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Property News 2006
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HOUSE PRICES WARM AS TEMPERATURES SOAR
House price growth picks up to 0.8% in July 2006.“While temperatures soared on the streets, house price growth remained fairly comfortable in July. After three months of broadly flat growth, house prices increased by 0.8% in July. Annual house price growth is now 5.9%, more than double the rate of growth seen this time last year. read more read more
 
NATIONWIDE LAUNCHES NEW HOME INSURANCE PRODUCT
Home InsuranceNationwide Building Society today launched a new home insurance product with enhanced cover as standard. Customers purchasing the product could save more than £100* when they choose Nationwide’s home insurance and the building society will also provide a 15% discount on any combined buildings and contents insurance purchased together. read more read more
 
UK HOUSEHOLDS OVERPAY £1.7BN PA ON HOME INSURANCE
UK Households overpay £17billion per annum on home insurance.New figures released today by Barclays Insurance show that British homeowners are overpaying on their home insurance by an average of £1.7 billion a year. This equates to a whopping £112.95 per household, made worse by the fact that most people won’t think about switching until the end of their current policy. read more read more
 
FIRST TIME BUYERS FACE DEPOSIT SHORTFALL
First Time Buyers Face Deposit ShortfallDespite planning to spend two years saving for their deposit, first time buyers will face a potential shortfall of over £5,000 each, according to a report from Alliance & Leicester Mortgages. The study looked at how long first time buyers plan to save for their deposit. On average they want to save a deposit of £11,710. read more read more
 
SE ENGLAND OFFICE MARKET BREAKS 1M SQFT BARRIER
SE England Office Market breaks 1 million sqft barrier.Take-up in the M25 South East office market exceeded the 1 million sq ft barrier in Q2 06, a 20% increase from the Q1 06 level and the highest for 5 years, giving the strongest indication that the South East office market continues to recover, according to figures released today by Knight Frank. M25 Q2 06 take-up totalled 1,052,300 sq ft. read more read more
 
ALLIANCE & LEICESTER LAUNCHES SPECIALIST MORTGAGES
Mehrdad Yousefi, Head of Intermediary Mortgages at Alliance & Leicester.Alliance & Leicester announced today (Monday 17 July 2006) that it will provide a range of specialist mortgage products, including buy-to-let, self-certification and near-prime mortgages, available initially via Premier Mortgage Service (PMS), the UK’s largest mortgage facilitator. read more read more
 
TOWNS & CITIES SAY 'YES' TO SUSTAINABLE HOUSING
Ruth KellyThere has been an encouraging response to the Government's New Growth Points Initiative, with a number of towns and cities across the country keen to pursue sustainable growth. Over 20 bids have been received, representing more than 50 local authorities. If all these bids are realised we would secure an extra 8-10,000 homes per year, 80,000 in total by 2016, in addition to existing plans. read more read more
 
FIRST ALL-FEMALE PROPERTY INVESTMENT COMPANY
Kiren Awan, co-founder of Shooba Property Investment CompanyKiren Awan, the daughter of Nighat Awan OBE, has launched the all-female property investment team Shooba Investments. Kiren and her business partner Hannah Davies, are pooling their experience in the property market to help clients across the UK make shrewd investments in their extensive catalogue of countries including Dubai, Turkey, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Hungary. read more read more
 
£3 MILLION TO TACKLE ETHINIC MINORITY HOMELESSNESS
Homeless Youth£3 million has been awarded to projects to tackle homelessness among ethnic minority groups. Ethnic households face a disproportionate risk of homelessness. They represented 21% of homeless households in 2004-05, but comprise only 8% of the UK population. read more read more
 
FIRST ARRIVALS FOR ASIAN HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
Saeed Anwar, Chief Executive of Aashyana Housing AssociationThe first tenants have moved into a newly-finished £1.7 million development in Bristol from black and minority ethnic housing provider Aashyana. The 16-apartment scheme, in Wilson Street, St Paul's, is the biggest yet from Aashyana, part of the William Sutton Group and the first Asian-led housing association in the South West. read more read more
 
ASIAN LANDLORDS NEED NOT FEAR HMO LICENSING
LandlordAsian landlords and property managing agents letting reasonable/good quality houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) have nothing to fear from HMO licensing says ODPM minister Baroness Andrews. Licensing is part of a nationwide drive to improve standards in private rented accommodation. Landlords with licensable properties can apply from 6 April 2006. read more read more
 
HOUSE PRICES RISE BY 0.5% IN MARCH 2006
For Sale SignsHouse prices have risen by 0.5% in March driven by a resurgent London property market, according to the latest survey from Hometrack, the housing research and data company. This is the fourth consecutive month of house price growth and the highest monthly rise since the summer of 2004. read more read more
 
MORE HELP FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS
Home buildingHousing Minister Yvette Cooper unveiled more help for first time buyers alongside plans to deliver more homes, this week. 'Homebuy Agents' are one stop shops to give first time buyers clear advice on how they could be helped by the new scheme. read more read more
 
DETACHED PROPERTY OWNERS PAY MORE INHERITANCE TAX
Detached HouseMore detached property owners are potentially liable to pay inheritance tax (IHT) than five years ago with one in three (29%) detached property sales in the UK above the 2006/07 IHT threshold of £285,000. The revenue raised through IHT has risen to £2.9bn in 2004/05. read more read more
 
STAMP DUTY TRAPS 84% OF BUYERS
Stamp dutiesIncreasing numbers of both first time buyers find themselves caught in a pincer movement between rising prices and the stamp duty trap. Analysis, by Rightmove, of 571,000 properties currently for sale illustrates the decreasing number of properties priced below the 1% stamp duty threshold of £120,000. read more read more
 
BRITAIN: A NATION OF HANDY MANDYS
Carol Smillie from the BBC's 'Changing Rooms' programmeNew research from the Halifax reveals 5.3 million British women believe they are the best at home improvements in their household. Far from the stereotype of being afraid of chipping nails or getting paint in their hair, 2.5 million of these 'Handy Mandys' do the majority of DIY. read more read more
 
COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT HIGHEST FOR 12 MONTHS
Industrial DevelopmentLatest data from the Savills Commercial Development PMI® survey signalled the sharpest expansion of commercial activity for a year in February. The rise was principally driven by a marked increase in private sector projects. read more read more
 
COST OF OWNING A HOME IN BRITAIN RISES BY 7%
Home Ownership BillsThe cost of owning and running a house rose by 7% in the financial year 2004/05, more than three times the rate of CPI inflation*, according to new research by Halifax based on the latest ONS data. This is the fourth Halifax annual review of the cost of owning and running a home. read more read more
 
BOLTON IS PROPERTY HOTSPOT FOR 2006
New HousingBig value Bolton is set to outpace even South Manchester's leafy suburbs in the house price stakes. Buyers in Bolton can get a brand new home identical to one in 'Cheshire set' territory, like Bramhall - but for up to £100,000 less. And, with prices south of Manchester levelling out, buyers in Bolton look set to make more money on their purchase. read more read more
 
SMALLER UK CITIES SHOW BEST OFFICE RENTAL YIELDS
Office BuildingAberdeen and Sheffield saw the sharpest movement in yields in 2005, from 7.0% to 6.0% and from 6.75% to 5.75% respectively, according Knight Frank's research for ROMP, its interactive tool which provides market comparisons of key regional UK cities. read more read more
 
SCOTLAND'S 2006 PROPERTY HOTSPOTS
Scottish HouseUK Property expert Knight Frank is predicting the top five Scottish locations for property sales and highest price rises this year, outside of Glasgow & Edinburgh's city centres will be Midlothian, Perthshire, East Lothian, Fife and South Glasgow. read more read more
 
BRITS WITH PROPERTY ABROAD SET TO DOUBLE
Brits with property abroad set to doubleThe number of Brits who own property abroad is set to double to 4.4 million, according to new research by Barclays. 5% of those surveyed already own a home abroad and a further 5% said that they are going to buy a property overseas in the future. read more read more
 
IPO FOR ASIAN-OWNED DUBAI PROPERTY COMPANY
DRO chief executive, Nozmul Islam.A new company, set up by two Asian property investors, that is seeking to trade in the Dubai property market has announced plans for its initial public offering (IPO) prior to listing on OFEX. It aims to give small investors the opportunity to benefit from the real estate boom in the Middle East. read more read more
 
DTI WINDS UP PROPERTY INVESTMENT COMPANIES
Property InvestmentA string of companies that offered property investment opportunities has ceased trading after the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry presented petitions in the High Court to have them wound up in the public interest. The companies include Sterling Mansion (UK) and CM2 Services. read more read more
 
FAIRER BUSINESS RATES APPEALS SYSTEM UNVEILED
Local Government Minister Nick RaynsfordNew arrangements that will make the business rate appeals system both faster and fairer for ratepayers were laid before Parliament today. Under the new system ratepayers will still have the right of appeal against every valuation. However they will be given more time to submit fully evidence-based appeals and any change will be backdated. read more read more
 
PLANNING FOR DIVERSE COMMUNITIES
Keith HillThe planning system must make better provision for an increasingly diverse and dynamic population, planning minister Keith Hill said today. A new guide, 'Diversity and Equality in Planning', highlights good practice across the country. One case study is taken from Leicester where the Asian community makes up 30% of the population. read more read more
 
LABOUR PLEDGES MORE AFFORDABLE HOMES
Build your own home with Labour?John Prescott MP, Labour's Deputy Prime Minister, said today that only Labour would offer more people the chance to get onto the housing ladder. With plans announced for £60,000 homes for first time buyers, John Prescott MP was speaking at the Sustainable Communities Summit. read more read more
 
INDIA RIDES HIGH ON GLOBAL OUTSOURCING WAVE
Vanenburg IT Park, Madhapur (India).India continues to benefit from the global trend towards outsourcing according to Knight Frank's latest report. India's IT industry generated revenues of $900 million in 2001. If it continues to grow at this rate it could hit $24 billion by 2007. read more read more
 
UK COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SECTOR ACTIVITY
Office Building Data from the Savills Commercial Development PMI survey indicated that levels of development activity in the UK commercial property sector re-accelerated, after easing through December, driven by the sharpest rise in private sector activity for eight months. Moreover, commercial property developers signalled a bright outlook for activity in the months ahead. read more read more
 
INVESTING IN PROPERTY
Newcastle Great Park - This greenfield scheme is just four miles from Newcastle city centre, and includes plans for 2,500 energy efficient homes set in 442 hectares of parkland plus a further 80 hectares of commercial development space. The first phase of 87 homes have all been sold and phase two was launched in January 2003. Due for completion in 2007. Image courtesy of Taylor Woodrow Plc.In recent years there has been an explosion of investment activity in UK property, particularly in the buy-to-let market. The most unlikely people have invested in bricks and mortar through the easier availability of mortgage finance and no business entrepreneur can afford to have an investment portfolio excluding property assets. read more read more
 
LAND REGISTRY LAUNCHES INTERNET SERVICE
Magnifying GlassThe UK Land Registry’s first internet service for the general public, providing easy access to details of more than 19 million properties in England and Wales, was launched on 31 January 2005. Users enter the address details of the property that they wish to view for only £2 per search. read more read more
 
IS YOUR PROPERTY BUSINESS AT RISK?
InsuranceRunning a business is becoming increasingly complex compounded by extra regulation, new laws and the growing compensation and blame culture. This has meant that traditional insurance recommended to you by your broker is unlikely to be sufficient to protect you against all claims that may be made. read more read more
 
FSA REGULATES UK INSURANCE SALES
FSA regulates UK Insurance SalesFrom 14 January 2005, the Financial Services Authority takes over responsibility for regulating UK general insurance sales involving about 40,000 firms in all. This is a major extension of the FSA's role that will benefit some 35 million UK consumers. read more read more
 
LONDON REMAINS FAVOURITE HOME FOR MILLIONAIRES
British Airways London Eye Photographic Competition 2000. Amateur Category Picture by Ben Miflin. Winner of Best daytime picture of the London Eye and overall winner of the Amateur Category.According to the latest Land Registry figures, Greater London remains the most popular centre for house-buying millionaires with 93 properties costing over £2 million sold in the last quarter of 2004. 765 properties costing over £1 million were sold across England and Wales during the quarter (Oct-Dec 2004), five more than sold in the same period last year. read more read more
 
UK RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY MARKET
A Taylor Woodrow development at Throop in Somerset.The significant amounts of negative commentary on the prospects for the housing market were over done at the end of last year. There are already signs of improved market activity and modest price appreciation over the first few weeks of 2005. Despite the pick up in values we expect the year on year rate of growth to moderate significantly over the year ahead. read more read more
 
NICHE BUY-TO-LET INVESTMENTS
'The Junxion' student accommodation complex in Lincoln.Savills Residential Research has shown that the rented sector is still small. There is scope for further buy-to-let development and, even in the current market, there are opportunities for prospective landlords if they research where demand is likely to be high and look for ‘gaps’ in the current marketplace. read more read more
 
NEW STUDY INTO PROPERTY SEARCH MARKET
Magnifying GlassThe 200 million property search sector will be the focus of a new market study by the OFT. Property searches covering such areas as land ownership, environmental information and planning permission form an essential part of buying a property. This information, held by a number of bodies is obtained by conveyancers through three main routes. read more read more
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