House prices staged a strong recovery in the third quarter, as lockdown restrictions eased. Prices rose 3.3% in the three months to September, according to the Halifax Property Index, the strongest increase recorded since the end of 2006. On an annual basis prices were 5.5% higher, the sharpest rate of inflation since the final quarter of 2016. The housing market has been buoyed by government interventions such as the stamp duty holiday introduced over the summer. Paul Smith, economics director at IHS, suggested the resurgence in prices was also due to “strong demand driven by a desire for more space – either as a reaction of the lockdown or the structural economic effects of increasing home working”.
City AM (12/10/2020)
Property transactions are being cast into doubt as surveyors claim homes are being overvalued in an uncertain market, the Telegraph reports. Surveyors are valuing homes at significantly less than the agreed sales price, known as a down valuation, which means mortgage lenders asking for a much larger deposit. This then forces buyers to come up with additional funds or risk their purchases falling apart. Britain is in the midst of a property market boom but there is widespread concern that prices will fall when the tax break ends in April. Experts said this has led to hundreds of cases where surveyors have valued properties at less than the buyer and seller have agreed. Down-valuations are most prevalent in areas where the highest price rises are occurring.
The Daily Telegraph (15/10/2020)
Homebuyers are facing major delays in securing mortgages as lenders' processing times continue to rise. Brokers say a spike in demand for property driven by the stamp duty holiday, combined with lenders' reduced processing capacity, means that the waiting time between applications and mortgage offers has more than doubled. Private Finance said the timeframe has jumped from an average of two weeks to four to six weeks to secure an agreement. John Charcol noted that lenders offering mortgages for buyers with 10% and 15% deposits are under most pressure, as many have exited the sector, so those still offering such loans face a disproportionate volume of requests.
The Daily Telegraph (09/10/2020)
Taylor Wimpey has acquired a 1.5 acre site on Fish Island in Hackney Wick, from Telereal Trillium. Located west of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and not far from Hackney Wick Station, the land – which formerly hosted a BT depot – has planning permission for 145 flats across four buildings, and for 23,000 sq ft of commercial space at ground level. The proposed development was designed by the architecture and interior design firm Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher.
Property Week (30/09/2020)
Southern Grove has unveiled plans for a £22m development in Limehouse, an eight-storey building close to the local Overground and DLR stations, and within walking distance of Canary Wharf. Construction on Quinnat Yard, as the 45-apartment scheme is known, is scheduled to begin next spring, subject to planning permission.
Property Week (06/10/2020)
Young people are planning to stay in London despite the trend, sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, to seek bigger and cheaper housing outside of the capital. Research published by PwC showed that 73% of Londoners aged 25 to 44 were planning to remain in the capital, compared to 74% before the pandemic. The new research comes after reports that around a third of over 45-year-olds who currently live in the capital said they expect to move to a different region outside of Greater London the next time they move, an increase of 14% compared to before the pandemic.
City AM (06/10/2020)