Plans for a new 28-storey tower on the banks of Greenwich’s Deptford Creek have been approved, due to their “architecturally superior” design. The Edition Group’s full planning application for Ravensbourne Wharf, which includes 129 residential units as well as office and café space, was passed on Tuesday by Greenwich’s planning board. The second floor of the tower, which consists of a “contemporary design” including balustrades, and a mixture of concrete, planters and mesh on the outside, will include a gym, fitness studio, and library, with a play space, residents’ lounge and roof garden also available to residents.
News Shopper (09/01/20)
Halifax shows 4% rise in house prices for 2019
UK house prices rose 4% in 2019, according to Halifax, as a December bounce saw the average property's value jump 1.2%, or £4,000 – the largest monthly rise since February 2007. The Halifax index, based on the lender’s own mortgage approvals, showed the average house price climbed £9,136 last year to £238,963, but the bank said that it only expected “modest” rises in the year ahead. Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: “Looking ahead, longer-term issues such as the shortage of homes for sale and low levels of house-building will continue to limit supply, while the ongoing challenges faced by prospective buyers in raising deposits will serve to constrain demand.” The bank has forecast gains of 1 to 3% for house prices in 2020.
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According to Nationwide, the number of first-time buyers rose to 354,400 in the year to October, which is more than double the low in 2009 and is the fastest pace of growth since before the financial crisis. This growth was boosted by weak 2019 house price growth and low mortgage rates, which are typically below 1.9%. Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner said: “Low borrowing costs have also provided important support. Even though house prices remain high relative to average incomes, the cost of servicing the typical mortgage as a share of take-home pay has remained close to or below long run averages in most parts of the country.”
The Daily Telegraph (02/01/20)
The 2010s were the weakest decade for house price growth since the 1990s, new research has revealed. House prices rose by 33% during the 2010s, while the 1990s saw the average property grow in value by 21%, according to data from Nationwide. In the 1980s, house prices rose by a whopping 180% while in the 2000s they climbed 117%. London was named as the top performer of the last ten years with house prices rising twice as fast as the UK average, while in the 1980s, East Anglia topped the regional board with growth of a massive 227%. The last decade has also seen a widening in the gap between the least affordable and most affordable regions. London, the least affordable region, saw its house price earnings ratio reach 8.8 at the end of 2019. The area with the lowest ratio in 2019 was Scotland with a total of 3.2. Northern Ireland has seen the lowest house price growth of all regions with prices up just 2% compared to the end of 2009.
Daily Mail (09/01/20)
Writing in The Telegraph, Adam Williams considers how a post-Brexit environment will affect homeowners, stating that Britain may no longer align itself with the EU mortgage credit directive following its exit from the bloc. The directive has been blamed for the creation of the “mortgage-prisoner” generation. Boris Johnson has also stated that he intends to weaken first-time buyer mortgage rules, which he would be able to do after Brexit.
The Daily Telegraph (02.01/20)
Homes added £12 a day on average to their value during 2019. The total value of Britain's housing market increased by £124bn across 2019, up 1.6% to £7.8trn, according to Zoopla. This equates to £4,702 being added on to the value of an average home over the past 12 months. In Wales, property values rose by nearly £20 a day on average, increasing by 3.9% to reach £189,244. Port Talbot was its biggest hotspot, with rises of nearly £40. Scotland has also seen faster house price growth than the average across Britain with a 2.2% rise to an average of £171,195, while England lagged behind with annual growth of 1.5%. However the average property in England is valued at a higher level than Scotland or Wales, at £316,784. In London, house prices lifted by 1.1%, which equates to adding around £19 per day to their value. In terms of property coldspots, in Aberdeen house prices fell by 3.9% - a decrease of £20.89 per day. Separately, data from Halifax shows Newham has witnessed the steepest rise in property prices in the UK this century, up by 429%, with other east London boroughs also featuring among the top-10 risers. At the other end of the scale, four local authority areas in Northern Ireland appeared at the bottom of the table for price growth in the UK. The figures also reveal that while the average UK house price has tripled from £91,199 to £279,998 over the past 20 years, wages have gone up only by about 70%.
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