Property news roundup: Average London house price now over £500,000
Plus rental prices and mortgage news
Alex Johnson has been part of The Independent's online team since 2007 and writes The Home Front property column. He was shortlisted for Property Columnist of the Year in the 2015 LSL Property Press Awards. He has been writing about microarchitecture on his internationally-acclaimed website Shedworking since 2006 and is the author of three books, Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution, Bookshelf, and Improbable Libraries. He' also a half-decent snooker player.
Wednesday 21 May 2014
New research from estate agent haart suggests that with an annual rise of more than 26 per cent and month-on-month growth of just above four percent, the average London property price is now £501,056.
The figures also show UK new buyer registrations up nearly 11 per cent annually although the supply of property has dropped 1.7 per cent
"London homeowners will be forgiven for being astonished that they have ‘earned’ an average £100,000 in equity over the last 12 months," said Paul Smith, CEO of haart. "In spite of London property prices breaking new records , buyers are still coming to the market in numbers greater than last year, with first-time buyer registrations up 16.7 per cent on last year.
"However with more properties being pushed into the £500,000 price range more buyers will be bumped up into the three per cent stamp duty tax band. The unfairness of this disproportionately South East focused tax must be addressed before the next election."
Gross mortgage lending was £16.6 billion in April, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, eight per cent higher than March and 36 per cent higher than April last year. It is the highest total for an April since 2008.
Meanwhile Lloyds has announced that where the mortgage lending on a property in the UK is over £500,000, it will assess the mortgage application by applying an income multiple limit of four.
"While the housing market outside London is starting to improve, the recovery is fragile and prices largely remain below their peak. It is important we don’t disrupt this recovery," said Stephen Noakes, Group Director of Mortgages . "But in London, house prices are almost now 30 per cent above the 2007 peak. This is largely driven by issues of supply which are particularly acute in London and this is having an impact on income multiples which are failing to keep pace with asset growth.
"We’re not seeing such issues across the rest of the UK and therefore this is a targeted response to an issue largely in the upper tiers of the London housing market."
Lloyds expects this policy change to affect around eight per cent of its lending in London. The change will take effect immediately and applies to mortgage lending through Halifax, Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows Bank.
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, commented: "The move by Lloyds is slightly puzzling and won't have a significant impact on Lloyds' lending book. We don't expect other lenders to follow suit as it doesn't make a great deal of sense. If you are earning in the region of £125,000, which would qualify you for a £500,000 loan, you are the sort of person who can cope with an increase in interest rates as you will have greater disposable income than a first-time buyer.
"While a first-time buyer is likely to plough every last penny of savings into a property purchase, on larger loans borrowers often don't need to borrow at quite that level. They tend to have plenty of fall-back cover, such as lots of liquid cash in savings and ISA portfolios that they can dip into in the event of changing circumstances or an interest rate rise. They are much more capable of dealing with a change in situation.
"Lloyds would not necessarily be the first choice for borrowers requiring £500,000-plus loans anyway and there is plenty of capacity elsewhere in the market to take up the slack."
Figures from Move with Us indicate that the average advertised rent in Britain was £994 per month at the end of April, with Scotland, the South East and the West Midlands the only three regions to see an increase.
Rents in the South East increased by £19 (1.71 per cent) and are now up by £79 (7.13 per cent) compared to the same time last year. Rents in the Yorkshire and Humber region fell by £20 in April.
"This month it’s all quiet on the rental front for most regions in Britain," said Robin King, Director of Move with Us. "Rents have dipped minimally in nine regions in Britain, an indication the rental market is finding a natural balance after a period of continued rises.
“In a yearly comparison, Scotland and the West Midlands performed well with the average advertised rent increasing by 5.28% and 4.84% respectively."
A new website offers tenants the chance to rate their property. Rental Raters operates along similar lines to TripAdvisor and allows you to search other reviews as well as leave your own opinions.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
With five bedrooms, this spacious home offers beautiful gardens and modern interiors - set within the popular market town of Bingley.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
In the pretty market town of Bungay, this grade II-listed Mill House is arranged over four floors, offering four bedrooms and three reception areas.
This first-floor flat comes with two bedrooms, an impressive open-plan reception room and two lovely roof terraces.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Moored at Taggs Island and reached via a pretty garden, this two-bedroom houseboat has a vaulted reception room and skylit garden studio - currently a beauty salon.
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
A contemporary house spread over three storeys, this three-bedroom detached home has large sliding doors that open out to the River Quaggy.
Moored in Chelsea's Cheyne Walk, this houseboat offers two double bedrooms and a teak deck that's ideal for al-fresco dining.
This former village bakery, dating back to the 17th century, is now a three-bedroom detached home just a few miles from the East Sussex coast.
On the picturesque Isle of Man, this four-bedroom character home has a ground-floor shop that's currently run as a newsagents and a flat that would make an ideal holiday let.
In a new collection of flats, this first-floor two-bedroom apartment offers ample entertaining space and a prime view of Furze Green from a private balcony.
This three-bedroom stone-built cottage currently trades as the village store with a restaurant in the annexe and family accommodation on the upper floors.
Previously two semi-detached properties, this five-bedroom home is spread over three floors with a large breakfast kitchen, orangery, office and gym on the second floor.
This five-bedroom home enjoys countryside views over the Blyth estuary to Southwold, offering flexible living space with a ground-floor annexe - ideal for use as a holiday let.
Close to the market town of Eye, this four-bedroom detached home offers a double-height living room which takes the place of the original, 19th-century, chapel nave.
Dating back to the 19th century, this four-bedroom home needs modernising. Spanning three storeys, the red-brick house has a fireplace, a small terrace and a cellar.
Just outside of Cambridge, this single-storey home offers three double bedrooms, a living room with vaulted timber ceiling and ladder steps that lead to a mezzanine study area.
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn.
A former coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, an attached office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Located beside an impressive Victorian viaduct, this four-bedroom home has an open-plan living area that is glazed on two sides, with skylights and high ceilings.
A former furniture workshop, this three-bedroom home has high ceilings and painted brick walls, in a village setting only fifteen miles from the coast.
This five-bedroom stone townhouse features a pine staircase and an Inglenuk fireplace, double doors from the lounge give access to an enclosed courtyard.
This five-bedroom, detached home blends traditional and modern design; the sleek kitchen features a gas hob and oven set within an exposed chimney breast.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B or countryside retreat, subject to change of use permissions.
This Grade II-listed three-bedroom home is situated on a private road, just a short walk from the sandy beaches of Frinton-on-Sea.
Less than five miles from Malmesbury, this four-bedroom cottage comes with equestrian facilities and gardens that extend to approximately three acres.
Spanning three storeys, this late-Victorian five-bedroom farmhouse is a spacious family home with a modern interior and B&B potential.
With an original church arch, this triplex one-bedroom church conversion has a light, spacious, feel and comes with a secure off-street parking space.
This recently-refurbished three-bedroom home has bi-folding doors that lead out to a decked seating area - ideal for alfresco dining this summer.
Well-located for coastal walks and popular restaurants, this detached four-bedroom home offers views over farmland, to the Solent, the Purbecks and Bournemouth.
If you love high ceilings, school conversions like this one are bang on the money. This two-bedroom flat is minutes from Burgess Park and the foodie haven at Borough Market.
Set within a church conversion in Bermondsey, this two-bedroom maisonette combines existing features, such as original arches and brickwork, with a contemporary finish.
This four-bedroom Edwardian home offers a combination of original features and contemporary design after a renovation by the current owners.
This four-bedroom home offers a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining with doors that open to the patio and garden.
On the market for the first time in more than 50 years, this six-bedroom home is a project with vast potential - spread over three floors of living space.
Surrounded by rolling countryside, this four-bedroom barn conversion comes with a self-contained, one-bedroom annexe that could serve as an office or a holiday let.
Located near Harrogate town centre, this five-bedroom Victorian terrace is arranged over three storeys while a current study serves as an optional sixth bedroom.
A ground-floor flat in a country house, located a mile from Sway; this two-bedroom home would make an ideal weekend retreat on the edge of the New Forest.
On a popular residential lane in Caterham on the Hill, this four-bedroom family home offers a secluded garden and a convenient location for local schools and public transport.
Just a short walk from Westerham green, this three-bedroom cottage has a light kitchen with exposed brickwork and double doors that lead to a south-facing garden.
In a prime spot opposite the River Thames, this one-bedroom flat has an 18sq ft reception room with glass doors that open out to a private terrace.
Set in the hills above Llanwrda Village, west Wales, this 18th-century three-bedroom farmhouse has holiday-let potential from a separate barn conversion and annexe.
This charming end-of-terrace townhouse is arranged over three floors, with two double bedrooms and a private courtyard garden located at the rear of the property.
Located in the University area, this semi-detached five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors - there's even a rear garden and off-road parking too.
Only a few minutes' drive from the charming town of Marlow, this two-bedroom home sits on the private riverside estate of Harleyford.
This detached four-bedroom home in Middleyard is arranged over two floors, with features that include a wood-burning stove and bespoke oak staircase.
In a row of eight detached Georgian residences, this five-bedroom home offers views of The Sound, Mount Edgcumbe and Cornwall from its impressive veranda and full-length balcony.
If you love cooking for friends this two-bedroom flat - complete with views of the iconic Battersea Power Station and an open-plan kitchen/dining area - will go down a treat.
Located above Grasmere village, this five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors and offers countryside views across Grasmere Lake towards Silver Howe.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
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