Harris Lamb set to invest in expanding residential land arm as marketplace improves

Property consultancy Harris Lamb plans to grow its residential arm during 2018 as it delivers more sites to the market to meet the increasing demand for UK housing, building on the continued success and growth of its planning team.

While the award-winning agency has specialised in commercial property for more than 25 years, following a number of land sales to developers, it launched a residential arm two years ago, which it intends to invest in and develop over the next 12 months.

Neil Harris, Director, said:

“The business has developed a range of successful departments over 25 years, and our decision to focus on residential land in particular is one that we think is well timed given the improvement in the marketplace.

“From the Bank of England implementing the first raise in interest base rates in 10 years – the first of several, if speculation is to be believed – to the publication of the Housing White Paper and the Government’s commitment to meet specific targets for housing provision in the coming years, this is a critical time for identifying suitable sites and marketing them to the right parties.

“Having dealt with residential land sales for many years before formally establishing the residential department in 2016, we’re now looking to further invest in the team and expand its offering as we take more sites to market. With 10 sites having been sold in the last six months, five currently being marketed, and circa 40 sites coming to market in the next 24 months, there are a number of conversations taking place with our network of residential developers and housing land traders. There are very positive shifts in the sector and we are keen to capitalise on them.”

He added that the business’ property management team was also taking on a significant amount of work on ‘non-operational’ properties, further underlining the demand for residential services within the business.

“In recent months, our management team has been tasked with overseeing property management for an increasing number of residential properties that clients see as a sideline to their main business, instructing us to source tenants, manage rent collections, oversee repairs and ensure they are legislation compliant, while providing an additional source of revenue for them.

“With clients including Dignity Funerals Ltd retaining us to manage both their business and supplementary properties, we are building a strong portfolio of such instructions, and we are now actively looking to offer this as a dedicated service to other clients as we strengthen the company’s offering.”

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