Weekly Summary: 22nd June 2020

DATA: PAYE data from HMRC shows median monthly pay has fallen 4.3% since February

The data also shows the number of paid employees has fallen 2.2% since January but the data for May are early estimates so may be revised.

DATA: ONS data for SDLT receipts in May were 54% below last year’s level

Total receipts (for residential and commercial) for the first five months of 2020 are £1billion below the total for the equivalent period in 2019 reflecting the impact of the lockdown.

NEWS: Nationwide reduce maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio to 85%

The credit crunch continues with this change predominantly affecting first-time buyers.

NEWS: UK Finance reports 1.9 million mortgage payment holidays

They report that “One in six mortgages are now subject to a payment deferral”.

REPORT: LGA warns “100,000 social homes a year needed as part of COVID-19 recovery”

The report’s aspirations are welcome but a housebuilding boom driven by government investment in social rented homes is unlikely (though it is 2020 so anything is possible).

REPORT: Centre for Cities suggest “The UK should introduce a flexible zoning system to build more homes”

The planning system is not the sole cause of low housing delivery and low housing delivery is not the sole cause of the housing crisis. It is true that the current approach does not always lead to the best outcomes in terms of where housing is built, its type, its cost, and its quality. But the challenges in changing to a “flexible zoning system” will be great and come with significant risk. It is naïve to suggest implementing a zonal planning system will end the housing crisis as there will still be other un-tackled contributing factors remaining.

REPORT: Transport for New Homes warn the design of new Garden Villages & Towns is “condemning their residents to car-dependent lifestyles”

They suggest the “government should commission an urgent re-assessment of every one of the garden villages and towns in terms of funded sustainable transport”.

REPORT: NAO report 167 (37%) of high-rise buildings identified with unsafe ACM cladding have not begun remediation works as at April 2020

The report says identifying the building owners responsible for funding remediation work has been difficult due to complex ownership arrangements including overseas owners.

REPORT: NHF research on people’s experience of moving to Universal Credit finds significant financial harm caused by the five-week wait

The pre-COVID 19 research found “The vast majority of claimants did not have any money saved to live on over the five-week waiting period” and “There was a very high incidence of struggling to afford necessities following the claim”. The report recommends ending the five-week wait for money.

Chart of the Week

The coronavirus lockdown has led to considerable changes in how people are living and working. A survey by ONS shows 38% of people working during the survey period worked from home while a further 11% worked both from home and travelled to work. This is much higher than pre-lockdown and there is considerable debate about what the long term changes will be. You can watch BuiltPlace consultants Yolande Barnes and Brian Green discuss the future of home and work here.

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