A STRONG housing market has fuelled demand to buy sites for development in Hampshire and the rest of the south coast.

Global property firm Savills said its development teams based in Southampton and Wimborne sold 10 sites in the second quarter of the year, with capacity for more than 1,277 homes.

Across the UK, Savills development teams sold £1.25billion of land in the first six months of 2021, consisting of 136 sites with capacity for 27,774 plots.

That was double the value achieved in the same period last year and up by almost half on the three-year average.

Savills said the value of sales achieved by its Southampton and Wimborne teams was £54million.

It was boosted by strong individual sales including Abbey Mill, Bishops Waltham, which was sold to Beechcroft on behalf of Sainsbury’s.

Colin Wilkins, head of Savills South Coast development team said: “We have had a very strong first half of the year and our development land teams in both Southampton and Wimborne have capitalized on the strength of the housing market in the second half of 2020, which gave land buyers more confidence.

“The high sales rates of last year have depleted housebuilders’ stocks of new homes and land, meaning that land replenishment will be an ongoing feature of the 2021 market.”

Savills land teams also found that the second quarter of the year saw a trend towards larger sites, with 31 per cent of the sites sold having capacity for more than 250 homes.

That was up from 12 per cent of sales in the same quarter in 2020 and 23 per cent in 2019.

Mr Wilkins said: “Our research tells us land values have remained robust over the last quarter with UK greenfield and urban values increasing by 1.7 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively, marking the strongest growth in greenfield land values since 2014.

“We have seen a particularly busy second quarter, with activity levels in the land market higher than previous quarters,” he added.

“The momentum has continued through July and we look forward to a busy Q3.

“We are seeing lots of new sites being brought forward with increasingly motivated buyers in the market and no sign of a summer lull.”