Docklands News

Government mortgage guarantee scheme sees slow uptake

The Government's flagship scheme to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder has only helped a tiny proportion of buyers in its first five months, new figures have revealed. The Government scheme “guarantees” the portion of a 95% loan-to-value mortgage over 80%– meaning they would partially compensate the lender if a buyer stopped paying. However, figures form the Treasury show that the scheme was used by 6,535 households between its launch on 19 April 2021 and 30 September. When he announced the mortgage guarantee scheme in 2021's March Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it would have the effect of “boosting the sector, creating new jobs and helping people achieve their dream of owning their own home.” However, it was undermined by the fact that, soon after the scheme launched, lenders started offering 5% deposit mortgages on their own terms, independent of the Government scheme. According to Yorkshire Building Society's analysis of UK Finance figures, there were 408,000 first-time buyers in 2021 as a whole. On average, that would mean 34,000 first-time buyers per month, or 170,200 in five months.

Daily Mail (18/02/2022)  

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House hunters will find it easier to get info on homes

Property listings are to include more key details to make it easier for house hunters to discover essential information about properties. National Trading Standards said council tax bands and tenure information for sales must be included along with the house price. Experts believe more transparency could save people money, reduce sales falling through and speed transactions. The extra information should be included by the end of May or be flagged as absent. Details on restrictive covenants and flood risk may be added in later stages of the plan.

The Independent (21/02/2022)  

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Planning permission granted for Surrey Quays development

Planning permission has been given to Renewal for a 3,500-home development which will include a dozen towers between 15 and 40 floors across a 30-acre site near Surrey Quays station. It was championed by Boris Johnson, who approved £20m of grant funds to the project during his term as London Mayor and tried to fast-track it through planning. The scheme was viewed by some in City Hall as a crucial part of regenerating land dominated by unused industrial space, and would boost the borough’s house building numbers. Jordana Malik, Renewal's executive director, said the project “will transform an underused industrial area, delivering 3,500 homes and up to 1,250 new jobs, and will enable the proposed new Overground station. This represents 18 years of being on the site, collaborating and working with the community on these proposals, and we are looking forward to progressing with works".

The Daily Telegraph (11/02/2022)  

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Average house price tops £274,000

House prices increased by 0.8% between November and December of last year and 10.8% year on year, according to official figures. The latest UK house price index from the Office for National Statistics showed that the average price of a property in the UK was £274,712. There was an average increase of £29,953 in London, where the average annual earnings are £34,439. The average house price in Scotland rose by 11.2%, with the average price hitting £180,000 at the end of 2021. 

City AM (16/02/2022)   Daily Mirror (16/02/2022)   The Times (16/02/2022)  

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Rics: House prices keep rising as demand jumps again

Property prices increased across the UK in January, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. On a regional level, the most significant growth was in the North West and South East of England. Enquiries from prospective buyers also reached their highest level since the height of the stamp duty holiday period in May 2021. The lack of homes coming to the market remains a problem, with more Rics members saying they saw a dip in instructions from new sellers in January. But, the Rics added: "More market appraisals were reported by a net balance of +3%, the first time it has been above zero since June 2021." The average time it takes to finalise a sale has dropped to an average of sixteen weeks, the lowest since December 2019. A growing number of estate agents think sales numbers will rise over the next three months, and the number of insiders in the sector who think this is the case has reached a 10-month high. Many also think levels will continue rising over the next year.

Daily Mail (14/02/2022)   The Independent (14/02/2022)  

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Buy-to-let landlords face new bills under Government licensing plans

Government proposals to hold all private rental sector properties to the Decent Homes Standard and introduce a new landlord register, announced in the "Levelling Up" white paper, will bring new costs for landlords, experts have warned. While officials have yet to decide how the policy will be implemented, analysts said existing licensing schemes run by individual local authorities offered a blueprint. However, adopting these schemes would likely result in large bills for landlords. Newham Council was the first to launch a licensing scheme for the private rental properties; Landlords must pay a fee of £750 for a five-year licence. The Government has also been warned that existing structures may not be able to cope with the number of additional homes needing to be assessed.  

The Daily Telegraph (14/02/2022)  

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