Docklands News

Canary Wharf at the heart of the East End’s housing renaissance

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)

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First-time buyers weathering the COVID storm

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 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)

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Mortgage approvals rebound but still 46% below pre-COVID levels

Figures from the Bank of England show that mortgage approvals rebounded strongly from a record low of 9,300 in May to 40,000 in June, but remained 46% below February’s total of 73,300. Gross new borrowing was £15.8bn in June, up slightly from £15bn in May but below the February level of £23.4bn. On a net basis, lending reached £1.9bn in June, up from £1.3bn in May, but 54% lower than February’s £4.1bn. Approvals for remortgage (not including product transfers) increased from 30,700 in May to 36,900 in June, but they remain 30% lower than in February.

The I (29/07/2020)   Daily Mail (29/07/2020)  Financial Times (29/07/2020)  The Daily Telegraph (29/07/2020)  The Times (29/07/2020) 

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Surveyors lowering house price valuations

Property purchases are collapsing as surveyors have dramatically reduced property valuations in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. As house prices fall in many areas, surveyors have started to be more conservative with their estimates amid fears that properties could be overvalued. A lack of post-coronavirus housing market data has contributed to this issue, experts said. If the valuation is significantly lower than the agreed sales price, this can cause mortgage lenders to withdraw offers, and sales to fall apart. This phenomenon is known as a “down-valuation” and occurs when a bank’s surveyor values a property. Estate agents and mortgage brokers have reported cases where down-valuations have knocked tens of thousands of pounds off a property’s price. In one instance, a surveyor valued a property at £300,000 less than the agreed sale price. Industry experts said lack of data was posing a major problem for surveyors, many of whom have been unable to visit properties in person.

The Daily Telegraph (24/07/2020)

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Help to Buy looks set for extension

The Government’s Help to Buy scheme looks set to be extended as housebuilders warn that home sales are at risk of collapse because of construction delays caused by COVID-19. An announcement on whether to extend the stop date to the Government's loan scheme for new-build homes could come as early as this week, the FT reports. The present scheme is due to end in April 2021. However, applications will be accepted only for properties that are completed by December 31. Construction delays caused by the pandemic, which led most of the larger housebuilders to down tools on sites temporarily, means that thousands of agreed sales on homes that had been scheduled to be completed by the end of the year could fall through if the deadline is not extended.

The Times (28/07/2020)   Financial Times (28/07/2020) The Guardian (28/07/2020)

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