Weekly Summary: 28th September 2020

DATA: Zoopla report house prices rose 2.6% in year to August 2020

They report the “Ongoing supply/demand imbalance supports headline growth rate” and note that, unsurprisingly given the mortgage crunch, there is a “Gap opening up in relative strength of demand between existing homeowners and first-time buyers”.

DATA: HMRC report 81,000 UK residential transactions in August

Transactions were 16% higher than the previous month but were still 16% below August 2019 levels. The high numbers of sales subject to contract reported over the summer should start to feed through to the transaction data over the next three months.

REPORT: ONS report on the energy efficiency of housing

Using Energy Performance Certificate data, they present a number of findings including that “new dwellings are more energy efficient than existing dwellings” though there has been no improvement to the median rating for both types in recent years.

REPORT: Centre for Ageing Better report “Millions in cold and damp homes could be at greater risk of COVID-19 this winter”

The report highlights that “Poor-quality housing has a profound impact on health” while the “COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and amplified housing-related health inequalities”. It also suggests that “Interventions to improve housing quality, both in and outside of the home can be a highly cost-effective means of improving health outcomes”.

REPORT: Affordable Housing Commission calls for “National Housing Conversion Fund to buy-up private housing for social rent

They suggest it would help “not only on the urgent need to increase social and affordable housing and rebalance the housing system, but also as a quick and cost effective way of supporting the economy”.

NEWS: Scottish Government to re-open First Home Fund in April 2021

The fund was a “£200 million shared equity pilot scheme to provide first-time buyers with up to £25,000” and will close to new applications on the 2nd October. However, the Scottish Government have announced it will reopen in the next financial year.

Chart of the Week

The plight of students starting university is all over the news and so it’s worth looking at the available data on where they live. The HESA data is self-reported so it’s not perfect. For example someone living in a private sector hall but via a nomination agreement might think they live in a provider maintained residence. However, it highlights the important patterns and shows that around 43% of first-years live in halls of residence compared to 15% of other years.