Weekly Summary: 6th November 2020

DATA: Halifax reported annual house price growth of 7.5% in October

This is the highest growth rate since June 2016 and takes their average house price above £250,000 for the first time.

DATA: Bank of England reported continued rises in mortgage rates

The data for October showed the average rate on a two-year fixed rate mortgage at 95% LTV is now over 4%, if you can get one.

DATA: ONS released their Annual Survey of Hours & Earnings (ASHE) data

The data is a useful and detailed look at employee earnings. This release is complicated by the pandemic and lockdown so care needs to be taken when using it.

DATA: HMRC released statistics on Stamp Duty Land Tax for 2019-20

The release showed residential receipts increased by just 1% from the previous year and the usual regional bias towards higher receipts in more expensive markets. This was released last Friday but we missed it (sorry!). We’re also still waiting for HMRC to release the Q3 quarterly SDLT data.

POLICY: The country entered lockdown on Thursday but the government was clear that the housing market remains open

Robert Jenrick reported on Twitter that people will still be able to move home and construction can continue. They also announced that “Evictions will not be enforced by bailiffs until 11 January 2021 at the earliest” and “Six month notice periods still in place until at least the end of March 2021”.

POLICY: FCA announces further proposals to support mortgage borrowers

They announced that borrowers “who have not yet had a payment deferral will be eligible for 2 payment deferrals of up to 6 months in total” but some will not be eligible because they’ve already used up these deferrals or have already agreed alternative support.

REPORT: Knight Frank launch 2020 Residential Investment Survey

The report reports that “investment into residential assets, incorporating purpose built student accommodation, investment-grade and purpose-built rented accommodation (PRS) and senior living, has continued to increase” and despites the challenges created by the pandemic, “the appetite to increase exposure shows no signs of slowing”.

Chart of the Week

The Bank of England released their November Monetary Policy Report on Thursday. Alongside announcements that Bank Rate was held at 0.1% and an additional £150bn of QE, the report highlights the potential impact of the second lockdown on the economy (see chart below) and the permeant damage done by the pandemic. Their latest projections show GDP will be 11% lower at the end of the year when compared to last year and will not return to Q4 2019 levels until the start of 2022.

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