December 2, 2017

#26 Your round-up of the latest property market commentary

Housebuilding

London Mayor will build 25,000 homes a year on small sites: Sadiq Khan has planned to deliver approximately 25,000 homes every year on smaller plots adjacent to existing residential and commercial buildings. Town halls will be given a numerical target for how many homes to build on small sites every year. Read more.

A housing-focused Budget: Talked up as a Budget for the housing sector, the Chancellor of the Exchequer demonstrated in his second Budget of the year that the government is ready to play a more interventionist role in the property market. Measures announced include a stamp duty cut for first-time buyers, a £1.5bn extension of the government’s own development finance product and a commitment to extend loan guarantees through the British Business Bank. Read more.

Construction is a focus in government’s industrial strategy: The Industrial Strategy was trailed as the Prime Minister’s headline domestic policy. Intended to improve the UK’s shortage of skills and falling productivity levels, the strategy included four ‘sector deals’, including one for construction. £34m of the government’s £64m budget for retraining will be allocated, specifically, to equipping builders with the skills they need to deliver more homes across the country. Read more

Property prices

Value of UK property exceeds £6tn: A Halifax data release showed that UK property value had soared past £6tn. In 2007 Halifax estimated that the UK’s housing stock was worth a total of £4,077bn, but over the past 10 years, the figure has risen to £6,015bn. The south and the north-west showed signs of significant house price growth in the decade 2007-2017. Read more.

Property taxation

UK property taxes higher than anywhere in the developed world: Updated figures by the OECD show that UK property taxation totalled 12.5 percent of the UK’s total tax take in 2015, the latest year for which figures are available. Property levies in Britain are higher than anywhere else in the developed world. Read more.

Mortgages

Mortgage approvals dip: The number of mortgage approvals for buying a house fell to its lowest level in more than a year in October. Bank of England stats show that a total of 64,575 loans to buy a home were approved in October, below what economists had been expecting and fewer than the 66,232 reported in September. Read more