Docklands News

London revealed as most stable housing market

London has the most stable housing market in the country, according to recent figures from Rightmove. Selling a home in London takes more than twice as long than in Scotland as the housing market in the capital remains sluggish – even after the official end of the coronavirus lockdown in England. The latest figures from the property website revealed that asking prices in the capital – now £645,246 on average – adjusted down 0.8% from June to July while records tumbled across the rest of the country. Over the course of the last 12 months, price tags in the capital edged up just 0.5% on average, in contrast to 5.7% across the UK. Although slow growth is a sign of stability, the London data also hides dramatic polarisation of demand and activity. Over the course of the coronavirus crisis, prices in the more affordable outer boroughs have soared as buyers swapped convenience for space, while the inner urban areas recorded price falls.

Evening Standard  

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Council approves 900-home mixed-use scheme near Blackwall Tunnel

A 900-home mixed-use scheme near the Blackwall Tunnel has been approved by Tower Hamlets Council. Developer Hadley Property Group will build five separate buildings of between nine and 39 storeys on the Docklands site, with 35 per cent of the houses on the 1.9-hectare site due to be affordable. Known as Blackwall Yard, the development will also include a new primary school, a local community hub, and almost 2,000 square metres of commercial space. Glenn Howells is the main architect on the brownfield site, alongside Panter Hudspith, White Arkitekter and LDA Design. An outdoor swimming pool or pond and new public square are also included in the plan. The application will now go to mayor of London Sadiq Khan for final approval. The Blackwall Yard project is the latest large residential scheme to be approved in the capital. Last week, Harrow Council green-lit Wates Residential’s £690m project to develop 1,500 homes across the Wealdstone area. Four in 10 of the new homes will be affordable. Days before, Ilke Homes, Impact Modular and TopHat were named on a £600m framework to develop modular homes in the UK for the National Housing Federation.

Construction News  

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Khan planning new homes drive

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is kicking off a housebuilding drive in a controversial bid to prop up Transport for London's budget. The London Mayor is plotting up to 46,350 new homes on land owned by the capital's transport authority. A commitment to press ahead with the plans is understood to have been crucial to a £1.1bn bailout from the Government to keep TfL afloat until December. It took the total central government grants during the pandemic to more than £5bn. Mr Khan, TfL's chairman, is now in talks with ministers over a £2.1bn taxpayer grant to finance the housebuilding project. It has been speculated that the project is a way for Boris Johnson to impose more new homes on the capital while Mr Khan faces any criticism. Robert Jenrick, the Housing Secretary, wants to force local authorities to commit to new housing targets under a new Planning Bill following the Government's commitment to build 300,000 new homes a year. Mr Jenrick is facing opposition from a group of up to 100 Tory MPs, however. The proposed planning reforms were blamed for the Tories' shock defeat by the Liberal Democrats in the Chesham and Amersham by-election last month.

The Sunday Telegraph  

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£15bn worth of London homes lying empty

Homes worth a collective £15bn are lying empty in London, according to new data gathered by insurance firm Admiral. London has made a name for itself as a destination for ultra-wealthy buyers to snap up prime real estate as assets and holiday homes, while prospective homeowners squabble over a reduced supply. “It is, of course, worrying to see that so many houses are sitting empty and unused across the country, especially as in 2020, more than a quarter of a million people in England alone were placed in temporary accommodation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” head of Admiral, Noel Summerfield, said. He added: “Beyond that, this also impacts on the housing market as a lack of supply, can result in low affordability for people looking to get on the housing ladder.” Some 29,242 houses have been left unoccupied for at least six months in the capital, with Southwark being home to the highest number of long-term empty properties, according to Admiral's Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

City A.M.  

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London's wealthiest renters splash out on homes with pools

Londoners are paying a 10% premium to rent homes with pools, according to estate agents, as overseas breaks appear increasingly unlikely for many Britons this year. Staff at Savills' Richmond office have just let out a house with an asking rent of £4,515 per week. Despite costing well over £200,000 to rent for a year its big selling point was its indoor pool — which attracted 17 viewings from families all over London. “The last time we rented it out we had about six viewings over a couple of months,” said Rory Wallace, a director in Savills' south-west London lettings team.

London Evening Standard  

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House prices continue to soar

The average asking price for a home in Britain has been driven to a new high, following months of “frenzied” buying activity, according to Rightmove. The average price of homes coming to market has reached a fresh record high of more than £338,000, up by more than £21,000 in the past six months, according to Rightmove. The property portal said that the 0.7% monthly rise was the highest recorded since July 2007. In the first half of this year, 140,000 more sales were agreed and there were 85,000 fewer new listings than the long-term average. Rightmove estimated that there was a shortfall of 225,000 homes for sale to meet demand. Rightmove's Tim Bannister commented: "Choice is more limited compared to the same period in 2019." 

The Times   Daily Express   Daily Mail  

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