Thousands of homeowners are racing to secure new mortgage deals before their fixed terms come to an end. When 170,000 fixed-rates end this month, borrowers will be moved to their lenders' more expensive variable rates unless they lock in a cheaper deal. According to the Consumer Data and Information (Caci) marketing company, December will be the busiest month this year for maturities, with deals on £25bn worth of home loans coming to an end. Meanwhile, homeowners have become reliant on "product transfer" offers since lockdown, say experts. Data published by UK Finance shows that the number of internal transfers has surged since the start of the year, and these loans now account for 77% of all refinancing activity.
The Times (11/12/2020) The Daily Telegraph (11/12/2020)
Legal experts are warning that growing reliance on the Bank of Mum and Dad is leaving their children in danger of landing with a hefty tax bill. Cash gifts could leave the recipients with a large bill because of inheritance tax, which is payable for up to seven years after the money changes hands. Law firm Lindsays has seen a rise in the number of cases it is dealing with where people risk being stung with an unexpected inheritance tax bill because they and their parents were unaware of the implications of what they thought was a gift.
Daily Mail (14/12/2020
The renovation of Surrey Docks Farm, tucked away on a long-inaccessible stretch of the Thames in Rotherhithe, promises to bring new life to the surrounding community. As well as a new waterside events space, meeting space, office and teaching kitchen at an old, fire-damaged tower, an extension of the Thames Path has opened up the waterfront to dog walkers, cyclists and mudlarks right through the gardens of the farm. “The Thames Path coming through is a really key thing for new visitors,” says Chloë Leen, co-founder of PUP Architects, which oversaw the project. “The landscaping and new frontage meeting the Thames Path has made it feel more welcoming for people who maybe don’t know about it but come past a lot.” Housing currently ranges from cobbled conservation zones to Nineties estates built on infilled docks; however, there is significant investment to come in the area, including a new shopping precinct. With Canada Water station just a short walk away, the area is also perfect for a speedy commute to Canary Wharf.
Evening Standard (07/12/2020)
Regal London has submitted a planning application for a £500m mixed-use development at Orchard Wharf in the Docklands. The plans outline three strands for the long-vacant site, which is well connected to Canning Town and East India stations, which would complete the regeneration and reinvention of the Leamouth Peninsula; logistics, landscape and living. The wharf will be developed into a first of its kind last-mile logistics port comprising new river infrastructure and over 8,200 m² of warehouse space and offices, as well as 135 m² of flexible commercial space. The scheme would also deliver 826 new homes across six buildings in a range of housing tenures, designed to provide for a variety of ages, incomes and lifestyles. A total of 6,750 m² of new public realm and open space is also included.
Property Magazine (11/12/20)
New data has revealed that house prices increased 7.6% in the 12 months to November, with valuations up some 6.5% since the housing market reopened in June. Russell Galley, of Halifax, which provided the figures commented: “The stamp duty saving of £2,500 on a home costing £250,000 is now far outweighed by the average increase in property prices since July.” He went on: “With unemployment predicted to peak around the middle of next year, and the UK’s economy not expected to fully recover the ground lost over 2020 for a number of years, a slowdown in housing market activity is likely over the next 12 months”.
The Daily Telegraph (07/12/2020)
Home loan interest charges may exceed 5% for some first-time buyers, the Sunday Times reports, as lenders push up the cost of borrowing for people with smaller deposits. Aldermore has announced mortgages for borrowers with a 10% deposit at 5.18% over two years, or 5.39% fixed for five years, with a fee of £999. From Tuesday, Lloyds Bank and Halifax will offer a two-year fixed-rate mortgage at 3.54% and a five-year deal at 3.59%, both with a £995 fee. The last time the average cost of 90% mortgages was this high was in January 2013, when fears of a triple-dip recession were widespread. The average five-year deal for people with a 10% deposit is now 3.92%, up from 2.94% in December 2019, according to Moneyfacts.
The Sunday Times (06/12/2020)