First-timers lead the market
The Lloyds Bank Homemover Review shows that the proportion of first-time buyers buying homes has overtaken the number of existing homeowners moving house for the first time since 1995. The report, which only looks at properties bought with a mortgage, shows that the first half of 2018 saw 170,000 home-movers and 175,500 first-time buyers. Andrew Mason, of Lloyds, said: “Despite continuing low mortgage rates, the home-mover market has stabilised in the first half of this year to leave first-time buyers now driving housing activity.” The report also shows that the average price of a home has climbed 35% since 2013, rising from £219,479 to £296,936 in 2018. Commenting on the findings, Mark Hayward, chief executive at the NAEA, said: "Traditionally homeowners used to move once every seven to nine years, but now they only move every 20 years.” “Changes in the market mean the property ladder now has less rungs than it used to, which are further apart,” he added.” Meanwhile, The Bank of Scotland's Homemover Review shows that 15,300 Scottish homeowners moved home in the first half of 2018, a dip of 3,100 compared to the year before. It was shown that the average price paid by movers has grown by 21% over the past five years, from £172,881 in 2013 to £209,496 in 2018.
Daily Mail, Page: 27 The Times, Page: 36 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 2 I, Page: 51 Yorkshire Post, Page: 8 The Scotsman, Page: 17
Buyers misled into using in-house brokers
Consumer watchdog Which? says a number of estate agents are misleading homebuyers into using their in-house mortgage brokers. Three out of ten high street estate agents told researchers posing as first-time buyers that using their in-house mortgage broker would make a difference to the property purchase. Of 22 agents offering such services, three said their broker would find better deals than the customer could get elsewhere while another said using their broker would speed up the buying process. The researchers were also told using an in-house broker could secure a lower purchase price and make it more likely that an offer would be accepted. A Which? poll of 1,720 buyers shows 26% used the broker recommended by their estate agent. Of these, 14% were told the decision would deliver a better choice of mortgage deals, while 17% claim an agent told them they wouldn't be able to view homes unless they used the in-house broker. Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “It is unethical for an agent to give an unfair advantage to a consumer just because they are using their recommended in-house financial services.”
Leasehold plan could see boost for buyers
The Independent’s James Moore looks at Law Commission proposals that would deliver reform of the leasehold system, saying it could be “a light at the end of the tunnel” for owners “skewered” by the current system. He adds that while the Government accepts two thirds of the recommendations, that fact that the proposals “could make some very rich people very cross” are a potential stumbling block. “Much now depends on ministers’ desire to do the right thing,” Mr Moore concludes.
Warning over impact of new initiatives
Writing in the Independent, University of Liverpool lecturer Tom Moore considers the £163m of funding for community-led housing initiatives announced by Housing Secretary James Brokenshire. He warns that preventing spending on leasehold-based initiatives could undermine such housing groups, “not to mention the effectiveness of the new community housing fund.”
The Independent, Page: 43
Scottish figures reveal BTR gap
Figures suggest Scotland is falling behind England in the build-to-rent sector, with analysis by Rettie & Co showing there are plans to build around 4,000 build-to-rent homes north of the Border, while in England 124,000 are being lined up. Hazel Sharp Webb at Rettie & Co said: “The numbers show that Scotland is not punching its weight on build-to-rent, but at least we are now punching and the opportunity is huge.” She added that investor interest in the sector is “starting to accelerate” and said there is more acceptance of build-to-rent from local authorities who “now realise it is not just a premium product.”
The Scotsman, Page: 36
Landlord evicts mothers and pregnant women
Fergus Wilson, one of Britain's largest landlords, could face legal action after saying he will have to evict mothers with new-born children and pregnant women over council tenancy clauses which, he claims, require him to fix faulty heating systems within four days in homes where a baby lives - a timeframe he cannot guarantee to meet. In a letter to Ashford Borough Council, Mr Wilson wrote: "The council has brought this decision on itself." The Equality and Human Rights Commission said it is taking action against Mr Wilson over his “clearly discriminatory” practices.
Daily Mirror, Page: 20 Daily Mail The Sun, Page: 9
Lords in prefab shout
A report from the House of Lords’ science and technology committee says housebuilders must improve their offsite manufacturing capabilities if the industry is to build the number of homes Britain needs, with chair Lord Patel saying there is evidence that using offsite techniques could increase productivity by 70%.
The Times, Page: 36
Buying into Cornwall a full-time commitment
Laura Whateley in the Times looks at a shift that has seen an increase in people relocating to Cornwall, saying previously buyers were often seeking a holiday home rather than a full-time residence. The growth of remote working and superfast broadband have led the change, she suggests. Savills estimates that the percentage of would-be buyers looking to live in the county full time has risen from 20% to more than 50%. Richard Speedy of Strutt & Parker says improved rail links have helped draw buyers to the region, while Jackson-Stops’ George Hill says the quality of life on offer appeals to buyers.
The Times, Bricks and Mortar, Page: 6
Delving into Dundee
The Mail’s Graham Norwood considers the appeal of Dundee, citing Savills’ Faisal Choudhry who notes that average property price in the Scottish city has climbed 21% in five years to a record high of £145,000.
Daily Mail, Page: 66
Gaucho administration hits landlords
Landlords have been dealt a blow as restaurant business Gaucho Group fell into administration. British Property Federation chief Melanie Leech said: “It’s disappointing that Gaucho has been unable to agree a way forward with its funders and that so many jobs are at risk as a result. Property owners and other creditors will also be hit.” Owners exposed by the collapse include developer TH Real Estate.
The Times The Guardian City AM Evening Standard
MoneySupermarket looks to mortgage market
MoneySupermarket is investing £1m in Podium, a start-up aimed at digitising the process of taking out a mortgage. The Times notes that the move, a 50/50 joint venture with entrepreneurs Matt Denman and Mark Hawkins, puts MoneySupermarket in competition with fintech firms such as Trussle, Habito and Dynamo, who are also developing digital mortgage broking services.
The Times, Page: 40
Developer plots urban village
Carol Lewis in the Times looks at a project to develop London’s Earls Court, noting that developer Capco is looking to create an urban village “rather than a generic sprawling campus.”
The Times, Bricks and Mortar, Page: 10
Planning is a ‘major hurdle’ for developers
Writing in the Scotsman, Rodney Whyte of law firm Pinsent Masons says the planning process is a “major hurdle” for developers across Scotland.
The Scotsman, Page: 36
Anbang to sell overseas properties
China's Anbang Insurance Group is looking to offload overseas properties worth about $10bn. People with knowledge of the matter said New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel will not be among the assets sold off.
Residents call for council to reject developer’s bid
Residents of two Manchester apartment blocks with flammable cladding have called on Manchester City Council to deny Lendlease, the buildings' developer, a £190m contract to redevelop the city's town hall.
The Guardian, Page: 23