Weekly Summary: 30th October 2020

DATA: Nationwide reported a 5.8% annual rise in house prices in October

This was an increase on the 5% annual rise reported in September and it looks likely that year-end growth could be 6% or more.

DATA: Bank of England reported mortgage approvals for house purchase were 39% higher in September than the same month last year

Approvals for house purchase rose 7% compared to the previous month and were 38% above normal levels. However, remortgaging approvals were still 34% lower than last year.

DATA: Zoopla reported a 3% annual rise in house prices in September

They also report “a sales pipeline that is 50% bigger than a year ago” and the “flow of new demand is starting to moderate, returning to pre-COVID levels although still >40% higher than a year ago”. See Chart of the Week for more information.

DATA: MHCLG Statutory Homelessness statistics for Q2 released

The release reported that “On 30 June 2020 the number of households in temporary accommodation was 98,300, up 14.0% from 86,240 on 30 June 2019”.

REPORT: Savills look at where First Homes “fit in the jigsaw of housing delivery”

They report “Value and income caps could prove a major constraint in London and parts of the South East” while “Local authorities in the Midlands and North will need to lower value caps to target households truly frozen out of the housing market”.

NEWS: Halifax report the “Demand for more space drives surge in price of detached properties”

They report prices for detached properties have increased 5% since March while prices for flats have increased 2.5%.

NOT EVEN NEWS: Mortgage lenders try to make the most of Halloween

Barclays report that “More than two thirds of Brits willing to buy a haunted house” while Halifax report that “Houses near haunted sites sell for less than county average in many areas”. I’m left wondering what the net effect of a haunted Waitrose would be.

Chart of the Week

Zoopla report that the “sales pipeline is 50% bigger than a year ago” and sales agreed are still around 50% higher than normal. However, there are growing concerns that many sales agreed may not complete before the end of the stamp duty holiday in March. The Chart of the Week shows the percentage of sales agreed that normally complete by the end of March and reinforces the warning that you need to do a deal before Christmas. However, this data is based on normal conditions. We now have activity levels around 50% higher than usual with many of those involved in the process having to work from home. There will inevitably be disappointment and frustration for both potential buyers and sellers in coming months as they rush to complete their transaction before the end of the stamp duty holiday.