Private developers started building 23,130 homes in London in 2018 – a decrease of 15% on the year before. The figures, part of a report released by data analysts from Molior London, show the lowest level of new builds starting since 2013. “London has never recently been further away from building the number of homes it needs,” the report said.
Evening Standard (22.01/2019)
First-time buyers are now dominating Britain's housing market, as the level of current homeowners moving house fell the most in seven years, according to Lloyds Bank. It found that the number of homemovers fell by 4% last year from 2017, while the number of first-time buyers increased by 3%. It is the first year since 1995 that people buying their first home account for more of the market than homemovers – 51% vs 49% – Lloyds said. The cost of moving home is putting pressure on homemovers, said Andrew Mason of Lloyds Bank, with an average deposit now at just below £100,000, while stamp duty cuts and the Help to Buy scheme are helping out new buyers. According to the data, Northern Ireland and the north of England are the only regions where the number of homemovers increased during the last 12 months, by 7% and 1% respectively.
The Daily Telegraph (18/01/2019)
Soaring house prices have led to a boost in older people's wealth at the expense of the young, a top Bank of England official has claimed. The Bank's deputy governor Ben Broadbent said downsizing older people charge huge sums for properties thanks to the price surge, which in turn has led first-time buyers and those with growing families to take out vast mortgages. “This is the inevitable result of the boom in house prices in the early years in the last decade,” commented Mr Broadbent. He went on to warn that a significant increase in high-risk lending to businesses has worrying parallels with the sub-prime mortgage disaster that led to the financial crisis.
Daily Mail (23/01/2019)
A number of lenders have cut their rates for first-time buyers and homeowners remortgaging their properties. Last week HSBC dropped rates on 31 different fixed and tracker mortgages while Coventry Building Society dropped the interest rate on its 10-year fixed mortgage. Atom Bank, Accord Mortgages, NatWest and RBS are among the others that have cut rates. Commentators have said that the new rates are a response to increased competition in the market, and some banks missing their targets last year.
The Observer (20/01/2019)
An American billionaire hedge fund manager has paid £95m for a Grade II*-listed Georgian mansion within sight of Buckingham Palace. Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel, purchased the mansion at 3 Carlton Gardens, in what is believed to be the most expensive sale of a home in the UK since 2011. The John Nash-designed property, previously used by MI6, comes with a pool, staff quarters and formal private gardens, and was sold by the luxury property developer Mike Spink, who bought it for £65.5m in 2012.
Financial Times (21/01/2019)