Weekly Summary: 29th September 2023

DATA(PDF): Zoopla reported house prices fell 0.5% in year to August 2023

They report “The decline in buyer demand over the summer has started to reverse” and “The number of new sales agreed has also increased and is closely tracking 2019 levels”.

DATA: Bank of England reported a fall in mortgage approvals in August

They report the number of mortgage approvals for house purchase was 8% lower than the previous month and 37% lower than the same month last year.

DATA: Bank of England reported rises in effective mortgage rates in August

They report the average rate on new advances rose to 4.84% (prev. 4.67%) and the rate on outstanding balances rose to 3.07% (prev. 2.98%).

DATA: HMRC estimated 87,010 residential transactions in August

This figure was 16% lower than August last year but 1.1% higher than the previous month.

DATA: DLUHC reported a sharp rise in housebuilding starts in Q2 2023

They report the 75% quarterly increase in starts was due to housebuilders bringing forward activity to avoid the costs of complying with new building regulatory standards. Housebuilding completions were 12% lower than the same period last year.

REPORT: Homes England published evaluation of SOAHP

The report assesses the contribution of the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme to housing supply and its wider impacts. Disclaimer: Residential Analysts worked with SQW on this project.

REPORT: JRF reported on the case for a public sector master developer

The report “calls for development of new, large-scale, sustainable communities with homes, jobs and infrastructure”.

REPORT: Building the Future Commission reported on the planning system

The review provides recommendations on how to make the English planning system “for purpose to deliver the homes the country needs”.

REPORT: CaCHE reported on volume housebuilders’ profitability

The report investigates the drivers of housebuilder profit margins over the last decade.

REPORT(PDF): Create Streets reported on re-greening streets and squares

The report provides recommendations on re-greening urban areas.

REPORT: IFS reported on reforming inheritance tax

They “set out issues with the inheritance tax system and examine options for reform and the distributional impacts of reforming or abolishing the tax”.

REPORT: Propertymark published August Housing Insight Report

They report the number of sales agreed per member branch was unchanged in August compared to July but the number of new instructions rose 29%.

Chart of the Week

This week Halifax published their estimates for the number of mortgaged first time buyers in the first seven months of 2023. This data is based on a mix of UK Finance data and Lloyds lending data. They report the number of first time buyers has fallen 22% compared to the same period last year and 13% lower than the average for the years leading up to pandemic (2014-2019). They also report the average house price to income ratio for first time buyers fell from 5.8 in June 2022 to 5.1. They suggest this means house prices are getting more affordable but, with the average first time buyer house price only falling 2% over the period, it actually suggests the typical first time buyer has a bigger income than this time last year. Regional analysis shows the biggest annual fall in first time buyer numbers has been in the South East (-25%) while the smallest fall is in Scotland (-14%). Looking over the longer-term, they report London is the only region where first time buyer numbers are lower than in 2013 (-9% compared to +17% nationally).

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