I wanted to take this opportunity as we arrive at the close of 2015, to look back over the last 12 months and in particular at the new build sector, where we have enjoyed an exciting year working with house builders and developers.
In 2014, the UK started to see a more buoyant market for house building- 140,000 new homes were built and £12.5bn was invested in land and buildings for homes (source: HBF). This is likely to stay at around the same levels for 2015.
As more homes are created, we’ve seen shifts in how the public consume technology in the home and what they have come to expect as standard (See November’s round-up for the latest exciting development from Sky!). Broadband and TV services such as those offered by Sky have become another common utility rather than a luxury or ‘nice to have’. With that has come new expectations from house buyers when they make the important decision of choosing one property over another, particularly when we know how hard it can now be for first-time buyers to get on the ladder.
Increased competition has forced developers to consider new ways of attracting house buyers and satisfying expectations and this has led to a busy year for us working closely with many developers in the UK. Following a very successful first eight months, we took to the platform at the Housebuilders Federation Conference in September to talk about some of our work and we were hugely encouraged by the high levels of interest in what we can offer house builders and developers.
We now work with six of the Top 10 UK house builders and developers to offer their buyers what we call ‘walk-in working’ TV and broadband.
Essentially, this means that from the moment a buyer puts the keys into their new front door, they have Sky services up and running and give them access to great entertainment. We all lead incredibly busy lives and people just don’t have the time to take a day off work to wait for an engineer to set them up. ‘Walk-in working’ means we take away some of the stress that inevitably comes with moving house and in turn we help play a part in taking customer care to the next level for the house builder.
We have active contracts with major house builders nationwide, including Barratt and St George and have several partnerships with fibre providers. We are being approached by more and more fibre providers and continue to strengthen our relations with developers across the country.
We are looking forward to another great year in 2016 for new build and have ambitious targets to take our success story to the next level.