from home (37% increase in 2020 from 27% in 2019+), people, now more than ever are turning their back on ‘city living’ and making the move to the countryside.

With many people now being motivated by lifestyle aspirations, and the desire to have a bigger house, and more importantly, a garden (the saviour for many during the pandemic), we predict that this trend is set to continue, with house prices continuing to rise in countryside locations.

Figures analysed by Hamptons Estate Agency found that house prices are rising at 14.2% a year in rural locations, as opposed to less that 7% in urban areas.

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Commuter Towns

With this in mind, we also predict a surge in people buying homes in accessible ‘commuter towns’, towns that are within reach of a city, without a lengthy daily commute.

Many of these locations have regeneration projects ongoing to improve lifestyles and employment opportunities, which make them a great location to invest in.

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Brownfield Regeneration

It was announced earlier this week, that Sheffield is amongst 20 cities to receive funding as part of the governments ‘radical regeneration programme’ launched by the Department for Levelling Up.

Under this scheme, cities are being encouraged to build more affordable family homes in vacant buildings and underused land. Not only will urban homes tackle unaffordability, they will also boost the local high street.

If these are successful, we predict that the UK will start to see new neighbourhoods being created up and down the country, where young, working adults choose to live and work.   

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Now that the Stamp Duty holiday has ended, and with the rising cost of house prices, we also predict a demand for property extensions to continue, however could reduce compare to 2020/2021 figures due to homeowners “feeling the pinch”.

With people having spent more time than ever in their home, and with the unpredictability of potential future lockdowns, we are expecting to still see demand for homes to be extended to accommodate home offices (including garden offices) and additional living spaces.

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Future Proofing

Now, more than ever, people are aware and also grateful for the benefits of a well-equipped home.

During lockdown, many families found themselves as primary carers for disabled or elderly family members, with some even choosing to live together to deliver day-to-day care and avoid isolation.

With this in mind, we predict that more homeowners will start making small changes to their homes, to prepare them for various ‘eventualities’. These may be subtle changes, such as improved lighting and ramps to the entrance, to bigger changes, like widening doorways for wheelchair and staircases for stairlifts.

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Going green

As the younger generations (dare we say it, ‘millenials’) start to join the property ladder, we predict a rise in ‘eco-friendly’ homes.

Reducing carbon emissions and being environmentally friendly are top of the agenda, with many people now keen to reduce their carbon footprint and minimise their use of fossil fuels.

Passive homes, with eco friendly energy solutions are set to revolutionise the property market and help the UK’s bid to reach Net Zero by 2050.

Photo by Josh Olalde on Unsplash

Construction Materials

During 2021, the construction industry was hit by shortages in building materials, including roof tiles, cement and steel.

Increased lead time and demands made it difficult for suppliers and builders to source materials, which in turn, lead to delays on many building sites.

Unfortunately, we predict that these shortages and prices rise may continue for a little while longer, and would advise homeowners embarking on building projects to prepare for costs to their build to change and delays to potentially slow down their build.

We’ve listed the following key areas to look out for in 2022, with regards construction prices:

  1. Demand and price of raw building materials will likely continue to rise. The reason is three fold, the construction market remains extremely busy, and the energy cost used to produce many materials such as, plastics, cement, to name but a few will contribute to this. The third reason is that it is expected for industry activity to increase in public sector, residential markets for new homes, health and industrial sectors as well as the hotel and leisure industries which effectively came to a stop in the pandemic.   
  2. The rise in inflation will see construction costs rise
  3. Building “off site” will see continued growth, as these are better controlled and safer environments, both from a pandemic perspective and to better control cost of material, avoiding wastage and enhancing “green credentials”.

Here’s some industry leaders comments on construction in 2022:

Claudine Blamey, Head of Sustainability and Digital Strategy, Argent

“Sustainability is clearly a huge part of those goals. Post-COP26 it feels like we are focused on meaningful action for the first time and that investors are starting to pay attention. To build on that momentum this year, we must now develop a standardised set of definitions and metrics to support our collective journey to net zero.” 

Lee Polisano, president and founder, PLP Architecture

“In many ways there can be a lot of optimism for 2022. Over the year we experienced countless disruptions to our lives. I think that it has mentally prepared us to better consider and accept that we can make radical, systematic changes when needed…our greatest gains in carbon reduction will not be realised without significant innovation within the construction industry and its supply chains.” 

Andrew Davies, Kier chief executive

“I think  covid-19 has largely been managed pretty well in this country and, as a sector, we were fortunate we could remain open. There’s a general realisation that we’re going to have to live with covid-19. Now the challenge is how to manage it dynamically within constantly-changing parameters, such as the latest guidance on Plan B. Inflation is clearly an issue, labour and materials go hand in hand and it will depend on where you operate and what you’re building. So, it depends on the region and the supply chain relationships that you have.” 

Andy Yates, Director, Webb Yates Engineers

“My fear is that the ongoing adverse impacts of covid-19 on our mental health will persist throughout and beyond 2022. I am deeply saddened by the human cost of the pandemic but I am especially concerned about the hidden and potentially long lasting damage which the pandemic is causing to our mental health. I fear that the ongoing pandemic will cause significant damage, particularly for younger generations, and such that it may take years before the full impacts are recognised.”


*BBC News
+Office for National Statistics

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