UK house prices saw their biggest rise in 11 years last month, with the market bouncing back as it reopened after the coronavirus lockdown. Nationwide said prices climbed 1.7% in July, the biggest increase since August 2009. The average price of a home sold in July was £220,936, up from £216,403 in June. Nationwide's chief economist Robert Gardner said: "The bounce back in prices reflects the unexpectedly rapid recovery in housing market activity since the easing of lockdown restrictions." However, he warned that July’s increase may prove to be “something of a false dawn”, saying that activity could be dampened if, as many forecasters expect, labour market conditions “weaken significantly” in the wake of the pandemic and as government support schemes wind down.
Sky News (31/07/2020) BBC News (31/07/2020) Daily Mail (31/07/2020) The Daily Telegraph (31/07/2020)
There are tentative signs that first-time buyer mortgages are beginning to return, but borrowers are being hit by higher costs and more restrictions from banks. Figures published by industry analyst Defaqto show that ten new 90% mortgages have launched in the last three weeks, and small deposit customers now have a choice of 28 loans from providers including First Direct, HSBC, Metro Bank and Nationwide. But the lack of competition means that interest rates are significantly higher than those for customers with larger deposits.
The Daily Telegraph (05/08/2020)
The Government has announced a small extension to the Help to Buy equity loan scheme to allow for delays caused by the coronavirus crisis. While the building deadline for new homes sold through the scheme will be extended by two months, from the end of December 2020 to the end of February 2021, the March 31st 2021 deadline for sale completions remains. However, for buyers who have seen severe delays and reserved properties before June 30th, the deadline to complete purchases has been pushed back to the end of May 2021.
The Sunday Telegraph (01/08/2020) The Sunday Times (01/08/2020)
The East End is undergoing a housebuilding renaissance, with more than 53,000 new homes to be built between the City and Havering by 2024. Although work began on Canary Wharf in the Eighties, it is only recently that the estate starting adding its own private residential component. Wood Wharf will deliver 3,600 homes when completed but only a quarter will be classified as affordable. Apartments in One Park Drive start from £855,000 and in neighbouring tower 10 Park Drive from £900,000. Also in the Docklands, 132 homes have just been launched at Ecoworld’s Oxbow at East India Dock, where prices start at £351,000 for a studio apartment. Further out, Thornbury has converted a former warehouse by Plaistow station into The Dye Factory, where homes can be bought from £275,000.
Evening Standard (30/07/2020)
A third of first-time buyers in the UK have revealed that the coronavirus lockdown has ended up making a positive impact on their finances, with this group of property hunters making up a third of those hoping to purchase a property in the next 12 months, according to analysis from money.co.uk. Meanwhile, additional insights revealed that the process of taking out a mortgage has become more difficult during the pandemic. Of those who have applied for a mortgage, 44% have claimed that there has been a reduced number of mortgage products available to them. In regards to location, the data shows that over a quarter (28%) of first-time buyers are looking to purchase a home in London in the next year, with Barnet being the most sought after area for Help to Buy purchases. The top five London hotspots for first-time buyers also include Tower Hamlets, Lewisham and Greenwich.
Property Wire (24/07/2020)