Lloyds expects house prices to fall at the end of this year after reaching a record in 2020. The bank's latest forecasts predict price growth of 5.5% and 4.7% in the first and second quarters respectively. House prices are then expected to fall by 1.6% and 3.8% in the final two quarters of this year. Overall, house prices are forecast to fall by 3.8% this year, before rising by 0.5% in 2022 and 1.5% in the following two years. Lloyds also forecast a 1.7% fall in commercial property prices this year.
The Times (24/02.2021)
The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) has called for an extension of the stamp duty holiday, saying that keeping the March 31st cut-off for the relief could “jeopardise the recovery and deepen the housing crisis”. The think-tank says the relief measure put in place to support the property market amid the pandemic has prevented a collapse in the housebuilding sector, arguing that drawing it to a close next month risks “repeating the housing bust of 1988 when the market slumped after tax relief was ended”. Not only has the CPS called for an extension to the stamp duty holiday, it has suggested the levy should either see the threshold permanently increased or be abolished completely. The think-tank’s Jethro Elsden said stamp duty “may well be the worst tax on the UK’s statute books”, adding that it “damages the economy”.
The Sun (20/02/2021) Sunday Express (20/02/2021)
House prices saw the strongest growth in six years in the final month of 2020, figures from the Office for National Statistics show. House prices were up 8.5% year-on-year in December, hitting an average of £252,000. This compares to growth of 7.1% in November and is the highest annual growth reading since October 2014. Wales saw the highest growth, with prices rising 10.7% to an average of £184,000, followed by England with an 8.5% increase taking the average to £269,000. London recorded the lowest annual growth rate in the UK, where average house prices increased 3.5% in the year to December. Prices fell in the capital by £5,000 between November and December, although they are still the highest on average in the UK, at £496,000. The increase in the UK average seen toward the close of 2020 has been driven by pent-up demand amid the initial lockdown and the stamp duty holiday, with analysts saying demand and prices may wane as the tax relief comes to an end at the end of March. Howard Archer, chief economist of EY Item Club, said elevated housing market activity and robust prices “will prove unsustainable sooner rather than later” and predicted that prices will fall by around 5% this year.
Daily Mail (17/02/2021) The Daily Telegraph (17/02/2021) Evening Standard (17/02/2021) Financial Times (17/02/2021)
UK house prices soared to record highs after the first lockdown, due to a combination of pent-up demand, the stamp duty holiday and the urge to exchange cramped city flats for larger homes with gardens. Affordability is now at its worst level in 10 years, with the average home costing almost 10 times the average income. The average salary stands at £25,123, while the average house price is 9.94 times higher at £249,633. London remains the least affordable with a score of 15.74, followed by the South East and South West. The North East is the most affordable region at 6.34, followed by Northern Ireland and Scotland. Benham and Reeves said buyers currently need a minimum of one year's salary for the average deposit.
Daily Express (12/02/2021)
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly considering a six-week extension to the stamp duty holiday. The current tax cut is due to end on March 31 but many campaigners and industry insiders have called for the holiday to be extended in light of the latest lockdown and the extended furlough scheme. Mr Sunak is said to be considering the extension to stop buyers from falling into the “completion trap”. A six-week extension would see the deadline moved to mid-May, giving concerned buyers more time to complete sales and alleviate the risk of transactions falling through.
Daily Express (16/02/2021)
In many parts of the country less than half of homes currently for sale are already under offer or sold subject to contract, according to research by data company PropCast. London, where two-thirds of properties for sale are yet to receive an offer, is currently the worst place to be selling a home. In Cumbria, Lancashire, Lincolnshire and Tyne and Wear less than half of properties on the market are under offer or sold subject to contract. PropCast said: “As more and more home buyers realise they are going to miss the March 31 stamp duty deadline, fall throughs and price reductions are going to increase”.
The Daily Telegraph(15/02/2021)