Category Archives: Economy

Budget 2015: A roundup from industry commentators

The introduction of help to buy ISAs was the major housing news in George Osborne’s final Budget announcement before the election. CIH interim chief executive Gavin Smart’s gives his initial take on the initiative.

“We are in the grip of a severe housing crisis. For decades we have failed to build enough new homes to keep up with our growing population, and the gap between the haves and have nots is getting bigger all the time. For many people, affording a decent, suitable home either to rent or buy is a distant dream. Continue reading

2014 repossessions down 26%, says CML

The number of repossessions fell to 21,000 in 2014 – 26% fewer than the 28,900 in 2013, and the lowest number since 2006, according to latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. At 0.19%, the repossession rate was also lower in 2014 than at any time since 2006.

Out of the 21,000 total number of repossessions, 16,100 were on owner-occupied properties, and 4,900 were on buy-to-let properties. Continue reading

Resilient economy drives firm real estate outlook

Tenant demand for commercial property rose, across all sectors, for the seventh consecutive quarter according to the latest RICS UK Commercial Market Survey, with 40% more surveyors also reporting greater investment interest.

In the occupier market, expectations remain generally buoyant. Across the whole of the UK, a third (33%) more respondents expect commercial rents to increase. Continue reading

Gross lending remains steady in December

The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that gross mortgage lending reached £16.5 billion in December. This remained unchanged month-on-month compared to November but down 1% compared to December 2013.

This means the gross lending estimate for the fourth quarter of 2014 is £51.6 billion, down 8% on quarter three but up 1% on the fourth quarter of 2013. Overall, for 2014 the gross lending estimate is £205.6 billion, up 17% on 2013’s £176 billion gross lending figure. Continue reading

Millions of households on a financial knife-edge

More than 3 million households across the country are living on a knife-edge where a small drop in income could cost them their home, new figures have revealed.

New analysis of government data by the University of St Andrews, on behalf of Shelter, found that 1 in 8 households in the UK are surviving on low incomes while paying unaffordable housing costs, putting them under huge financial pressure. Continue reading

Buyers cooling but Brits remain confident

Confidence in the housing market is split: the public have never been more optimistic about house sales, but conversely the outlook for the purchase market is at its lowest level since 2011, according to the latest quarterly Halifax Housing Market Confidence tracker.

The Confidence Tracker indicates that of those surveyed, 57% feel it will be a good time to sell in the next 12 months, exceeding those who think it will be a bad time (32%). Continue reading

‘Convenience culture’ drives high street revival

A new in-depth study into the state of British high streets has revealed how town centres are adapting to meet the changing demands of the nation’s consumers.

Researchers at the University of Southampton have revealed how ‘fundamental’ changes to Britain’s ‘convenience culture’ are transforming the way we shop and bringing new business into town. Continue reading

London Mayor boost for thousands more affordable homes

London boroughs and housing associations have been given a huge boost as the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has allocated almost half a billion pounds to over 50 housing providers to build thousands of new affordable homes in the capital.

An additional £404m has been allocated under the Mayor’s ambitious plans to increase house building, which also include funding for the London Housing Bank and Housing Zones as part of an overall £1.25bn package to deliver 45,000 affordable homes by 2018. Continue reading