Docklands News

Unkempt gardens and neighbours impact home values

A messy next-door neighbour can significantly decrease the value of a seller's home, with unkempt gardens and even garden gnomes deterring potential buyers. According to insurer Churchill, 82% of estate agents emphasise the importance of improving the appearance of neighbouring properties before putting homes on the market. On average, a messy neighbour can reduce a home's value by £31,000, which is around 10% of the average house price in England. The biggest impact is seen in London, where untidy neighbours could decrease the sale price by over £56,950. 

The Daily Telegraph (06/04/2024)  

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Michael Gove approves Marsh Wall tower extension

Chalegrove Properties' plans for a seven-storey extension to a consented residential tower scheme in the Isle of Dogs, have been given the green-light by Michael Gove. The developer's proposal to extend the 48-storey project at One Thames Quay, 225 Marsh Wall, to 55 storeys were rejected in June 2022 by Tower Hamlets Council, due to concerns that the structure would be “detrimental to the townscape and Canary Wharf skyline”. However Mr Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, agreed that the tower "would be just another tall building… and would not, in the panoramic view from Greenwich Park, be intrusive or have any adverse effect on the distinctiveness of the area”. Construction is already underway on the development; at completion, it will include 390 apartments, 84 of which will be affordable. 

Property Week (28/03/2024)  

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Canary Wharf struggles amidst office exodus

Canary Wharf in London's Docklands, once a symbol of financial ambition, now needs a government subsidy to adapt and survive, the i reports. HSBC and other major tenants are leaving, and the vacancy rate is higher than in any other major UK city. No new offices are set to be built, raising concerns about the district's future. Some plans include converting vacant offices into laboratories and developing new homes. Efforts to attract tourists and embrace emerging sectors like science labs are underway. However, the FT reports that Canary Wharf has received a welcome boost after US investment bank Morgan Stanley added a decade to the lease on its European headquarters in the east London financial centre. 

Financial Times (03/04/2024)   I (03/04/2024)  

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Record number of first-time buyers in London property market

First-time buyers have made a significant impact on the London property market, accounting for a record 50% of homes sold this year. Nationwide reported that the share of houses purchased by first-time buyers reached an all-time high of 33% in the first quarter of 2024, thanks to falling mortgage rates. The South of England saw the largest increase in first-time buyer purchases, with London leading the way as half of all sales went to first-time buyers. However, affordability remains a challenge, resulting in smaller homes and lower borrowing amounts. 

Daily Mail (01/04/2024)   Evening Standard (01/04/2024)   The Daily Telegraph (01/04/2024)   The Independent (01/04/2024)  

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House prices decline in March as north-south divide widens

House prices slipped by 0.2% last month after having risen in both January and February, according to Nationwide. The high street lender’s calculations suggest that the average price of a house in the UK is now £261,142. That is 2.2% higher than in August 2023, but is still 3.2% below the peak of a year earlier. Andrew Wishart, at Capital Economics, said Nationwide’s figures suggest the rise in mortgage rates since the turn of the year has caused house prices to stall. However, Rob Wood at Pantheon Macroeconomics said the drop was just a blip and the trend for the year was looking to be a rise of 4%. The North-South divide in the housing market is becoming more apparent, with prices rising in the North and falling in the South. Experts suggest that the market is made up of thousands of local markets, each performing differently. First-time buyers are taking advantage of the market, accounting for 33% of purchases this year. 

BBC News (02/04/2024)   City AM (02/04/2024)   The Guardian (02/04/2024)   The Times (02/04/2024)  

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New rules help homeowners reduce mortgage repayments

Thousands of homeowners struggling with the cost of living have taken advantage of new rules that can help them to reduce their monthly mortgage repayments. Lenders signed up to the government's Mortgage Charter, introduced last June, allow temporary switches to interest-only loans or extensions to terms of residential mortgages without customers having to go through affordability checks. Between July and January repayments for about 123,000 loans were reduced, according to the Financial Conduct Authority. "The rules were introduced at a time when cost of living issues were at their peak. With inflation coming down we will hopefully see fewer people switching to interest-only or lengthening their term because this can cost you more in the long run," said David Hollingworth from the mortgage broker L&C.  

The Times (30/03/2024)  

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