More than 90,000 sales registered in England and Wales in July

Over 90,000 sales were submitted for registration by the Land Registry in England and Wales in July, official figures show.

Of these 72,327 were freehold, a 0.7% increase on July 2018, and 13,632 were newly built, a 15.3% increase on July 2018.

The data also shows that the most expensive residential property sold in July was in Kensington and Chelsea for £10,450,000 and the cheapest was in Burnley for £18,000

The most expensive commercial sale taking place in July 2019 was in Bristol for £35 million and the cheapest was in Barnet for just £100.

Of the 93,545 sales received for registration 687 were of residential properties in England and Wales for £1 million and over, 390 were in Greater London for £1 million and over, five were in the West Midlands for more than £1 million, three in Greater Manchester and one in Wales.

A breakdown of the figures shows that 21,968 detached homes were registered, up from 18,523 in June and 18,783 in May. Some 24,848 were semi-detached houses, up from 21,623 in June and 22,181 in May.

There were 25,115 terraced homes registered, up from 21,721 in June and 22,734 in May, making it the most popular type of property. Some 15,915 flats and maisonettes were registered, up from 14,393 the previous month and 15,811 in May.

Original Source: Property Wire

New proposals could make 35-year-mortgage a reality for first-time buyers

The days of an average mortgage term stretching to a maximum of 25 years may soon be over, as an increasing number of lenders look to extend the time needed to repay your mortgage in full to cater to the needs of a diverse group of would-be homebuyers.

And now the Government could help to meet this end even further, after it was revealed that they have closed a loophole which barred buyers from taking out a mortgage of more than 25 years this week.

Homeowners and first-time buyers using the Help To Buy scheme – where the Government gives a 20 per cent (up to 40 per cent in Greater London) equity loan towards the cost of a new build home to purchase their properties – could now find it easier to take out a 35 year mortgage.

The news has come as part of a raft of policy announcements from Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, which could also see those buying homes via the shared ownership scheme being able to ‘staircase’ (buy further shares in their home) using 1 per cent increments, rather than the standard 10 per cent.

Commenting on the shakeup – which is expected to come into effect in 2020 – Mr Jenrick said:

“Building the houses this country needs is a central priority of this Government.

“We know that most people still want to own their own home, but for many the dream seems a remote one.

“My mission is to increase the number of homes that are being delivered and to get more young people and families on to the housing ladder, particularly those on lower incomes.”

Continuing, he explained that the above was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to the potential extent of future housing reforms. He added:

“I will be looking at ensuring young people from Cornwall to Cumbria aren’t priced out of their home areas and how we can build public support for more house building and better planning.

“This Government will help a new generation to own their home.”

Will you benefit should either of the above changes become a reality?

Original Source Ideal Home

Competition is keeping home contents and building insurance down

Average bills for home insurance have increased by 2.1% in a year, taking the average buildings and contents policy to £136, new research shows.

It is a competitive marketplace, keeping roughly in line with the UK’s headline inflation rate, according to the figures from data analytics expert Consumer Intelligence.

Over the longer term, average premiums have fallen 1% since February 2014, when Consumer Intelligence first started collecting data. And despite the 2.1% uptick in premiums over the last 12 months, prices have yet to trend higher than the first recording five and a half years ago.

Across the market, the average home insurance premium sits at £136. For the over 50s, however, premiums increased by a marginally steeper rate of 2.7% over the same period, averaging £143 per premium whereas price rises for the under 50s it was 1.5% to £129.

Regionally, Londoners continue to pay a hefty premium for their home insurance, ranking streets ahead of any other UK region. At £187 for an average buildings and contents policy, households in London now pay almost 60% more for their insurance than the cheapest region which is the North East at £119. Even the South East at £140, London’s nearest neighbour both in terms of geography and price, is still a third cheaper than the UK capital.

Wales was the only place in the UK to see home insurance premiums fall in the last 12 months with a decline of 0.3% and the biggest rise was 4.1% in the South East, followed by the East of England up 3.4% and the West Midlands up 3%.

Victorian-era properties, erected before 1895, continue to carry the highest annual premiums in the market at £162. And insurance policies attached to houses built from the turn of the 20th century to just before the outbreak of the First World War from 1895 to 1910 follow closely behind at £146.

‘Home insurance is a very competitive marketplace, helping to keep overall pricing down. London unsurprisingly maintains its number one spot with some of the most expensive properties in the UK and the biggest urban area with cities generally having a much higher crime rate,’ said John Blevins, pricing expert at Consumer Intelligence.

‘Regional pricing is based on localised claims experience, looking at general perils such as fire, accidental damage but also specific areas such as crime rates, weather events and subsidence. And with subsidence claims levels reaching a peak this year, areas where the weather tends to be dryer, such as the South East, have seen higher rates of subsidence,’ he added.

Original Source: Property Wire

The UK’s hotspots where employment is pushing up rental prices

Research by lettings management platform Howsy has looked at how employment rates impact rental growth and where is home to the best mix of above-average employment and healthy rental increases for landlords.

The latest data on employment levels from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings across the UK shows that there has been strong growth in the number of us in work, with 75.2% of the population now employed, up 5.32% in the last year. During this time rents have also climbed, up 11.9% and
Howsy found that on average, a 1% increase in the rate of employment brings a 1.08% increase in rental growth.

The best location for this mix of a secure rental income and good rental growth is York. Currently, the city is home to an employment rate of 78.4%, higher than the UK average, while in the last five years rents have increased by 38%.

South Gloucestershire is home to an even higher employment level with 80.7% of the population in work, with rents up 37% in the last five years.

Bristol ranks third with rents climbing 29% during the same time frame and 77.6% of the population currently in employment. Midlothian and East Lothian are the best investment option north of the border with rents up 27% and 79.4% and 78.4% of the population in work.

Edinburgh ranks sixth, followed by Bath and Waltham Forest is the first London borough in the top 20 with 78.7% of the population in work, with rents again up 27% in five years.

Central Bedfordshire and Cardiff complete the top 10, with the likes of Havering, Lewisham, Salford, Falkirk , and Southend making the top 20 to name but a few.

Founder and CEO of Howsy, Calum Brannan, commented:

“A buy to let investment is a big decision and landlords should base this on far more than the rental yields available. While the highest return will always be top of the list, it should be balanced by other factors as issues with an area, or a tenant can cause a long-term problem that may cost you more money than the property makes.

“Employment levels can provide a great indicator of the quality of an investment as they usually mean greater ease for finding a reliable tenant and that an area is benefiting from a wider economic uplift.

“This works both ways as tenants will often be drawn to an area for work and while not every area home to a high employment rate will translate to a higher rental return, an influx of tenant demand will generally see the profitability of your buy-to-let increase.”

Original Source: Property Reporter

Forecast for price boost in the UK as buyers rush to beat Brexit deadline

Annual growth in house prices in England and Wales will reach 3.1% in September and 2.8% in October, the highest level seen since November 2018, according to the latest forecast.

The boost will be due to buyers racing to complete deals before the Brexit deadline of 31 October, according to the forecast from reallymoving.

Overall, it says that average values are set to rise by 1.5% over August, September and October, and be particularly strong in August with a rise of 3.2%, before dipping by 1.4% in September.

As home buyers register for quotes for home move services on the site typically 12 weeks before their purchase completes, reallymoving says it is able to provide an accurate three month property price forecast based on the purchase price agreed.

They also provide both seasonally and mix adjusted data, accounting for the seasonal trends in house prices and variations in the location and types of properties quoted for. Historically, reallymoving’s data has closely tracked the Land Registry’s price paid data, published retrospectively.

Against a backdrop of economic and political uncertainty, the housing market has performed remarkably strongly through the early summer, with a 6% rise in prices in June and a further 3.2% increase forecast in August.

The firm says that this resilience is most likely driven by a significant pent up demand from homeowners who need to move but have held off during recent months and years, who now fear the window up to October could represent their best opportunity.

It points out that with annual price growth has been in positive territory since June and will remain so for the next three months, with prices in October forecast to be 2.8% higher than twelve months previously. This is the highest rate of annual growth seen for nearly a year, since November 2018.

Underlying conditions in the broader economy continue to underpin the housing market and support year on year price growth, particularly high employment levels, low interest rates and rising household incomes, it adds.

‘The outlook for the property market over the next three months is remarkably positive, considering the current political and economic context,’ said Rob Houghton, chief executive officer of reallymoving.

He believed that any impact on prices of leaving the European Union with no deal at the end of is likely to be mitigated by the urgency of home movers to complete deals in the next three months.

‘While the longer term outlook remains uncertain, we could see a Boris Bounce in the property market if he is true to his word over stamp duty reform and stimulates the market through tax cuts at the top and bottom. Scrapping stamp duty for downsizers could be a cost effective way to stimulate activity throughout the market, freeing up family homes and enabling chains of transactions, at relatively little cost,’ he explained.

‘Annually, house prices in October are on track to be 2.8% higher than they were in October 2018, which is further evidence that home movers have become tired of the wait and see approach and decided to move on with their lives,’ he added.

Original source: Property Wire

New figures show highest number of new home registrations in 12 years

Builders and developers in the UK registered the highest number of new homes for 12 years during the second quarter of 2019, new figures show.

Some 43,000 new homes were registered over the three month period, according to the latest figures from NHBC, the warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK whose registration statistics are regarded as a lead indicator for the new homes market.

The NHBC report suggests that inward investment in the rental sector has been driving much of the growth.

In total 43,438 new homes were registered between April and June 2019, up 12% on the same period last year when it was 38,937 and the highest since the fourth quarter of 2007 when 43,525 were registered.

‘It is great to see this sign of confidence in new build housing and that the positive start to the year has continued into the summer. The combination of the growing private rental sector and on-going investment into the UK market is helping to boost new home registrations,’ said NHBC chief executive Steve Wood.

A breakdown of the figures show that an upturn in London continues with 6,000 registrations over the quarter, more than double what was registered a year ago. Overall eight out 12 regions recorded an annual increase. Numbers were up 47% in the North West and up 17% in Scotland.

Overall, the private sector increased by 14% at 29,993 compared to 26,422 in 2018, and the affordable and rental sector rose by 7% to 13,445 compared to 12,515 in 2018.