Developer survey reveals move away from high-density housing

Landscape sector buoyed by trend for larger homes and gardens but smaller firms face squeeze.

Latest house building trends show developers are moving away from high-density urban schemes in favour of out-of-town developments with larger houses and gardens.

This should mean good news for the landscaping sector, but does it sound the death knell for smaller contractors?

The annual housebuilder survey carried out by estate agency Knight Frank revealed that a weak first-time buyers' market coupled with the Government's abolition of density targets meant developers were moving away from high-density oneand two-bedroom apartments.

The study showed threeand four-bedroom houses were the most in demand, while 64 per cent of the survey's 200 respondents predicted the number of houses on future developments would reduce, reflecting the move away from urban and apartment-led schemes.

Knight Frank head of residential research Liam Bailey said: "Most developers incorporate landscaping in their schemes so this trend would seem to be good news for the landscaping sector, although not all of them will invest in landscape."

HTA director of business development Tim Briercliffe agreed. "If there is a genuine move to more houses, fewer apartments and therefore more gardens, this can only be a good thing for society and the landscape industry."

But David Houghton, managing director at landscape gardening firm Kings Landscapes, warned that although it would create more work it would only benefit large landscaping firms.

"The market is moving forward but the trend towards these high-end schemes is going to squeeze out small firms and one-man bands. It is getting much harder for smaller companies trying to compete for work," he added.

Houghton said the recession had created a climate where private-sector developers would only trust large, established landscape contractors. "They are frightened the medium and small firms are volatile and don't have the cash flow or man power to get the job done."

Clients' expectations were greater than 10 years ago, he added, which meant many small firms would not have the resources to fulfil their needs. "The only way small firms will benefit from this is if they can specialise in certain products that other landscapers don't provide."

KEYSTAT

- Proportion of housing developers surveyed predicting fewer houses in future building schemes 64%


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Choosing the right plant, correct planting procedure and best aftercare are the three basic rules for sucessful tree planting, Sally Drury explains.

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Mitigating climate change, providing windbreaks and reducing the risk of soil erosion are some of the best reasons for planting trees, says Sally Drury.


 
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Landscape Contracts & Tenders

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space
 

Read Noel Farrer