Docklands News

London boroughs ranked by affordability, transport links and green spaces

Affordable housing developer Pocket Living has ranked every London borough according to the availability of affordable housing, price growth, number of parks and transport facilities, to identify the best areas in the capital for first-time buyers. Hillingdon, with its parks and open spaces, came in top thanks to the five Crossrail stations it will have when the line opens next year. The average property in this west London borough costs just over £430,000. Number two was Havering, in east London. Its average price is just over £385,000, up 5% in the past year, and as well as a string of country parks it has three Crossrail stations. Croydon and Hounslow take third and fourth, with Greenwich and Lewisham tying for fifth position. 

Evening Standard (08/09/2021)  

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House prices hit new high in August

House prices hit a record high in August, but the annual pace of growth in property values slowed, according to the Halifax. The lender said the cost of a typical home rose 0.7% last month to £262,954. In the year to August, house prices rose 7.1%, it said, down from a rate of 7.6% in July. But that figure masked big differences between the UK's nations and regions, reflecting buyers' interests in seeking more space and rural locations. "Given the rapid gains seen over the past 12 months, August's rise was relatively modest and the annual rate of house price inflation continued to slow," said Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group. 

BBC News (07/09/2021)  

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Home values could surge by 30% in next 10 years

UK house prices are predicted to increase 30% by 2031, according to research from The site analysed ONS data from 1992 to 2020 combined with a forecasting model to come up with the figures. It also found that prices in central London could grow by 33% in the next ten years. This would make the average house price in the capital £619,568 in 2031, compared to £465,549 today. The average house price in the UK currently sits at £248,496 but this could increase to £323,718 in 2031. The research found that house prices are likely to continue increasing until 2040. The site also looked at the average age of first-time buyers across the UK, dating back to 2006. The average age of a first-time buyer is currently 35 in London but by 2031, this is likely to increase to 37. The rest of the UK could see the average age increase by 1.6 to almost 35. 

Daily Express (06/09/2021)  

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Self-employed no longer left out of mortgage deals

Banks and lenders are no longer ruling out the self-employed for mortgages if they have taken government support during the pandemic. Halifax this week said it would no longer ask workers if they had taken Self-Employment Income Support and would make eligibility calculations based on income over the past two years. Previously, business owners who said they had taken loans had found it hard to get a mortgage. Meanwhile, NatWest removed its ban on self-employed borrowers who had taken government grants last month, as long as the loans had not been in the past three months. HSBC has also stopped comparing business earnings with those from before the pandemic and will work out an average income over the past two years. Similarly, Santander is assessing income based on 2019-20 figures, instead of last year's. 

The Times (04/09/2021)  

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House prices jumped by nearly £5,000 in August

House prices jumped by almost £5,000 in August - their second largest increase in more than 15 years, despite the tapering of stamp duty relief. Property prices increased by 2.1% month-on-month in August after falling by 0.6% in July, according to the Nationwide house price index. The increase in prices has lifted the value of the average UK home to £248,857, £4,628 higher than July’s £244,229. In London, the average home costs £511,190. Record low interest rates and a surge in pent-up demand have supported property prices, which are now 11% higher than a year ago. “The bounce back in August is surprising because it seemed more likely that the tapering of stamp duty relief in England at the end of June would take some of the heat out of the market,” Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said. “Underlying demand is likely to remain solid in the near term, but, as we look towards the end of the year, the outlook is harder to foresee. Activity almost inevitably will soften after the stamp duty holiday expires at the end of September.”

BBC News (01/09/2021)   Evening Standard (01/09/2021)   Financial Times (01/09/2021)  

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Booming house prices drive up the retail prices index

Soaring house prices have been driving up the retail prices index of inflation, according to a new analysis. RPI, which includes a housing depreciation component that reflects property prices, reached 3.9% in June and is on course to hit 5.6% later this year, Simon Ward, economic adviser at Janus Henderson Investors, said. As the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast RPI of just 2.4% in March, a 3.2 point overshoot would add £15.2bn to the cost of servicing the government’s £470bn portfolio of index-linked gilts, Ward said. The housing boom, which has driven annual house price inflation to a 17-year high of 13.2%, accounts for £2.4bn of the overshoot by directly increasing RPI, Ward calculated. Given that the bill for the stamp duty relief is officially estimated at £4.7bn, the combined cost to the exchequer of the property market boom is likely to top £7bn this year. 

The Times (31/08/2021)  

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