Developer Southern Grove plans to build an £80m mixed-use complex in Canada Water, after exchanging on the site this week. The developer will submit a planning application to Southwark Council to create 150 homes and 25,000 sq ft of office space. The Brooklyn reaches up 18 storeys, and has been designed by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Southern Grove chief executive Tom Slingsby said: “Canada Water is going to be put on the map in a bold new way by the extensive regeneration that is going to take hold over the next 15 years, and our own scheme will complement that effort”.
Development Finance Today (14/05/2020)
House moves and viewings have resumed in England, under new coronavirus rules announced by housing secretary Robert Jenrick. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 now stipulate that people may leave the home "to undertake any of the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property". This includes visiting estate or letting agents, developer sales offices or show homes; viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or rent; and moving home. The change will help more than 450,000 buyers and renters who have been unable to progress their plans since lockdown came into force.
BBC News (12/05/2020) The Daily Telegraph (12/05/2020) Daily Mail (12/05/2020)
Property sales could take nine months to return to levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic, estate agents have suggested. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors polled 360 branches around the country last month and found that new instructions fell to the lowest level recorded since the survey began in 1999 after a wave of deals collapsed while the market was shut. A long, slow recovery is likely before the market returns to normal, RICS said. Four-fifths of agents saw both buyers and sellers pulling out of transactions in April while the housing market was shut. On average, surveyors said they thought that it would take nine months for sales to rebound to the levels seen before the lockdown.
The Daily Telegraph (13/05/2020) The Times (13/05/2020)
The cheapest mortgages on record are currently on offer as rates tumble during the COVID-19 crisis. Although the property market has been frozen by the lockdown, analysis from Moneyfacts shows there has never been a better time to re-mortgage. The average rate on a two-year fixed-rate deal has fallen to 2.09% from 2.43% on March 20. This was the day after the Bank of England slashed official borrowing rates to a record low and just three days before the lockdown was introduced. However, the number of mortgage products on the market has more than halved since lockdown. There were 5,222 in early March and just 2,566 at the start of May. The number available to those with a 5% or 10% deposit has dropped by 770, leaving just 72 deals available.
Daily Mail (11/05/2020) Daily Mirror (11/05/2020)
Figures show that house prices in the UK were down 0.6% last month to an average price of £238,511 as a result of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, with buyers and sellers expected to return to the market as soon as safety measures are loosened. Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, remarked: “The impact of measures taken to curtail the spread of coronavirus started to filter through to the housing market in April, with average prices falling by 0.6% compared to March, and the annual growth rate easing to 2.7%.” He went on: “The future remains uncertain and based on our current forecasting we expect short-term headwinds to house prices, although we maintain our underlying confidence in the health of the housing market in the longer term.”
City AM (08/05/2020) The Times (08/05/2020) Daily Mirror (08/05/2020) Yorkshire Post (08/05/2020)
Research from the home investment fund Hearthstone showed house transactions are estimated to have fallen to around 50% of usual volumes in March and "possibly as low as 10% in April". Meanwhile, estate agents have reported an increase in inquiries for property around the country from buyers based in London, with house prices in the capital at risk when restrictions on moving are loosened.
The Daily Telegraph (06/05/2020)