July has been a whirlwind for the property market with reports of rising activity and several Government announcements to support this return of confidence. In our latest update, we share some highlights of the latest industry news and views.
According to data from Rightmove’s latest house price index, the UK property market is currently experiencing an unexpected mini boom. In addition to the increase in activity the data also highlights an annual rise in asking prices of 3.7% which is the highest since December 2016.
HMRC's latest Residential Transactions report supports this stance, showing signs of an 'organic' recovery with a significant upswing in completions in June. The Express suggests there is likely to be another significant jump in transaction figures for July as a result of the introduction of the stamp duty holiday and the reopening of the Scottish and Welsh markets.
Earlier this month, Zoopla highlighted a number of property-related takeaways from the Summer Economic update, including how the Chancellor's changes to the threshold at which stamp duty is paid would help restore confidence in the property market by giving those who may have been hesitating about making a purchase a strong reason to go ahead.
The government confirmed a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme, which aims to make homes more energy efficient. Under the initiative, homeowners and landlords will be able to claim two-thirds of the cost of work done to improve their property’s energy efficiency, up to a maximum of £5,000.The government estimates it will lead to the upgrading of more than 600,000 homes across England, helping homeowners to save hundreds of pounds a year on energy bills.
The Job Retention Bonus, which encourages companies to keep on furloughed workers once the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) ends in October, is also positive news for the property market. The health of the property market is closely linked to the number of people in work - low unemployment levels mean increased certainty around job security and personal finances, typically boosting consumer confidence and leading to increasing demand. Post-JRS unemployment levels will be one of the most important economic considerations which the government is very cognisant of with further employer incentives announced to minimise the cliff edge of that scheme coming to an end.
The Chancellor also announced plans to bring forward work on £8.8bn of new infrastructure projects to help create tens of thousands of new jobs. As well as upgrades to existing public buildings, there are plans for improving road networks and regeneration schemes which could have a positive impact on local housing markets.
This week, the Government outlined new planning laws which would remove "unnecessary bureaucracy to give small business owners the freedom they need to adapt and evolve". These reforms support the commitment to "build, build, build" as a key part of economic recovery.
From September, full planning applications will not be needed in order to demolish empty buildings and rebuild them as homes, or for the conversion of commercial properties into housing. This follows on from recent announcements including new permitted development rights (PDR) coming into force on 1 August which will allow the construction of up to two storeys above existing buildings to create new homes; a new £12.2bn Affordable Homes Programme, which will partially be used to fund a pilot of its First Homes scheme; a boost to the Short-Term Home Building Fund to provide an additional £450m in development finance to SME housebuilders (a proportion of which will be reserved for those using innovative approaches such as Modern Methods of Construction); and the allocation of a £400m Brownfield Housing Fundto seven Mayoral Combined Authorities to bring forward land for development.
CrowdProperty has continued to perform exceptionally over the last few months, funding projects as quickly and reliably as ever – the last 24 projects funding in under 1 minute on average. Our strong pipeline of quality projects by quality professionals continues to grow, even as our criteria become even tighter during these unprecedented times.
We’ve built the best property project lender in the market to attract the very best lending opportunities, which we evaluate, secure and monitor with decades of expertise in order to protect our investors’ funds. We take a long-term, strategic perspective on the business to ensure that it is robust and sustainable through all market cycles and that we continue to deliver exceptionally for all our customers.