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.

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