Posts with tag: Southern Grove

December 2019 UK Property Transactions Statistics show jump in residential transactions

Published On: January 22, 2020 at 9:24 am

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Categories: Property News

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HM Revenue & Customs has released its latest UK Property Transactions Statistics, revealing a 6.8% annual increase in residential transactions.

The report also includes the following latest headlines:

  • The estimate for UK property transactions in December 2019 was 104,670 residential and 10,690 non-residential. 
  • The December 2019 estimate for residential transactions is 6.2% higher than November 2019.
  • The estimate of non-residential transactions in December 2019 is 0.8% higher than in December 2018. It is also 13.4% higher than November 2019.

Andrew Southern, chairman of property developer Southern Grove, comments: “The entire industry will be hoping this jump will be a sign of things to come. It was a blistering finishing to the year and bodes well for 2020 as the full effect of a mercifully decisive general election won’t have fully filtered through yet.  

“The market, across all areas including housebuilding, land, commercial and consumer sales, has laboured under a relative trickle in terms of sales volumes for so long, that there are now many professionals in the sector who have never known anything else. 

“We obviously have the financial crisis to thank for that but a recovery in transaction volumes, of which this could well be the start, will be a crucial piece of the puzzle if Britain is to prove economic commentators correct and outperform its European neighbours for the foreseeable future outside the EU.”

Joseph Daniels, founder of modular developer Project Etopia, says: “Brexit has ceased to be the ball and chain dragging the property market down to the depths, and with clarity now drawn on that issue, sales volumes have climbed by 6.8% compared to last year.

“The prospect of an election prompted buyers to re-engage with the property market as the country’s political future became clear for the first time in a long time, and may have sparked many buyers to seal the deal on their purchases. 

“The upcoming Budget could prove to be a big determiner on whether transactions creep towards levels seen before the financial crisis during 2020. Rumoured Stamp Duty changes would be welcomed, as it has been a major contributor to the slowdown in sales in recent years.

“Meanwhile projects to get Britain building on a large scale are crucial to ease the affordability problems which have plagued the market, as tight supply has pushed prices up.”

Shaun Church, Director at Private Finance, comments: “The end of 2019 saw a surge in property transactions, and this increase in activity looks set to continue into early 2020. The decisive outcome of the General Election has generated a surge in interest from buyers and sellers, who now with greater clarity and certainty on the UK’s political future, are ready to make their move.

“House prices are still factoring in a discount following three years of political turmoil, while mortgage rates are close to record lows and set to fall even lower if rumours of a Bank of England rate cut prove to be true. From an affordability perspective, now is, therefore, a great time to buy and progress up the ladder. These conditions won’t stick around forever though, so those looking to make their move should do so soon.”

House price growth slows to seven-year low, according to latest ONS report

Published On: December 19, 2019 at 9:43 am

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Categories: Property News

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The latest UK House Price Index from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has been released. UK house prices have shown a slight yearly increase, the lowest growth since September 2012.

The main points of the report include:

  • UK average house prices increased by 0.7% over the year to October 2019 to £233,000.
  • Average house prices increased over the year in England, to £249,000 (0.5%); in Wales, to £166,000 (3.3%); in Scotland, to £154,000 (1.4%); and in Northern Ireland, to £140,000 (4.0%).
  • The annual increase in England was driven by Yorkshire and The Humber (3.2%).
  • The lowest annual growth rate was in London (negative 1.6%), followed by the North East (negative 1.1%).

Andrew Southern, chairman of property developer Southern Grove, has shared his comments: “This is the first house price index since the election and it’s time to say farewell to a read-out that has been wracked by indecision and self-doubt for too long.

“The UK HPI has the longest lead time of all the indices and Boris Johnson has taken his boot and stamped a use-by date all over the Land Registry’s dial.

“You can expect the market to start deciding which way it really wants to move now and that new direction will show itself even more in the New Year. 

“One near certainty is that transaction volumes should start to recover, though first-time buyers may be a little afraid that prices could begin to advance again in tandem. 

“The basic equation here is that, with the exception of first-time buyers, there won’t be anyone sensible in the property world who won’t welcome the injection of certainty that the election has delivered, no matter what your political persuasion.

“Even they would do well to remember the effect so much uncertainty has had already on house building, trimming developers’ forecasts and, with it, their risk appetites. Seeing the back of that is just as important to today’s young.”

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, comments: “Where there is growth there is life. And although we haven’t seen much in the way of house price growth, today’s statistics show life is returning to the housing market – particularly in areas outside of the Capital.

“These latest ONS statistics are from October and we expect to see an even greater uplift at the end of the quarter, particularly following the recent election. The stock market rally we have just witnessed and a majority government drawing a line under Brexit uncertainty could be the shot the housing market needs to get back to health.

“However, we must not be complacent – more of the same “wait and see” approach would jeopardise the recovery. Instead the Government and private firms needs to be forthright in their commitment to supporting smart solutions to advance the digitalisation of the property industry. Unleashing Britain’s potential needs more than fine words. It requires breaking down the barriers to data accessibility and investment.”

John Goodall, CEO and Co-founder of buy-to-let specialist Landbay, said: “Though another set of poor growth figures is disappointing and a seven year low is certainly cause for concern, now is the time to look to the future. Boris Johnson’s election victory should pave the way for a stronger UK economy, and thus a healthier housing market, as we break away from political ambiguity. 

“The ‘Boris bounce’ is expected to put an end to the recent stalemate in the property market, offering confidence to buyers and sellers alike to make a move. Demand has been humbled by instability, so 2020 should bring an early ‘spring bounce’ as those who have sat on their hands are spurred into action.”

Lucy Pendleton, founder-director of independent estate agents James Pendleton, comments: “The spinning compass of uncertainty and doubt have been dislodged by the north star of a new PM, and the market has reacted immediately. 

“As a result, the tired and frustrated reality that is still faintly visible in this Land Registry report reflects a status quo that is already a distant memory. 

“Not yet visible is the Boris bounce in house prices we all sense is already well underway. The UK house price index has well and truly been overtaken by events. 

“The index will now spend the next two months going through the motions while it catches up with history. Meanwhile, there’s every sign on the high street that buyers and sellers are returning to the fold. 

“The UK is certainly experiencing a resurgence in activity but we won’t know for a couple of months whether, on balance, this will begin to push prices higher or whether greater supply will have a moderating influence while brokers and agents enjoy a pick-up in volumes.  

“New enquiries for property picked up the day of the election result and foreign buyers are matching their domestic counterparts for renewed enthusiasm.”

Shaun Church, Director at Private Finance has said: “House price growth has almost ground to a halt, with the lowest annual increase in prices seen in more than seven years. 

“A slump in demand due to a wait-and-see approach in response to Brexit has stifled housing market activity throughout the year, with this having a direct impact on house prices. Though less comforting for homeowners looking to see a return on their investment, buyers will benefit from this long-awaited improvement in housing affordability.

“However, the property market could well be entering a new, more active phase of growth. Post-election, a degree of certainty has been injected back into the national psyche, and a release of pent-up property demand is expected as a result. 

“Those looking to make a move in the New Year should act quickly to snap up cut-price properties while they’re still around. Buyers should also consider locking into today’s record-low mortgage rates to guarantee affordable repayments for the foreseeable future, as these, too, aren’t guaranteed to last forever.”