A growing number of retired people are using their property wealth to top up their pension incomes. Baby Boomer homeowners withdrew almost £9.5m in housing wealth every single day through equity release in 2019, or £75,631 on average, according to over-55s specialist Key. Many use some or all of the cash to clear debts, with one in five clearing mortgages. However AJ Bell senior analyst Tom Selby warned that younger people are finding it difficult to get on the housing ladder and then face longer mortgage terms than their parents and grandparents: "In all likelihood, their house will not be their pension."
Daily Express (21/01/20)
Media tycoon Richard Desmond has been given the green light to build a huge £1bn regeneration project on the Isle of Dogs after Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick intervened. Mr Jenrick has overruled a planning inspector and granted permission for a revamp of the sprawling 15-acre Docklands site, commenting that the housing and employment benefits from the scheme outweighed the potential harm done to the significance of nearby heritage sites such as views of the Old Royal Naval College. The Westferry Printworks development next to Millwall Harbour will consist of more than 1,500 flats as well as restaurants and flexible workspaces.
The Daily Telegraph (15/01/20) The Times (15/01/20
London's extensive canal network continues to be unlocked by developers, with new homes being created along the Grand Union Canal, running through Brentford and eastwards into the Thames at Limehouse. Bellway has built Explorer’s Wharf, overlooking Limehouse Cut at Poplar. The 184 warehouse-style flats all feature either projecting or inset balconies. Prices range from £365,000 to £565,000.
Evening Standard (10/01/20)
December 2019 saw a rise in reported home sales for the first time since May 2019, according to a monthly survey of estate agents by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Respondents also said that they were expecting higher house prices in the near term across all parts of the UK. However, there have been early indications that consumer sentiment has improved since the election last month. London and East Anglia were among the regions where sentiment improved the most, while sales in Northern Ireland and Scotland weakened, according to the institution’s survey. Buyer demand, measured by the volume of new enquiries, increased in most areas last month, with estate agents in Wales and the North East reporting particularly solid growth. Simon Rubinsohn, RICS's chief economist, said the survey “provides further evidence that the housing market is seeing some benefit from the greater clarity provided by the decisive election outcome”. However, he warned that the lack of houses on the market could be a “potential drag on a meaningful uplift” in sales.
The Daily Telegraph (15/01/20) The Times (15/01/20) Yorkshire Post (15/01/20) I (15/01/20)
A relatively unknown type of mortgage that allows families to move into a new home without selling their existing property is growing in popularity, as many struggle to shift their homes. Mortgage broker Trinity Financial has reported a 15% increase in the sale of "let-to-buy" mortgages in the past six months, while some 20 mortgage lenders now offer such loans. Let-to-buy allows borrowers to buy a new home while they keep their current property and rent it out.
The Daily Telegraph (10/01/20)
Senior politicians and campaigners are calling for hefty fines to be doled out to Britain’s biggest housebuilders if they are guilty of shoddy workmanship. Ministers are being urged to ensure a New Homes Ombudsman has adequate power to penalise developers guilty of poor building standards. The Queen’s Speech proposed a law requiring property developers to belong to a New Homes Ombudsman scheme, which could investigate complaints and award compensation. But campaigners say this body should also have the power to fine builders that put up unsafe and poor-quality housing. “This ombudsman needs to have teeth, such as the ability to impose substantial fines, which other ombudsmen generally don’t,” said Paula Higgins, chief executive of the Homeowners Alliance campaign group. “Money talks. Housebuilders will have more incentive to listen if it hurts their bottom line.”
The Daily Telegraph (13/01/20)