Transport for London has released a new parcel of disused railway land next to Bow Church DLR station in Bow Road, to the Optivo Housing Association. The group is planning to build 150 homes, with half at the “affordable” low end of the rental market. The new site is part of the GLA's London Plan to reduce the housing shortage. Work has been started on 1,500 new homes across London, with thousands more in the pipeline. These are aimed creating revenue for TfL to plough back into the public transport network which is facing a cash crisis because of the pandemic.
East London Advertiser (12/01/2021
UK property prices crept up by 6% last year, according to the Halifax, but the lender is predicting "downward pressure" on values in 2021. The mortgage lender, part of Lloyds Banking Group, said that prices "soared" in the second half of 2020. Pent-up demand, a clamour for more space, and stamp duty holidays led to higher prices. However, the Halifax said the economic realities of 2021 meant activity would slow as the year progressed. Prices were at a record high in December, but growth has already started to slow. There was a 0.2% month-on-month increase in December, but this was significantly less than the 1% jump recorded in November. It was the lowest rate recorded during the six months of growth since the housing market started to reopen in England in May. "With the pace of the UK's economic recovery expected to be constrained by the renewed national lockdown, and unemployment widely predicted to rise in the coming months, downward pressure on house prices remains likely as we move through 2021", said Russell Galley, managing director at the Halifax.
BBC News (08/01/2021) Financial Times (08/01/2021) The Daily Telegraph (08/01/2021) Financial Times (08/01/2021)
HSBC has reinstated its 10% deposit mortgages, and is again offering two and five-year fixed-rates for purchases and re-mortgages with up to 35- year terms. HSBC was one of the few lenders to keep selling low deposit mortgages during the coronavirus pandemic when most lenders became fearful of approving riskier loans. However, the lender pulled out in September after becoming flooded with demand from borrowers seeking loans of 90% of a property's value. Barclays cut the rates and eased restrictions on its 90% mortgages last week, having resumed offering five-year fixed rates for people with low deposits in December. It now also has a two-year fixed-rate deal at 3.55% with a £999 fee for borrowers with a 10% deposit, or 3.75% with no fee.
The Times (09/01/2021)
Campaigners are calling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the stamp duty holiday amid warnings that over 320,000 current buyers will miss out on savings of up to £15,000 if it ends as planned on March 31st. More than 100,000 of them could subsequently pull out of deals - potentially hammering sales volumes, harming the economy and hitting prices. Beth Rudolf, of the Conveyancing Association, said: “If they don't extend the deadline, hundreds of thousands of sales will fail to complete.” Demand and pressures of lockdown mean logistical delays are escalating. The average transaction now takes 20 weeks to complete, up from 12 weeks before the pandemic started.
The Daily Telegraph (12/01/2021)
A fifth of would-be homemovers whose plans to buy were thwarted last year. Some 20% of people surveyed for Aviva said they planned to buy a home in 2020 but had to put their dream on hold due to job fears, redundancy, furloughs and house sales falling through. First-time buyers were the most commonly hit, with seven in 10 rethinking their property-buying plans during 2020. By contrast, 4% of people who had no plans to buy a home at the start of 2020 ended up doing so, with reasons including needing a more affordable property, changing jobs, and relationship breakdown.
Daily Express (12/01/2021)
Hadley Property Group has submitted a full planning application for an 898-home site at Blackwall Yard, one of the last substantial regeneration sites on the north bank of the Thames, opposite the O2 and a short walk from Canary Wharf and Poplar High Street. The regeneration specialist’s masterplan includes the opening-up of the filled-in historic graving dock to become a large water feature with outdoor swimming; a ground-floor plane incorporating community spaces, as well as a pub and a grocery shop; and 898 new homes, of which at least 35% will be affordable housing. However, as a car-free development, residents will not be able to keep their own cars, although there are plans for an electric car sharing scheme. Over the 10 years following the start of work on the site, Hadley anticipates that the development will generate over £220m of total additional social and economic value.
Property Week (18/12/2020) The Construction Index (21/12/2020)