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Less than 20% of Britons think house prices will fall next year

An estimated 19% of individuals believe that UK house prices will fall next year according to the latest ING International Survey.

In contrast, 42% think house prices will rise in next 12 months.

The data also outlined that 35% of homebuyers in the UK offered a lower amount for their house than the asking price, compared with 30% in Europe.

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Over half (54%) of Britons spend three months or less looking to buy a home before purchase.

Additionally, the survey noted that 57% of those in the UK think that it has become more difficult to get on the housing ladder since 2015.

The survey results were based off of 13,000 respondents across Europe.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

James Smith, economist at ING Developed Markets, said: “The surprising post-lockdown resilience in the UK housing market has translated into relative optimism among British consumers.

“But this sentiment could be tested as we head into 2021.

“The anticipated end to the stamp duty holiday is set to coincide with a rise in unemployment over the winter, both of which are likely to put renewed pressure on house prices next year.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Housing market stabilising during second lockdown

The housing market in England and Wales is displaying signs of stabilising, according to analysis of web traffic from property advice website Property Price Advice.

Valuation requests on the website have broadly returned to their four-year average, representing a significant fall from the immediate post-lockdown spike.

Requests in June were almost 70% above the four-year average, the highest ever recorded on the website.

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Peter Sherrard, founder of Property Price Advice, said: “Activity from our web users (via natural searches) in October was closer to what we’ve been seeing over the last few years, and shows that the buzz of the post-lockdown summer market is certainly cooling off.

“We will be monitoring activity with a close eye and it will be interesting to see if the second lockdown will see a repeat of house-hunter activity from the first.

“Clearly the dynamics of unemployment, mortgage lending criteria, general housing supply for sale, all coupled with a potential covid vaccine, will have a profound effect on transaction levels and potentially price.”

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

Property Price Advice also has a computer model designed by economic consultants Pragmatix Advisory, which translates this web activity into housing price and transaction forecasts for the next eight weeks.

Given the level of activity, average house prices for November and December are expected to be 3.3% ahead of the same months in 2019.

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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Housing market to remain open despite national lockdown

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that the housing market will remain open despite the looming national lockdown.

On Saturday Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed a new month-long lockdown for England beginning on November 5 and ending on December 2.

Information regarding the fate of the housing market during the lockdown was initially scarce between, however Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has taken to Twitter over the weekend to confirm that the market will remain open.

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On Sunday evening Jenrick confirmed that property moves would still be allowed and that tradespeople would still be able to enter properties.

The residential property surveying industry has also received confirmation from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government that physical property inspections can continue to be provided.

Additionally the Prime Minister confirmed that mortgage repayment holidays will no longer be ending with further information published set to be published today.

Kate Davies, executive director of IMLA, praised the government for keeping the market open in challenging times.

She said: “While the country faces a second national lockdown, the government has rightly decided to keep Britain’s housing market open.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

“Lenders, advisers, surveyors, and conveyancers are already experiencing unprecedented levels of demand from consumers eager to take advantage of the government’s Stamp Duty holiday, which is due to end on 31 March 2021, and also the Help to Buy scheme, which will be available only to first-time buyers from 1 April 2021.

“They now face the task of helping thousands more consumers potentially requesting payment deferrals as borrowers struggle to meet their mortgage repayments during the lockdown.

“Closing the housing market at this time would have only added to this pressure on the sector by creating yet another backlog of demand once lockdown ends.”

By Ryan Fowler

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Exclusive: South London boroughs lead house price charge

The south London boroughs of Merton, Croydon and Kingston saw the fastest house price growth in the year to August as the capital’s property market remained surprisingly buoyant, according to exclusive analysis by property website Zoopla for City A.M.

Price growth was much slower up in Hillingdon, Barnet and Brent, however, reflecting big differences within the London housing market during the coronavirus pandemic.

Property prices jumped 3.2 per cent in Merton in the year to August, Zoopla’s new analysis of its latest house price index showed.

Croydon was not far behind with growth of 3.1 per cent. Prices climbed three per cent in Kingston upon Thames and 2.8 per cent in Sutton.

It is the latest evidence that buyers are looking to move to leafier suburbs during coronavirus, which has spelled the end of the office commute for many.

“There is definitely a cohort of buyers who are looking for something different, maybe more space and are going further out,” Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, told City A.M.

London house prices: The top five risers in August

BoroughAverage priceQuarterly changeAnnual change
Merton£507,8000.4%3.2%
Croydon£376,7000.8%3.1%
Kingston£517,0001%3%
Sutton£395,6000.4%2.8%
Newham£375,8000.7%2.8%
Source: Zoopla

Yet she highlighted that some areas closer to London’s centre had also seen a sharp rise in prices.

House prices in Newham rose 2.8 per cent in the year to August for example, and they rose 2.7 per cent in Hackney.

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Tower Hamlets and Lewisham both saw growth of 2.6 per cent.

“A lot of demand is still remaining within the city,” Gilmore said. “People are maybe looking at different types of properties within the city, and that’s underpinned by the pricing we’re seeing in some of these areas.”

London house prices to face headwinds

The overall UK housing market has experienced a surprising surge during the coronavirus pandemic. That is despite the country entering an historic recession.

It has been boosted by the release of demand that was built up when the property market was shut down in the spring. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty holiday – which has raised the payment threshold to £500,000 until March – has also bumped up activity.

Zoopla’s August house price index showed that prices grew 2.6 per cent year on year, taking the average to £218,000.

In London, house prices grew 2.1 per cent in August. The average house in the capital cost £476,000.

However, experts caution that the housing market will face strong headwinds in the winter and next spring. Rising unemployment as government support is wound down and new coronavirus restrictions are two obvious problems.

London house prices: The top five fallers in August

BoroughAverage priceQuarterly changeAnnual change
City of London£788,100-0.9%-0.7%
Hillingdon£413,3000%0.4%
Barnet£539,2000.2%0.5%
Brent£486,8000.2%0.7%
Ealing£477,8000%0.9%
Source: Zoopla

Zoopla’s London analysis showed that the recent rise in house prices is highly localised.

Prices in the City of London fell 0.7 per cent year on year, for example, although Zoopla cautions that the sample size is not big enough to draw reliable conclusions.

Prices in Hillingdon grew just 0.4 per cent in the year to August, while Barnet saw a 0.5 per cent rise. Brent house prices have climbed 0.7 per cent.

Kensington and Chelsea remained by far the most expensive borough. The average house cost £1.17m in August. Westminster was second at £955,000, while the City was third at £788,000.

By Harry Robertson

Source: City AM

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More Brits invest in holiday homes across UK

Brits are investing in their own staycation spaces at a record-breaking pace, ahead of the autumn and winter months, according to holiday home operator Park Leisure.

YouGov data shows that over three quarters of Brits (77%) have no intention of travelling abroad this year. In fact, 43% say they intend to take more or the same number of UK trips than they usually would.

As British holidaymakers increasingly seek UK getaways and look for a long-term solution, Park Leisure has reported a staggering 47% year-on-year increase in holiday home sales this summer across its 11 locations.

Lisa Williams, director of marketing and holiday sales at Park Leisure, said: “It goes without saying that this year has been completely unpredictable and there were challenges to overcome to make sure we were able to welcome holiday home owners and holiday makers to our parks safely and comfortably.

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“Alongside the benefit of avoiding international travel regulations, our holiday homes are completely self-contained with everything you need for your prefect break. Staying in our holiday homes mean any unnecessary social interaction is avoided and our guests can cocoon themselves in their own little sanctuary or explore the beautiful great outdoors!

“We have, of course, redesigned our processes to keep people safe, as well as introducing hand sanitising facilities and regular signage displaying the guidelines and best practice, alongside a host of other measures to give holiday home owners and holidaymakers peace of mind.”

Of all the locations, Littondale (pictured), based in the Yorkshire Dales, has seen the biggest increase, taking a huge 91% more bookings this summer (June – August) compared to the same period last year.

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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Housing fuels service sector recovery

With interest rates at a record low and buyers benefitting from the current stamp duty holiday, the property market is going from strength to strength, with both transactions and prices increasing, and it is this improvement that is helping to drive the service sector recovery, according to new figures.

Estate agents and related businesses enjoyed strong growth last month, the latest analysis from the IHS Markit/CIPS’s services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) shows.

The index stood at 56.1 last month, up from just 13.4 at the peak of coronavirus restrictions and lockdown in April. Anything above 50 is considered a sector in growth.

However, September’s reading is down from 58.8 in August, primarily due to the end of the Eat Out To Help scheme.

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Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, commented: “The UK service sector showed encouraging resilience in September, with business activity continuing to grow solidly despite the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme being withdrawn.

“Unsurprisingly, spending in the restaurant sector slumped after spiking higher in August, and many other consumer services activities showed a similar slide back into contraction as renewed lockdown measures were introduced, causing the overall rate of expansion to moderate.”

Despite recent growth, there are signs that optimism in the service sector is starting to cool amid concerns that there could be a second Covid-19 wave, while Brexit uncertainty is also having an adverse impact.

Growth in the service sector has been hindered by tighter restrictions introduced during the past few weeks, while the lack of international tourists is hurting businesses, and this in turn means potential job cuts.

Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said: “Once again job losses remained the black spot amidst these pockets of recovery.

“With the seventh consecutive monthly drop in job numbers, redundancies have replaced job hiring in an attempt to shield firms from rising input costs, but these strategies will devastate local communities.”

Source: Property Industry Eye

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Edinburgh named fastest city in UK for selling your home

Homes put on the market in Edinburgh sell faster on average than in any other city in the UK, according to a new study.

Figures show properties in the Capital spend an average of just 45 days on the housing market before being snapped up.

Edinburgh came just ahead of Glasgow, where the average home is bought 47 days after it is put up for sale.

The figures, released by Online Mortgage Advisor, also revealed the average price of a property in Edinburgh is £263,900.

That is more than £100,000 higher than the average price in Glasgow – at £135,000.

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Dundee, where the average home costs £128,600, was ranked third by the company. Sellers there can expect to wait 72 days on average.

Oxford meanwhile, where the average house will set you back £399,900, was ranked as the slowest city in the UK to sell your home.

Houses there were sold on average after 152 days – almost five months.

Online Mortgage Advisor said it calculated the average time taken for a property to sell in the UK by analysing The City Rate of Sale Report run by Post Office Money.

It used property listing dates on the website Rightmove to work out the length of time that houses in each location stayed on the housing market.

It comes after Nationwide bank has said that house prices have seen the highest monthly rise in more than 16 years as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

After suffering losses during May and June, house prices have recovered much quicker than expected, meaning they’ve now reached an all-time high.

By Conor Marlborough

Source: Edinburgh News

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More properties sell for over the asking price

One in eight (13%) properties sold for more than the original asking price in August – the highest recorded since November 2015.

NAEA Propertymark’s August Housing Report found that over half (53%) of properties still sold for less than the asking price last month;

Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark, said: “It’s interesting to see that one in eight properties sold for more than asking in August this year.

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“Last month, we witnessed a boom in the number of prospective buyers following the government’s announcement of a Stamp Duty holiday, and it seems this is increasing the level of competition in the property market.

“With the increase in the number of prospective buyers since this announcement, many buyers are clearly willing to pay over the asking price in order to secure their dream home.”

The average number of sales agreed per estate agent branch stood at 12 in August, a slight decrease from 13 in July.

This is the highest figure recorded for the month of August since 2007.

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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House prices rise as appeal of gardens and space grows

Housing market activity in the region continued to rise in August, as those looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday continued their search for a new home.

Sixty-three per cent of respondents reported an increase in buyer interest across the West Midlands over the month, according to the August 2020 RICS UK Residential Survey.

However, the longer-term view remains more cautious.

As buyer enquiries continued to rise, the number of new properties listed for sale also increased, with a net balance of plus 26 per cent of survey participants noting an increase in vendors listing property to sell.

Consequently, strong growth in agreed sales was cited for a third successive month, with a net balance of plus 52 per cent of contributors seeing a pick-up.

Looking ahead, near term sales expectations for the West Midlands remain positive, but 12-month sales projections are still in negative territory, with the net balance coming in at minus 12 per cent.

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Anecdotal evidence suggests concerns over the broader economic climate continue to drive this subdued assessment.

Meanwhile, the pandemic is expected to cause a lasting shift in the desirability of certain property characteristics, as eight per cent of respondents, nationally, anticipate demand increasing for homes with gardens over the next two years.

Seventy-nine per cent predict rising demand for those properties near green space, while a net balance of plus 68 per cent foresee a rise in the desirability of properties with more private/less communal outside space.

Turning to house prices, the August survey feedback points to a sharp acceleration in house price inflation.

Across the region, a net balance of plus 52 per cent of respondents reported an increase in prices, the strongest reading since September 2018.

This is up from a net balance of plus 49 per cent in July and marks a turnaround compared to the reading of minus 27 per cent registered back in May.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “The latest RICS survey provides firm evidence of a strong uplift in activity in the housing market which should help support the wider economy gain traction over the coming months.”

By James Pugh

Source: Shropshire Star

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HMRC: Property transactions start to rebound

There were 70,710 property transactions in July, 14.5% more than in June but still 27.4% less than in July last year, the HMRC’s seasonally adjusted figures show.

The HMRC said the stamp duty holiday announced on July 2020 is unlikely to impact transactions until late August or early September.

Anna Clare Harper, author of Strategic Property Investing, said: “The upward trend in transactions data reflects a piece of positive news for all of us: the housing market is moving again after a complex start to the year. This change reflects a release of pent-up demand and supply.

“What we’re seeing in the market, which will be reflected in August’s and September’s data, is the further influence of recent and temporary policies.

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“The temporary stamp duty land tax change is helping those home buyers and investors who are looking to buy a property worth less than £500,000 in particular.

“We don’t know for sure what will happen next: economically, or in policy. But what we can predict accurately is that two crucial factors – economic confidence and policy – will prove fundamental to the future of the UK housing market.”

Jonathan Sealey, chief executive at bridging lender Hope Capital: “Although there’s clearly a long way to go for the market as a whole to get back to where it was, at Hope Capital we are seeing stunning levels of inquiries, way up on last year.

“Covid-19 has created changing patterns of demand, as people adapt to a slightly different lifestyle, with less commuting and more working at home. This is also likely to feed through into increased transaction volumes, with many people considering a move away from large towns and cities.

“As the recovery unfolds, we’re expecting to see a lot of demand from buy-to-let landlords, taking advantage of the Stamp Duty cut to expand their portfolio and provide rented housing that meets people’s desire for somewhere quiet to work at home, and better access to the great outdoors.”

By RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire