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Help to Buy rallying call from government

July 23, 2013

Help to Buy rallying call from government

The Chancellor, George Osborne, has called housebuilders and mortgage lenders to a meeting to discuss how the second part of the Help to Buy scheme will work.

The first phase of the scheme was launched four months ago and provides equity loans for buyers of new homes.

The next stage, to be brought in in January next year, will involve help for buyers of existing homes.

It will allow people to buy with just a 5% deposit.

The scheme is aimed at enabling more people to buy their homes.

The government will guarantee a proportion of the loan to give the banks greater confidence to lend.

Developers run out of bricks as house prices hit fresh record

July 15, 2013

Developers run out of bricks as house...

Asking prices for homes have risen to a record high – up on last month, which was itself an all-time record.

The new average asking price on Rightmove is now £253,658, rising from June's figure of £252,798.

It means that asking prices are now 4.8% above this time a year ago.

Rightmove is now doubling its forecast for annual house price inflation from 2% – although in the light of today's report, 4% looks extremely conservative.

Rightmove justifies its caution by saying that in recent years, gains in the first half of the year have been eaten away in the second half. For example, between June and December last year, asking prices fell by 7%.

But will the same happen this year? Probably not, says Rightmove. The report says: "The signs are that prices in 2013 will not dissipate as they have in recent years."

The Current Rental Market, by Nicholas Hume

July 10, 2013

The Current Rental Market, by Nicholas...

The UK's rental market has seen strong growth over the last year with rents stabilising in the third quarter to an average rent of £970 per calendar month after an initial fall in price in August. The market has seen a 2 percent increase in rents from September 2011, just 0.6 percent below the rate of inflation over the year.

After an initial boost in rental prices in London as landlords looked to catch some of the surge in interest in short term lets in the capital over the Olympics, prices have now stabilised and increased slightly to a more realistic level after a fall in the second quarter of 2012. At present, prices in London remain over twice the national average, with those of properties in the South East also remaining higher than average. However the most encouraging rent increases have been seen in Yorkshire and Humber, with prices rising by 7 percent in the third quarter.

The latest Rightmove consumer rental forecast shows that 60 percent of tenants expect to be paying higher rents by this time next year, with the greatest expectation of rent increases in London and the South East.

Breakthrough in BTL lending as Nationwide allows three-year tenancies

June 27, 2013

Breakthrough in BTL lending as...

In a breakthrough in buy-to-let lending criteria, The Mortgage Works has extended the maximum length of tenancy it allows landlord borrowers to offer from one year to three.

Previously, TMW – the buy-to-let arm of Nationwide Building Society – was aligned with virtually every other lender in allowing Assured Shorthold Tenancies of no more than 12 months. It will now allow ASTs of 36 months.

There has been growing pressure for landlords to offer longer agreements, including from Shelter and the London Assembly, which have expressed particular concerns about families with children needing the security of longer tenure. 

3-year high for house price confidence

June 25, 2013

3-year high for house price confidence

Optimism over future house price rises is at its highest level in three years, aaccording to the latest House Price Sentiment Index (HPSI) from Knight Frank and Markit.

Households perceived that the value of their homes climbed in June, for the third consecutive month.

Around 15% of the 1500 homeowners surveyed across the UK said that the value of their home had risen over the last month, while only 8.6% indicated the value had fallen.
This gives a HPSI reading of 53.2, the highest since June 2010.

Any figure under 50 indicates that prices are falling, and the lower the figure, the steeper the decline. Any figure over 50 indicates that prices are rising.

June's reading, which is up from 52.2 in May, marks the third month that the current price index has been in positive territory after 33 months of readings of 50 or under. 

New architects' competition for design of rental homes

June 21, 2013

New architects' competition for design...

The Royal Institute of British Architects has launched a design competition for housing in the private rented sector.

It is backed by developers Wates, and could suggest ideas for what a suburban neighbourhood might look like if it is entirely privately rented.

Architects and students of architecture around the world are invited to submit their ideas, with a total prize fund of £12,000 on offer. 

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