Weekly Summary: 28th May 2021

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

The annual growth rate in London was just 1.9% compared to 5.4% in Yorkshire and Humber. They also forecast the number of sales to reach 1.5 million in 2021 with a total value of £461 billion, 68% higher than the value transaction in 2019.

DATA: ONS reported a 14% monthly fall in SDLT receipts in April

The monthly fall was expected given the very high value of receipts in March and was similar to total receipts in April 2019, despite the ongoing stamp duty holiday.

DATA: Home Office reported visa statistics for the year to March 2021

The data showed a 37% fall in work-related visas compared to the previous year. The data also reported a 16% fall in Sponsored study visas and 13% fall in family visas and permits over the same period. See the Chart of the Week for more on student visa numbers.

POLICY: MHCLG provide further detail on First Homes

It is still not clear how successful the First Homes policy will be, with shared ownership perhaps the best comparison, and there are still concerns about its impact on the delivery of other affordable housing tenures.

REPORT: Regulator of Social Housing reported the “Social housing sector in good financial health despite pandemic challenges”

They report that in Q1 2021“4,453 affordable home ownership (AHO) units were developed and 4,555 were sold” which reduced the number of unsold homes to 7,369. They also reported “1,560 market sale units were developed and 1,684 were sold; the highest number of sales recorded since the data was first collected in 2014”. This reduced the number of unsold market sale homes to 1,901 in March.

REPORT: GLA reported on London population change due to the pandemic

The report concludes that it is “still too early to reliably quantify post-pandemic population change” but “it is hard not to conclude that the population of London is likely to have fallen since the start of the pandemic”. However they warn the scale of the fall is likely to be less than suggested in other analysis and the speed and size of the recovery is more important.

REPORT: Shelter reported on “the housing emergency”

They report that 17.5 million people are affected by it due to “living  in overcrowded, dangerous, unstable or unaffordable housing”. They conclude by calling for the government to commit to building at least 90,000 social homes per year.

Chart of the Week

Home Office data showed the total number of Sponsored study visas granted in the year to March 2021 was 16% lower than the previous year. However, there was considerable variation by nationality. Chinese nationals were still the largest number but were 26% lower than last year. Meanwhile, the number of Indian nationals granted visas was 13% higher than last year and continues to recover back to numbers last seen in 2010.