Weekly Summary: 9th April 2021

DATA: Halifax reported slightly faster house price rises in March

They reported an annual change of 6.5%, higher than the 5.2% reported in February.

DATA: Nationwide reported slightly slower house price rises in March

They reported an annual change of 5.7%, lower than the 6.9% reported in February.

DATA: Bank of England reported a 10% fall in mortgage approvals in Feb

Despite the 10% monthly fall in number of mortgage approvals for house purchase, there were still 20% more approvals for house purchase than the same month in 2020. Approvals for remortgaging are still 34% lower than last year.

DATA: Bank of England reported a fall in mortgage rates in March

Quoted rates across all loan-to-value ratios fell in March with the exception of those at 95% LTV which, at 4.14%, remain near their pandemic high.

DATA: HMRC reported 2019-20 Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings stats

ATED is an “annually recurring tax on UK residential dwellings which are held in a ‘corporate envelope’ (e.g. a company)”. They reported total ATED receipts were £128m, down 8%.

DATA: MHCLG reported on Energy Performance Certificates in Q4 2020

The data is a useful leading indicator for new housing supply and reported 216,577 EPCs on new build dwellings in 2020. The data has been delayed in recent quarters as MHCLG have taken control of the database. A further update is expected at the end of April.

DATA: RICS residential market survey reported rise in sales market activity

The survey reported “Buyer enquiries and agreed sales gain significant impetus following stamp duty holiday extension” and “House prices continue to move higher across the UK”.

POLICY: Government announces “package of measures to revitalise England’s cherished high streets and town centres”

They include a new planning law that “enables unused commercial buildings to be changed into homes” and introduces “a new fast track for extending public service buildings”.

POLICY: Government response to First Homes proposals and Small Sites exception for affordable housing

Alongside the government’s response to the consultation of First Homes was the news that the they will not be extending the affordable housing exemption to larger sites (40-50 homes). This is not surprising given the robust recovery of the housing market.

POLICY: National welcome for Hong Kong arrivals

MHCLG have set out a package of support for British National (Overseas) families moving to the UK from Hong Kong. The release notes that “As of 19 March 2021, approximately 27,000 BN(O) status holders and their family members have applied for a visa since January” with around 123,000 to 153,000 expected in the first year.

REPORT: Lichfields on On/Off Site Affordable Housing Delivery

The report investigates off-site affordable housing provisions in Local Plans and the advantages/disadvantages of off-site delivery.

REPORT: LSE on “The Pandemic and the housing market: a British story”

The report makes use of HM Land Registry data to look at the impact of the pandemic on the housing market. Unfortunately, it appears the researchers are not aware that the longer lag in sales being registered during the pandemic makes it difficult to do meaningful analysis using this data and it appears they have failed to factor this into their findings.

Chart of the Week

This week’s chart looks at the distribution of prices for homes sold during 2020. As noted above, this data is still not complete but offers a reasonable sample when considered across the whole year. It highlights how much more expensive London house prices are when compared to even to the South East, the next most expensive region. For example, around 1/3rd of sales in London were under £400,000 while this covered nearly 2/3rds in the South East. Meanwhile, 95% of sales in the North East were for £400,000 or less.

Weekly Summary: 26th March 2021

DATA: ONS reported 7.5% annual rise in UK house price in January

The annual growth rate was slightly lower than the 8.0% reported last month but has not fallen significantly, as seen in the indices based on earlier points in the purchase process.

DATA: Zoopla reported 4.1% annual rise in UK house prices in February

The Zoopla index tends to track the ONS index but there has been a divergence in recent months. It will be interesting to see if there are any revisions in coming months.

DATA: HMRC reported 147,000 residential transactions in February

The 23% monthly rise increased transactions to their highest level since March 2016 (when the 3% additional SDLT rate was introduced). This reflects the rush to beat the March SDLT deadline before it was extended. It will be interesting to see what happened in March given the late extension and it’s also important to note that these figures are subject to revision.

DATA: ONS reported labour market statistics

The data showed small increases in payrolled employees in February and small rise in the unemployment rate to 5.0%. The release also included data and analysis of HMRC PAYE data on payrolled employees by nationality.

DATA: ONS released house price statistics for small areas

The release contains a wealth of house price data including prices by property type, median, lower quartile down to lower super output area geographies.

DATA: ONS released housing affordability in England & Wales: 2020

This release contains data on house price to earnings ratios by local authority.

REPORT: DWP released Family Resources Survey 2019-20

The survey provides “information on income and circumstances of UK households” including housing tenure and housing expenditure.

REPORT: House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee report on the Energy Efficiency of Existing Homes

The report highlights the need to improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock and the failure of Government schemes to adequately address this issue.

Chart of the Week

This week has seen a lot of attention on the very high number of transactions in February as reported by HMRC. This is a temporary issue as buyers rushed to beat what they thought was a March SDLT holiday deadline. Instead, the bigger issue in recent years has been very low levels of housing stock turnover. This problem is highlighted by data from the Family Resources Survey which shows that just 4% of owner occupiers have moved home per annum over the last few years while over 60% last moved home more than ten years ago. These rates as much lower than seen in the 1980s and 1990s, and have important consequences for the future of the housing market.

Weekly Summary: 19th March 2021

DATA: Rightmove reported a 2.7% annual rise in asking prices in March

Annual growth has fallen in recent months though this is partly due to price growth in early 2020. They reported sales agreed were 12% higher in the first week of March compared to last year and “Early signs that more owners are now deciding to market their properties”.

DATA: MHCLG reported building control housebuilding data for Q4 2020

The quarterly data showed a continued recovery with housebuilding starts 24% higher than one year ago and completions 6% higher over the same period. Care should be taken when using the absolute numbers in this series due to an undercount. We prefer to use the index.

DATA: ONS reported Stamp Duty Land Tax receipts of £832 million in Feb

The figures cover residential and commercial property and were just 4.5% lower than the same month last year despite the stamp duty holiday.

DATA: ONS published Family Spending 2019/20 data release

The release shows weekly household expenditure prior to the pandemic. See Chart of the Week for more detail on households’ spending on housing.

DATA: GLA launched Planning London Datahub

The database provides a “single open data set of development proposals in the planning process” and it “holds detailed information on planning applications, permissions, commencements and completions in Greater London”.

POLICY: Scottish Government released “Housing to 2040” strategy

The document sets out a “Route Map” for housing in Scotland including the aim for “everyone to have a safe, high-quality home that is affordable and meets their needs in the place they want to be”.

NEWS: HBF reported improvement in housebuilders’ customer satisfaction

The survey showed a continued improvement in customer satisfaction with 91% willing to recommend their builder to a friend, up from 84% in 2016. However, it’s worth bearing in mind the Persimmon Independent Review (PDF) that stated the HBF’s “star rating is a measure of quality as perceived by the customer shortly after completion, rather than a measure of the true quality and safety of the build”.

NEWS: CMA requires housebuilders to remove leasehold terms

They are “requiring Countryside and Taylor Wimpey to remove certain contract terms that mean leaseholders have to pay ground rents that double every 10 or 15 years”.

Chart of the Week

Today’s chart shows spending on rent by renters and mortgages by owners split by income decile from the ONS Family Spending data. The key trends are the importance of housing benefit (and other allowances) in reducing gross rent down to a more affordable level for renters in the lowest deciles, and the greater spending on rents compared to mortgages for those in higher income deciles – though the data doesn’t allow us to ascertain whether this is by choice or necessity. A further interesting point not shown by the chart is the tenure mix by income: 80% of households in the lowest five income deciles are renters compared to just 32% in the top five income deciles.

Weekly Summary: 12th March 2021

DATA: ONS reported a 2.9% monthly fall in GDP during January

A fall was expected given lockdown and resulted in GDP 9.2% lower than January last year.

DATA: BoE/FCA reported Q4 2020 Mortgage Lenders & Administrator stats

Check out our Digging Deeper slide deck and Chart of the Week below for more info.

DATA: BuiltPlace calculated Q4 mortgage advances by buyer type

In the absence of public data on mortgage activity by buyer type, we have calculated our own quarterly series using MLAR and regulated mortgage survey data released by ONS. The full methodology and data series is available here. The data shows a strong recovery during Q4 2020 in the number of mortgage advances to both first time buyers and home movers.

DATA: RICS released their February Residential Market Survey

Their release showed that “Lockdown still weighing on sales market activity somewhat, but forward looking indicators improve”. It also reported rent expectations turned positive in London though tenant demand is still slightly negative.

POLICY: MHCLG announced an extension to the eviction ban

The announcement stated “Six-month notice periods and bailiff enforced eviction ban extended to 31 May to protect residential tenants”.

POLICY: MHCLG release Levelling Up Fund methodology

The methodology ignores measures of deprivation and appears to be weighted towards rural areas in England given its focus on productivity and travel times.

NEWS: Zoopla press release on the “most affordable areas for buyers”

The press release identifies “affordable” areas on the basis of low house price to earnings ratios and is an unfortunate reminder that in some parts of the country the housing crisis is actually an economic crisis thanks to a lack of opportunities and insecure employment.

NEWS: Rightmove report surging rental searches in central London

The press release suggests rental price falls are now leading to increases in search activity.

NEWS: Estate Agents revise house price forecasts

Both Knight Frank and Savills have released updated house price forecasts following the Budget last week. Knight Frank are now predicting a 5% rise in UK house prices in 2021 with a 24% rise over five years. Savills are predicting a 4% rise this year and 21% over five years. This has been a busy twelve months for forecasters with numerous revisions.

Chart of the Week

The latest Mortgage Lenders and Administrators data from the FCA and Bank of England provides a useful summary of activity in the mortgage market. This includes the chart below showing the value of mortgages advances by purpose of loan. The impact of the lockdown in Q2 2020 is clear with advances to first time buyers and mortgaged movers falling by around 45% compared to a year earlier. However, more recent data shows a strong recovery in Q4 with first time buyer advances 18% higher than a year ago and mortgaged movers 35% higher. Meanwhile, advances to buy to let buyers didn’t fall quite so far during lockdown but were still 6% lower than a year ago in Q4. With big increases in home buying activity, remortgage activity was 34% lower in Q4 2020 when compared to Q4 2019.

Weekly Summary: 5th March 2021

DATA: Nationwide reported 6.9% annual rise in UK house prices in Feb

The 0.7% monthly rise increased the annual rate of change to 6.9% from 6.4%, though it’s still slightly lower than the 7.3% annual growth reported in December.

DATA: Halifax reported a 5.2% annual rise in UK house prices in Feb

The annual growth rate slowed from 5.4% in January thanks to a 0.1% monthly fall.

DATA: BoE reported 98,994 mortgage approvals for house purchase in Jan

The number of mortgage approvals for house purchase was slightly lower (-3.7%) than the previous month but was still 40% higher than the same month last year.

DATA: Bank of England reported falls in quoted mortgage rates in Feb

Quoted mortgage rates fell across all loan-to-value (LTV) ratios but the biggest fall was for 75-90% LTVs. Mortgage rates on 95% LTV mortgages have only fallen slightly since Dec.

POLICY: 2021 Budget housing announcements

There were no surprises in the two major housing related announcements in the Budget. Both the Mortgage Guarantee scheme and the extension to the stamp duty holiday were well known before the Chancellor stood up. There was a disappointing lack of announcements to help those people excluded from the housing market. Check out the IFS and Resolution Foundation reports for more information on the other announcements.

REPORT: OBR revise house price forecasts

Alongside the Budget, the OBR published its latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook including a large revision to their house price forecast. Back in November, the OBR had forecast house prices to fall 8.3% in 2021 but now forecast a 0.2% rise with a 1.0% fall in 2022. Their transaction forecast is relatively unchanged with 1.3 million in each of the next five years.

POLICY: GLA publishes Mayor’s London Plan 2021

The strategic planning document sets an annual target of 52,000 net new homes, well below the 93,500 set out in MHCLG’s December update of Indicative Local Housing Need. The GLA target is based on capacity for 40,000 to be delivered via sites identified in the 2017 Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) and 12,000 through small site windfalls. The plan has a target for 50% of all new homes to be “genuinely affordable”.

REPORT: Molior report on “Who buys new homes in London?”

The fascinating report, just published by the GLA, looks at the profile of buyers in 2019. It highlights three interesting trends: the internationalisation of London’s residential development market since 2008; the impact of Help to Buy: Equity Loan on sales in outer London; and the increasing professionalisation of PRS buyers over the last six years.

REPORT: Centre for Ageing Better report on housing quality

The report looks at the housing experiences of people aged 50 to 70 living in poor quality homes. It warns that “Emotional attachment often prevents people from being realistic about the problems that exist in their home” and “People in this age group can be reluctant to think ahead” while “Many do not have the finances available” to make changes.

REPORT: Crisis release The Homelessness Monitor: England 2021

The report provides a wealth of information on the state of homelessness in England. It highlights the effect temporary measures have had in preventing homelessness during the pandemic but warns of a rise when evictions restart and unemployment rises.

REPORT: UK Finance release Q4 2020 Household Finance Review

The report provides a summary of household finances. See Chart of the Week for more.

Chart of the Week

Despite the lockdown, residential transactions were just 11% lower in 2020 than the year before thanks to the boom at the end of the year. The latest UK Finance report provides us with useful data so we can see the change in type of buyers over the last year. At first glance of the chart below, the proportion of buyers appears relatively static with only a small fall in first time buyers and rise in mortgaged movers. This may be surprising given the credit crunch affecting high loan to value mortgage but we’ve seen some first time buyer activity supported by Help to Buy: Equity Loan and a shift to higher income borrowers with larger deposits. The government will hope its Mortgage Guarantee scheme will solve the credit crunch but it is unlikely to solve the longer-term challenges facing Generation Rent.

Weekly Summary: 26th February 2021

DATA: HMRC reported slightly lower transactions in January

Despite the small monthly fall (-2.4%), the number of residential transactions in January was 24% higher than the same month a year ago.

DATA: Zoopla reported 4.3% annual rise in house prices in January

While Zoopla have reported higher growth rates in recent months, their index is no longer closely tracking the ONS index which has rocketed ahead. It will be interesting to see which is more heavily revised in coming months – we suspect it will be the ONS index.

DATA: ONS reported their latest labour market statistics

They reported a small increase in number of payroll employees, a slight increase in the unemployment rate (5.1%), a Claimant Count of 2.6 million in January, and very high wage inflation though this may reflect fewer younger, lower earning employees starting work.


MHCLG social housing sales, MHCLG LA housing statistics data returns, MHCLG rough sleeping snapshot, RSH RP social housing stock and rents. RSH LA social housing stock and rents, Home Office immigration statistics, ONS population and demographic analysis of towns.

POLICY: Possible Stamp Duty holiday extension reported in the press

It has been reported in the press that the Chancellor will announce the extension of the holiday till the end of June at next week’s Budget. This would be a longer period than appropriate and will simply delay the cliff edge effect expected at the end of the holiday.

REPORT: GLA release analysis of housing floorspace per person

The report shows the amount of floorspace per person rose between 1996 and 2018 but with a large rise for owner occupiers and fall for private renters. The report also highlights the link between housing costs and space per person across England and London.

REPORT: Archbishops’ Commission releases “Coming Home” report

The proposed review of Church Commissioners land should include a commitment to transparency by making their land ownership data (directly & options) publicly available.

REPORT: PAC report on “Managing flood risk”

The report suggests there are still plans to build houses on flood plains and the Environment Agency is concerned about surface level flooding, particularly in urban areas.

Chart of the Week

If you’re looking for transaction numbers you might be tempted to use the sales data published alongside the ONS index here. You’ll end up with a large spreadsheet containing what appears to be monthly sales data by geography. And this is what it is for everywhere except Northern Ireland.

When you look closely at the sales data for Northern Ireland, you’ll see that it’s the same figure for the three months in each quarter. This is because the index data is based on Department of Finance data which is only published quarterly. Unfortunately, it means that if you attempt to use the data as monthly totals, you’ll end up with a number that is three times larger than the actual number of transactions. There’s no warning about the issue and there’s a danger than when you add together the constituent country totals to get a UK figure, you’ll end up with too many transactions. Exactly as ONS/Land Registry have done in their data

Weekly Summary: 19th February 2021

DATA: Rightmove report a 3% annual rise in asking prices in February

The annual rate of change has fallen from 6.3% in December though this partly reflects faster growth in early 2020 and fewer family homes being listed during lockdown.

DATA: ONS report an 8.5% annual rise in house prices in 2020

The high growth rate reflects the sales agreed since the summer boom reaching completion though this figure could be revised in the future (see Chart of the Week for more detail).

DATA: MHCLG report a strong recovery in H2B equity loan completions

The completions data for Q3 2020 showed total completions and those by first time buyers were well above the same quarter in 2019 (11% & 14% respectively). However, the recovery in London completions was weaker with similar completions to Q3 2019.

DATA: ONS report lower stamp duty land tax (SDLT) receipts in January

Total SDLT receipts were 51% lower than in December and 24% lower than Jan 2020. This fall may be due to the SDLT holiday but could also reflect sales struggling to complete.

DATA: BEIS report Green Homes Grant voucher statistics

The underwhelming data and news reports the scheme will end in March are, unfortunately, unsurprising. This policy was compromised from the start by poor timing and a lack of attention to detail that limited its capacity to deliver.

POLICY: Housing Secretary announces extension to ban on bailiff evictions

The ban to protect renters is extended by six weeks and is now due to end on 31st March.

POLICY: MHCLG announces Oxford-Cambridge Arc spatial framework plan

The results of the plan are due in 2022.

REPORT: Policy Exchange release “Strong Suburbs” report

They propose “street plans” to allow residents to increase the density of housing on their street which would lead to more housing and create wealth for existing owners. The report provides lots of detail on how the policy could work but not enough on important issues such as where the capital investment comes from, who actually benefits from the process (landlords?), the implications of adding hope value to large numbers of existing homes, and an assessment of the environmental impact that includes embodied energy.

REPORT: Resolution Foundation report on rental arrears

They report “9 per cent of families in the social rented sector were behind with their housing payments in January 2021, alongside 6 per cent of those renting privately and 2 per cent of mortgaged home owners”. These percentages equate to over 750,000 families.

Chart of the Week

Last month’s ONS house price data for London was surprising, with annual growth of 9.7% despite widespread reports of the challenges facing the capital’s housing market. The latest release has now revised this figure down to 7% and annual growth for the latest month has fallen to 3.5%.

This volatility reflects a few of the challenges we currently face when trying to understand what is happening in the housing market. For example, a longer Land Reg Lag is leading to larger revisions (see Digging Deeper) and, as we highlighted a couple of weeks ago, last year’s volatility will lead to more volatility in annual change measures this year.

Weekly Summary: 12th February 2021

DATA: ONS reported GDP for the whole of 2020 was 9.9% lower than 2019

Meanwhile, monthly GDP data shows the economy in December was 6.5% smaller than 12 months ago though both these figures are likely to be revised in the future.

DATA: MoJ reported Q4 2020 mortgage & landlord possessions data

Mortgage possession workload remains very low but there was a slight increase in landlord possession actions, albeit still at much lower levels than normal.

DATA: UK Finance reported Q4 2020 mortgage arrears and possessions

Mortgage arrears (over 2.5% of balance) increased in Q4 with owner occupier arrears 9% higher than one year ago and BTL arrears 33% higher. Arrears as a % of outstanding mortgages are rising but still well below the rates seen in previous housing crashes.

DATA: Zoopla reported an 8.3% annual fall in London rents in Q4 2020

UK rents excluding London rose 2.3% in 2020. Zoopla reported rental falls in some large cities but rising rents in their suburbs due to the “race for space”.

REPORT: RICS release January 2021 residential market survey

They report: “Sales market activity softens over the month amid third national lockdown.”

REPORT: FCA release Financial Lives 2020 survey

The report summarising their Feb 2020 survey and Oct panel survey provides a useful and concerning look at consumers’ financial situation before and during the pandemic.

REPORT: Policy Exchange release report on demand side policies

The report suggests better demand side policies are required and “there needs to be a shift away from direct interventions such as help to buy or temporary freezes in stamp duty.”

POLICY: Housing Secretary hopes to “bring an end to unsafe cladding with multi-billion pound intervention”

Unfortunately, the plan only tackles unsafe cladding and ignores other building safety issues, leaves many leaseholds with homes in negative equity, and fails to recognise the government’s role in the regulatory failure that led to this terrible situation.

POLICY: MHCLG publish evaluation of Voluntary Right to Buy pilot

The report estimated the national propensity to buy was 6.3% which would equate to around 16,000 tenants if there was no ballot process to constrain demand.

NEWS: Homes England extend Help to Buy equity loan deadline

The new deadline for completion is the 31st May (previously 31st March).

Chart of the Week

The number of outstanding owner occupier mortgages has fallen to a level last seen in 1988/89. The Chart of the Week opposite highlights the decline in mortgaged owner occupation since the early 2000s. The decline had slowed in recent years and there was a small rise in 2019 but this has been undone by a larger fall in 2020. Meanwhile, the total number of outstanding mortgages is around 1999 levels thanks to an increase in BTL mortgages. This could mark the low point in owner occupier mortgage numbers if first time buyer numbers continue at recent levels.

Weekly Summary: 5th February 2021

DATA: Halifax report annual house price rise of 5.4% in Jan 2021

This was slightly lower than the 6% reported in December.

DATA: Nationwide report annual house price rise of 6.4% in Jan 2021

This was slightly lower than last month (7.3%) and see Chart of the Week for more info.

DATA: BoE report high number of mortgage approval for house purchase

Though December’s number were slightly lower than last month, they were still 54% higher than the same month last year. Approvals for purchase remain 30% lower than last year.

DATA: BoE data show a slight fall in high LTV mortgage rates

Despite the fall in rates, they are still much higher then before the pandemic.

DATA: HMRC data shows faster recovery in transactions above £500k

Data on the number of transactions by SDLT band show that, while they are a much smaller proportion of total numbers, higher priced properties have seen a stronger recovery in transaction numbers than those under £500,000.

POLICY: MHCLG publish draft national design code

They suggest “Local communities will be at the heart of plans to make sure that new developments in their area are beautiful and well-designed.”

POLICY: Scottish government ends Help to Buy

The decision, along with a cut of their Affordable Housing Supply Programme, is blamed on national budget cuts.

REPORT: Bank of England release latest Monetary Policy Report

They report: “The outlook for the economy remains unusually uncertain. It depends on the evolution of the pandemic, measures taken to protect public health, and how households, businesses and financial markets respond to these developments.”.

Chart of the Week

House price indices reported very high price growth towards the end of 2020 but more recent releases have suggested slightly slower rates of growth in 2021. While this may partly reflect the dynamics of the housing market as it approaches the end of the SDLT holiday, there is another contributing factor: what was happening to prices last year.

The Rightmove index is an extreme example of this with annual growth falling from 6.6% in Dec 2020 to 3.3% in Jan 2021. The chart below shows actual Rightmove prices compared to what they were 12 months ago. The annual change is represented by the gap between the two. The reported fall in annual growth is due to the gap getting smaller but it is clear this was mostly due to a large monthly rise in prices 12 months ago and only a small monthly fall in Jan 2021. Therefore, the fall in Rightmove’s annual growth from 6.6% to 3.3% is mostly due to what happened in Jan 2020 rather than Jan 2021. This statistical issue could be an important one to keep track thanks to last year’s volatile housing market.

Weekly Summary: 29th January 2021

DATA: Zoopla report UK house prices rose 4.3% in 2020

This result is lower than the 7-8% growth reported in other indices. They also reported sales agreed were 8% higher than last year but the number of new homes coming onto the market was 12% lower. The exception was London with an increase in flats being listed.

DATA: ONS statistics show continued weakness in the job market

The data highlights the economic impact of the pandemic with rising unemployment, hours worked improving but still lower than last year, redundancies high but lower than September, potential turning point in the fall in number of payroll employees, continued high claimant count, slowing recovery in job vacancies, and rising wages due to a fall in lower-paid jobs.

DATA: Rightmove report 6.4% annual fall in London rents in Q4 2020

Although national rents rose 3.7% in 2020, there were large falls in city centre rents. Inner London saw rents fall by 12.4% over the year while rents in Edinburgh fell 10.0%, rents in Manchester fell 5.3%, and rents in Birmingham fell 4.6%.

DATA: MHCLG delay release of Energy Performance Certificate statistics

The data for Q3 & Q4 2020 was due to be released yesterday (28th) but has been delayed until May. This is because MHCLG have brought the database inhouse and require more time to make the transition. Hopefully this includes adding UPRNs to data.

DATA: HESA release higher education student data for 2019/20

Although the data is for the previous academic year so doesn’t tell us what has happened this year, it provides useful data on the number of students, their characteristics, where they are from and what they are studying. 

REPORT: Knight Frank report greenfield land values fell 6.7% in 2020

They report “Despite some challenging headwinds, there is a weight of capital looking for opportunities to buy land and open more sites”.

REPORT: Savills report greenfield land values fell 0.6% in 2020

They report “Land values have remained robust with increasing demand levels, but there is an eye to risk management”.

NEWS: Halifax release a wealth of information on first-time buyers in 2020

The data is based partly on industry wide information from UK Finance and their own estimates for the last couple of months. It shows the number of first-time buyers fell 13% in 2020 but did not fall in their share of total transactions. See Chart of the Week for more.

Chart of the Week

A press release from Halifax suggests that although the number of mortgaged first-time buyers fell in 2020, they maintained their share of total purchases. This is despite the ongoing the credit crunch which has significantly increased the deposit required to become a first-time buyer as the chart opposite shows.

This suggests that continued first-time buyer activity is currently being supported by a large shift to higher income and wealthier cohorts. That’s in addition to the same but more gradual long-term trend. It raises the question of how long this level of first-time buyer activity can be sustained and suggests that, once we emerge from the pandemic, there will be ever larger numbers of frustrated young people.