Building growth

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Signs of a recovery in South Yorkshire’s property sector are beginning to emerge, according to research by business and financial advisor Grant Thornton.

The firm says the number of planning applications submitted in Sheffield is the highest it has been since 2008.

Applications in the first quarter of 2011 were up by 25 per cent on the last quarter of 2010 and up by seven per cent on the first quarter of 2010.

Grant Thornton director Krista Fox said “The construction sector has been one of the hardest hit during the recession and it is good news for the region to see that the number of planning applications is picking up.

“Because South Yorkshire has one of the lowest average house prices in the UK, and because prices didn’t go wild during the boom in the housing market, the region hasn’t felt the pain that other markets did during the housing bust.

“Further to the statistics showing the increase in the number of planning applications, our on-the-ground experience is also suggesting that the property sector is beginning to bounce back.

“Continued progress with the retail developments such as Sevenstone and The Moor in the region is also likely to be increasing confidence amongst builders and developers.

“There have also been a number of high-profile office lettings, such as at Ventana House, which may lead to some developers looking closely at the available office space to gauge whether to kickstart further activity.”