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Friday 25th of July 2008

Latest Property News

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

July 24, 2008

First-time buyers return to property market

by Gill Montia
First-time buyers return to property market
The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has reported that first-time buyers are making a tentative return to the housing market. In a survey of its members, the NAEA found that in June first-time buyer sales represented 11.8% of the housing market as compared with 9.8% a year earlier and up from 10.6% in May 2008. NAEA president, Chris Brown, believes that this ...



Falling house prices leave home improvers out of pocket

by Gill Montia
Falling house prices leave home improvers out of pocket
Homeowners who have chosen to improve, rather than move in the current market downturn, will be dismayed by new research from Abbey, which suggests that the cost of a home improvements is unlikely to be reflected in a sale price. Falling house prices mean that previously profitable projects can now cost homeowners serious amounts of capital. According to Abbey, an ...



July 23, 2008

June house sales slump by 45%

by Gill Montia
”June
The number of house sales completed in June of his year fell by 45% when compared with the same period of 2007. According to HM Revenue & Customs, which requires notification of all transactions over £40,000 for stamp duty purposes, 140,000 homes were sold in June of last year, with the figure declining to 77,000 for June 2008. Latest information from the National Association of Estate Agents ...



July 22, 2008

Home ownership no longer a pension option

by Gill Montia
Home ownership no longer a pension option
Friends Provident is urging homeowners to review their plans for financing retirement, if they have been banking on raising cash from property to provide a nest egg at the end of their working lives. The firm's head of pensions, Jeremy Ward, warns that if house prices continue to fall, people could find themselves in serious financial difficulty with both negative equity ...



July 21, 2008

Equity release approvals rise 14%

by Gill Montia
Equity release approvals rise 14%
Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP), the body that fosters good practice in the UK's equity release market, has reported a rise in demand for such loans during the second quarter of this year. According to SHIP, homeowners availed themselves of £257.7 million in the three months to the end of June, representing a 14% rise on the amount withdrawn during the pervious three ...



Average asking price for a home falls £4,345 in a month

by Gill Montia
Average asking price for a home falls £4,345 in a month
Rightmove has reported that the average asking price of a UK home fell by 1.8% between June and July, indicating vendors' acquiescence to a significant market downturn. According to the website, the rate of decline took £4,345 off the asking price of the average property and outstripped the previous record for July when, in 2005, asking prices ...



July 18, 2008

Middle Britian hardest hit by house price falls

by Gill Montia
Middle Britian hardest hit by house price falls
Insurance company, AXA, is predicting that Middle Britain will be hardest hit by the downturn in the housing market, in terms of property values. Middle Britain is not necessarily Middle Class and according to AXA's Financial Task Force only 20% of all UK households fall into the category. The insurer recently defined the term as families that earn an average of ...



July 16, 2008

Government launches Rent to Home Buy scheme

by Gill Montia
Government launches Rent to Home Buy scheme
The Government is today announcing new measures to help first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder, while at the same time increasing the supply of homes available. The Rent to Home Buy scheme will be operated via local housing companies formed by partnerships between councils and the private sector and will use surplus land for new housing developments. The scheme ...



July 15, 2008

House sales at lowest level for 30 years

by Gill Montia
House sales at lowest level for 30 years
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has reported that house sales fell to their lowest level in 30 years in the three months to the end of June. Rics members said that they sold an average of 15 properties during the period, almost 40% below the figure for the same period of 2007. According to the Institution's spokesman, Jeremy ...



July 14, 2008

Houses no longer prime retirement asset

by Gill Montia
Houses no longer prime retirement asset
Baring Asset Management is advising homeowners relying on property assets to fund their retirement to diversify. The slowdown in the UK housing market has highlighted the dangers of relying on a specific sector for pension income and research by the investment firm has shown that the number of people who are planning to use property to provide their pension income is falling. A ...



Vendors tempt buyers with “try before you buy”

by Gill Montia
Vendors tempt buyers with
The downturn in the UK housing market has left homesellers and property developers exploring new ways of attracting buyers. With properties for sale now outnumbering potential purchasers by an estimated 15 to 1, estate agents and housebuilders are adopting an innovative method of securing purchasers with "try before you buy" schemes. According to a report in the Guardian, one ...



July 11, 2008

Homeowners struggle on as base rate held at 5%

by Gill Montia
Homeowners struggle on as base rate held at 5%
Yesterday's decision by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee to keep the base rate on hold at 5%, will have disappointed homeowners struggling with increased mortgage repayments, rising living costs and falling house prices. News that the rate would remain unchanged in July followed a report earlier this week from financial website Moneyfacts.co.uk asserting that the cost of ...



July 10, 2008

House prices slide 2% in June

by Gill Montia
House prices slide 2% in June
Halifax has published its latest house price index showing a 2% slide in the average price of a UK home, in June. The fall puts the cost of the average UK residential property at £180,344, down £3,640 on May and almost £20,000 below the average at the peak of the market, last August. By comparison, Nationwide recently reported that house prices fell by ...



Scottish house prices continue modest growth

by Gill Montia
Scottish house prices continue modest growth
Latest research into house prices from Nationwide show that Scotland's housing market is riding out the credit crisis and mortgage famine better than other regions of the UK. According to the building society, the average UK house price has fallen 4% since the beginning of the year but homes in Scotland have recorded average growth of 0.6%. Nationwide's chief economist, Fionnuala Earley, attributes ...



July 9, 2008

Housebuilders’ woes increase as sales plummet

by Gill Montia
Housebuilders' woes increase as sales plummet
Yesterday's announcement that housebuilder Persimmon has cut around 2,000 jobs since the start of the year has been followed by further gloomy news from Bovis Homes and Redrow, which are also reducing staff numbers. The firms expect to cut 400 and 550 jobs respectively, blaming the losses on the credit crisis and high mortgage costs. According to Bovis, the market for selling homes ...



Estate Agents and homeowners retain housing market optimism

by Gill Montia
Estate Agents and homeowners retain housing market optimism
Abbey Mortgages has been gathering the views of estate agents and homeowners on the duration of the current decline in UK house prices. In a survey of 100 estate agents, 61% said they were confident that house prices will stop falling within 12 months. Furthermore, 30% of this group believe that UK property prices will have stabilised by the beginning of ...



Government house price index shows continued growth

by Gill Montia
Government house price index shows continued growth
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has published its latest house price index which puts annual house price inflation at 4.9% in April. House prices actually rose by 0.7% during the month and the figure compares with annual inflation rates of 5.2% in March and 12.3% in July 2007, the point at which annual house price growth peaked. ...



July 8, 2008

Estate agents urge prospective purchasers to action

by Gill Montia
Estate agents urge prospective purchasers to action
The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) is urging prospective house purchasers into action, as a record number of homes languish on estate agents' books. Last month, property website Rightmove calculated that there were over one million homes for sale in England and Wales and the NAEA is pointing out that buyers can no longer hold out for high offers and ...



July 3, 2008

Lenders warn mortgage squeeze will continue

by Kay Murchie
Lenders warn mortgage squeeze will continue
Lenders have told the bank of England that the shortage of mortgage products is expected to decline further in the next 3 months. Lenders have also warned that the number of people defaulting on mortgage payments will rise during the same period. A meeting has taken place with the chiefs of the major UK banks and the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, and Hank ...



July 2, 2008

Taylor Wimpey fails to secure funding, shares fall 46%

by Kay Murchie
Taylor Wimpey fails to secure funding, shares fall 46%
Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has announced that it has failed to secure £500 million from shareholders in a bid to shore up its balance sheet. Following the news today, shares in the company plummeted 46% to 32.25p. The company, which was formed by the merger of Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey last July, said that if it is unable to ...