The number of mortgages being approved to home buyers dropped to a seven-year low in March. Figures from the Bank of England show that 56,161 mortgages were approved for house purchase in March - a drop-off of 24% compared with the previous month, and the lowest monthly total since 54,341 approvals were recorded in March 2013. Approvals for re-mortgaging fell by 20% to 42,600, the fewest recorded since August 2016, the Bank's Money and Credit report said.
Daily Express (01/05/2020) The Independent (01/05/2020)
Modular building specialist, Caledonian, has secured a contract to deliver volumetric modular serviced apartments for One Charter Street in Canary Wharf – a 279 apartment building near Wood Wharf. Two full-height concrete cores will provide structural stability and the scheme will be topped with a rooftop restaurant. The scheme is an open and collaborative approach between Canary Wharf Group, edyn, Caledonian, design partners HTA, Holloway Li and TUV-SUD.
PBC Today (01/05/2020)
The housing market could be back up and running in just a few weeks after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors confirmed it will unveil “practical guidance” to enable home valuations to restart safely. A RICS spokeswoman said the organisation was readying a new set of guidelines for valuers across the UK and hopes to release them imminently. “In the coming weeks, RICS will issue practical guidance to help professionals to re-open buildings and ensure safe home moving,” the spokeswoman said. However, she stressed that while it hoped the new guidance would enable safe property inspections to recommence, all firms should continue to follow government advice.
Daily Mail (30/4/2020)
A second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic would spell disaster for the UK’s housing market, an industry expert has warned. The real estate sector has already been plunged into uncertainty following the outbreak of coronavirus, with house sales suspended and the industry put into stasis. However, if a second wave of the virus hits later this year, the effects could be “disastrous”. Director of the Association of Homebuyers, Jonathan Rolande said if a vaccine isn’t formulated, it could lead to chaos for the industry. “If there’s a second wave, it could be disastrous,” he said. “The fear will spook the market. It will affect buyers and banks with their ability to lend. If we have round two in autumn or winter it could hit the market hard.”
Daily Express (29/04/2020)
Some banks have had to cap mortgages at £500,000 due to surveyors being unable to make physical appraisals during the COVID-19 lockdown. Sources at lenders said that professional indemnity insurance does not cover big loans for expensive homes they have not been to in person. Only simple online assessments of properties can be done at the moment and this has led banks to impose strict price limits during the lockdown. Virgin Money and Clydesdale have a property price ceiling of £500,000 while Precise Mortgages and Kent Reliance capped mortgage lending at £600,000. Aldermore's limit is £750,000 outside the M25 motorway and up to £1m within it. NatWest has a more generous ceiling of £3m.
The Sunday Times (26/04/2020)
A joint venture between EcoWorld London and Poplar HARCA has secured a £36m development facility with Lloyds Bank to deliver a further 223 residential units at the Aberfeldy Village development in Poplar. Comprising 1,176 homes across six phases, Aberfeldy Village is being developed as a joint venture between the property specialist and housing association, with the three-year financing set to support the build-out of Phase 3B of the development. Lloyds Bank has to date funded 445 homes for open market sale already delivered across previous phases. The development will also deliver a new GP surgery, a community centre, and retail units.
Property Week (20/04/2020)