British homeowners pumped more than a quarter of a trillion pounds into their properties over the last decade - sparking claims the country is becoming a nation of "improvers rather than movers". Since 2010, a net £271bn was injected into housing in the UK, according to analysis by retirement mortgage firm Responsible Life. This includes spending on deposits and mortgages, as well as improvements such as building extensions. By contrast, in the previous ten years, owners withdrew £275bn of equity from their homes as sellers cashed in on rising prices - making the most recent decade almost a complete reversal from the previous one. In fact, every decade between 1970 and 2010, the figure was positive as Britons pulled out cash from their properties, usually by increasing the size of their mortgage. However, the trend reversed after the financial crisis. Volumes of housing transactions collapsed during the recession that followed, with many homeowners choosing to reduce debts and improve their existing properties.
The Times (30/12/19) The Daily Telegraph (30/12/19)
The number of first-time homebuyers in the past year is estimated to have reached its highest level since 2007. Across the UK, there were 353,436 first-time buyers in 2019, slightly up from the 353,130 recorded in 2018 and the highest annual total since 357,590 in 2007, according to calculations by Yorkshire Building Society. In 2006, the annual total stood at 400,870. Nearly twice as many first-time buyers secured a mortgage in 2019 as at the start of the financial crisis in 2008 (191,040).
The Daily Telegraph (01/01/20)
An estimated 600,000 people in England living in "unsellable" high-rise flats caught up in the fallout from the Grenfell Tower disaster could be stuck for years to come. Lenders want mortgage applicants to provide independent evidence that a flat meets stringent safety requirements, and L&Q - which houses about 250,000 people in more than 95,000 homes – now says most housing associations predicted the majority of buildings would need some remedial work, and “we expect our programme to take several years to deliver." Previously, it had been suggested such "mortgage prisoners" could be stuck for six to 12 months.
The Guardian (28/12/19)
There were 32,260 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in October, according to research from UK Finance, 2.8% more than the same month last year. The number of home mover mortgages completed in the month increased 4.2% on the same month last year, reaching 33,370, though the number of buy-to-let home purchase mortgages slipped 1.5% to 6,600. There were 18,910 new remortgages with additional borrowing, down 20.8%, while the number of new remortgages without additional borrowing also fell by 20%.
City AM (17/12/2019) The Independent (17/12/2019)
Canary Wharf Group is to launch its first development on the privately-owned Canary Wharf estate, a collection of 327 apartments at 10 George Street, available to lease from early 2020. The design of the 37-storey building, in the Wood Wharf district, has been spearheaded by GRID Architects; the open-plan apartments are fully-furnished by Camerich, with high-specification appliances throughout. The studio to three-bedroom apartments will start from £1,959 per calendar month.
Property Magazine International (17/12/2019) Construction News (17/12/2019)
Ballymore and Oxley have topped out on the final, and tallest, residential building at Royal Wharf in East London. Over 2,833 homes have been handed over to date, and when complete in 2020, the project will have been delivered at pace in an ambitious timeframe of over five years. The masterplan was designed by Glenn Howells Architects. Sean Mulryan, chairman and group chief executive of Ballymore, said: “When we complete next year, there’ll be 3,385 incredible homes, right by the river, with almost 50% open space and fantastic public amenities – not just for our residents, but also for our wider community in Newham”.
Planning, BIM and Construction News Today (19/12/2019)