Writing in the Times, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has revealed plans to give local communities the power to set design standards for all new housing developments. The aim is to improve the look and quality of housing, with developers obliged to adhere to the character of the areas where they are built. Any planning proposal that does not meet the new criteria will be automatically rejected by councils. The Government is publishing a draft national design code which provides a checklist of design principles that councils should consider for new developments. Local residents must be consulted, and they will be supported by a new national Office for Place.
The Times (30/01/2021) The Daily Telegraph (30/01/2021) Daily Mirror (30/01/2021) The Sun (30/01/2021)
First-time buyers require “eye-watering” deposits to get themselves on the housing ladders, according to Barclays, as there are only a handful of 95% loan-to-value mortgages currently on the market - compared with almost 400 a year ago. The bank suggests that one way around the problem is through the Help to Buy scheme. However, Help to Buy loans are available only on newbuild houses. Because of this, "the current shortage of high [loan-to-value] mortgages is likely to drive first-time buyers to the new-build market", according to Gavin Jago, a real estate analyst at Barclays.
The Times (03/02/2021)
London’s first-time buyers have brushed off soaring house prices and COVID uncertainty, according to new research from Halifax. The capital’s first-time buyer figured dipped 6% in 2020 as the housing market was closed for months during the first national lockdown. However, the slump was the lowest in the capital compared to the rest of the UK – despite London having the highest house prices in the country. In total, the number of first-time buyers across the UK slipped 13%, with Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland suffering the biggest drops of 23%, 23% and 21% respectively. Transactions bounced back strongly in the second half of the year, rising from 121,000 in the first six months of 2020 to 183,607 in the remainder of 2020. The number of first-time buyers in the second half of 2020 was down just 2% compared to the previous year's levels.
City AM (25/01/2021) The Times (25/01/2021) Daily Mail (25/01/2021)
"Second-steppers" will be hit hardest when the stamp duty holiday comes to an end, research has found, as new figures show that Treasury coffers were boosted despite the tax break. Savills data showed that homeowners in the most expensive parts of the country who are trying to move up the housing ladder will lose out most when the holiday ends on March 31st. House prices have risen faster for terraced houses than flats, which are proxies for second-steppers and first-time buyers respectively.
The Daily Telegraph (23/01/2021)
The number of mortgages sold to first-time buyers with small deposits has collapsed by more than a third since the pandemic struck. Today there are just 221 home loans for buyers with a 10% deposit available, less than a third of the number this time last year, according to data firm Moneyfacts. Meanwhile, a Freedom of Information Act request to the financial watchdog by wealth management firm Quilter found there were 37% fewer high loan-to-value mortgage sales in 2020 than in the previous year.
The Daily Telegraph (26/01/2021)
Buyers are paying on average £7,147 more to live in a newly built home than they did a decade ago. The price gap between new homes and resales has widened by 11% since 2010, according to House Scan. Ten years ago the average new-build cost £204,319, 19% more than the average older property, but they are now valued at £314,242 on average, 30% more than a resale. The smallest increase in the new-build premium has been in London (5.5%), where a decade ago buyers paid 3.2% less to buy a new home over an older one.
The Times (28/01/2022)