Weekly Summary: 27th May 2022

DATA: Rightmove reported asking prices rose 10.2% in year to May 2022

Asking prices hit another record high with the number of buyers contacting agents 31% higher, available properties 55% lower, and sales agreed 12% higher than 2019 levels.

DATA: ONS reported £1.6billion in SDLT receipts in April 2022

This was the second highest monthly figure for stamp duty land tax receipts recorded (residential & commercial) and the highest ever annual total at nearly £15.9billion.

DATA: HMRC reported 106,780 residential transactions in April 2022

The seasonally adjusted figure fell 4% compared to the previous month and was 12% lower than last year but still 8% higher than the pre-pandemic average.

DATA: VOA published Council Tax: stock of properties data for 2022

The data indicates a 232,000 net increase in homes across England during the 2021/22 financial year. The release also includes useful local level data on property counts by council tax bands alongside property types and build periods.

DATA: NISRA published first 2021 Census estimates for Northern Ireland

This was the first release of 2021 census data and estimated that the population of Northern Ireland increased 5% between 2011 and 2021. The number of households rose faster at 9%, with the average household size falling from 2.54 in 2011 to 2.44 in 2021.

DATA: DfT published vehicle licensing statistics for small areas

The data includes quarterly counts of vehicles at lower super output areas across the UK.

DATA: MOD published land holdings summary data for 2022

The release is very high level and contains what is perhaps my favourite least useful map.

POLICY: HMT launch further support for the cost of living crisis

The package is a welcome response, especially as it should help lower income households most. However, there are some groups, such as unpaid carers, that appear to have been left out and the longer term challenges remain.

POLICY: DLUHC announce government funding for “garden communities”

The additional £15million is split across 43 cities, towns and villages.

REPORT: DLUHC published English Private Landlord Survey, 2021

See Chart of the Week for more detail.

REPORT: Building Back Britain Commission reported on net zero

The report calls on the Government to “on the Government to commit to spending £2.3 billion a year for the next decade on raising the energy efficiency standards of 2.3 million homes across England”.

Chart of the Week

The DLUHC survey of private landlords provides a wealth of information on their circumstances, attitudes to the sector and tenants, and their approaches to legislation.

One of the things about the private rented sector that has consistently intrigued me is the importance of debt. For example, the outstanding value of BTL mortgages suggests a relatively low loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for the sector, suggesting that mortgage related risks in the sector are low. However, it is clear from the survey that debt (BTL mortgage or other) is still an important factor. The DLUHC survey shows that the median portfolio LTV for those landlords that have debt is 48.3% though a large proportion (38.3%) have no debt or borrowings against their portfolio. As the chart below shows, it is the landlords that own multiple properties that are more likely to have some form of borrowing secured against their portfolio. Worryingly, anecdotal evidence suggested that it was these larger landlords who were more likely to get into trouble during the financial crisis as rental arrears on a single property could quickly cascade and cause problems across the whole portfolio and even on the mortgage secured against landlord’s primary residence.

Weekly Summary: 20th May 2022

DATA: ONS reported UK house prices rose 9.8% in the year to March 2022

This was slightly lower than the previous month’s revised figure of 11.3% though this data is being regularly revised at the moment – it was reported as 10.9% last month.

DATA: ONS reported on the UK labour market

The number of payrolled employees is well above pre-pandemic levels and the unemployment rate (3.7%) is well below pre-pandemic rates. However, the employment rate is still below pre-pandemic rates and real basic earnings were negative – though this turns positive when bonuses are included.

DATA: ONS reported a 9.0% annual rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI)

This was the highest rate recorded by this measure since it began in January 1989 (based on constructed historic data). RPI rose 11.1% over the same period.

DATA: Zoopla reported UK private rents rose 11% in the year to Q1 2022

They reported “Rental demand is particularly acute in city centres as students, office workers and international demand returns”. Rents in London rose 15.7% over the same period though this partly reflects the bounce back from falls during the pandemic.

DATA: UK Finance reported a fall in number of mortgage arrears in Q1 2022

The number of owner-occupier mortgages in arrears of over 2.5% of their balance fell 10% to 75,970 and arrear rates are still around record lows. The number of BTL arrears fell 5% over the same period.

DATA: MoJ reported rapid growth in mortgage and landlord possessions

However, this reflects the bounce back from very low levels during the pandemic and all measures are still well below pre-pandemic levels.

DATA: DLUHC published Building Safety Programme release

The release states that, at the end of April 2022, 88% of identified buildings no longer have unsafe ACM cladding. Meanwhile, a Home Office consultation response suggests it will ignore a recommendation of the Grenfell inquiry and not make personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs) for those with limited mobility a legal requirement.

REPORT: DLUHC on “Estimating the prevalence and costs of external wall system life-safety fire risk in mid-rise residential buildings in England”

See Chart of the Week for more detail.

REPORT: NHBC published new home statistics for Q1 2022

The report shows a big increase in new homes registered during the quarter (up 25% compared to Q1 2021) though completions were 4% lower over the same period. This data is no longer a meaningful indicator for housebuilding activity due to market share issues.

NEWS: MoneyFacts report the average two-year fixed rate “breaches 3% for first time in over seven years”

The data, an average for all loan-to-value ratios, shows an increase in the average rate to 3.03%, the highest since March 2015.

Chart of the Week

This week DLUHC published details on their estimates for the number of mid-rise (11-18m high) buildings and the work required to fix external wall fire risks. Their analysis found that the majority of residential buildings (89-91%) do not have an external wall system that poses a life-safety fire risk. However, it estimated that around 6,220 to 8,880 buildings do require remediation with the majority having at least one external wall that requires full remediation. They conclude that “The costs to alleviate external wall system life-safety fire risks for leasehold dwellings in mid-rise residential buildings is estimated to be between £3.1 billion and £5.3 billion”. However, there is some debate about the exact number of buildings affected given the challenges with the underlying data. Perhaps this would be an ideal time to create an open-source database of residential buildings across the country, though restrictions around Ordnance Survey data and other sources is a barrier.

Weekly Summary: 13th May 2022

DATA: ONS reported GDP fell 0.1% in March after no growth in February

This left GDP just 0.8% higher than its January 2020 level. While these figures will inevitably be revised, the underwhelming recovery of the UK’s economy following the pandemic is a concern given the challenges it faces in coming months.

DATA: BoE reported a sharp rise in quoted mortgage rates

Rates rose quickest for lower loan-to-value (LTV) ratio mortgages, with those at 60% LTV rising to their highest rate since early 2013.

DATA: DLUHC published 2021 dwelling stock estimates for England

See Chart of the Week for more detail.

DATA: DLUHC published Q4 2021 Help to Buy equity loan statistics

While the number of completions increased 22% versus the previous quarter, delivery via the scheme is still well down on the levels regularly seen under the previous version of the scheme. With the lowest number of completions in Q4 since 2014, the regional price caps and restrictions to just first time buyers are clearly limiting the number of homes delivered.

DATA: HMT published Q4 2021 mortgage guarantee scheme statistics

The release again shows relatively few mortgages completed with the scheme since it stated in April – just 12,388 completions up to the end of December. This equates to just 5% of total mortgage completions, reflecting the importance of the scheme in simply existing rather than being actively used. The spatial breakdown provides some interesting patterns with large concentrations in and around Edinburgh and Glasgow – perhaps suggesting a single lender is responsible for a significant proportion of the scheme’s use.

DATA: HMT published Q4 2021 Help to Buy: ISA statistics

Both the number of bonuses paid out and property completions supported by the scheme were 15% lower in Q4 2021 than the same quarter in 2019.

DATA(PDF): RICS published April Residential Market Survey

They report “New buyer enquiries edge up slightly although the picture is flatter for agreed sales” while “New instructions generally steady over the month with available stock still scarce”. Price expectations for the next three and twelve months remain strongly positive.

POLICY: Queen’s Speech

Amidst debate about whether the 300,000 housebuilding target still applies, the speech included the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill alongside the Social Housing Regulation Bill, Renters Reform Bill, and Housing Reform. The planning white paper proposals for all land to be categorised and linked to automatic “in principle” permission are unsurprisingly not being taken forward while we await more detail on street votes before drawing conclusions.

REPORT: JRF published a report on the experiences of low-income families during the second half of the pandemic

The report warns that, in the face of the cost of living crisis, there are several policy recommendations including the need to guarantee uprating benefits in line with inflation.

REPORT: Knight Frank reported on residential development land

They report greenfield land values rose 22.8% in the year to March 2022.

REPORT: Savills published survey of for-profit registered providers

They report “Growth in for-profit registered providers is constrained by the number of opportunities, not investor appetite”.

BLOG: BoE on the consumption effects of mortgage payment holidays

Their research shows that payment holidays were “effective in supporting consumption of more vulnerable households during a period of financial difficulty”. However, they also found that “households with stronger balance sheets have used the policy to boost savings instead of consumption”.

Chart of the Week

This week’s release of housing stock data for England in 2021 contains no great surprises in terms of the net change (that data was published last November). But it does contain estimates on the tenure of England’s housing stock in March 2021. Today’s Chart of the Week shows the net change in tenure over the last thirty years with three clear periods. The first period, during the 1990s and early 2000s, was largely an expansion of owner occupation. The period from the mid 2000s through to 2015 was dominated by the growth of the private rented sector and the number of owner occupied dwellings actually fell. During the mid-2010s, housing policy became increasingly focussed on homeownership, with the majority of net housing supply ending up in the tenure in the years leading up to the pandemic. However, the last two years have seen the private rented sector return to growth as the pandemic and affordability pressures limit access to home ownership.

Weekly Summary: 6th May 2022

DATA: Halifax reported UK house prices rose 10.8% in year to April 2022

A tenth consecutive monthly rise, of 1.1%, left the annual rate of change just slightly lower than last month’s figure of 11.0%. Halifax warn that “with interest rates on the rise and inflation further squeezing household budgets, it remains likely that the rate of house price growth will slow by the end of this year”.

DATA: Zoopla reported UK house prices rose 8.3% in year to March 2022

Their latest data shows buyer interest still well above normal levels (+58%) while the stock of homes for sale is still well below (-40%). Despite the lack of stock, sales agreed are 18% higher than normal. They also note that “Upwards pressure on pricing has pushed 4.3 million homes into higher stamp duty brackets over the last 2 years”.

DATA: BoE reported small fall in house purchase mortgage approvals

They fell 0.4% compared to last month and were 14.5% lower than the same month last year but a more accurate comparison shows they were still 7% higher than the pre-pandemic average. Approvals for remortgaging were 40% higher than last year.

DATA: BoE reported a rise in effective mortgage rates in March

The average effective mortgage rate on new advances was 1.74% in March, an increase from the 1.60% reported for February. However, this was still below the 1.96% figure for March 2021 and the 2.05% average for all outstanding balances.

DATA: HMRC published quarterly stamp duty land tax statistics

See Chart of the Week for more detail on the Q1 2022 statistics.

REPORT: BoE published Monetary Policy Report – May 2022

Alongside an increase in Bank Rate to 1.0%, the Bank of England warned that inflation is likely to rise to around 10% by the end of the year, squeezing household incomes. GDP is forecast to fall towards the end of the year and remain weak over the next few years.

REPORT: Resolution Foundation published Q2 2022 Housing Outlook

The latest report investigates how the UK’s housing stock will be affected by the increased frequency and severity of flooding. It estimates that “1-in-50 homes are in places at medium or high risk of flooding from rivers and sea in England” and warns that poorer households are not covered by contents insurance – “a key factor in limiting the financial fallout of a flood event”.

REPORT(PDF): L&G/BPF on “Delivering a Step Change in Affordable Housing Supply”

It finds that “Increasing the annual supply of affordable housing will require an increase in capital funding for the sector” and suggests “Only new equity investment, supported by Government subsidy provision, can overcome the sector’s financial limitations”.

REPORT: House of Commons Library on “Improving the home buying and selling process in England”

The briefing provides a useful summary of the home buying process in England and investigates the multiple attempts made to improve the process.

NEWS: Nationwide on first-time buyers and the rising cost of living

Their survey found 70% of prospective first-time buyers are delaying their purchase as the rising cost of living limits their ability to save a deposit.

Chart of the Week

The latest HMRC quarterly SDLT release once again highlights that it is the top-end of the housing market that has benefitted most from the current housing boom. Analysis of transactions shows that, while lower price bands may have many more sales, it is higher priced homes that have seen the biggest percentage increase over the last three years. The number of sales priced between £1m and £2m in Q1 2021 was 86% higher than the same quarter in 2021 while the number of sales under £500k was just 9% higher. While most of the growth in transactions has been by home movers, half of the growth in the highest price band (over £2m) were transactions liable for Higher Rates on Additional Dwellings (HRAD).

Weekly Summary: 29th April 2022

DATA: Nationwide reported UK house prices rose 12.1% in year to April

This was slightly lower than last month’s figure of 14.3% but house prices have seen their fastest start to the year since 2004. A survey they commissioned shows 30% of outright owners and 42% of mortgaged owners are either moving or considering a move.

DATA: Rightmove reported UK house prices rose 9.9% in year to April

They reported another record high for prices noting “53% of properties are selling at or over the full asking price, again the highest level ever seen” and the number of sales agreed are 21% higher than 2019 levels.

DATA: ONS reported £1.4 billion in SDLT receipts in March 2022

This was 10% higher than the total stamp duty take last March and took the annual total up to £15.4 billion – the highest annual total ever in nominal terms.

DATA: DLUHC reported 238,000 new build EPCS in year to Q1 2022

The number of energy performance certificates for new build properties tends to be a leading indicator for net housing supply and is at similar levels to those seen in the years prior to the pandemic.

DATA: DLUHC published statutory homelessness data for Q4 2021

The data for England showed a 3.5% annual fall in the number of households initially assessed as homeless and therefore owed a relief duty but a 7.3% increase in the number of households threatened with homelessness and therefore owed a prevention duty.

REPORT: Knight Frank on London’s Tall Building Pipeline

They report that, while the future supply pipeline of tall buildings contracted slightly (-1%), there are still “583 tall buildings which are proposed or approved with 109 currently under construction”. They note that “what is coming through the planning system and out of the ground, is increasingly across the outer London boroughs, in zones 3, 4 and 5”.

REPORT: Savills reported on residential development land values

They report development land values are rising rapidly with UK greenfield land rising 9.3% over the last year. However, they are still 3.1% below their pre-financial crisis peak.

Chart of the Week

This week the ONS published analysis on the rising cost of living and its impact on individuals. It highlights the scale of the issue with 87% of all adults reporting an increase in their cost of living over the last month. Energy bills, food, and fuel are the most common reasons for this. The analysis also highlights the distributional impact of the cost of living crisis. While all income groups are reporting an increase in their cost of living, it is those at the lower end of the distribution or those living in the more deprived parts of England (chart below) that are finding it more difficult. The analysis also highlights that “a greater percentage of renters (37%) found it very difficult or difficult to pay usual household bills compared with a year ago, compared with mortgagors (23%)”. This is perhaps unsurprising given renters tend to have lower incomes than owners and 34% of them reported an increase in their rent during the last six months compared to just 19% of mortgaged owners reporting an increase in their mortgage payments over the same period.

Weekly Summary: 22nd April 2022

DATA: ONS reported UK house prices rose 10.9% in year to February 2022

This was slightly higher than last month’s revised figure of 10.2% though London continues to record the lowest growth rate of just 8.1%. This data will be revised in the future.

DATA: ONS reported monthly GDP estimates grew by just 0.1% in February

This leaves GDP just 1.5% above its pre pandemic level two years ago amidst rising concerns about a recession later this year.

DATA: ONS reported higher consumer price inflation

The latest data shows CPI rose 7.0% in the year to March 2022 while RPI rose 9.0%.

DATA: ONS reported on the UK labour market

They reported the number of payrolled employees is now well above pre-pandemic levels and the unemployment rate is also now at pre-pandemic levels. However, the employment rate is still below levels prior to the pandemic and the annual change in regular earnings (excluding bonuses) is negative in real terms.

DATA: HMRC reported another rise in residential transactions

The provisional data shows UK residential transactions increased 2.6% in March compared to the previous month and were 16% higher than their pre-pandemic average. The annual change (-36%) should be ignored due to last year’s stamp duty holiday spikes.

DATA: Rightmove reported 11% annual rise in asking rents in Q1 2022

They report “Rents are now 15% higher than pre-pandemic” and this is the “most competitive market ever for tenants – tenant demand is up 6% and available properties are down by 50% compared to last year”.

DATA: Bank of England published Credit Conditions Survey – 2022 Q1

The survey found that Lenders expect the availability of secured credit to decrease over the next three months (to end of May) while demand for secured lending for house purchase is expected to increase.

DATA(PDF): RICS market survey reported a resilient housing market

The survey found “Buyer demand and sales continue to rise at a modest pace in March” while “New instructions indicator turns positive for the first time in twelve months”.

DATA: ONS investigated town characteristics and house prices

The analysis found “The three most important characteristics for predicting average property prices in towns were: the distance of the town from London, the types of jobs carried out by the town’s resident workers and the level of income deprivation in the town”.

POLICY: DLUHC revealed building safety agreement with developers

The agreement includes a commitment of £2 billion to fix developers own buildings with a further £3 billion raised through an expansion to the Building Safety Levy. The list of 36 developers is available here while the Secretary of State also sent a letter to the Construction Products Association.

POLICY: DLUHC announced ban on ground rents from 30th June 2022

They suggest “Ground rent charges will be banned on most new residential leases” and also applies to retirement homes.

REPORT: Tony Blair Institute on home ownership and the mortgage market

The report “suggests that boosting home ownership will require some mechanism to extend more risky lending to first-time buyers” and investigates mortgage markets in other countries to see how they balance the risk between financial stability and riskier lending.

REPORT(PDF): House of Commons PAC on regulation of private renting

The report highlights that the private rented sector is “failing far too often to provide safe and secure homes for renters”. They note that “Regulation by local authorities is under capacity and not providing appropriate and consistent protection for tenants” and there is the need for better data to understand the issues within the sector.

REPORT: Knight Frank updated their UK house price forecasts

They “forecast that UK prices will grow by 5% this year, with several factors acting as a drag on the rampant growth that has taken place in recent months”. These factors including rising mortgage rates, an increase in supply available for sale, and the race for space will “calm down”. Prices are forecast to rise 1% in 2023 as the cost of living squeeze bites.

REPORTS: Savills published a flurry of reports on UK student accommodation, UK build to rent, and development land values

The student accommodation report identifies a market surge while the build to rent report focuses on Scotland, and they ask “How far can development land value continue to grow”.

REPORT: TwentyCi reported on the property market in Q1 2022

They report there were 342,000 sales agreed in Q1, 16.9% higher than Q1 2019. They also found that “Aside from Inner London, the whole of England and Wales at a regional level has just under two months’ worth of property stock left to sell and overall, the available months of stock are down by almost half on historical norms”.

Weekly Summary: 8th April 2022

DATA: Halifax reported UK house prices rose 11% in year to March 2022

Another record high thanks to the biggest monthly increase in six months though they warn the “Cost of living pressure likely to slow the rate of house price growth this year”.

DATA: Bank of England published quoted mortgage rates for March

Rates for two year fixed rate mortgages rose across all loan-to-value (LTV) ratios in March. Average rates at 60% and 75% LTVs have risen to levels last seen in late 2014. See Chart of the Week for more.

DATA: HMRC published Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings statistics

The release shows “ATED receipts in the 2020 to 2021 financial year were £111 million, which is 13% (£17 million) lower compared to the previous year, with decreases in all price bands except the £500,000 to £1 million range which remained the same as the previous year”.

POLICY: British energy security strategy released

The report says government will help consumers by “zero-rating VAT for the next 5 years on the installation of energy saving materials, including insulation and low carbon heating” and “Reviewing the practical planning barriers that households can face when installing energy efficiency measures such as improved glazing, including in conservation areas and listed buildings”. However there was criticism that the strategy does not go far enough in improving the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock.

REPORT: DLUHC published evaluation of supported housing pilots

Five local authorities were provided with funding to test ways of improving quality and value for money in supported housing.

REPORT: University of Warwick reported on the UK’s ‘non-doms’

The report found “Most non-doms reside in and around London, with non-doms making up more than one in ten adults living in Kensington and the Cities of London and Westminster”. The map in Figures 9a and 9b showing concentrations of non-doms locations closely matches the areas that estate agents call prime central London.

Chart of the Week

While saving a deposit is the biggest barrier to homeownership, the mortgage lending environment over the last decade has also played a part in deterring prospective first time buyers. The availability of higher loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages has been a major barrier and is closely linked to the challenges in saving a large enough deposit. However, the much higher mortgage rates on higher LTV mortgages has also been a factor in recent years.

Someone only able to save a deposit worth 10% of the home they were buying might find themselves with a mortgage rate that was 1-2% percentage points higher than if they had a 25% deposit. The situation has improved in recent years, ignoring the credit crunch during 2020/21, and the margin between very high LTV mortgages (90% plus) is at its lowest level since 2009. However, the latest Bank of England data on quoted mortgage rates shows a rapid increase in average rates on lower loan-to-value mortgages and so it remains to be seen if the narrowing of the mortgage rate margin is a temporary effect of the current mortgage market or a return to the pre-financial crisis normal of a minimal rate margin.

Weekly Summary: 1st April 2022

DATA: Nationwide reported 14.3% annual rise in UK house prices

The data for March was “the strongest pace of increase since November 2004”.

DATA: Zoopla reported house prices rose 8.1% in year to Feb

They report “Buyer demand remains unseasonably high, with demand for family houses more than twice as high as usual for Q1” while the “New supply of homes for sale continues to build, albeit slowly, up 5% on the five-year average”.

DATA: BoE reported 71,000 mortgage approvals for house purchase in Feb

Although 18% lower than last year’s figure for February, this was still 7% higher than the pre-pandemic average. Remortgage approvals were up 40% compared to last year.

DATA: ONS published Q4 2021 Consumer Trends data

DATA: DWP published 2020/21 Family Resources Survey

See the Chart of the Week below for more information.

DATA: DWP published Households Below Average Income statistics

The release comes with warnings about the impact of the pandemic on the collection of these statistics. It finds “there was a reduction in median household income between FYE 2020 and FYE 2021, both before housing costs (BHC) and after housing costs (AHC). The reduction represented a decrease in real terms of 1.7% (BHC) and 1.4% (AHC)”.

DATA: UK Finance published Q3 2021 postcode mortgage lending data

At the time of publication, the Excel file was not opening for us. Update at 10:41: it is now working.

DATA: DLUHC published data on council tax levels set by local authorities

The data shows “The average Band D council tax set by local authorities in England for 2022-23 will be £1,966, which is an increase of £67 or 3.5% on the 2021-22 figure of £1,898. This figure does not take into account the £150 council tax rebate being given to households in Bands A to D”. It is also interesting to note in relation to the national average that “The average area Band D council tax will be £1,684 across London”.

POLICY: DLUHC published draft legislation on social housing regulation

The release announces they will publicly shame failing social housing providers and launch a Resident Panel to enable tenants to raise complaints. They hope the “reforms will transform the experiences of residents by tightening regulation and holding landlords to account” along with aiming to half the number of non-decent homes by 2030.

REPORT: CIH published 30th edition of the UK Housing Review

The full report is available to CIH members but non-members can download the free executive summary.

REPORT: Resolution Foundation warn on living standards

They warn “The number of English households in ‘fuel stress’ will double from 2.5 to 5 million as a result of the price cap rising from today (Friday), with another 2.5 million households at risk in October if the price cap rises again to £2,500”.

REPORT(PDF): HBF published reported on nutrient neutrality

The report “quantifies the economic losses associated with the under-delivery of homes across the seven catchment areas that were chiefly affected by the nutrient issue prior to the Written Ministerial Statement of March 2022”.

Chart of the Week

DWP have published their latest Family Resources Survey covering 2020/21. Although the sample size (just over 10,000 households) was around half the normal levels, it is still a useful guide to households’ housing tenure and housing costs while we wait for the first 2021 Census releases. The survey covers the UK and the chart below highlights the variation in housing tenure across its constituent countries and English regions. It shows home ownership is lowest in London and the North East, and highest in Northern Ireland and the South East. These patterns suggest that homeownership rates are not simply determined by house prices and supply levels but depend on a number of other factors too.

Weekly Summary: 25th March 2022

DATA: Rightmove reported asking prices rose 10.4% in year to March 2022

The non-seasonally adjusted index reported its largest ever monthly rise for the month of March since 2004 and they report “the biggest mismatch between supply and demand for this time of year ever measured by Rightmove”.

DATA: ONS reported 9.6% annual rise in UK house prices in January

This was slightly lower than last month’s revised figure of 10%. Most English regions are reporting high rates of growth with London the exception at just 2.2%.

DATA: ONS reported high rates of consumer price inflation in February

The annual rate of inflation for CPIH was 5.5%, CPI was 6.2%, and RPI was 8.2%.

DATA: HMRC reported 112,240 residential transactions in February

The provisional data shows transactions were 13% higher than their pre-pandemic average despite being 21% lower than the same month in 2021. Comparisons to activity levels last year should be ignored due to the impact of the various stamp duty peaks and troughs.

DATA: ONS reported £15.3 billion in SDLT receipts during year to February

This is the highest amount of stamp duty land tax receipts in a twelve month period and reflects the high number of buyers still paying the tax despite the holiday last year.

DATA: ONS published housing affordability statistics for 2021

The data covering local authorities in England & Wales provides house price to earnings ratios. However, these figures do not reflect the financial position of actual buyers in the market as they tend to have higher incomes than average.

DATA: DLUHC published Q4 2021 planning applications

The release, covering England, includes Glenigan data estimating that 317,000 homes were granted planning permission in 2021, just 3% lower than the 2019 figure of 328,000.

POLICY: HM Treasury published Spring Statement

There was little news directly linked to housing but the failure to tackle the rising cost of living, especially for the lowest income households, is a major cause for concern.

REPORT: OBR published economic and fiscal outlook – March 2022

They “expect demand to ease over the next year due to the fall in real incomes and a rise in interest rates, causing house price inflation to slow to around 1 per cent by late 2023. Over the medium term, house price inflation picks up a little to around 3.2 per cent a year, matching the growth in nominal incomes”.

REPORT: Resolution Foundation published Spring Statement analysis

They warn “The stronger than expected recovery from the pandemic is about to be undermined by surging inflation” and “Immediate support has done little for the low- and middle- income households worst affected by the rising cost of living”.

REPORT(PDF): GLA reported on housing and race equality in London

The report finds that “on average, Black Londoners and those from most other minority ethnicity groups experience worse housing conditions, less tenure security, higher rates of housing need, worse affordability and lower wealth than White Londoners. This was already the case before the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, which is likely to have exacerbated many of these differences”.

REPORT: Centre for Cities mapped “30-minute city” case studies

They are to “help to visualise the public transport connectivity challenges faced by large UK cities” when compared to other cities in western Europe.

Chart of the Week

This week’s chart is a re-creation of Figure 5 from Resolution Foundation’s Spring Statement analysis. It highlights the underwhelming performance of real wages since the financial crisis with Resolution Foundation suggesting that “By 2027, real wages are set to have grown by just £18 a week since the financial crisis”. If real wages had continued to follow their pre-financial crisis trend they would be £240 a week higher. This chart serves as a reminder that amongst the many challenges facing the housing market and the ongoing debates about whether it’s the fault of planning or interest rates, the underlying economy is weak and real wage growth has been poor. Improving the health of the economy and the opportunities it creates for people is one of the most important factors in improving the state of the housing market, not least given current forecasts for what lies ahead.

Weekly Summary: 18th March 2022

DATA: DoF reported house prices in Northern Ireland rose 7.9% in 2021

See Chart of the Week for more detail on house prices in Northern Ireland.

DATA: ONS published UK labour market statistics

The latest release shows a continued recovery in the labour market with falling unemployment and rising numbers of payrolled employees. However, while nominal earnings are still rising, inflation-adjusted total pay grew just 0.1% over the last year while regular pay (excluding bonuses) fell 1% thanks to the rising cost of living.

DATA: BoE published Q1 2022 agents’ summary of business conditions

They reported “Demand in the housing market remained strong, in particular among first-time buyers, and outstripped the supply of available properties” and “house price inflation remained elevated in some areas, though contacts said there were early signs that house price growth may be slowing”. Meanwhile, “Demand for rental properties also outweighed supply, leading to continued upward pressure on rents”.

DATA: HM Treasury published independent forecasts, March 2022

The summary of independent forecasts for the UK economy shows house prices are predicted to rise in 2022 by 5.0% according to City based forecasters and 3.6% according to non-City based forecasters. Meanwhile, both groups expect real household disposable incomes to fall in 2022 (-1.2% and -0.7% respectively).

POLICY: DLUHC launched “Homes for Ukraine” scheme

The scheme asks sponsors to “provide homes or a spare room rent-free for as long as they are able, with a minimum stay of 6 months. In return, they will receive £350 per month.” There have been numerous concerns about this scheme and it does little to compensate for our woeful approach to Ukrainian refugees when compared to our European neighbours.

POLICY: BoE increased Bank Rate to 0.75%

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee voted by a majority of 8-1 to increase Bank Rate by 0.25 percentage points, to 0.75%.

REPORT: JRF reported on poverty in Northern Ireland

The report found that, as the country entered the pandemic: “nearly one-in-five people in Northern Ireland lived in poverty, including over 100,000 children”. Alongside other recommendations, they suggest building more energy efficient social housing and continuing the drive to regulate the private rented sector more effectively.

NEWS: CMA frees thousands of leaseholders from rising ground rents

They report “Fifteen businesses which had bought freeh­olds from housing developer Countryside have now given formal commitments – known as undertakings – to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to remove terms that cause ground rents to double in price”.

NEWS: Barclays published first time buyer index for 2021

The press release contains some interesting statistics on first time buyers with the survey suggesting that most first time buyers “start saving for their first property at the age of 24, whilst average age at completion is 32” and “More than half (56 per cent) of first time buyers are reliant on family support”.

Chart of the Week

House prices in Northern Ireland are rising rapidly – up 7.9% in 2021 – but prices are still well below (-29%) their previous nominal peak recorded in Q3 2007. Although prices are yet to reach these previous highs, this -29% figure can be misleading given the speed of the housing boom and bust in Northern Ireland. While those that bought at the very top of market may be waiting decades for their home’s value to recover, the rapid rise in house prices during 2006 and 2007 means that, on average, it is just those that bought between Q3 2006 and Q3 2008 that are yet to see their home’s value recover to previous levels. For example, those that bought in Q2 2006 – the early stages of the boom – have seen their home’s value recover and is now, on average, 11% higher than when it was bought.

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