Rippon Homes revives 70s-style bungalows

Published:  13 October, 2010

NOTTINGHAM: Rippon Homes has returned to bungalow building as first-time buyers disappear from the housing market

The Nottingham housebuilder, which is part of the Artisan Group, said lack of mortgage availability had severely affected the market.

Michael Stevens, chairman said: "We have been very successful in marketing bungalows and generating a good return from these products. We have also been seeking to vary planning permission on existing sites to improve the product mix. More bungalow sales will follow in 2010."

Bungalows are unpopular with developers because of the relatively high build cost and less efficient use of land. But Rippon Homes said it had found sites suitable for bungalows that have proved popular with customers.

The housebuilder's total land bank, with detailed planning permission, stands at 239.

The improvements seen from bungalow building came after the year end, which saw Rippon Homes reduce operating losses to £900 000 from £1.1m last time on turnover slightly down at £7.6m.

Reporting annual results for parent company Artisan to 30 June, Mr Stevens said: "The planning system has gone from bad to worse at present. The reduction in staff numbers in planning departments and the central government's cancellation of planning number targets has led to a hiatus in planning approvals, causing in some regions significant delay in obtaining planning for new schemes."

Mr Stevens believes that this is likely to lead to the next pricing bubble when the market returns, as "the demand demographics suggest customer demand for product will not abate".

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