House sales remain firm despite strong pricing.Nick Barnes, Head of Research
HMRC reports that UK residential sales (non-seasonally adjusted) fell in September (-14.3%). Total sales between January-September 2014, however, were 18.3% higher than the corresponding period in 2013.
London councils are preparing to fight government proposals to make permanent permitted development rights (i.e. which do not require planning permission) for office-to-residential conversions and remove exemptions. The Royal Borough of Kensington &
Chelsea, which secured a whole borough exemption last year, said it would be responding in the “strongest possible terms” and warned of job losses in the borough.
Despite the urgent need to build more new homes, recent research from ABI Barbour reveals that 46% of all new homes awarded planning consent over the past year have yet to be developed. 238,000 residential properties were granted planning permission from
September 2013 to August 2014, with contracts awarded accounting for only 129,000 units.
NB comment: House sales remain firm despite strong pricing. However, there is anecdotally increasing concern about mortgage controls and the sustainability of current price growth as well as frustration at shortages of available property to buy. While mortgage rates remain favourable, the cycle probably still has some froth left before Election year exerts its usual dampening effect.
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