Graeme Craig, director of commercial development at Transport for London, talks about how TfL is "passionately committed" to homes development. TfL has a long-term development pipeline to deliver 10,000 homes, of which around half will be affordable. There are also some 3,000 homes set to be created for the rental market. Mr Craig said: “The COVID-19 crisis has had a profound effect on construction… We are working to understand [its] impact on the planning system and how boroughs can continue to ensure there is public scrutiny of new development schemes, and will be working with the Mayor, developers and councils to make sure that we can build the homes our city needs in a safe, responsible and transparent way.”
Evening Standard (16/05/2020)
Data from the Office for National Statistics reveal that the average UK house price increased 2.1% in the year to March, an increase from 2% in February, to an average of £232,000, while London house prices were up 4.7%. At a regional level, average house prices in England rose 2.2% to £248,000 in the year to March, while Wales saw a 1.1% increase to £162,000, Scotland saw prices rise 1.5% to £152,000 and Northern Ireland showed a 3.8% increase to £141,000. Yorkshire and the Humber was the worst performing region, with prices down 1%. Lucy Pendleton, property expert at James Pendleton, commented: “Enquiry levels are off the chart at the moment and we are gradually bringing back more staff… Only time will tell how we can convert those enquiries and how that translates into all-important prices for vendors.”
City AM (20/05/2020) The Times (20/05/2020) The I (20/05/2020) Daily Mail (20/05/2020)
First-time buyers may face challenges as they look to enter the reopened property market, with banks offering fewer mortgages for those with smaller deposits amid fears house prices could collapse. Analysts from Deutsche Bank have warned that house prices could fall by more than a fifth, while Lloyds Bank has predicted that prices could fall 30% in the next three years in a worst case scenario. A report issued by Moneyfacts shows that just 30 different mortgages are available to borrowers with a 5% deposit, down from 393 before the pandemic closed the property market.
The Daily Telegraph (19/05/2020)
The mortgage breaks taken by 1.6m homeowners due to the COVID-19 pandemic could cost them at least £821m in extra interest. Figures calculated by the broker L&C Mortgages, based on data from UK Finance, show that a borrower on the typical deal will save £2,256 in repayments by taking a three-month mortgage payment holiday. However, they will ultimately pay £500 more than they would have done without the break because of the interest accrued on the unpaid sum. Meanwhile, the Telegraph reports that homeowners who want to take up their lender's offer of a "mortgage holiday" during the pandemic are still being asked to pay because banks are struggling to approve the payment holidays quickly enough. And those who miss a mortgage payment because a break has not yet been confirmed could be marked as going into arrears. This could affect their credit score and result in extra interest being charged.
The Times (15/05.2020) The Daily Telegraph (15/05.2020)
Developer Southern Grove plans to build an £80m mixed-use complex in Canada Water, after exchanging on the site this week. The developer will submit a planning application to Southwark Council to create 150 homes and 25,000 sq ft of office space. The Brooklyn reaches up 18 storeys, and has been designed by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Southern Grove chief executive Tom Slingsby said: “Canada Water is going to be put on the map in a bold new way by the extensive regeneration that is going to take hold over the next 15 years, and our own scheme will complement that effort”.
Development Finance Today (14/05/2020)
House moves and viewings have resumed in England, under new coronavirus rules announced by housing secretary Robert Jenrick. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 now stipulate that people may leave the home "to undertake any of the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property". This includes visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes; viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or rent; and moving home. The change will help more than 450,000 buyers and renters who have been unable to progress their plans since lockdown came into force.
BBC News (12/05/2020) The Daily Telegraph (12/05/2020) Daily Mail (12/05/2020)