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Latest Property News

The latest property news, covering house prices, affordability, HIPs and other residential property news:

December 21, 2012

Home rental costs down in November

by Jan Harris
Home rental costs down in November
The cost of renting a house in England and Wales fell by 0.4 per cent in November, its first dip since March, according to a survey by LSL Property Services. Average rent was £741m during the month, returning to the level seen in September. However, it was 3.4 per higher than in November last year. The south east of England ...




December 20, 2012

Housing market recovery to continue next year

by Jan Harris
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Recent improvements in the housing market should continue into next year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) Gross lending is estimated to have increased to £12.9 billion in November, helped by the Funding for Lending scheme which provides banks and building societies with lower-cost funding, which they are then supposed to pass on as home loans and loans to small businesses. House sales are increasing ...




December 17, 2012

First-time buyers take a decade to save for a deposit

by Jan Harris
First-time buyers take a decade to save for a deposit
Before the credit crunch it took first-time buyers two to four years to save up a deposit for a property but a quarter of first-time buyers now say it will take them at least ten years. In its latest Property Tracker report, the Building Societies Association (BSA) suggests that since September 2010 raising a deposit has been the main ...




December 6, 2012

Little change in house prices next year says Halifax

by Jan Harris
Little change in house prices next year says Halifax
The Halifax reported a 1 per cent monthly rise in house prices in November to £160,879 but says the housing market is 'more unclear than usual'. According to the lender’s figures, average house prices across the UK have been on a downward trend for the past six months. Compared with the previous year, prices have fallen 1.3 per cent and ...




November 29, 2012

House prices stable says Nationwide

by Jan Harris
House prices stable says Nationwide
The average price of a house remained at just under £164,000 in November, the same as the previous month but 1.2 per cent lower than in November last year. The average house price is now 12 per cent lower than it was in October 2007 when it peaked at £186,044. The figures from the Nationwide’s latest monthly survey reflect a fall in unemployment ...




November 28, 2012

Planning Minister calls for house building on open land

by Jan Harris
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Housing Minister Nick Boles suggested on the BBC’s Newsnight programme that more housing should be built on open land. Increasing the amount of developed land by a third to 12 per cent would "solve the housing problem” Mr Boles said. He said that in exchange for building on open land, greenbelt spaces would be defended. "The built environment can be more beautiful than nature and we ...




November 22, 2012

RICS calls for greater regulation of lettings sector

by Jan Harris
RICS calls for greater regulation of lettings sector
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) is calling for the lettings sector to be more tightly regulated, to prevent lettings agents from charging unlawful fees. With many people unable to afford to buy a property in the current economic climate, the rental market is booming and research by Rics suggests that tenants need greater protection. Under current rules, letting ...




November 19, 2012

House prices up 2% due to London effect

by Jan Harris
House prices up 2% due to London effect
Property website Rightmove has reported a 2 per cent increase in property prices year on year, but this is largely due to a rise in the price of luxury homes in London. The 2 per cent increase in November 2012 compared with the previous year, is the highest annual rate of increase since 2007. Across England and Wales the average ...




November 16, 2012

Average rent rises to £744 a month

by Jan Harris
Average rent rises to £744 a month
The cost of renting a home continued to increase in October but at a slower rate, with the average monthly rent in England and Wales reaching £744, according to LSL Property Services. This is 0.4 per cent higher than the average in September and 3.4 per cent higher than in October 2011. October was the seventh consecutive month of rent rises, putting ...




November 13, 2012

RICS reports housing market rebound in October

by Jan Harris
RICS reports housing market rebound in October
Interest from potential home owners revived in October according to the latest figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Eighteen per cent more firms reported an increase in interest from new buyers than those who reported a decline in enquiries. This is significantly higher than the 5 per cent of firms who reported an increase in September. RICS said that ...




November 12, 2012

First time buyers turning to affordable housing schemes

by Jan Harris
First time buyers turning to affordable housing schemes
New research from Lloyds TSB suggests that more first time buyers are using shared equity and shared ownership schemes to help them take their first step on the property ladder. The bank found that 46 per cent of first time buyers are now using affordable housing schemes, with 26 per cent of them saying that such schemes were the only ...




November 8, 2012

Housing minister calls for more self-build mortgages

by Jan Harris
Housing minister calls for more self-build mortgages
Speaking at a conference organised by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Housing Minister Mark Prisk encouraged lenders to make it easier for people to build their own homes. He said that an increase in self-built homes could boost the UK housing market and should not be considered as a "pie in the sky dream". In the UK just 10 per ...




November 7, 2012

Knight Frank predicts long recovery for UK property market

by Jan Harris
Knight Frank predicts long recovery for UK property market
UK property prices are unlikely to return to the peak levels seen in 2007, until 2019, according to international property consultancy Knight Frank. This would represent the longest period between price peaks since records began sixty years ago. Although property prices in central London have grown substantially, prices for the market as a whole have plummeted since the financial ...




November 6, 2012

Halifax reports fall in house prices

by Jan Harris
Halifax reports fall in house prices
House prices in the three months to October fell by 1.2 per cent compared with the previous three months, the Halifax said. According to the Halifax House Price Index, the average house price fell to £158,426 in October 2012, a fall of 0.7 per cent compared with the previous month, and 1.7 per cent lower than the average house ...




October 30, 2012

100,000 mortgage holders escape negative equity trap

by Jan Harris
100,000 mortgage holders escape negative equity trap
New figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reveal that the number of borrowers in negative equity fell 13 per cent to 719,000 between the first quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012. The number of borrowers paying a mortgage greater than the value of their property fell despite a further small decline in house prices. Although property ...




October 26, 2012

Commission calls for radical change in housing market

by Jan Harris
Future Homes Commission calls for radical change in housing market
A new study by the Future Homes Commission suggests that the way homes are built in the UK is dysfunctional and needs a radical overhaul. The organisation, which was established by the Royal Institute of British Architects, believes that 300,000 extra homes could be built every year without any input from Government funding. Instead, the investment could come from ...




October 19, 2012

Average rent rises to all-time high

by Jan Harris
Average rent rises to all-time high
The average rent on a home in England and Wales increased to £741 a month in September, according to the latest buy-to-let index from LSL Property Services. This was 1.1 per cent higher than the average rent of £734 in August and represents a new record high. However the rate of increase has slowed, from 1.2 per cent in August. On a ...




October 9, 2012

Pick up in UK house sales expected

by Jan Harris
Pick up in UK house sales expected
House sales in the UK are expected to improve in the next three months, helped by the government’s funding for lending scheme, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The Funding for Lending scheme, launched by the government and the Bank of England, makes £80bn of lower cost funding available to lenders to encourage them to offer more loans ...




October 2, 2012

Nationwide suggests house prices will remain flat

by Jan Harris
Nationwide suggests house prices will remain flat
Nationwide building society has reported a 0.4 per cent fall in house prices in September, following a rise of 1.1 per cent in the previous month. However, the building society suggests that the annual rate of house price change is a more accurate indication of the state of the housing market, as monthly figures have been affected by factors such as ...




September 21, 2012

Shelter calls for greater security for tenants

by Jan Harris
Shelter calls for greater security for tenants
Housing charity Shelter is calling for landlords to offer Stable Rent Contracts, which would give families the confidence to turn a rented property into a home. Stable Rent Contracts, which would offer five-year tenancies, would also give landlords the security of a steady income, the charity said. Rents would increase in line with inflation each year, under the new contracts. With ...