A £1bn PFI contract to build a controversial new road tunnel under the Thames, to ease some of London’s worst-congested roads, was signed this week. Transport for London said work will begin next year on the Silvertown tunnel, which will link Greenwich and Newham. The tunnel will be built and maintained by the Riverlinx consortium.The design includes a 1.4km twin-bore road tunnel under the River Thames as well as 600m of access ramps. Construction is due for completion in 2025.
Evening Standard (25/11/2019)
Nationwide has issued figures revealing that annual growth in UK house prices has been under 1% every month for the last year, with the market remaining relatively stagnant. However, prices were up 0.8% in the year to late November, representing a slight increase on October’s figures, while the housing market as a whole is being affected by Brexit-related economic uncertainty and weak global growth. Nationwide said the average home in Britain now costs £215,734 and its chief economist Robert Gardner added that election periods tended not to directly affect the housing market, with wider economic conditions influencing buying and selling decisions more.
BBC News (28/11/2019) The Daily Telegraph (28/11/2019)
UK mortgage lending fell in October, according to the latest data from UK Finance, as buyers sat tight over the continuing economic and political uncertainty. Though mortgage approvals for home purchases by the main high street banks last month increased 3% and remortgage approvals soared 12.7%, gross mortgage lending across the residential market last month came in at £25.5bn, down 0.9% compared to October 2018. John Goodall, chief executive at buy-to-let firm Landbay, said: “The reality is that lenders are and have been ready and willing to lend, instead it’s would-be buyers who need that final nudge to make their move. ”
City AM (26/11/2019) The Daily Telegraph (26/11/2019) The Times (26/11/2019)
A study byTrussle has revealed that young buyers are increasingly relying on their grandparents to fund a deposit for their first property, as funds from the Bank of Mum and Dad start to run dry. More than a third of under-35s now need additional funding from their grandparents to buy a property. This compares to just 3% of today's over-55s who relied on their own grandparents when they bought their first home. The average first-time buyer given a cash boost by their grandparents receives £7,437, the firm said. But despite this generosity, youngsters still face a battle to save the rest of the deposit on their own.
The Sunday Telegraph (24/11/2019)
Ten-year fixed mortgage rate deals are lower than ever, with the average now 2.76%, according to Moneyfacts. A fierce mortgage price war has seen the number of 10-year fixed-rate mortgages on offer grow substantially over the past year, pushing rates down. The lowest rate currently on the market is set at just 2.2% by Coventry Building Society, following the news earlier this month that five-year fixed-rate home loans are also now at rock bottom levels. Furthermore, the average 10-year fixed-rate mortgage is just 0.36 percentage points higher than the average two-year fix, despite offering an additional eight years of security on monthly payments.
Daily Mail (25/11/2019)
Foster + Partners’ £3bn masterplan for 5,000 new homes on a 16ha strip of land at the Royal Docks has been rejected by Newham Council. A hybrid application was submitted for the Silvertown site, including outline plans for 18,600m² of industrial and workspace along with 7,000m² of shops, restaurants and bars, along with detailed proposals for a John McAslan + Partners-designed first phase with 460 homes and 3,417m² of flexible office space on the site of the former Carlsberg brewery. Concerns raised by planning officers included a lack of integrated designs for the scheme’s cluster of ‘overbearing, bulky and incongrous’ towers and the scheme’s ’excessive density’ given the site’s poor access to public transport. A spokesperson for the Mayor of London, said: “Newham Council has now referred this application to the Greater London Authority and the Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills will consider it on its merits during the next two weeks”.
Architects’ Journal (15/11/2019)