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UK HOUSE PRICES

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UK HOUSE PRICES RISE 3.4% 16th September 2020 UK house prices have increased by 3.4% to £237,834 in the year to June 2020, according to the Land Registry’s House Price Index. This marks a significant increase on the 1.1% recorded in the year to May 2020. Looking at the data on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices across the UK rose by 2.7% between May 2020 and June 2020. In comparison, house prices rose by 0.4% during the same period in 2019. House prices growth was strongest in England, with prices rising by 3.5% in the year to June 2020. On a regional basis, the East Midlands recorded the greatest house price growth over the selected timeframe at 4.5%. The lowest annual growth was in the North East, where prices increased by 1.7%. Furthermore, London noted a 4.2% rise year-on-year. Paul Stockwell, chief commercial officer of Gatehouse Bank, said: “This is the first comprehensive look at the performance of the UK property market following lockdown, building on previous indices and reports of home finance application numbers edging closer to pre-pandemic levels. “The 3.4% year-on-year rise in prices shows just how quickly buyers and sellers pushed on with their delayed…Read More

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Rental Market

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UK RENTS RISE EVERYWHERE BARRING LONDON 2nd September 2020   The average rent in the UK is now £985, having risen by 2.1% on last month and 1.5% on last year, HomeLet’s rental index has found. Rents rose annually to August in nearly every region, as they increased by 5.5% across the South West to £899. However London rents fell by 2.1% year-on-year to £1,611. Martin Totty, chief executive at HomeLet, said: “Throughout the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, private landlords must feel that they alone are shouldering much of the burden to support those tenants who have been financially impacted. “Property owners are having to dig deep to find the requisite reserves of resilience and resolve to ‘stay the course’. “The situation has been exacerbated further by the last minute and very material amendments to government policy, when landlords have shown the flexibility demanded of them to help their tenants’ bridge their contractual obligations.” On a monthly basis rents saw the biggest increase in the South East (3.5%), followed by London and the South West (both 2.6%).

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House Raffles

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HOUSE RAFFLES CREATING LEGAL MINEFIELD SAYS LAWYER Property raffles are a legal minefield and many are too good to be true, according to a leading lawyer. There has been a sharp increase in people raffling off their homes in recent weeks as they struggle to sell because of the pandemic. But Shilpa Mathuradas, head of property litigation at London law firm Osborne Law, says: “Property raffles offer the buyer the chance to get a property for a couple of pounds while offering the vendor the chance to get more than the recommended price for their property. This would appear to be a win-win situation, but in reality property raffles are a legal minefield. Many are simply too good to be true.” Mathuraduras says the main issue for vendors is selling enough tickets. “A minimum number of tickets need to be sold for the vendor to realise their asking price, but when this doesn’t happen, which is often the case, then the winner can be left without the house they were expecting. “It may be that a cash prize is awarded instead, but this depends on the terms of the raffle. A cash prize may not be a bad return on…Read More

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Change in planning Laws.

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Property news Homeowners can add two storeys to their homes without full planning permission under new fast-track law The government wants to speed up the extension approval process to allow homeowners to make more space for growing families from September. By Nicky Burridge July 28, 2020 Homeowners will be able to add two storeys to their properties without having to go through the normal planning approval process if a new government law comes into effect as planned. The new law, which has been laid before Parliament and is due to come into effect in September, will offer homeowners a fast-track approval system to help them accommodate growing families. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “It will mean that families can add up to two storeys to their home, providing much-needed additional space for children or elderly relatives as their household grows.” Planning permission is currently required to extend a property above a certain height, and it can take several months to obtain. The idea behind the new law is to cut delays caused by planning permission approval paperwork from an average of 16 weeks to just eight weeks. The extensions can either be part of the main home or become a self-contained…Read More

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HOUSE PRICES INCREASE BY 300% IN 20 YEARS

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The average house price in the UK has almost trebled in the past 20 years, according to research from Coulters Property. In 1999, the average house price was just £77,961 –  that figure now stands at £230,735. At the same time, the average income has also increased, but only from £17,803 a year to £30,353 – an increase of 70%. This means that while in 1999, a 10% deposit would have worked out at about 43.8% of annual salary, these days, that figure has risen by about three quarters to 76%. Mike Fitzgerald, executive chairman, at Coulters Property, said: “More than ever, there is a disparity between personal income and property prices, which these stats reiterate. “Buying a home in the UK is a defining tradition and a goal for many young people. Although being a first-time buyer is exciting, over recent years, the affordability gap has stretched and continued to do so every year, making it difficult to make the first step onto the property ladder. “In these uncertain times, these inequalities have been made much more apparent, the recent raising of the trigger rates on stamp duty (and LBTT in Scotland) to help combat the economic consequences of…Read More

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Spain overview – holiday home destinations remain resolute

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      House prices in Spain will close 2020 with little variation over the previous year, according to a recent market analysis of 30 key locations in the country. The research was undertaken by well-established international real estate brand, Engel & Völkers, which has 70 property shops in Spain. Its research                                                                                      indicates that prices will hold, particularly in premium holiday areas like the Balearic Islands, the Costa del Sol and along the Mediterranean coast. “Investor interest remains alive in prime areas and this high concentration of demand in a few markets will keep prices unchanged,” Juan-Galo Macià,                                                                                      chief executive of Engel & Völkers Spain, Portugal & Andorra, said. However, Macià points out that the macro…Read More

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Eviction Delays

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NEW WARNING OF HUGE EVICTION HEARING DELAYS ONCE BAN FINALLY ENDS 28th June 2020 Figures unearthed by the Daily Telegraph show the scale of the arrears and eviction court case backlog likely to face the industry later this year. Quoting information from The Lettings Industry Council, which represents 100 companies across the rental market, the paper claims some £3m is now owed in arrears by private rental sector tenants. The average owed is around £1,250. There are now 2,444 pending court cases, over 600 of which were instigated before the lockdown. Earlier this week Letting Agent Today carried a warning from legal practice Irwin Mitchell of possible backlog delays, especially as even pre-Covid the average time between claims and repossessions taking place was 23.6 weeks. In response to the latest figures Franz Doerr – founder and chief executive of deposit alternative service flatfair – says: “[The] figures from The Lettings Industry Council do not come as a great surprise but underline the threat that coronavirus poses to the rental market. Renters do not have as much breathing room to cut back on spending, leaving them vulnerable to economic shocks. “Many tenants have been hit hard financially, either through being furloughed…Read More

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Not as Good as it Sounds, nor as Bad as it might have been

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Sharp-eyed readers may have spotted a report in The Times a few days ago which suggested that, not only has the housing market come back to life since lockdown measures were eased, but that it is positively booming. Quoting Zoopla data, it said that sales were up by 137% since the market re-opened on May 13, and 54% up on pre-lockdown levels. It was backed up with analysis from TwentyCi, a market statistics firm, which said that 24,341 homes were sold subject to contract in the first week of June, up from 22,880 a year earlier. So what is going on? Having written here last month of a “V-shaped” housing market recovery as the lockdown eases, I am not going to knock it too much. Of course, 137% of not very much, may still not be very much. But Zoopla’s analysis shows clearly the lockdown effect at work. When the market re-opened in May, there was an immediate surge in pent-up demand, and it was strongest in Portsmouth, Southampton and Newcastle. There was also a strong increase in demand in some rural areas. This may have been a working from home effect, or people deciding that rural areas are safer than cities when there is…Read More

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Flats fall out of favour

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The latest in the recent surge of consumer information publicised by Rightmove suggests that demand for flats has fallen significantly as a result of the pandemic. With demand for more space, a bigger garden and a spare room for possible use as a home office has led to flats falling out of fashion with both buyers and renters in the current market, the portal says. Its findings have been calculated by taking the number of people enquiring about each property type on Rightmove and dividing by the total number of available properties of each type. So whereas in May 2019 – a year ago – the one bed flat and the three bed flat were in the top five searched-for properties on the portal, now the top five consists entirely of houses of different sizes. As further examples of shifting priorities,  very nearly half of renters surveyed by Rightmove say that lockdown has had an impact on their priorities and what they now want is garden access, a bigger home inside, a pet-friendly property, close proximity to open spaces, and access to a parking space or a garage. Homebuyers echo those shifting priorities, although they want also more space for…Read More

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The three key factors influencing the UK property market

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The outlook for the housing market is still taking shape, but here I take a look at three market indicators to watch. From buyer sentiment to Bank of England forecasts, higher loan-to-value [LTV] mortgages and first-time buyers, here is how these key factors will influence the market: Mover intent Some 60% of prospective home movers say they intend to continue with their plans despite the impact of Covid-19, according to a recent Zoopla survey. Some 22% said they were not affected by the pandemic, while the remainder said they had felt the impact, but wanted to continue with their next move regardless. The extent to which buyers and sellers continue with their plans will also determine how many of the 373,000 sales stalled due to lockdown will go on to complete, and this will affect the level of total transactions this year. After 50 days of market suspension, buyer demand in England after the housing market opened on 13 May rose by 88% in a week, suggesting that there will be a flurry of activity for some time. In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, demand continues to build, and it can be expected that there will be similar spikes in…Read More

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