Home sellers in London and South East are increasingly concerned about “gazundering”, new data suggest. The term refers to when a buyer lowers their offer price just before contracts are exchanged and is becoming a serious problem for an increasing proportion of sellers. A survey of 2,000 people by campaign group the HomeOwners Alliance found that some 45% of people were concerned about the issue – an increase on 40% last year.
Daily Mail (27/03/2019)
The average UK property price has dropped almost £4,000 in four months, driven by declines in London and the commuter belt. Annual growth in January dropped back to 1.7%, from 2.2% in December, while prices in the capital were down 1.6%, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data. The figures come one week after the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) downgraded official forecasts for house price growth over the next few years, predicting that average prices will drop by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2019 before growth returns in the second quarter of 2020, to 0.9% - well below the previously forecast figure of 3.1%.
The Times (21/03/2019) The Daily Telegraph (21/03/2019)
A new report reveals that rent in London is the most expensive in Europe and the fourth most expensive in the world. The report by global mobility experts Employment Conditions Abroad International found London's average monthly rent for a three-bedroom home came in at £5,187. Manchester has the most expensive rental accommodation in the UK outside of London, at £1,844 per month, while Birmingham has seen the biggest spike in rental costs across the UK, increasing by £110 per month since 2018.
Evening Standard (14/03/2019)
Mortgage rates have dropped by almost 50% since the financial crisis, according to Moneyfacts. The report found the average two-year fixed rate home loan has fallen from 4.79% in March 2009 to 2.49% today, with the average five-year fix also down by 2.73 percentage points. “It would have been difficult to predict 10 years ago that we would ever see mortgage rates at historic lows and product numbers at record highs, with providers now vying to compete for new business across most loan-to-value tiers,” said Darren Cook, finance expert at Moneyfacts.
Daily Mail (20/03/2019) The Daily Telegraph (20/03/2019)
Homeowners paying off mortgages into their 70s is expected to become the "new normal" as more than half of loans can now be extended over 40 years. Data compiled by Moneyfacts shows 51% of mortgage deals available on the market are available over a maximum repayment period of 40 years, up from 36% in 2014. By contrast just 3% of deals require borrowers to repay within 25 years, down from 7.5% in 2014. Moneyfacts suggested that home loans are getting longer due to the sharp rise in house prices , and by choosing longer terms homeowners can afford to take out bigger loans, although they will be more expensive in the long run as more interest will be paid.
The Daily Telegraph (18/03/2019)
The Times sets out the reasons how Canary Wharf is earning a new reputation as a residential hotspot – a far cry from its image as a dull and soulless financial hub. On weekends, this part of town is now bustling with shoppers, diners and drinkers who like being by the river, with the waterfront promenade at West India Quay a particular favourite. Wood Wharf, which will host the first homes to be built on the actual Canary Wharf estate, will feature a number of independent shops, along with an outpost of the Arts Club and a trendy NoCo hotel. Pan Peninsula, Dollar Bay and No 1 West India Quay number among the area’s new apartment blocks, although they are far from the only options; Burrells Wharf Square has flats in old warehouses from £300,000, and there are pockets of period terraces all around the Isle of Dogs, where three-bedroom houses start at £700,000. All are well-connected, with Westminster just 11 minutes away on the Jubilee Line, and the City a similar duration on the DLR. Additionally, Liverpool Street will be just six minutes away, when the Elizabeth Line opens.