Property News

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

House price inflation plateaus

According to the latest survey by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), house price inflation levelled out in November although strong demand and limited supply meant prices rose for a 13th consecutive month.

"The Bank of England's rate rises have failed to dent the housing market's armour," said RICS spokesman Jeremy Leaf. "Strong employment conditions and a robust economy continue to shield the market from any dip."

Once again, London experienced the strongest price rises. House price growth was also robust in Scotland and Northern Ireland but in both cases inflation has eased from its summer peaks.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Welsh housing boom over?

Official figures released by the Assembly Government, show that the average house price in Wales now costs £158,000. That is an increase of 7% over the past year and compares to a UK average of little more than £197,000.

But estate agents across Wales are reporting a slowdown in the market - with some saying prices have actually fallen in the last year. They argue the property boom is well and truly over and called on the Government to raise the stamp duty threshold to £150,000.

Merthyr Tydfil, which was one of the house-price boom areas in recent years, has also seen a slow down in the market. Peter Phillips, of Derek B Phillips Estate Agents in Merthyr, explained, "The market is levelling off here and there is quite a lot of evidence of that happening".

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

HBOS predicts 4% rise in 2007

According to the Halifx Bank of Scotland (HBOS), house prices in the UK will rise by four% in 2007, less than half this year's rate of growth.

A 4% growth would be the lowest for over a decade. The bank believes growth rates will fall from this year's rate of 9% under the impetus of higher interest rates – a further rate hike to 5.25% is widely predicted in the coming months – and higher living costs.

But the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has also released figures which predict a house price growth rate of 7% in 2007, with demand continuing to outstrip supply.

The outlook for first-time buyers hoping to get onto the property ladder, meanwhile, will be one of "increasing gloom", Rics claims.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

One in four fear a property crash

According to a survey carried out on behalf of debt consultant Thomas Charles, one in four adults expect a crash in property prices within 18 months.

The research, conducted in conjunction with YouGov, also revealed that almost one in five (19%), expect a crash to come within 12 months, with one in three (29%) expecting a crash within 24 months.

‘The research shows that a high proportion of UK residents have lost their faith in the stability of the UK housing market,’ said James Falla, director of Thomas Charles.

Londoners were found to be most concerned, with 28% expecting a crash within 18 months while the South West remain cautiously optimistic at 18%. Young adults aged 18 to 29 were shown to have the least faith in the market, with 27% predicting a crash within 18 months, compared with 23% of 30 to 50 years olds and 21% of over 50s.

Monday, December 11, 2006

£5k for the greenest self-build

Peterborough based building society Norwich and Peterborough is offering money to encourage self builders to become more environmentally friendly. N & P's Eco Self Build competition offers a £5000 prize for the property which, in the judges' opinion, has made the most positive impact on the environment.

The competition is open to all home-owners, regardless of whether they are a customer, who have undertaken a "self-build" that is kinder to the environment. It is estimated 20,000 people who build their own homes every year are trying to make them greener.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Interest rate on hold at 5%

The Bank of England keeps interest rates on hold at 5%.

The bank's monetary policy committee voted to keep the cost of borrowing unchanged at 5%, following the quarter point rise in November and an earlier rise in August. Last month the bank increased interest rates to their highest level in five years in an attempt to bring down inflation to its target of 2%.

The holding of interest rates was widely predicted by many analysts, who felt a further rise would be to soon after the last one.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

1.7% rise in November

The latest report from Halifax's house price index shows house prices up 1.7% in November. This is 9.6% higher in the three months to November than a year ago.

The nation's largest mortgage lender said the cost of an average home was £187,995 in November.

The gains were much bigger than predicted. Analysts polled by AFX News had expected gains of 0.8% and 8.2% respectively, showing that the recent rate rise has done little to dampen down the market.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Record house price growth for Northern Ireland

The latest findings from the University of Ulster's House Price Survey show record-breaking house price growth of 32.1% in the last 12 months. The average house price in Northern Ireland is now £180,128.

The House Price Index shows an unprecedented boom, which estate agents attribute to a lack of houses for sale. Sam Dickey, a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says "It is all about supply and demand - there is not a great deal of property coming onto the market."

Lisburn is Ulster's property hotspot with prices for terraces and townhouses going up by 65%, with the average house price now £226,984 - making it the highest priced area in the province. North Belfast offers the best value for money with an average price of £129,570 compared to the average price in the city of £172,209 (up 29%).

Monday, December 04, 2006

London and South East still leading house prices

According to data from the Land Registry, house prices rises in London and the south east have outpaced the rest of England and Wales for the eighth consecutive month.

The increase in house prices is being driven primarily by strong rises in London and the South East. London's annual growth this month is 9.6% compared with the 7.0% increase of England and Wales as a whole. In the South East, prices rose at an annual rate of 8.1 %.

The region with the lowest annual price rise is the East Midlands, with an increase of 3.5 %. The North East experienced the highest monthly change, with an increase of 2.9%.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ikea flatpack houses

The well-known Swedish furniture chain, Ikea, is branching out and launching its own range of flatpack houses in the UK.

There will however, be no dodgy instructions or allen keys in sight as the houses will come readymade. Flats will be priced at under £100,000 and the company says it expects to sell three bedroomed houses, even in south-east England, at less than £150,000. The homes will all have high ceilings, double glazing and be fitted out with Ikea kitchens and trademark wooden floors.

They believe that because of the struggles first-time buyers are experiencing, demand will be huge. The first Ikea houses are expected to be built in Gateshead early next year, followed by Glasgow.