Docklands News

Tower Hamlets Council votes through Bethnal Green apartment project

Tower Hamlets Council’s strategic development committee has voted in favour of a large private housing development at the Bethnal Green gasworks, home of the world’s second-oldest gasometer. The final two remaining wrought-iron frames at the site, which held 60ft and 120ft high Victorian storage tanks, will be dismantled, restored, and reassembled around circular residential tower blocks. In total, the project will see 550 homes created in five round towers modelled on the gasometer geometrics.

East London Advertiser (27/09/2020)  

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House prices up 5% to £226,129

Data from Nationwide reveals that UK house prices were up 5% in September compared with a year ago. This marks the biggest rate of annual growth in four years. Month-on-month, prices in September were up 0.9% on August, while quarter-on-quarter, July through September saw prices climb 1.7% compared to the previous three months. The figures show that the average house price hit £226,129 in September. In London, prices were up 4.4% in Q3, with the average price in the capital hitting a record high of £480,857. Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, said the rebound in prices “reflects a number of factors,” adding: “Pent-up demand is coming through, with decisions taken to move before lockdown now progressing.”

The Daily Telegraph (30/09/2020)   Financial Times (30/09/2020)   City AM (30/09/2020)   

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Mortgage approvals hit 13-year high

UK monthly mortgage approvals hit a near 13-year high in August supported by the release of pent-up demand as consumers resumed spending and the government’s stamp duty holiday. Home loan approvals for August were 84,700, the highest rate of approvals since October 2007, according to the new data from the Bank of England; but the increase in approvals only partially offset weaknesses in mortgage lending in the Spring. So far this year, 418,000 mortgages have been approved, below the 524,000 approved in the same period last year. The data suggest that mortgage approvals “will remain well above trend for at least another couple of months”, said Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at consultancy Pantheon Macroeconomics.

The Times (29/09/2020)   City AM (29/09/2020)

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More homes sell above asking price

Around one in eight homes sold for above the asking price in August, the highest proportion since 2015, figures reveal. The 13% total was 5% up on the month before. A temporary stamp duty cut and the release of pent-up demand were credited for the rise. But 53% went for less than the original asking price, according to estate agents' body NAEA Propertymark. An average of 12 sales were agreed per branch in August, up from nine a year earlier, it said, but added that the proportion of sales made to first-time buyers stood at 23% in August, a fall from 25% in July. Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA said: "We have witnessed a boom in the number of prospective buyers. Many buyers are clearly willing to pay over the asking price in order to secure their dream home."

Daily Mirror (28/09/2020)    The Sun (28/09/2020)   

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COVID hits house building volumes

Government data show that 38,700 fewer homes were built in the second quarter of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019 in England and Wales. The news comes as the Home Builders Federation (HBF) warns that billions of pounds in contributions could be lost as a result of homes not being built thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report by the HBF, £7bn was contributed by developers to communities in the past year through "section 106" agreements and the community infrastructure levy.

The Times (25/09/2020)

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House sales rise in August

August saw house sales rise by 15.6% across the UK, after the Government introduced a temporary stamp duty holiday, HMRC figures have revealed. The tax break, which will last until March 31st 2021, saw an estimated 81,280 sales take place in August and also helped to protect nearly 750,000 jobs in the housing sector and wider supply chain. However, transactions were still down by 16.3% compared with the same month in 2019, figures show. Economists still expect house prices to fall between 3%-5% this year. Weak growth and unemployment rising to between 7%-12% this year is likely to weigh on demand. Joshua Elash, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “The significant rise in house sales in August compared with the previous month reflects a positive response to the Chancellor's stamp duty initiative in the short term but, sadly, it is not sustainable.”

Daily Mail (22/09/2020) Yorkshire Post (22/09/2020)   The Times (22/09/2020) 

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