Docklands News

British Land sells 50% of Canada Water project to AustralianSuper

British Land has sold 50% of its share in the 53-acre Canada Water Masterplan to AustralianSuper for £290m. AustralianSuper is one of Australia’s largest pension funds with more than £140bn in assets under management and a growing presence in the UK property market. The joint venture is to begin Phase 1 of the Masterplan, one of the largest London regeneration projects in history, with completion expected in the third quarter of 2021. “The investment by AustralianSuper, who have extensive experience investing in major regeneration schemes, is testament to the strength of British Land’s reputation and best in class development and operational platform", said British Land chief executive Simon Carter. "This new partnership enables us to move faster, delivering new homes and workspace, creating new opportunities for local people and delivering value for our shareholders".

Property Week (08/03/2022)  

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House prices rise at fastest annual pace since 2007

House prices increased at the fastest annual pace since 2007 in February to hit a new record high. Halifax said that at 10.8%, the annual rate of house price growth was the strongest since June 2007. The increase took the average house price across the UK to a new record high of £278,123. Property values increased by 0.5% month-on-month. Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said a lack of supply continues to underpin rising house prices. He continued: “Looking ahead, as COVID moves into an endemic phase and almost all domestic restrictions are removed, geopolitical events expose the UK to new sources of uncertainty.” The average house price in the West Midlands in February was £234,481 – an annual increase of 9.7%. 

The Independent (07/03/2022)  

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BoE may end borrowers’ stress test

The Bank of England is considering ditching the stress test which requires lenders to check if a borrower can afford a mortgage if they have to pay their lender’s standard variable rate plus three percentage points. The Bank is consulting on a plan to replace the stress test with looser Financial Conduct Authority rules which are based on expected future interest rate rises and require a minimum stress test of one percentage point above a borrower’s mortgage. Research suggests that the present stress test restricts 30,000 borrowers a year to smaller mortgages than they wanted. George Nixon in the Sunday Times says that it might seem an unusual time to change mortgage rules, with bills, costs and interest rates rising, but notes suggestions that the stress test has been too restrictive. James Daley from consumer group Fairer Finance said limiting mortgages based on income multiples was a “crude” way of doing things, arguing that a borrower’s outgoings, commitments and career were as important. “As long as people can afford it — including if interest rates go up significantly — I don’t think we should be too concerned about lending people more,” he said. It is noted that in 2010, 10.6% of mortgages were for four or more times a person’s income, while this year 12.9% were at this income multiple or higher.   

The Sunday Times (06/03/2022)  

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Royal Docks set to get £50m build-to-rent development

Redrow and Peabody have teamed up to build a £50m, 130-home development at Pontoon Reach in the Royal Docks. The build-to-rent project, which includes a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, has been funded by Pictet Alternative Advisors in joint venture with Pinnacle Investments, and the apartments - 53 of which are set aside for shared ownership - are anticipated to be available from summer 2022 and form part of the wider regeneration of the Royal Docks area. "The scheme will be a great addition to this exciting regeneration area, and we’re here for the long term, with affordable homes to rent and buy, and great open spaces for all to enjoy", said James McMylor, regional development officer at Peabody. 

Evening Standard (01/03/2022)  

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House prices see record cash rise

The cost of an average UK home rose by a record £29,162 in the last year, according to Nationwide. The lender said it was the biggest cash increase in property prices since it started collecting comparable data in 1991. It pushed up the price of an average UK home to £260,230 in February, it said. Property values are being driven by continued demand from buyers who are competing for relatively few properties on the market. Nationwide, one of the UK's larger mortgage lenders, said that its data suggested UK house prices had risen by 12.6% in the year to the end of February. That was an acceleration from the 11.2% annual increase recorded in January. 

BBC News (01/03/2022)  

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Mortgage approvals highest since last July

Figures from the Bank of England show mortgage approvals for house purchases lifted in January. The figures show some 73,922 mortgage approvals during last month. This is the highest approval number since July 2021, when 75,900 mortgages were given the green light. It also represents the third best January performance in the past decade and is higher than the 12-month pre-pandemic average up to February 2020 of 66,700. 

City AM (02/03/2022)  

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