Housing market activity: sales, rentals, development & investment
There was a further drop in national residential sale transactions in January which were down by 25.3% on the December figure and 9.8% lower than in January 2014 according to data from HMRC.
- The latest English Housing Survey reveals that owneroccupation has fallen to its lowest level since the mid-1980s. According to the report, 63.4% of households own their own home while the proportion of households privately renting has increased to 19.4%. Within London, only 48.1% of households are owner-occupiers while 29.6% rent privately.
- The number of property lots sold at auction reached a record high in 2014 according to the Essential Information Group. 21,838 lots were sold which was 2.1% higher than in 2013, with a sale value of over £3 billion – up 14% on 2013 and a fourth consecutive year-on-year rise.
- Confidence in the UK property market has reached a three year high, according to new research from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks. The study found that around 25% of respondents plan to either extend or carry out home improvement and a further 14% said they want to sell their house in the coming year. 11% of respondents either plan to pay off their mortgage, make overpayments or re-mortgage in the coming 12 months.
- Statistics from the Ministry of Justice reveal that the number of landlord possession claims in 2014 was 5% lower than in the previous year. However, the number of orders, warrants and repossessions all increased in 2014 with repossessions (totalling 42,000) reaching their highest level since 2000.
- A scheme in London pioneered by Shelter and the Mayor of London last year offering workers an interest free loan to pay for their deposit on rented accommodation is being rolled out across the country. The scheme is similar to the season ticket loan programme already offered by many employers and the Co-operative Group is reported to be the first major employer to offer it to their 70,000-plus employees across the UK.
NB comment: further evidence - from the English Housing Survey this time – that the private rented sector is in urgent need of an increase in available stock. This could come from increased activity in the buy-to-let sector, however the market ideally needs new large-scale purpose-built accommodation which will only be provided by institutional / large corporate landlords.
Download Chestertons Residential Observer - March 2015