Mortgage lenders are asking first-time buyers to stump up at least 20% for a deposit on a house as a drought in deals strips mortgages from the market. In the past week, not one high street bank has offered mortgages for those with a 10% deposit, and brokers are warning that deals for those with a 15% deposit are disappearing. More than 300 mortgage deals for borrowers with a 15% deposit have been pulled since January, and only a handful are left for those with smaller deposits. Just 44 mortgage deals are left for those with a 10% deposit, according to Moneyfacts. Many are with smaller lenders and have restrictive criteria.
The Times (19/09/2020)
More than 1.6m adults are forced to live with their family or friends because they are unable to move out, a study has revealed. Research from the National Housing Federation revealed that the number has risen by almost 100,000 in England in two years as a shortage of starter homes and affordable flats has driven up rents and kept house prices high. Most of them, about 1.3m, are single adults who typically cannot leave their parents' home or were forced to move back after university or living elsewhere.
The Times (21/09/2020)
The number of equity contracts entered dropped to 18,420 in the first half of this year, a 15% fall on the same period in 2019. Figures from the Equity Release Council show that, among customers who already had equity release plans in place, fewer sought fresh cash advances, and withdrawals were smaller than in the previous six months. David Burrowes, the council’s chairman, said that there were "initial signs of a recovery in June." Equity release allows customers to unlock part of the value of their home and receive cash, either in a lump sum or in several smaller amounts, on which they pay interest. The sector has attracted criticism as compounding interest can increase customers' debts and wipe out inheritances.
The Daily Telegraph (21/09/2020)
Vastint UK has launched Botanical Mews, the first phase of residential units available to at Sugar House Island, south of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. An assortment of properties are available, ranging from studios to four-bedroom mews houses; set alongside the Three Mills Wall River, many of the homes include large balconies and terraces, with views of the surrounding waterways as well as communal parks and yards with semi-private gardens. Residents will have access to a concierge service, a parcel room, and a dedicated app which will allow them to easily book handyman repairs, local services and deliveries, and fitness classes.
Property Investor Today (14/09/2020)
Estate agent body NAEA Propertymark has advised those looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday that they may need to act quickly. It says sellers need to market their home by the end of September to maximise their chances of getting the transaction completed before the March 31 2021 cut-off, noting many conveyancing services are operating at reduced levels, while mortgage applications and surveys are also said to be suffering delays amid backlogs and staffing issues. Experts have also warned that the mini-boom on the market could unravel once the true economic toll of the pandemic starts to bite later this year and job losses mount. The Conveyancing Association warns transaction times could be up to 20 weeks and the fall-out rate could be as high as 34%.
The Mail on Sunday (13/09/2020) The Sunday Times (13/09/2020
With Nationwide data showing that average house prices rose 2% to a record £224,123 in August, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) says the climb is likely to be an anomaly driven by a temporary stamp duty cut and pent up demand as the market stalled amid the lockdown. The tax cut had raised prices by 1.2% and increased transactions by 6%, it estimated. Using pre-pandemic average transaction data, the CEBR estimates that 150,000 sales were delayed, equivalent to two months of activity. The CEBR says its analysis points to prices falling “significantly” toward the end of 2020 and into the first half of 2021. It said that while prices might see a “short spike” as the stamp duty cut draws to an end next March, average house prices are forecast to be 13.8% lower in 2021 than in 2020.
The Times (14/09/2020)