Docklands News

House prices set for ‘summer bounce’

House prices set for ‘summer bounce’
House prices are in line for a summer bounce following the extension of the stamp duty holiday announced by the Chancellor in his March Budget, according to analysis from home-moving services firm reallymoving. The reallymoving House Price Forecast March 2021 suggests that prices were heading downwards before the extension of property tax relief was confirmed. The firm said conveyancing quote volumes began to accelerate around March 3 - the day of the Budget - and were 51% above normal levels by mid-March and over 100% higher than normal levels by the start of April. With a 2.8% increase in the average value of deals being agreed, reallymoving expects this to be reflected in Land Registry Price Paid data in June.

Daily Express (19/04/2021)

 

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New UK mortgage scheme launches

The new government-backed mortgage scheme has officially launched, with Lloyds, Santander, Barclays, HSBC UK and NatWest among the first to launch under the scheme. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick commented: “For too many people, no matter how hard they work, home ownership can seem out of reach. One of the biggest divides in our country has been between those who can afford their own home and those who cannot.” He went on: “The new mortgage guarantee scheme which comes into effect today will give providers the confidence to lend and help families and young people get on the property ladder without the prohibitive burden of a large deposit.” Michelle Andrews, HSBC UK’s head of buying a home added: “After such a turbulent year it is great that this scheme will make a real difference in enabling first-time buyers who didn’t think they would have a chance of getting a mortgage and home movers to get the keys to their new home” .

Daily Mail (19/04/2021) Evening Standard (19/04/2021)

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Canary Wharf Group abandons office tower for residential space

Canary Wharf Group (SWG) has dropped plans for a Squire & Partners-designed office tower in favour of a new residential skyscraper by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). The landowner received permission in 2015 for 90,000 sq m of office space at 1 Park Place, but never acted on it. Now it has submitted a scoping report to Tower Hamlets Council, outlining plans for a 60-storey tower with more than 700 rental flats and a smaller six-storey tower with shops, co-working space and leisure space. It confirmed SOM as the architect for the Docklands development, which will sit next to the Morgan Stanley building at 25 Cabot Square. A CWG spokesperson said: “Canary Wharf is a mixed-use estate with a pipeline of more than 5 million square feet of future office space and more than 3,000 apartments…In the residential sector, we have already successfully opened two award-winning purpose-built rental buildings on the eastern side of Canary Wharf at Wood Wharf, and two more residential rental buildings will open this summer along with our first privately sold apartments”.

Architects’ Journal (13/04/2021)

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London mayoral candidates on housing

City AM and the Evening Standard both compare the housing policies of London mayoral candidates Sadiq Khan (Labour), Sian Berry (Green), Luisa Porritt (Lib Dem) and Shaun Bailey (Conservative), noting that incumbent Khan has set a target of building 10,000 new council homes as a part of his wider target to build 122,000 affordable homes between 2016 and 2023. Mr Bailey promises to build 100,000 shared ownership homes that would be sold for £100,000 each. Ms Berry said that she will lobby the Government to cancel the right-to-buy scheme in London to make sure that council housing stocks are not depleted. Ms Porritt’s policies include a pledge to convert empty office space in Central London post-COVID into affordable housing.

City AM (12/04/2021) Evening Standard (12/04/2021)

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House prices hit record high

Analysis from Halifax shows that house prices have hit a record high despite rising at a slower rate than a year ago, hitting an average of £252,765. The report reveals a 5.7% year-on-year increase in the first quarter, down from the near-five year high of 7% recorded last year. On a quarterly basis, prices rose 0.3% in the first three months of the year, marking a slowdown on the 2.5% increase seen in Q4 2020. Reflecting on the figures, AJ Bell analyst Laith Khalaf was optimistic about the outlook for the sector, saying: “While there might be a few bumps along the way, particularly at the end of the stamp duty…the property market has proved itself to be unbelievably resilient.” He notes that much of this “comes down to the efforts the Government and the Bank of England have made to make mortgage borrowing incredibly easy and cheap”.

City AM (14/04/2021) Daily Express (14/04/2021)

 

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Value of private property has topped £6tn

The total value of private property in the UK topped £6tn for the first time on record last year. In addition, mortgage-holders made an “unprecedented” £5.1bn worth of overpayments in the final quarter of 2020, the Equity Release Council said. But regular mortgage repayments remained 2% below pre-pandemic levels in the final quarter “as households who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic use relief measures such as mortgage holidays to defer their repayment obligations”. The average loan-to-value of property dropped to 24.6%, the lowest level since before 2007/8, and means the average UK property owner held equity of £189,549 alongside an average loan of £61,951 last year. The number of new equity release plans taken out rose 19% to 21,917 in the final half of 2020. The number of equity release products available rose to record highs, with a total of 488 products available by the end of 2020.

Sunday Express (11/04/2021) The Mail on Sunday (11/04/2021)

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