Mortgage rates have hit record lows as the prospect of a Bank of England rate cut reared its head this week. With the election and Brexit uncertainty giving buyers cold feet, banks have entered into a “cut-throat” price war to lure customers. Three lenders – Halifax, Santander and Virgin Money – are offering five-year fixed mortgage rates at below 1.5%, according to Moneyfacts. However, Rachel Springall, a finance expert at Moneyfacts, warned: “The lowest rate mortgage may not always offer the best overall value though because it will depend on how much someone is looking to borrow.”
The Mail on Sunday (10/11/2019)
First-time buyers in London are taking more than ten years to save for a deposit – whereas buyers in Blackpool need less than three. A recent report from Post Office Money has revealed how long buyers have to wait to get on the property ladder in certain areas. In London, first-timers save for just over a decade to get a standard deposit of £170,003 on the average home costing £538,132. This assumes a household income of £79,834 a year, according to the survey. In Blackpool, saving a typical £21,696 deposit to buy an average £110,000 home takes two years, nine months - assuming household income of £40,053. Other towns where first-timers save the longest include Guildford and Woking in Surrey, as well as Cambridge and Oxford. The UK average was three years, six months.
Daily Mail (12/11/2019)
Blackfriars Road in Southwark, south London, has emerged as the new millionaires’ row, recording more sales of homes at over £5m than any other address in the country. Analysis by law firm Boodle Hatfield shows that in the past year there have been 16 sales above that figure on the street, also known as the A201. All were apartments in One Blackfriars, an asymmetrical glass tower nicknamed “the Vase”, which sits by Blackfriars Bridge, across the road from the railway terminus. Meanwhile, sales of properties at £5m or more in the traditional hotspots of Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea were down by 23% over the past year, but were up by 19% elsewhere in London. In the past year 416 sales of properties for £5m or more were recorded by the Land Registry, of which 262 were in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea, 107 elsewhere in London and 47 outside London.
The Times (11/11/2019)
Properties in Tower Hamlets, home to Canary Wharf, Brick Lane and the Tower of London, are set to perform the best of all London boroughs in any future housing market slowdown, according to mortgage lender Proportunity. Vadim Toader, founder and chief executive of Proportunity, said: “Buying a property is the single biggest investment decision most of us will ever make, so it is vital to do it in the most informed way possible…By analysing the performance of London flats - the most popular property type among first-time buyers - in the last recession, we have been able to pinpoint the factors that feed into a local housing market’s resilience and identify potential safe havens going forward”.
Mortgage Introducer (01/11/2019)
City AM’s Jessica Clarke looks at how house prices in London’s boroughs have changed since the last election. Prime central London house prices have taken the biggest hit since 2017, she writes, whilst constituencies further away from the centre benefitted from buyers seeking cheaper properties. House prices made the biggest jump in Brent North, with an increase of 19.5% to £460,000 in the last two years. Carshalton and Wallington in south London saw an increase of 10.8%, followed by Brentford and Isleworth with 10.3% house price growth. Meanwhile, house prices in the Cities of London and Westminster dropped 10.8%, from £1.25m to £1.11m..
City AM (07/11/2019)
Kate Hughes looks at the gender inequality in home ownership. For instance, the gender pay gap, which remains stuck at just under 12%, means there's a knock-on gap in the number of women able to rent or buy a home on their single salary alone. And new research from Aldermore shows that 64% of women find the house buying process difficult compared with only 46% of men. And barely 30% of women first time buying hopefuls think they'll ever achieve their goal. Sue Hayes from Aldermore says: "We need to address financial inequality in our society to help tackle gender disparities so that becoming a homeowner is achievable for all" .
The Independent (01/11/2019)