Weekly Summary: 24th November 2023

DATA: ONS reported SDLT receipts of £1.2 billion in October

The data covers stamp duty land tax receipts for both residential and commercial property and was 16% lower than the same month last year.

DATA: ONS published 2022 population estimates for England & Wales

They estimate the population of England & Wales increased by 578,000 people in the year to mid-2022,  driven largely by net international migration of 541,000 people. Alongside this release, ONS also published rebased population estimates for the period 2012-2021.

DATA: ONS published long-term international migration data to June 2023

They report “The provisional estimate of total long-term immigration for year ending (YE) June 2023 was 1.2 million, while emigration was 508,000, meaning that net migration was 672,000”. ONS also published analysis on international student migration and estimating international migration for the period 2012-21.

DATA: Home Office published quarterly immigration system statistics

The latest release finds “There were an estimated 129 million passenger arrivals from outside the Common Travel Area (CTA) in the year ending September 2023 (including returning UK residents)”. This was a 35% increase on the same period last year. The release also shows number of visas issued during the year to September 2023 was 30% higher than the same period last year and provides details on the different types of visa.

DATA: ONS published business demography data for 2022

The data shows 2022 was the first year that “the business death rate has exceeded the business birth rate since 2010”. Separate ad hoc data on businesses involved in the construction of domestic buildings shows a sizeable increase in the number of small active enterprises (employment size band of 0-9). The number of these enterprises rose from 29,470 in 2011 to 59,170 in 2021. Meanwhile, the number of enterprises with higher employment only increased from 2,565 to 2,685. This might suggest de-risking in the construction sector with greater use of subcontracting to smaller firms. Also please note that this data doesn’t tell us anything about SME housebuilders.

DATA: ONS published Private Rental Market in London data

The release provides similar data to the regular national release but also covers postcode districts.

DATA: Scottish Government published Short Term Lets Licensing Statistics

The release provides data on the number of licence applications received, granted, and pending up to 30th June 2023.

POLICY: HM Treasury published Autumn Statement

The statement included the announcement that “In April 2024, LHA rates in Great Britain will be raised to the 30th percentile of local market rents”, the extension of the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme to June 2025, and “a consultation on a new Permitted Development Right for subdividing houses into two flats without changing the façade”. Plenty of organisations have published their take on including Resolution Foundation and the IFS.

REPORT: OBR published Economic and fiscal outlook – November 2023

See Chart of the Week for more detail on their housing market forecasts.

REPORT: NEF reported on Reforming Property Tax

They report tax reform is an important tool to fix the housing market and dampen further property speculation. They suggest “It can close loopholes, raise revenue to invest in more social homes, and shape behaviour to achieve wider policy objectives, such as increasing the volume of homes that are of secure tenure (homes for social rent and owner occupation)”.

REPORT: HBF published “Firmer Foundations” policy wish list

Their ten points included using existing housing stock rather than household projections as the baseline for the Standard Method and abolishing stamp duty for homes with an EPC rating of B or above. I didn’t spot them asking for a new version of Help to Buy though perhaps it is wrapped up in the roundtable on green/energy efficient mortgages point.

REPORT: RTPI reported on planning resources in Wales

It “explores the ways in which existing resources in the planning system in Wales can be used as efficiently and effectively as possible”.

BLOG: Bank Underground on why lower prices could lead to higher rates

They model possible changes in loan-to-value ratios under a 10% house price fall and suggest an “additional 350,000 mortgagors could be pushed above an LTV of 75%”. They note that if the spread on high loan-to-value mortgages rose by 100 basis points then this could “increase their annual repayments by an extra £2,000 on average”.

CORPORATE: Grainger published Final Results

They report “Occupancy in our PRS portfolio remains at an all-time high of 98.6%. Like-for-like rental growth is also strong at 8.0% for our PRS portfolio, in line with wage inflation, split between 9.2% on new lets and 7.2% on renewals”.

Chart of the Week

Alongside the Autumn Statement, the OBR published their latest Economic and fiscal outlook. This document includes details on their forecasts for the housing market including house prices (shown below). Their latest forecast predicts prices to fall -4.7% in 2024 and a total peak to trough fall from Q4 2022 to Q4 2024 of -7.6%. This a slightly slower correction and recovery than forecast last year (as per chart). On transactions, they forecast 1 million transactions this year, falling to 933,000 next year and 987,000 in 2025, before recovering to 1.1 million in 2026. On housebuilding, they forecast completions by private enterprises (a flawed measure) to fall by around 30% from current levels.

BuiltPlace® is a registered trademark of Residential Analysts Ltd

37 Great Pulteney Street, Bath, Avon, United Kingdom, BA2 4DA

Company number 10502989