Around one in eight homes sold for above the asking price in August, the highest proportion since 2015, figures reveal. The 13% total was 5% up on the month before. A temporary stamp duty cut and the release of pent-up demand were credited for the rise. But 53% went for less than the original asking price, according to estate agents' body NAEA Propertymark. An average of 12 sales were agreed per branch in August, up from nine a year earlier, it said, but added that the proportion of sales made to first-time buyers stood at 23% in August, a fall from 25% in July. Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA said: "We have witnessed a boom in the number of prospective buyers. Many buyers are clearly willing to pay over the asking price in order to secure their dream home."
Daily Mirror (28/09/2020) The Sun (28/09/2020)
Government data show that 38,700 fewer homes were built in the second quarter of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019 in England and Wales. The news comes as the Home Builders Federation (HBF) warns that billions of pounds in contributions could be lost as a result of homes not being built thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report by the HBF, £7bn was contributed by developers to communities in the past year through "section 106" agreements and the community infrastructure levy.
The Times (25/09/2020)
August saw house sales rise by 15.6% across the UK, after the Government introduced a temporary stamp duty holiday, HMRC figures have revealed. The tax break, which will last until March 31st 2021, saw an estimated 81,280 sales take place in August and also helped to protect nearly 750,000 jobs in the housing sector and wider supply chain. However, transactions were still down by 16.3% compared with the same month in 2019, figures show. Economists still expect house prices to fall between 3%-5% this year. Weak growth and unemployment rising to between 7%-12% this year is likely to weigh on demand. Joshua Elash, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “The significant rise in house sales in August compared with the previous month reflects a positive response to the Chancellor's stamp duty initiative in the short term but, sadly, it is not sustainable.”
Daily Mail (22/09/2020) Yorkshire Post (22/09/2020) The Times (22/09/2020)
Mortgage lenders are asking first-time buyers to stump up at least 20% for a deposit on a house as a drought in deals strips mortgages from the market. In the past week, not one high street bank has offered mortgages for those with a 10% deposit, and brokers are warning that deals for those with a 15% deposit are disappearing. More than 300 mortgage deals for borrowers with a 15% deposit have been pulled since January, and only a handful are left for those with smaller deposits. Just 44 mortgage deals are left for those with a 10% deposit, according to Moneyfacts. Many are with smaller lenders and have restrictive criteria.
The Times (19/09/2020)
More than 1.6m adults are forced to live with their family or friends because they are unable to move out, a study has revealed. Research from the National Housing Federation revealed that the number has risen by almost 100,000 in England in two years as a shortage of starter homes and affordable flats has driven up rents and kept house prices high. Most of them, about 1.3m, are single adults who typically cannot leave their parents' home or were forced to move back after university or living elsewhere.
The Times (21/09/2020)
The number of equity contracts entered dropped to 18,420 in the first half of this year, a 15% fall on the same period in 2019. Figures from the Equity Release Council show that, among customers who already had equity release plans in place, fewer sought fresh cash advances, and withdrawals were smaller than in the previous six months. David Burrowes, the council’s chairman, said that there were "initial signs of a recovery in June." Equity release allows customers to unlock part of the value of their home and receive cash, either in a lump sum or in several smaller amounts, on which they pay interest. The sector has attracted criticism as compounding interest can increase customers' debts and wipe out inheritances.
The Daily Telegraph (21/09/2020)