First-time buyers have seen the cost of stepping onto the property ladder rise sharply in the past year, according to new research. The average price paid by a first-time buyer in Britain last year was £231,455, up 9% on a year earlier, while the average deposit increased by 7% to a record £46,187, according to Halifax. Despite the increasing costs, overall numbers of first-time buyers in 2019 were up around 1% to 356,767. Burnley, Lancashire is now the most affordable area for local first-time buyers - calculated by comparing average earnings to average house prices - producing a ratio of 3.1. Otherwise the majority of the top 10 most affordable areas are in Scotland and Wales. Halifax also looked back at the previous decade, finding that the volume of first-time buyer transactions has surged by around 84%, and grew from 39% to 51% of all home purchases during the period.
Daily Mail (25/01/20) The Daily Telegraph (25/01/20) Yorkshire Post (25/01/20)
Home movers spend on average nearly £135,000 more stepping up the property ladder than a decade ago, a report has found. Across the UK, home movers paid £330,984 on average in 2019, up by 69% from £196,386 in 2009, a rise of £134,598, according to Lloyds Bank. Home movers also put down average deposits of nearly £100,000 in 2019, a hike of over £27,000 compared with £72,075 a decade ago, the research found. Lloyds estimated there were 347,758 home movers purchasing with a mortgage in 2019 – up by 13% since 2009. Northern Ireland has seen the greatest increase in the number of home movers (47%) over the course of the decade while in the South East of England, the number of home movers has barely increased at 1%.
Daily Mail (26/01/20) The Sun (26/01/20
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has revealed that he is considering introducing a new “fast track for beauty” in the planning system – allowing homeowners or developers to more quickly secure planning permission if they are seeking to build a type of structure that a community has already deemed acceptable. The proposal is included in a report from the Government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful commission. “Instead of an unpredictable, bureaucratic planning system, which shuts out smaller developers and self-builders,” he writes, “we should have a freer process where it is easier to progress planning applications for well-designed places.” He also adds that he wants to see tree-lined streets become “the norm,” and that zero carbon homes should be “being built as standard within five years.”
The Sunday Telegraph (26/01/20)
Rockwell has begun work on its £151m, 30-storey mixed-use development at 82 West India Dock Road, adjacent to Westferry DLR station. Designed by architects SimpsonHaugh to act as a gateway to Canary Wharf’s central cluster, the scheme includes 66 new residential properties, 18 of which will be affordable, and London’s largest and tallest Premier Inn hotel. It also includes a restaurant, café, gym facilities and a landscaped pocket park, as well as communal gardens for new residents. Completion is scheduled for early 2022.
Property Investor Today (19/01/2020)
The latest HM Revenue and Customs data shows that UK property transactions soared at the end of last year. Residential property transactions increased 6.8% year-on-year in December to 104,670, up 6.2% on November’s number, while the total number of non-residential UK property transactions hit 10,690 during the month - up 13.4% higher on the month prior. Private Finance director Shaun Church said: "This increase in activity looks set to continue into early 2020. The decisive outcome of the General Election has generated a surge in interest from buyers and sellers."
City AM (21/01/20)
A number of banks have started to reintroduce bonus-friendly mortgages, making it easier for wealthy homebuyers with variable incomes to secure larger home loans. While some deals in recent years have allowed borrowers to declare 50% of a bonus to be factored into calculations determining how much they could borrow, Nationwide, Skipton Building Society and Metro Bank are taking whole bonuses into account, while Santander, Halifax and Scottish Widows will take into account up to 65% of a borrower’s bonus. Mark Harris, chief executive of the mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says lenders allowing a loan applicant to declare 100% of a bonus will look at the average over the past two years, while those letting a person declare 60% tend to look at that year’s bonus alone.
The Times (17/01/2020)