Weekly Summary: 24th September 2021

DATA: Rightmove reported asking prices rose 5.8% in year to September

They also reported “Hottest ever competition to buy a home” with “buyer demand per property for sale more than double pre-pandemic levels” though they note the number of new property listings are rose in early September as the autumn selling period began.

DATA: HMRC reported residential transactions bounced back in August

Though still well below recent highs, transactions bounced back to 98,300, a similar level to the pre-pandemic average. Data for Scotland, where their tax holiday ended in March, shows continued high levels of transactions though the data may be revised.

DATA: ONS reported £12.1 billion SDLT receipts in year to August

Although receipts fell in August, the high level of transactions still liable for stamp duty in recent months has helped push total receipts back to the levels seen prior to the pandemic.

DATA: VOA released statistics on the stock of domestic properties in 2021

The release provides data on the council tax band, property type, and build period of homes in England & Wales. See our Chart of the Week for some analysis of this data.

DATA: UK Finance published data on later life mortgage lending

The data provides a quarterly summary of mortgage lending to borrowers over the age of 55 and includes the warning that “For the first time since records began more than half of all new mortgages are due to end after the homeowner’s 65th birthday”.

DATA: Bank of England agents’ summary of business conditions, Q3

The release reports “ongoing strong demand for housing and a shortage of properties for sale in most parts of the UK. However, demand was reported to have eased slightly following the end of the property transaction tax holiday”. Meanwhile “Demand for rental property also remained strong in most parts of the UK, causing rents to increase”.

POLICY: MHCLG becomes Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Another name change for the department with former Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane appointed as the Head of the Levelling Up Taskforce.

POLICY: HMT consultation on the Residential Property Developer Tax

HM Treasury are “seeking your views on the draft legislation of the Residential Property Developer Tax ahead of its inclusion in the 2021-22 Finance Bill”.

REPORT: Create Streets Foundation’s final No Place Left Behind report

The Commission’s final report (PDF) provides a long list of policy proposals for “Levelling up our left behind places”. This NEF blog by Rose Grayston provides a brief summary.

REPORT: UCL released third report on local authority housebuilding

The report continues the survey work of the first two reports and finds that “80% of authorities now say they are directly engaged in housing delivery (up from 69% previously)” and “55% of authorities now report having a local housing company”.

REPORT: Royal Academy of Engineering report on decarbonising construction

The report suggests the “UK construction sector should decarbonise more urgently in line with the national emission reduction” and “should include embodied carbon of built infrastructure”.

REPORT: Lichfield report on planning permission build-out

Their latest report on planning permissions “does a deep dive into five local authority case studies, using their monitoring data to look at what is happening to individual planning permissions at the local level once granted” and finds “only a small percentage (3-5%) have actually lapsed”.

Chart of the Week

The VOA published data on the stock of properties based on Council Tax records provides a useful summary of the housing stock in England and Wales. There are numerous uses for it including monitoring the change in dwelling stock over time, as per our chart of the week which shows net change by number of bedrooms. The data is not a perfect proxy for the actual net change in dwellings as there may be other factors influencing the inclusion or exclusion of homes in the data than them being built, converted or knocked down. This week’s data provides a slightly lower estimate of 200,000 net additions in the 2020-21 financial year than the 220,000 suggested by Energy Performance Certificate data.

Weekly Summary: 17th September 2021

DATA: ONS reported annual house price growth of 8% in July

This was lower than the 13.1% reported in the previous month thanks to a seasonally adjusted fall of 4.4% during the month. This fall occurred following the reduction in stamp duty nil rate threshold and all figures are likely to be revised in coming months.

DATA: ONS reported the continued recovery in the UK’s labour market

The number of payrolled employees returned to pre-pandemic levels in August while the unemployment rate fell to 4.6%. The number of job vacancies rose to over one million for the first time and average total pay increased by 8.3% compared to last year.

DATA: FCA published Q2 2021 mortgage lending statistics

The latest release provides lots of interesting insight into trends in the mortgage lending market. You can read more in our Digging Deeper slides and our Chart of the Week below.

DATA: ONS published population estimates by output area

The estimates for local geographies are very useful though may end up being heavily revised when the 2021 Census data is published. The House of Commons Library provides a useful interactive summary of constituency level data.

POLICY: Michael Gove made Secretary of State for HCLG in latest reshuffle

The appointment has been met by mixed reports on the future of the government’s planning reforms with most expecting him to hit pause while the reforms are reviewed.

REPORT: IPPR reported on the case for a proportional property tax

The report sets out “the case to scrap council tax and stamp duty and replace them with a tax proportional to the value of the property itself”. It suggests the report would help address regional inequalities, wealth inequalities, and lead to a stronger economy.

REPORT: Centre for Ageing Better report warned about homes that kill

The report warns that “2 million homes in England pose a serious threat to health or safety” and there’s an urgent need to improve the quality of homes.

REPORT: JRF investigated what’s structural racism in housing

The report warns that the “Inequalities Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities face in accessing affordable and secure homes are rooted in structural injustices that are just not right, and must change”. It also highlights that “During the coronavirus storm these structural inequalities played a part in worsening housing insecurity and health issues for BAME communities”.

REPORT: Onward research looked at “How to regenerate Britain’s less prosperous communities by helping them take back control”

They analysed “the record of different regeneration schemes since the 1960s” and found that “the most successful schemes focused on smaller geographic areas such as neighbourhoods, invested in community capacity over the long-term, and helped communities take ownership of local assets”.

REPORT: CPS report on homes for heroes

They suggested creating “a new category of housing, akin to student housing, which provides secure rental and a pathway to low-cost home ownership” for key workers.

Chart of the Week

The MLAR data provides a useful insight into mortgage lending trends and we use the data to create our own estimates of mortgage activity by buyer type. As the chart shows, in the years leading up to the pandemic, the number of mortgaged first time buyers had slowly recovered thanks to interventions in the mortgage market (FLS, H2B) and the increased taxation of investors. Meanwhile, the number of mortgaged home movers had been stuck at low levels since 2010. The boom since the housing market reopened last summer has reversed that trend. First time buyers have increased in number but many prospective buyers have struggled due to the credit crunch and economic climate. However, mortgage movers have made the most of rising house prices, falling mortgage rates, and the stamp duty holiday to increase their numbers by 64% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Instant Info – Mortgage Advances by Buyer Type

In the absence of publicly available data from UK Finance and delays in publication of the FCA’s Mortgage Product Sales Data, we have constructed our own estimates of quarterly mortgage activity by first-time buyers and home movers.

It is simply the total value of mortgage advances to each group from the Bank of England’s MLAR data (table 1.33)* then divided by the average mortgage advance to each group from the Regulated Mortgage Survey published by ONS (table 15).

We have tested it against other data sources and it appears to accurately reflect mortgage activity but should only be relied upon at your own risk.

*make sure you use the aggregated data containing both regulated and non-regulated data near the bottom of the sheet.

First Time BuyersMortgaged Movers
Q1 200783,056151,564
Q2 200795,591181,998
Q3 200797,817191,380
Q4 200780,632156,206
Q1 200853,21895,629
Q2 200855,72899,780
Q3 200845,44278,525
Q4 200839,04063,249
Q1 200929,69946,867
Q2 200943,54871,259
Q3 200955,52593,227
Q4 200962,823102,828
Q1 201040,63669,603
Q2 201048,64984,380
Q3 201053,85996,346
Q4 201048,31481,542
Q1 201137,22361,673
Q2 201146,73675,631
Q3 201152,40591,507
Q4 201152,07784,795
Q1 201249,67868,880
Q2 201246,01277,391
Q3 201252,66985,031
Q4 201255,95582,199
Q1 201345,83164,675
Q2 201355,88981,183
Q3 201367,42197,385
Q4 201372,20498,135
Q1 201463,27079,739
Q2 201473,72692,107
Q3 201476,519101,608
Q4 201472,83491,723
Q1 201556,74968,854
Q2 201569,64881,918
Q3 201580,27599,854
Q4 201583,75597,374
Q1 201667,22289,573
Q2 201679,82578,986
Q3 201686,13192,053
Q4 201685,09689,112
Q1 201774,86879,694
Q2 201785,91491,664
Q3 201791,096103,663
Q4 201791,13699,845
Q1 201875,60278,358
Q2 201886,88388,047
Q3 201891,404101,851
Q4 201893,52999,588
Q1 201974,32678,242
Q2 201984,59287,471
Q3 201994,360100,433
Q4 201992,44598,854
Q1 202075,72376,531
Q2 202046,58744,825
Q3 202078,25882,663
Q4 2020102,218121,353
Q1 202196,118137,969
Q2 2021115,511143,407