Regional housing markets ‘shrug off’ Brexit uncertainty

The latest UK Cities index from Hometrack has revealed that despite Brexit continuing to dominate most aspects of life in the UK at the moment, in the two and a half years since the referendum, it appears to have had a limited impact on the UK’s housing market.

According to the report, households in regional housing markets appear to be shrugging off any uncertainty. Six of the UK’s largest cities are posting year on year growth figures over 6% with Leicester (7.7%), Edinburgh (7.4%), Manchester (6.3%), Birmingham (6.2%), Nottingham (6.1%) and Liverpool (6.0%) all performing strongly.

New research included in the report finds that the discount between asking and achieved prices continues to narrow across regional cities and has fallen below 2% in Manchester while reaching a 5 year low in Liverpool. Sales volumes continuing to keep pace with new supply in regional cities, supporting price growth.

Since the Referendum vote in June 2016, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester have all registered house price growth of 15%, almost 3x the growth in average earnings. In contrast house prices in London are less than 2% higher than in June 2016.

London is currently registering a year on year fall in house prices of -0.4%. The report concludes that the marked slowdown in market activity since 2015 has been primarily a result of weaker market fundamentals with Brexit uncertainty a compounding factor to weaker market activity.

Stretched affordability, multiple tax changes since 2012 and new mortgage regulations have all combined to constrain demand for housing across the market and push London house price inflation into negative territory. Cambridge (-1.1%) and Aberdeen (-2.8%) are the only other cities to be registering year on year price falls.

Richard Donnell, Insight Director, Hometrack says: “Two and a half years on from the Brexit vote, our analysis reveals a limited direct impact from Brexit uncertainty on the housing market thus far. Large regional cities continue to register above average house price inflation with the discount between asking and sales prices narrowing on rising sales volumes.

London led the housing recovery since 2009 and now it is leading the slowdown as weaker market fundamentals – stretched affordability, multiple tax changes, new mortgage regulation – have constrained demand and reduced sales. While the uncertainty from the Brexit vote has compounded this reduction in London house price growth it hasn’t been the root cause.

Donnell concludes: “In the very near term we expect market trends to continue until the outlook becomes clearer. Housing markets in regional cities certainly appear to be in more of a business as usual mode while the London market continues to adjust though modest price falls. Our lead housing indicators suggest no imminent deterioration in the outlook for prices or levels of market activity.”

Original source: Property Reporter

35% of UK landlords rely on brokers to guide their financial choices

The latest research by Market Financial Solutions, in which over 2000 UK adults who own three or more residential properties were quizzed, found that over a third are reliant on the advice of brokers when it comes to securing finance for their property purchases.

In the 12 months to October 2018, more than 1.18 million residential properties changed ownership in the UK, while this year, figures were released showing the number of landlords across the country had risen to a record high of 2.5 million. For those with portfolios spanning three or more properties, MFS’ research demonstrates the significant influence brokers hold in helping them choose financial products to fund their real estate purchases.

The bridging company found that over a third (35%) of property investors rely on brokers to inform their decision, while two fifths (41%) feel that intermediaries can access better deals that a borrower could not get directly.

However, there is a desire for greater awareness of financial products beyond mortgages. More than a quarter (28%) of property investors would have liked to have taken more time to research alternative finance options but felt rushed to press ahead with their purchase. Meanwhile, 41% want a better understanding of non-mortgage products so they can choose a solution best suited to their needs.

Paresh Raja, CEO of Market Financial Solutions, commented on the findings: “Whether it’s someone purchasing their first house or their fiftieth, today’s research shows how instrumental brokers are in guiding property buyers through the financial options available to them.

Importantly, beyond the historically dominant mortgage providers, there are now many forms of alternative finance that buyers can call upon. And property investors are clearly keen to explore options outside of mortgages that might be better suited to their particular circumstances.

As such, it’s vital that brokers themselves have an in-depth knowledge of things like bridging loans so they can provide borrowers with a full range of options and not just different rates for the same product.”

Original source: Property Reporter

Poll finds considerable support in the UK for the re-introduction of 100% mortgages

poll shows people want 100% mortgages

Almost half the population in the UK, some 48% think re-introducing 100% mortgages is a good idea, a nationwide poll has found.

The research from YouGov, which polled the views of 9,713 British adults, asked whether mortgages that don’t require a deposit because banks lend borrowers the entire cost of a home where a good idea, a bad idea, or if they didn’t know.

While almost half of those polled believed this category of mortgage to be a good idea, 32% said that it was a bad idea, with a not-insignificant 20% saying that they don’t know.

The outlook does vary with age, from 46% of those aged 18 to 24 responding positively, to 49% of those aged 65 and over thinking it is not a good idea.

There are also differences among those thinking it a bad idea, of which 22% in the 18 to 24 age bracket agreed, compared with 37% of those aged 65 and over.

Broken down regionally, 51% of people asked in Scotland said it was a good idea, while the region with the lowest enthusiasts was in London, at 45%.

The poll also shows that females were more likely to support 100% mortgages, with 52% thinking they are a good idea compared with 44% of males.

For example, Marsden Building Society’s Family Step mortgages lends at 100% LTV mortgage, albeit with 20% security from family through savings or property.

But it would not be a solution to the current housing crisis, according to Danny Belton, head of lender relationships at the Legal & General Mortgage Club. ‘At the very least it would mean lenders would have to significantly increase the amount of capital they would be required to hold, which is just not sustainable,’ he said.

‘What would be more beneficial is for more buyers to utilise schemes such as shared ownership and Help to Buy or even make use of a Guarantor mortgages,’ he added.

But he also pointed out that there does need to be more innovation in the home lending industry, such as the Cambridge Building Society’s 98% LTV First Step option, aimed at would be buyers currently in rental accommodation who would pass the affordability checks, have a good track record of making rental payments, but are struggling to raise a deposit for their first home.

‘This niche market is only going to grow in the coming years, but 100% LTV mortgages are not the answer to challenges facing younger buyers,’ he concluded.

Original Source:Property Wire

Opportunities in the student rental market continue to grow

As the UK’s student population continues to grow, so too are opportunities for investors

A quick look into the numbers and it’s clear to see why there’s so much interest; student housing offers a much greater return on average compared to traditional rental models. 2015 saw over £4 billion of investment into the UK student rental market from both UK and overseas investors, with plenty more growth expected in the near term.

During the economic downturn at the end of 2010, the student rental market was the only housing market left unaffected. Investors have therefore targeted the market for its resiliency; no matter how bad the economy gets, it seems students will still rent. According to a construction survey by Barbour ABI, the value of construction contracts awarded to build student housing in the first half of 2017 was more than the deals to build care homes, housing associations, local authority housing and sheltered housing together. Developers in the student rental market have been able to make profits of as much as £60,000 per room in the space of just two years, by building student accommodation blocks and selling them to investment funds.

The increase in the number of students heading into higher education has opened these opportunities for investors, and this trend is set to continue over the next decade. HESA reported that the number of full-time students in higher education grew by 540,000 between 1999 and 2012, an increase of 46%.
Demand from outside of Europe has continued to grow in the past 5 years, particularly from the Far East, which has seen average annual growth of 8.5% over the last six years. This has meant a dramatic rise in the demand for high quality and attractively located student accommodation.

Heriberto Cuanalo, chief executive of the upmarket student accommodation developer Collegiate AC, said foreign students made up the vast majority of his tenants in the company’s portfolio of more than 8,000 beds from Edinburgh to Exeter, but British people were now also moving in. The facilities they expect are in a different league from the traditional student rooms which are just big enough for a single bed, desk and wardrobe.

So where are investors in the U.K student rental market looking? Well it appears they are looking to the North, where yields are the highest in the UK and house prices are predicted to grow.

Liverpool is home to one of the largest student populations in the U.K with approximately 67,000 arriving each year, attracting a lot of investor attention. Whether studying at the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores, Liverpool Hope or even Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), students, particularly those coming from overseas, are increasingly looking to more upscale options for their housing. Developments such as Devon House, the heart of the city’s student district, offer both residents and investors a promising prospect, regularly earning yields of around 8%.

Not too far from Liverpool, two of the UK’s largest universities are in Sheffield, another area offering significant returns on investment in the student rental market. With just 3/10 of the students here able to get university-provided accommodation, a great number of Sheffield students are reliant on private investors for accommodation. In 2017, student housing builds in Sheffield accounted for 11% of all new residential projects, second only to private homes. The international population in Sheffield makes up a large amount of the demand for accommodation, and the number of international students is expected to grow by 15 -20% over the next five years.

Manchester is another hotspot for investors in the student rental market. As the fastest growing city in the U.K, Manchester has seen recent annual capital growth in double digits, offering some of the highest rental yields which average twice those on offer in London. The record returns are driven by a young and growing population, a new economic success story and years of property undersupply. Currently, Manchester has a six-figure student population, with more overseas students coming to attend top universities such as The University of Manchester, while avoiding the high rent of London.

As an investor in the student housing market, it’s important to understand that sourcing and buying are just the first steps in making a good property investment. Depending on your strategy, managing a portfolio efficiently is arguably the most important and time-consuming part of being a property investor in the student housing market. Managing student properties comes with its own set of issues that are unique in the property rental sector. Term-time lodging dates and student lifestyles are not necessarily the easiest things to deal with as a landlord.

Original source: Property Reporter


UK property demands are changing: how should investors respond?

Housing needs in the UK are changing amid declining levels of home ownership and lifestyle shifts.

Rather than the traditional ‘buy-and-hold’ model, residential housing needs are shifting towards developments that are built for rent and aimed towards a specific demographic who are at a particular life stage. As such, funding needs are changing to support these types of developments and this should lead investors to consider new ways of accessing the property market.

For many years, the typical approach to property investing has been through longer-term investments in buy-to-let and equity. While this ‘bricks and mortar’ approach has worked well for many investors, a fully-valued market in both the residential and commercial sectors means that capital appreciation opportunities are now looking limited. Instead, investors should be looking to work their property assets operationally through shorter-term loan opportunities, which are used to fund the development or redevelopment of buildings in niche areas of the market. By viewing property investments as operational assets, investors can access a growing market opportunity that offers the potential for greater long term reward.

Why is the UK property market experiencing change?

Homeownership levels have fallen dramatically among the younger generation over the last thirty years. In 1991, 67% of 25-34 year olds were homeowners compared with 36% in 2014. Meanwhile, private sector renting more than doubled between 1980 and 2014. This is not just a UK phenomenon. In the United States, for example, home ownership fell to its lowest level in more than five decades in 2016.

Declining homeownership is resulting from both cyclical economic forces as well as longer-term structural trends. In the post-financial crisis years since 2008, tighter lending standards have reduced the availability of mortgage financing for first time buyers, as low interest rates and constrained housing supply helped to sustain high house price valuations, thereby acting as a further deterrent. Whereas previous generations in the 1980s and 1990s benefited from schemes such as the right-to-buy, future generations have been left to deal with the consequences of reduced social housing stock. Supply is simply not keeping up with demand, and this has led to an estimated shortfall of almost 100,000 properties per annum.

While economic pressures have been important contributors towards declining homeownership, especially among millennials, longer-term lifestyle shifts are also having a significant impact. The way people live and work is frequently less structured and standardised than in the past, and there appears to be less desire for people to be held down by long-term commitments. Coinciding with the advent of the ‘gig’ economy has been rising numbers of self-employed and contract workers over the last twenty years, suggesting a more mobile and flexible workforce.

There are already signs that changing lifestyle habits are impacting the commercial property sector. The Property Industry Alliance noted the rapid growth in serviced office and shared workspace providers in 2017, highlighting the growing demand for flexible property provision. More generally, commercial property lease lengths have shortened significantly. The average lease length currently stands at around 7.5 years, having been as high as 25 years in the 1980s.

Many new leases include break clauses, another sign of tenants’ need for increased flexibility. The retail sector has been hit the hardest, given declining footfall in town centres and the shift to online retailing. Indeed, the Q2 RICS Survey showed falling occupier demand in retail, a higher vacancy rate, flat to falling rental growth, and negative capital value expectations over the next twelve months. One-third of respondents reported seeing an increase in the usage of Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) over the past year.

Nonetheless, while both the residential and commercial property sectors are experiencing significant change, new investment opportunities are opening as developers adjust their product offerings to meet evolving economic conditions and lifestyles. In fact, some of the most innovative developments are happening in the residential market.

Co-living benefits the individual and the community

‘Co-living’ is an area of particular interest and future growth. These developments, which at this point are mainly focused in London, cater for young professionals’ more mobile lifestyles. They offer the convenience of all-inclusive costs, covering rent and bills as well as services such as cleaning and gym membership. This market is further developed in the United States and the evidence suggests widespread popularity in metropolitan areas such as New York and Oakland, California.

In addition to convenience, this type of living arrangement combines the benefits of feeling part of a community while at the same time offering individual privacy. Occupiers have shared living spaces, but they can also retreat to their own fully furnished private apartment. It presents an attractive choice for young people, especially as a national survey recently found that 16-34 year olds experience feeling more lonely than older generations. Moreover, co-living developments could be targeted to people in later life who are downsizing though not yet in care and who would welcome the dual aspects of community participation and privacy.

However, it is not just the investment potential that these types of new developments hold for investors. Co-living and other purpose-built rental developments may also hold wider economic benefits that could help the struggling UK high street. In effect, co-living provides instant communities and these, in turn, are likely to stimulate demand for service-type businesses like bars and restaurants since occupiers typically want to be close to amenities. Several local authorities are implementing initiatives to try to revitalise town centres primarily based around the idea of creating ‘community hubs’ through modernised libraries, leisure facilities and community events. Through its focus on community, co-living sits well with this approach to town centre regeneration and may help to attract much needed investment, leading to potentially greater demand for existing vacant office and retail units.

How can investors take advantage?

Investors can access these types of purpose-built rental developments through development finance or bridge loans, which are secured by the underlying assets and offer higher yields relative to UK government and corporate bonds – typically between 5% and 8% per annum net of fees. With banks and building societies retrenching from lending in the post-financial crisis years, this market presents a growing opportunity as developers look to secure funding from a diverse range of sources.

Although still at an early stage of development, operational assets are a logical, modern way to benefit from an evolving and changing UK property market.

The value of an investment may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the full amount invested. Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in future. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

Original source: Property Reporter

Industry set to ‘smash’ government target after new build completions see 6.4% year-on-year rise

According to the latest government statistics, new build completions accounted for 195,290 of supply in 2017-18 in the year to April – a rise of 6.4%.

The figures also reveal that housing supply in England has increased to 222,190 during the period – up 78% in five years.

The Home Builders Federation welcomed the stastics and said that, with housing supply totaling 629,000 over the past three years, the industry was set to “smash” the target set by the government to build 1 million homes in this parliament.

However, it urged ministers to continue to support the whole housing sector “if we are to deliver the government’s new 300,000 target”.

HBF said the dwellings data also highlighted “the huge economic benefits” that housebuilding was now creating, with every home built supporting an estimated 3.1 jobs “meaning the industry is now supporting over 700,000 jobs – almost 300,000 more than it was six years ago”.

It also noted that the supply increases had generated a significant uplift in the financial contributions being made towards local infrastructure and amenities, as well as affordable housing provision. In 2017, it explained, housing schemes provided more than £6 billion in this funding to central and local government.

The new build market, which HBF said was growing despite Brexit uncertainty, represents an estimated 15% of overall housing transactions, up from a long term average of around 8%, it noted.

HBF reiterated the industry’s support for the extension to Help to Buy until 2023 but warned that the government needed to ensure the revised scheme could support the number of sales for its budget.

“Further improvements to the planning system are also required as well as confirmation on the status of skilled workers from abroad post-Brexit,” it commented.

Stewart Baseley, HBF’s executive chairman, said: “Today’s numbers are yet another sign that the home building industry is delivering the increases in housing supply the country needs. Whilst the second hand market remains sluggish amidst wider economic uncertainty, with Help to Buy enabling first time buyers to purchase new build homes, builders have continued to invest and increase output.

Whilst huge progress is being made, government needs to continue to work with all parts of the housing sector to assist them to deliver further increases if we are to hit their 300,000 target.”

Original source: Property Reporter

New research shows that the majority of renters have no contents insurance

The latest research from Sainsbury’s Bank Home Insurance has found that as many as 55% – some 8.4m renters, don’t have any contents insurance and are leaving themselves unprotected by having nothing in place.

Of those renters who do have contents insurance, 16% take the time to compare the cost of different providers and then switch if they find a better offer. Homeowners are more proactive with 22% comparing the costs of providers and switching to a better deal.

Homeowners are also savvier when it comes to finding ways to save on their building and contents insurance, with 54% of those with home or contents insurance having already or considering installing safety features to save money on their premium.

Karen Hogg, Head of Insurance at Sainsbury’s Bank said: “It’s worrying to see that more than half of renters don’t have contents insurance, so they wouldn’t be compensated for the loss of their possessions if the worst were to happen.

While homeowners are more proactive in comparing prices and switching, many people who do have contents insurance, could be missing out on a better deal as only 16% shop around when renewing their home insurance.”

The supermarket bank warns that insurers are unlikely to share how much of a saving will be achieved by adding additional home security, but that it goes without saying that homeowners who can prove they’re taking due care of their property will usually be priced more favourably. Securing your property in this way will therefore not only deter thieves, but will also save you money in the long run.

Nectar card holders(4) who take out a Sainsbury’s Bank home insurance policy can benefit further by first receiving money off their home insurance payments and also receiving double Nectar points on their shopping and fuel once their policy is in place.

Five tips for securing your home:

Lights, camera, alarm: Installing safety features can help to protect your home from potential intruders, as well as saving you money on your home insurance.

Take time to compare insurers: It may seem like a chore to spend time comparing what different home insurance providers are offering, however in the long term it could help you save money. Make sure the provider you choose covers everything you need, such as student cover for children living away from home.

Search for an offer: Look for a provider who is offering a benefit or deal to the consumer. Sainsbury’s Bank gives customers double Nectar points on their shopping and fuel, as well as a discount for Nectar card holders.

Love thy neighbour: Making friends with your neighbours can prove to be a smart move. Having a trusty friend to keep an eye on your home when you’re not in could benefit you greatly. For prolonged stays away from home you could also ask a friend or family member to house sit, which can be particularly useful if you have furry friends that will need taking care of while you’re away.

Know what’s in your home: When the time comes for taking out your insurance policy, take the time to walk round each room to make sure you know exactly what’s there and needs to be included in your cover. For further information on Sainsbury’s Bank home insurance, underwritten by a carefully selected range of insurers, call 0345 266 1603, visit or pick up a leaflet in store.

Original source: Property Reporter

What are the top 5 things people notice first about your home?

When we welcome guests into our home, we hope they walk away talking about how lovely it is. But when it comes to spending our hard-earned cash on home improvements, are we focusing on the right things?

New research from Hitachi Personal Finance reveals the areas that people first notice when visiting someone’s home compared to our top property priorities, plus the experts have given their tips on the best changes to make to improve those all-important first impressions.

With recent research suggesting it only takes seven seconds for someone to make a first impression, it’s no wonder people take so much notice of the things they see first. The top five things people notice about your home on arrival are:

1. Front door / porch (30%)
2. Hallway/entry hall/staircase (30%)
3. Driveway / front garden (27%)
4. Overall decor / Interior design (25%)
5. Living room (23%)

Although the entrance to a home is ranked the most noticeable, only 2% of people focus on this area of their own home when they first move in, with the majority confessing they chose to fix up their kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms first.

Looking at the difference between the sexes, 28% of women notice the overall décor of a home compared to just 21% of men, and strangely, women are also quicker to notice the smell of a home compared to men (20% for women vs 13% for men). When it comes to the ages, the under 35’s are quick to notice integrated technology compared to just 2% of over 35’s.

Commenting on these findings, a number of experts have provided decoration tips to spruce up the top five most noticeable areas of your home:

1. Front Door

It’s no surprise that the front door is the first thing that people see about your home, and it is now often seen as a reflection of your taste and lifestyle. Tom Swallow from Quickslide comments: “Entrances should feel protective yet warm and welcoming. Achieving this with a bog-standard front door can be difficult.

That’s why our top tip is to tell a story, your story, through style and colour. Consider what impression you want to give to your guests. Understand the emotions associated with different colours. For example, soft shades of Lavender are often associated with elegance, wealth and preciousness, whereas Cobalt blue can symbolise trust and intelligence.”

2. Hallway

Homeowners themselves don’t spend too much of their time in the hallway or stairwell, so it’s often forgotten, but it’s arguably the most important part of the home. Sitting in the centre and leading off into other rooms, the hallway can be a busy area, and is the second (30%) most noticeable thing about your home, so it’s important to keep it looking its best.

There are multiple ways of dressing up a hallway with a quick splash of fresh paint or a new runner on the stairs. For wooden stairs, painting the vertical side of each step can liven things up, and add heaps of personality. Laying down new floor tiles will dramatically change the look and feel of a hallway, and adding typical hallway furniture will make any hallway more inviting. A cheaper alternative to add personality is with a picture gallery leading upstairs, giving guests an insight into what is important to you.

However, it’s also important to remember that the hallway is a very functional space, so don’t do anything that could sabotage that, such as laying a luxurious carpet that is bound to get ruined by dirty shoes.

3. Front garden

Former Kew Gardener, Scott Chandler, suggests working with the seasons to bring vibrant pops of colour to any outdoor space, all year round. “It is possible to achieve a low maintenance garden which has maximum visual impact; bay trees on the patio will look smart, or even invest in a few shrubs or colourful pots to keep your garden looking healthy and green during the winter months. Ten years ago, astroturf was hardly ever seen and now it’s the norm in many properties.”

Andy Baxter, interior expert at Internet Gardener suggests: “Highlight your front garden’s best features using lighting. The great thing about garden lighting is that you can focus attention away from your garden’s more unsightly aspects, such as your bin shed, and toward your front door- as if to say, ‘come on in!’. I also enjoy playing around with different types of lighting to conjure up different atmospheres with my home. For example, fairy lights can give your home a magical, cosy feel while spotlights can make your home appear more sophisticated.”

4. Overall decor

With so many different rooms to change, changing the overall decor of a home is harder than it sounds. If you don’t have an eye for interior design or have an unusual style, sticking to a soft colour scheme and adding your personality in with your own furniture and homeware is always a safe bet.

Natalie Lockwood from Little Mill House explains: “A simple way to freshen up your new home in the early days of living there is to add artwork. Framed in coordinating frames, artwork will add fluidity between the rooms and instantly add personality, making the space feel like your own until you have the time and the budget to tackle larger projects. If you don’t already have a collection of artwork you can easily build one focussing on your interests, places you love and your favourite colours.”

5. Living room

Emma Heath, Lake Lovers office supervisor says: “For us, living rooms are all about a welcoming atmosphere. Building charm and character aren’t always the easiest, especially in newer homes, but there are some ways to get around this. Architectural lighting work particularly well, something that stands out and creates a focal point within the room. Feature wallpaper in neutral colours can also be used to create strong accent walls, and give character to space.”

Vincent Reboul, Managing Director at Hitachi Personal Finance said: “In the last five years, most (74%) homeowners told us they have re-painted or wallpapered a room in their house, and half (48%) have put down new flooring, showing the effort made to keep up with trends.

Whether you’re taking on a smaller or larger project, figuring out where to start first can be daunting. Taking the time to look at your budget and calculate the costs to redecorate each area is one way of making sure your budget won’t burn out halfway through a big job.”

Original source: Property Reporter

UK house prices up 3.5% in year to September 2018, official data shows

House prices in the UK increased by 3.5% in the year to September 2018, up from 3.1% in August 2018, taking the average price to £233,000, the latest official data shows.

However, over the past two years, there has been a slowdown in house price growth, driven mainly by a slowdown in the South and East of England, according to the figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures also shows that prices fell by 0.3% over the year in London but this was up from a fall of 0.6% in the year to August 2018.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in the UK were unchanged between August and September, compared with a decrease of 0.4% in average prices during the same period a year earlier.

House prices in England grew slower than other parts of the country, increasing by 3% in the year to September 2018, up slightly from 2.8% in the year to August 2018, with the average price in England now £249,000.

House prices in Wales increased by 5.8% over the 12 months to reach £162,000 while in Scotland the average price increased by 5.8% to £153,000 and the average house price in Northern Ireland at £135,000 recorded an increase of 4.8% over the year to the third quarter of 2018.

At an English regional level, the West Midlands showed the highest annual growth, up by 6.1% in the year to September 2018, followed by the East Midlands up 6% while the slowest annual growth was in the South and East.

However, while the annual house price growth in the South and East of England is slowing, they remain the most expensive areas to purchase a property. London is the region with the highest average house price at £482,000, followed by the South East and the East of England, at £328,000 and £294,000 respectively.

The lowest average price continued to be in the North East at £132,000 but it is the only English region yet to surpass its pre-economic downturn peak.

In Scotland prices fell month on month by 0.1% but the annual growth of 5.8% is up from 4% in the year to August 2018. Scotland house prices were growing quicker than the UK annual rate of 3.5% in the year to September 2018.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis average house prices in Scotland fell by 0.1% between August 2018 and September 2018, compared with a decrease of 1.8% during the same period a year earlier. On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in Scotland increased by 0.6% between August 2018 and September 2018.

House prices increased over the last year in 27 out of 32 local authority areas in Scotland. The biggest price increase was in West Dunbartonshire, where prices increased by 11.9% to £110,000. The largest decrease was recorded in Aberdeen, where average prices fell over the year by 4.4% to £161,000.

In Wales prices rose by 0.5% month on month and the annual rate of growth of 5.8% was up from 5.5% in the year to August 2018. In Wales house prices were growing faster than the UK annual rate of 3.5% in the year to September 2018.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis average house prices in Wales increased by 0.5% between August 2018 and September 2018, compared with an increase of 0.2% during the same period a year earlier. On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices in Wales increased by 0.8% between August 2018 and September 2018.

House prices have increased over the last year in 20 out of 22 local authority areas in Wales. Newport and Monmouthshire showed the strongest growth, increasing by 11% to £179,000 and 10% to £266,000 in the year to September 2018.

Original Source:Property Wire

FTBs show no sign of slowing down as market share increases

Moving house in 2018

e.surv has released new data showing that competitive mortgage rates are continuing to reel in first-time-buyers and increasing their share of the market.

The research revealed that those taking their first step on to the property ladder capitalised on low rates across the market in October – some 24.6% of all loans going to borrowers with small deposits and resulting in a fall of lending to large deposit borrowers.

e.surv found that four regions recorded a greater number of loans to small deposit borrowers than their large deposit counterparts this month.

Yorkshire was the area with the highest market share for small deposit borrowers at 33.7%, compared to just 21.1% for large deposit borrowers.

Elsewhere, the North West saw 31.2% of loans go to small deposit borrowers versus 23.3% for those with large deposits while in Northern Ireland this was 29.5% against 24.7%. The final region to follow suit was the Midlands, where 27.1% of loans went to small deposit borrowers compared to 25.7% for those with large deposits.

As usual, London was the part of the country most dominated by those with larger deposits, though the proportion dipped below 40%, while just 14.7% went to first-time buyers.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, commented: “Most agree there appears to be little prospect of another increase in the Bank of England’s base rate between now and the end of the year, yet that is no reason for potential remortgage customers to halt their search.

With rates still at historically low levels across the board, there are great deals to be found at both high street mortgage lenders and more specialist banks.

Whilst a decline in purchase activity in general has been evident since the summer, first-time buyers and others with smaller deposits will be delighted to see similar buyers dominating the market across many UK regions. Those in Northern Ireland, Yorkshire, the North West and the Midlands are all operating in a fertile market for small deposit borrowers.

Even those people looking to buy in other regions have a better chance of obtaining finance and getting on the ladder than previously, as the country-wide picture moves away from those with large deposits.”

Original source: Property Reporter