The spiralling cost of private education has meant that families are now taking advantage of a sluggish property market and a surprise fall in the extra amount you have to pay for house near a good grammar or comprehensive school. Research by Santander has found that the average good school premium had fallen from 15% to 5% in the past 12 months. As a result, buying a property near a top state school is an average of £32,100 cheaper than it was a year ago.
The Daily Telegraph (23/08/2019)
Carol Lewis in the Times considers Sajid Javid’s options in regard to property tax after the Chancellor told the paper he is “a low-tax guy” who also called for "bold measures" to stimulate the housing market. She notes that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has met the Association of Accounting Technicians to discuss the idea of sellers, rather than buyers, paying stamp duty - but highlights criticism of such a measure. She also says scrapping stamp duty for downsizers could be an option, as could relief for first-time buyers or pushing ahead with the Prime Minister’s suggestion of raising the stamp-duty threshold to £500,000 and reducing the highest rate of tax from 12% to 7%.
The Times (23/08/2019)
London has attracted a growing number of first-time buyers, despite a decline in other parts of the country. The capital recorded 9,960 first-time buyers' mortgages completed in the second quarter, up 1.2% on a year ago, UK Finance figures show. Economists said that the sharper drop in property prices in London may help to explain why first-time buyer interest had grown in the city. Analysts noted that affordability was still stretched and that overall lending to first-time buyers in the capital was still well below the national average.
The Times (20/08/2019)
Following a six-year planning battle, Tower Hamlets Council in London has ruled against a development of flats by a subsidiary of Galliard Homes on the grounds that it would “harm the long-term provision of a nightclub that serves the LGBT+ community”. The decision means the 34-year-old Backstreet Bar will be spared from closure.
The Guardian (16/08/2019)
The traditional summer property slowdown is weighing particularly heavy this year. HMRC figures reveal a marked reduction in the number of property transactions over the summer months, with a fall of 8.5% in residential transactions between June and July 2019, and a 12.4% decrease since July 2018. Residential property transactions totalled 86,630 in July - 8,000 fewer than the previous year - according to the report, which studied transactions worth over £40,000 in Scotland, England and Wales.
The Times (22/08/2019)
According to analysis by research consultancy Capital Economics, the monthly cost of paying the interest on a new mortgage in the UK is now 62% lower than renting, as the average monthly rent for a property is £859, compared with the £323 average monthly interest on a new mortgage. In comparison, between 2010 and 2018, the average interest on a mortgage was 55% lower than the average rent, while paying the interest on a mortgage in the 2000s was only 27% cheaper than paying the rent. The report said that while mortgage payments have fluctuated broadly in line with rents over the past decade, lower interest rates meant that larger shares of those payments were now being used to pay off the loan capital. In the 1980s and 1990s, about 80 to 90% of payments on a new mortgage covered the interest, a ratio that was down to 50% in the 2010s and 41% last year.
The Times (19/08/2019)