Weekly Summary: 24th February 2023

DATA: Rightmove reported asking prices rose 3.9% in year to February

See Chart of the Week for more detail.

DATA: ONS reported SDLT receipts were 10.9% lower in January

Total Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) receipts on residential and commercial property were 10.9% lower in January 2023 compared to the same month last year.

DATA: HMRC reported transactions were 10.6% lower in January

The latest release shows the first estimate of transactions (based on a partial sample grossed up) was 2.6% lower than the previous month and 10.6% lower than January 2022.

DATA: ONS published UK housebuilding data, Q2 2022

Unfortunately this data is misleading as it undercounts the delivery of new homes.

POLICY: DLUHC announce plan to speed up major infrastructure projects

The Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects plan includes “Measures [that] will speed up delivery of off-shore wind, new transport links and other major infrastructure projects”.

POLICY: DLUHC consultation on HMO council tax valuation

The consultation seeks views on the way Homes in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) are valued for council tax and the “proposed changes to that process to ensure that HMOs are banded as one property and have one council tax band”.

REPORT: JRF reported on building a housing market that works for all

The report (by BuiltPlace members Toby, Rose, and Neal) highlights the impact of the current housing market downturn and the need for Government intervention to “both mitigate the worst impacts of a downturn and seize the political opportunity for lasting reform that a crisis creates”.

REPORT: Centre for Cities reported on the UK’s 4 million missing homes

Comparing net supply across European countries, they estimate that the UK has a “backlog of 4.3 million homes” that were never built. They suggest “Britain’s housing shortage began at the beginning of the post-war period, not at its conclusion” and inevitably that “Planning reform is the key to ending the housing shortage”.

REPORT: Policy Exchange reported on housebuilding and the economy

The report suggests “A key driver of the UK’s weak economic performance is the chronic shortage in housing supply” and “The planning system is the underpinning cause of the UK’s low-supply status quo in the housing market”.

REPORT: Citizens Advice reported on the damp, cold and mouldy PRS

The report finds that the private rented sector (PRS) “has widespread problems with damp, mould and cold” and “the average tenant is facing annual energy bills that are £350 more expensive due to poor insulation”.

REPORT: Localis report proposed “Public Rental Homes”

Their proposed model “flips the present private sector appraisal methodology”. It suggests asking “what percentage of private homes must be provided in order to produce the size and type of public rental homes those on our waiting lists can afford?”.

REPORT: ONS reported on the impact of the cost of living crisis

Their analysis found “more than half (55%) of renters reported being unable to afford an unexpected, but necessary, expense of £850, compared with 12% of outright homeowners”, “adults aged 25 to 34 years had the highest odds of experiencing some form of financial vulnerability”, and “adults who pay for their gas or electricity through prepayment meters were almost twice as likely to report using credit more than usual, through things such as credit cards and loans”.

REPORT: ONS reported on the cost of living and higher educations students

Their analysis found “More than 9 in 10 (91%) students were either somewhat or very worried about the rising cost of living”, “More than three-quarters (78%) of students were concerned that the rising cost of living may affect how well they do in their studies”, and “Around 46% of students reported their mental health and well-being had worsened since the start of the autumn term 2022”.

REPORT: Schroders reported on 175 years of housing data

The analysis looks at what “we’ve learned from nearly 200 years of housing data” and suggests global equities have been a better investment than property over the last 25 years – though it doesn’t appear to include the effect of leverage.

COPORATE: Lloyds published full year results

They report “Mortgage balances £311bn, up £3.7bn in 2022” and expect modest growth in 2023. They state “Mortgage lending remains attractive from a returns and economic value perspective” but “>200k mortgage customers offered support given rising rates”. They forecast Base rate to peak in Q1 and “After recent strong house price growth, expect a fall of c.7% in 2023; peak to trough fall c.12%”

COPORATE: Springfield Properties published interim results

The Scottish housebuilder reports “PRS plans withdrawn following Scottish Government intervention in rent control” and “Land buying stalled across the industry rendering terms and prices for land sales unfavourable” but “Selling prices remaining stable” and “Private reservations increasing through Q1 of calendar year”.

Chart of the Week

This week, Rightmove published their latest UK asking price index (PDF). The data covering properties put on the market in the month to 11th February showed the annual change had slowed to 3.9% from 6.3% the previous month. However, the reported monthly change was 0.0% – no change. Unfortunately the Rightmove index is not seasonally adjusted and so our Chart of the Week puts this 0% change in context. It shows asking prices are highly seasonal with prices always rising during this period. The no change result is therefore the lowest ever figure for the index in this period. 

However, they also report “the number of people contacting agents is up by 11% in the last two weeks compared with the same period in 2019’s more normal market” and “The number of sales agreed continues to rebound, and is now just 11% down on 2019’s levels”.

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