Six months ago, some economists were forecasting a difficult housing market with a collapse in demand and price falls in the double digits. In any previous recession they might have been right. Not this time, with activity strong and prices 5% higher than a year ago.
Within days of Savills' June house price forecast, Chancellor Rishi Sunak trumped it with the announcement of a Stamp Duty holiday. Add to that the unexpected post-lockdown mini-boom and an update was needed. Here it is and, once again, it surprises on the upside.
Manchester has just approved plans for two developments described as 'co-living' apartments. They are huge. Between them, they will comprise some 1,875 units providing around 3,000 bedspaces. Co-living is a new word that we're going to see a lot more of, so is it a new opportunity or something to be avoided?
As expats ourselves, we really do understand the temptation to sit on cash right now. However, for those with a reasonable amount of capital and confidence in their job security, there are a number of reasons why this may be the best time to invest in UK property in a decade.
In its September report the Bank of England confirmed that it was exploring ways to overcome obstacles to negative interest rates. Opposite to all that we have been brought up with, it feels counter-intuitive, perverse even, but it could very well become a reality.
Housing prices recover from a recent dip to an all time high in August with annual house price growth now standing at 3.7%.
It seems that home buyers reaction to the pandemic is outweighing economic concerns, driving property prices to new highs. So, what is happening and where might we go next?
According to the Zoopla/Hometrack Index, property values in the UK's major cities do not appear to be suffering any ill effects from the pandemic, with 16 of the largest 20 recording gains of 2% or more over the last year.
Although the overall numbers for annual rent rises is largely flat on a national basis, there are big disparities between the capital and most of the rest of the UK, with some areas seeing substantial increases.
British expats, Hong Kongers and astute overseas investors are flocking to buy UK properties. Previously focused on London, the regional cities are now attracting a lot of interest.
House price growth rebounded in July as activity bounces back, with prices up 1.7% month-on-month.
Much has appeared in the press about an exodus from the cities in search of outdoor space. There will undoubtably be many in the race for more space, but a certain demographic will stay put.
With affordability being stretched and rental yields being squeezed, more and more London based investors are heading north
The really useful index from Zoopla/Hometrack shows a modest increase in city house prices. Once again, it is Northern England leading the way.
Last month we commented on the withdrawal of low deposit mortgages for first time buyers. A rumoured extension to Help to Buy did cause some optimism, but things just got worse for those struggling to get on the ladder.