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Adapting to the Evolving Landscape of the New Homes Market.

April 16, 2024

Developers must innovate as buyer profiles evolve, or risk falling behind in the dynamic market.

Author | Paul Skuse, Oakfield Design & Creation

The property landscape is swiftly transforming, and with it, the profiles of buyers seeking new homes. In an exclusive interview with Tori Le Masurier, leading new homes agent at Bristol’s Knight Frank, we delve into the crux of today’s local market changes and the adaptive strategies agents and developers must employ to stay ahead.

“The successful agent today needs to look beyond the traditional blueprint for sales and understand people’s changing lifestyles. At Knight Frank, we continually monitor the market, we track the source of our enquiries and locations our applicants are coming from and try and make the path from them to us as easy possible which in turn boosts sales.”

Tori Le Masurier, Knight Frank

The New ‘Forever Home’ Trend in Bristol

The city, country and coastal lifestyle of the West Country is drawing a new wave of “empty-nester” buyers from London and the home counties. As Tori Le Masurier explains, these discerning individuals are relocating to be closer to their families, embracing the role of “grandparent care” while seeking homes that offer the perfect blend of space, luxury, and convenience. These homes are not just living spaces but a central hub for everyday life blended with extended family time, often needing to accommodate friends as guests from their previous locales.

For agents, this signals a need to recalibrate focus and extend their reach beyond Bristol databases to accommodate the influx of these lifestyle-changing, family-centric buyers. The key lies in recognising this shift towards Bristol and surrounding areas as destinations for “forever homes,” where the emphasis on quality and space aligns with the desire for a more connected family life.

“Knight Frank have offices across the country and internationally and our new homes teams work in tandem with all our local residential and international sales teams to make sure that we have maximum coverage making it easier for applicants to find properties we are marketing for sale.”

Tori Le Masurier, Knight Frank

Broadening Horizons: From City Centre Flats to Global Buyers

Knight Frank’s strategy encapsulates this ethos, successfully marketing to a diverse clientele across the Globe. This national and global approach taps into a rich vein of potential buyers, including academic professionals and international students, thereby amplifying the demand for centrally-located, well-appointed living spaces. Almost all the buyers who bought new build property from Knight Frank in Bristol last year were from abroad often, contacting the agents individually via Whatsapp so not via the traditional route through portals.

Rent to Buy: A New Frontier for Developers

An emerging trend that Tori highlights is the inventive “rent to buy” scheme, where a year’s rent transitions into a property deposit. It’s a win-win: tenants may leapfrog into homeownership, while developers foster loyalty and incentivise purchases. If tenants choose not to buy, the accrued rent serves as a financial buffer for the developers. This creative approach could be a game-changer, offering a tangible solution to those grappling with down payments, and thereby broadening the appeal of a development.

Embracing Change for Market Success

The new homes market is not just changing; it’s evolving at a pace where agility and foresight become the harbingers of success. Agents who anticipate trends by tracking market movements and analysing changing demographics will be far better equipped to target buyers beyond their traditional, geographical boundaries. As the buyer landscape diversifies, embracing a broader reach and innovative sales strategies is no longer optional—it’s imperative.

Tori can be connected with at:

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