The news of a third lockdown may not limit mortgage options for homeowners and buyers as much as the previous COVID restrictions, according to new analysis from the Mortgage Advice Bureau. Brian Murphy, the head of lending at the Mortgage Advice Bureau, detailed how the housing market will come out relatively unscathed in light of the new restrictions: "Despite stricter coronavirus measures being introduced across the UK, the housing market remains open for business," he said. “we've recently seen a return to higher Loan-to-Value (LTV) products, with five of the top six providers now back offering products at the 90% LTV level and we hope to see this continue as more lenders have recovered much of their operational capacity despite most of their workforce working remotely.”
Daily Express (06/01/2021)
The so-called Bank of Mum and Dad helped fewer buyers snap up a home last year, with 28% of first-time buyers receiving help from family or friends in the 2019/20 financial year, down from 34% the year before and 39% three years ago. The English Housing Survey, a national snapshot by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, found that despite the decline in support, the number of first-time buyers in England increased 100,000 from 2018/19 to 827,000 in 2019/20. The average deposit was up to £42,433 from £42,361 the previous year. Analysts say that this trend, which preceded the coronavirus pandemic, can be explained by the fact that many parents were feeling poorer and therefore more reluctant to help their adult children. Some 62% of first-time buyers were from the top two income brackets, the survey found.
The Times (02/01/2021)
Regal submits plans for majestic mixed-use Docklands project
Regal London has submitted plans for a £500m mixed-use, residential-led scheme at Orchard Wharf in the Docklands, providing 826 new homes across six buildings. The housing comprises 456 build-to-rent flats, 136 private sale, 81 discount market rent and 152 affordable rented flats, on a site close to Canning Town and East India stations. The scheme also includes 72,650 sq ft of public realm, with landscaping and a new pedestrian route connecting to East India Dock Basin, and a last mile logistics port with almost 90,000 sq ft of warehouse, office, and flexible commercial space. Regal is working with JTP as lead architect, alongside Aukett Swanke and Spacehub. “We are immensely proud of the pioneering proposal we have submitted for Orchard Wharf, which would see a vacant site restored to its former glory, full of life and movement”, said Regal planning director Steve Harrington. “A lot of consideration has gone into this submission and the result is a plan that would unlock the full potential of this area, delivering a mixed-use site that exemplifies Regal London’s commitment to creating some of London’s best places in which to live, work and play”.
Property Week (11/12/2020) PBC Today (14/12/2020)
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that property prices rose by 5.4% year-on-year in October, up from a 4.3% increase recorded in September. The increase, which was driven by a surge in buyers looking to complete deals before the stamp duty holiday comes to an end on March 31, pushed prices to a record average of £245,000. Scotland led the way on price rises, with the average climbing 6% to £163,000. Prices in England, Wales and Northern Ireland grew 5.4%, 5.8% and 2.4% respectively. London house prices remained the most pricey with an average property costing £491,000. Meanwhile, the Northeast had the lowest average house price at £136,000.
Financial Times (16/12/2020) Daily Mail (16/12/2020) The Guardian (16/12/2020)
Thousands of homeowners are racing to secure new mortgage deals before their fixed terms come to an end. When 170,000 fixed-rates end this month, borrowers will be moved to their lenders' more expensive variable rates unless they lock in a cheaper deal. According to the Consumer Data and Information (Caci) marketing company, December will be the busiest month this year for maturities, with deals on £25bn worth of home loans coming to an end. Meanwhile, homeowners have become reliant on "product transfer" offers since lockdown, say experts. Data published by UK Finance shows that the number of internal transfers has surged since the start of the year, and these loans now account for 77% of all refinancing activity.
The Times (11/12/2020) The Daily Telegraph (11/12/2020)
Legal experts are warning that growing reliance on the Bank of Mum and Dad is leaving their children in danger of landing with a hefty tax bill. Cash gifts could leave the recipients with a large bill because of inheritance tax, which is payable for up to seven years after the money changes hands. Law firm Lindsays has seen a rise in the number of cases it is dealing with where people risk being stung with an unexpected inheritance tax bill because they and their parents were unaware of the implications of what they thought was a gift.
Daily Mail (14/12/2020