A record number of offers were accepted on the housing market in June, according to research. After months of slow activity during the coronavirus lockdown, Knight Frank said it had recorded the best month for successful offers. The figure for last month was 46% higher than the previous record, in March this year before the lockdown. Knight Frank said this underscored “how the property market has picked up where it left off before the pandemic struck”. Meanwhile, a study of 2,000 adults by online estate agent Purplebricks has found that one in six house-hunters would make an offer after just a virtual property viewing – and one third are happy to make a judgement about a property after only a single digital tour.
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Northern & Shell (N&S), the lottery and property company owned by former tabloid publisher Richard Desmond, has asked architect PLP to draw up detailed designs for the 1,500-home Westferry Printworks development, despite planning consent being quashed after housing secretary Robert Jenrick admitted his decision could have appeared biased. The 30-storey development on the Isle of Dogs was approved by Mr Jenrick in January against the advice of a planning inspector, and just a day before a new planning charge would have cost the developer as much as £50m. Nevertheless, N&S has emphasised its commitment to the project, and expressed its confidence that what it called a “vibrant new waterfront neighbourhood” would be approved by the end of 2020.
Building (06/07/2020) Building Design (06/07/2020)
Bouygues UK to work on Canning Town regeneration scheme
Bouygues UK is to deliver a major mixed-use project in Canning Town, with a gross development value of £240m. Linkcity UK, the firm’s property arm, is to build 620 new homes, a health centre, business and leisure spaces, and public realm at the Hallsville Quarter. Bouygues UK has started on site and it is expected to complete work in 2024. The Hallsville Quarter scheme will ultimately consist of more than 1,100 homes.
Construction News (07/07/2020)
UK house prices have fallen for the fourth month in a row for the first time since 2010, according to the Halifax. Average prices fell 0.1% in June, the first full month that England’s estate agents were open for business again after the housing market reopened on May 13th. Overall, the average British home has lost £2,222 in value since the coronavirus pandemic began, bringing the average price down to £237,616, Halifax found. However, house prices in June were still 2.5% higher than in the same month last year, due to a rally in the aftermath of the Conservative election victory at the end of 2019. Looking forward, Halifax expects prices to fall further, though not drastically. “The near-term outlook points to a continuation of the recent modest downward trend in prices through the third quarter of the year,” Halifax managing director Russell Galley said.
The Daily Telegraph (07/07/2020) The Guardian (07/07/2020) Daily Mail (07/07/2020)
Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the threshold for paying stamp duty will be raised from £125,000 to £500,000 immediately in a bid to help the UK housing market out of the coronavirus lockdown. The chancellor said the stamp duty holiday, which will run to March 31st next year, will result in an average saving of £4,500 and will benefit nine in 10 house buyers.
Daily Telegraph (09/07/2020) Daily Mail (09/07/2020)
East London neighbourhoods such as Plaistow and East Ham represent excellent value for house hunters wishing to remain close to the heart of the city, and Canary Wharf, while enjoying the benefits of gardens and a closer sense of community. In Plaistow, four- to five- bedroom houses can be found for £600,000 and rising, with three-bedrooms from £500,000, and two-bed flats at £300,000-£350,000. One of the newest developments is Upton Gardens, the former home of West Ham United FC, where almost 850 homes are being built in landscaped grounds, with a play area, residents gym and shops. Two-bedroom flats start from £474,000. East Ham also offers value, with streets of Victorian terrace houses originally built for factory workers and costing £380,000 to £425,000 for a three-bedroom home. Alternatively, studio flats at the 277-apartment New Market Place begin at £304,000.
Evening Standard (02/07/2020)