Analysis by Moneyfacts shows that there are now just 56 fixed and variable rate mortgages at 90% available, down from 779 in March. The report also reveals that the average two-year fixed rate 90% mortgage now charges an interest rate of 3.76%, up from the 2.57% available before the first coronavirus lockdown was put in place in March. While buyers with smaller deposits face a market with fewer deals and higher rates, homeowners able to remortgage or buy with 40% equity or deposit are being offered lower rates than they were before the pandemic.
Daily Mail (13/11/2020)
Some homeowners have been able to pay off more of their mortgage each month because they have been spending less since March. Two out of five overpaid their mortgage by £370 a month, increasing average payments from £1,384 to £1,754, according to research by the broker First Mortgage. Around one in three said they found it easier to save money during lockdown, such as from being unable to visit pubs and restaurants (52%), travel (47%) or commute to work (35%).
The Sunday Times (15/11/2020) FT Adviser (15/11/2020)
Major housebuilders are set to abandon plastic and replace the material with more biodegradable alternatives such as mushrooms, bamboo and seaweed. The construction sector is the second largest producer of plastic waste in the UK, but now a new industry group has been set up so housebuilders can work with scientists to enable them to build more sustainable properties. Changing Streams, a non-profit group, was founded by construction entrepreneur Neal Maxwell in partnership with Dr Gareth Abrahams and Prof Jonathan Sharples from the University of Liverpool.
The Daily Telegraph (16/11/2020)
Canary Wharf Group has launched the first three in-situ show apartments at One Park Drive, Wood Wharf’s tallest residential building, and the first such in the UK to be designed by Herzon & de Meuron, the architects behind the Tate Modern and Beijing’s Olympic National Stadium. Each show apartment is based on one of three core typologies, the Bay, the Cluster and the Loft; the former two are designed by Goddard Littlefair, while the latter’s interiors are by Bowler James Brindley. The Bay apartments, on floors 33 to 54, feature double-height terraces set back into the building, with balconies carved into the cylindrical geometry of One Park Drive, standing out across the building as it appears to spiral upwards. Residents in the building enjoy an opulent entrance lobby with 24-hour concierge services. There is a library, cinema room and lounge on the ground floor, while the first floor houses an exclusive residents-only health club. Prices for the remaining apartments start at £840,000.
Property Investor (09/11/2020)
The average UK house price has risen to more than £250,000 for the first time, according to the UK's biggest mortgage lender. The Halifax, part of Lloyds Banking Group, said house prices in October were 7.5% higher than a year ago. Demand for bigger homes has risen, with changing priorities and working from home leading people to seek more space. But the Halifax also warned the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis would put "downward pressure" on prices. It said this would come in early 2021, and the month-on-month increase in property values had already started to slow. Russell Galley, managing director of the Halifax, said that the extension to furlough and other government support such as the stamp duty holiday had delayed the downturn, but the future remained uncertain.
BBC News (06/11/2020) The Daily Telegraph (06/11/2020) Financial Times (06/11/2020)
Booming housing market activity is expected to continue into the new year, according to surveyors. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said house-hunter numbers increased for the fifth month in a row in October and sales are expected to remain buoyant for the remainder of 2020 as the surge in demand from people looking to relocate after lockdown had not yet dissipated. Its latest survey found that a net balance of 46% of property professionals reported that new buyer inquiries increased in October. New instructions to sell also remained strong, with a balance of 32% of professionals reporting an increase in new instructions. Average stock levels moved up from 42 properties per branch to 43 in October, while a balance of 41% of professionals saw sales increase rather than decrease during the month. However Rics added that the outlook for next year remains subdued amid the expected withdrawal of government support measures.
The I (11/11/2020) Daily Mail (11/11/2020) The Times (11/11/2020)