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Five innovative ways to combat the housing crisis

From modular commuter villages to innovative finance models, developers are finding new, inventive solutions to tackle the UK housing crisis.

Modular commuter villages

Located on the periphery of overcrowded urban centres, can provide affordable new housing stock while alleviating the inner-city housing crisis, according to Project Etopia.

Its first modular village, under development in Corby, Northamptonshire, includes 47 turnkey homes equipped with in-home internet of things technology, renewable energy, and intelligent heating and cooling systems.

The houses, which are fully mortgageable and have a lifespan of 60 to 100 years, are constructed offsite – four houses can be built in 34 days – and shipped worldwide. They are also affordable; a four-bedroom house in the Corby development costs between £320,000 and £350,000, compared with £450,000 to £575,000 for new, nearby brick-and-mortar houses, according to the company.

“Modular commuter villages the wage benefits of working in the capital, but without the high property costs,” says founder Joseph Daniels.

Etopia Corby is the company’s first project, but it is already developing others in the United States, Spain, Namibia and Kuwait. Mr Daniels says the company is also acquiring land in the UK to build a series of connected eco villages that will facilitate smart energy-sharing.

Specialist senior housing

Providing good quality accommodation for over-65s can free up large under-occupied family homes for younger generations to help tackle the housing crisis. Yet only around 3 per cent of homes in the UK are built specially for older people, even though around 18 per cent of the population, around 12 million, are aged 65 and over.

ExtraCare Charitable Trust has developed that it claims have freed up more than 750 local family homes.

To make its projects viable, the trust has focused on economies of scale and being a dedicated healthcare provider, which means it has access to government funds to help pay for often uneconomic communal spaces.

For example, it’s £48-million Longbridge Retirement Village in Birmingham, built on a disused car factory, comprises 260 one and two-bed apartments, plus a village hall, bar, bistro, gym and more.

“Good retirement living requires community spaces, but funding this while . However, we’re seeing exciting models enter the market, such as providing other services such as healthcare,” says Louise Drew, head of real estate at law firm Shakespeare Martineau, which worked on the Longbridge development.

Besides freeing up housing stock, senior housing can have other benefits. According to a recent study with Aston University, ExtraCare residents reduced their dependence on GP and hospital services, resulting in a 38 per cent reduction in NHS costs per person each year.

Building up, not out

Using existing rooftops to build upwards instead of outwards and provide 180,000 new homes, including 60,000 atop public assets, in London alone, according to housing developer Apex Airspace.

The company currently has plans to build 3,000 new homes in the capital, half of which will meet the government’s affordability guidelines.

By mitigating the need to purchase land for development, airspace projects are on average 35 per cent cheaper, according to the company. Furthermore, units are developed 95 per cent offsite using modern construction methods and then craned on to buildings which reduces construction costs.

A project under consideration in Bermondsey aims to deliver 31 residential apartments on two Lambeth and Southwark Housing Association-owned and currently occupied buildings by incorporating a double-storey rooftop extension and “bookend building” at either side.

As well as adding value to existing buildings for councils and private owners, managing director of the company Val Bagnall, says rooftop development can help pay for or share the cost of building upgrades, such as

Apex aims to deliver 10,000 homes over the next ten years, but Mr Bagnall says the potential for airspace homes could be increased by 25 per cent with a revision in planning permission law.

Pocket homes

Housing developers Pocket Living are helping the so-called squeezed middle get on the housing ladder by offering specially designed “Pocket homes” at a 20 per cent discount compared to the market rate.

The 38-square-metre modular factory-built apartments are cleverly designed for compact living. Each has an open-plan kitchen-living room, separate double bedroom and a wet room.

The company subsidises these homes by selling two and three-bedroom properties in the same developments at full market price. Costs are kept down with and modern manufacturing methods, according to the company.

Modular off-site construction has also enabled it to develop heavily constrained sites. Pocket Living’s latest project, a 27-storey, 89-home tower in Wandsworth, London, called Mapleton Crescent, was possible to develop because the housing units could be craned into the heavily restricted riverside site.

“Modular homes are better quality than traditionally constructed ones because they are made in factory-controlled conditions and they also create less disruption for neighbours as they come completely finished,” says associate and project architect on Mapleton, Jonathan Drage.

To date the company has developed 650 Pocket homes and plans to build thousands more over the next 18 months.

Mortgage-free part-home ownership

A house in the UK typically costs eight times more than the average wage, which means mortgage deposits are often prohibitively expensive for average earners.

Startup Unmortgage hopes to tackle this problem and help alleviate the housing crisis by offering first-time buyers gradual home-ownership without a mortgage.

Instead of saving for a full mortgage deposit, which at 20 per cent of the house price can be around £80,000 in London on average, Unmortgage customers can enter into a shared-ownership partnership with the company to purchase as little as 5 per cent – at a minimum cost £12,500 – of an Unmortgage-approved home. They then pay market-rate rent on the rest of the property.

Buyers can then increase the equity they own in their home by up to 5 per cent a year and, when they have enough to secure a mortgage, the property can be purchased outright.

Conrad Holmboe, chief information officer at Unmortgage, says the finance model can bridge the gap between renting and buying, while also providing long-term housing security.

“We aim to create a virtuous cycle where the more someone buys, the less rent they pay and the more equity they have,” says
Mr Holmboe.

Unmortgage is financed by Allianz Global Investors, which is reported to be providing £500 million, connecting pension funds and properties in a new way in the UK. With the first tranche of money, Unmortgage intends to fund “a couple of thousand” properties.

Source: Raconteur

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Number of property transactions decrease

Property transactions decreased for both residential and non-residential in July, according to the latest statistics from HMRC.

The UK property transactions statistics report shows that non-residential and residential property transactions saw a 5.8% and 12.4% year-on-year decrease respectively.

The provisional seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count for July was 86,630 residential and 9,760 non-residential transactions.

Declining transactions began at the end of 2007 after the financial crisis, prior to this transaction counts had risen steadily reaching its peak in mid-2006.

Kevin Roberts, director at Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Our research shows only one in ten borrowers plan to delay buying or selling as a result of Brexit, so it’s clear there are other barriers preventing a boost to transaction levels.

“While government schemes have helped thousands of first-time buyers onto the property ladder – we need to think about those further up the ladder too.

“To stimulate the market, the government needs to build more housing across all types of tenure.

“This will provide second steppers and last-time buyers with more choice and in turn, families can up or down-size accordingly.”

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, added: ’HRMC reveals a further slip-sliding of transactions compared with the same period last year as buyers and sellers continue to put big decisions like moving house on hold.

“For those who are brave enough to take the plunge, or who have simply had enough and want to get on with it, mortgages remain incredibly cheap.

“With fewer transactions happening, lenders are having to compete harder for business. With the exception of 10-year money, Swap rates have ticked up with three, five and 10-year swaps now cheaper than their two-year equivalents.

“Compared to where swaps were three months ago, lenders have been able to reduce their rates, and to some extent, maintain or make better returns.’

Gareth Lewis, commercial director of property lender MT Finance, commented: ’While HMRC is reporting nothing as dramatic as transactions falling off a cliff, the picture for the housing market is not that rosy either.

“However, one would expect a seasonal lull – it will be interesting to see where these numbers are at the back end of October and whether we get the bounce back that you would expect at that time of year.

“It is not all doom and gloom: as a lender we are reasonably busy – getting enquiries in and money out of the door, which are two barometers as to whether things are going ok.

“What is interesting is the spike in commercial property transactions, suggesting investors are diversifying into other areas.

“There isn’t enough detail here about what these transactions are but more activity is encouraging none the less.”

By Jessica Nangle

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Stamp Duty Land Tax changes ‘won’t address housing market issues’

Proposed changes to stamp duty land tax rates and ways of charging will not address housing issues and could make things worse, a property management firm has argued.

Apropos by DJ Alexander said that the recent suggestions given by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Chancellor Sajid Javid about where stamp duty begins and who pays for it, are using the tax system to deal with larger issues in the property market. Rather than helping to fix the problems, such suggestions will create greater uncertainty which will make problems worse, the firm argued.

The Prime Ministers’ suggestion of removing stamp duty for all property under £500,000 and the Chancellor’s idea of making the seller pay all of the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) are ideas which often resurface and are then rejected when their impact is realised. Both politicians propose using a UK wide legislative change to address a London property market problem. The results in both cases would be inflationary, unfairly punitive to parts of the market, and unsuccessful.

David Alexander, joint managing director of Apropos by DJ Alexander Ltd, said: “Politicians seem to be clutching at straws in an attempt to reform the housing market and are using simple means to address complex issues. Changing the level at which SDLT in England and Wales starts will not resolve anything other than potentially provide a short-term boost to the currently flagging London property market. But this is the wrong solution for the wrong problem. There will also be a knock-on effect on the rest of the UK which we can see in the growing disparity in property tax levels between Scotland and the rest of the UK.”

He added: “The downturn in the London property market is driven by a number of reasons including the loss of confidence of overseas cash investors who find the uncertainty over Brexit of concern; a correction to an overheated market; and affordability issues. Investors believe there are other, safer, investment opportunities which they are attracted to and consequently these investors, who made up a disproportionately large percentage of buyers, have moved their cash elsewhere. Is this a permanent change to the London market? No. This market will pick up again. It may take a few years but anyone buying now will see an increase in their property value over the next five years. When the market fell 17.8% from its peak in January 2008 it took until April 2012 for average prices to recover. London prices began to fall from their July 2017 and so far, the lowest month was March 2019 when average prices had fallen 5.2%.”

Mr Alexander said: “The issue is that you cannot develop policy which benefits one part of the country at the expense of the rest of the UK. Changes to SDLT might make London more attractive in the short term but could have the unforeseen consequence of driving more people to the capital and consequently increasing prices in the medium to long term which will resolve nothing.”

He further explained why making the seller pay the stamp duty would be inflationary. He argued that sellers would be determined to recoup the additional cost of selling their home and would be tempted to add on whatever the SDLT cost would be.

Mr Alexande added: “There is also the issue of fairness. Why should someone who has paid SDLT to buy a property then have to pay it again to sell? This is penalising those who have owned a property for some period and benefiting those who are new to the market which is clearly unfair. First-time buyers moving to their new home would find they had lower funds to put into their new property which would clog up the lower to middle end of the market while those who had accumulated large sums in their property might delay selling to avoid the additional tax. Rather than free up the market it would make it very stodgy indeed.

“The housing market is a complex mix which requires sensitive handling. It is market-driven and sentiment is important. Sending signals out about rising costs, higher taxes, and penalties for accumulating value do not instil confidence. These constant suggestions and proposals are detrimental to the market, making buyers and sellers even more uncertain. The property market, like most markets, needs certainty and assuredness. Postulating and hypothesising on different changes will make things worse.

“Politicians would be better served liaising with property professionals for solutions to taxation, housing supply, and market behaviour rather than pouncing on single ideas and running with them in the media for a few days until they are shot down in flames. The Prime Minister and Chancellor are clearly testing out potential ideas for the Autumn Budget, but these need to be clearly thought through with more than cheap headlines in mind. Better to develop a long term, stable approach to the property market which involves private ownership, the private rented sector and social housing to create a housing system which is fair, provides homes for everyone, and is sustainable in the long term. This requires sensible debate among all interested parties and appropriate planning for the future.”

Source: Scottish Housing News

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‘Summer buying spree’ in the housing market ahead of Brexit

The looming Brexit deadline is spurring some home buyers into action, according to a website.

The average asking price on a home across Britain still fell by 1% or £3,192 month-on-month in August, Rightmove said, adding this was a better performance than usual for the summer holidays.

The average price tag now stands at £305,500.

The number of sales being agreed is the strongest for this time of year since 2015 and are 6.1% higher than a year ago, according to the index.

The North East of England, the East of England and Yorkshire and the Humber are leading the way with sales over 10% higher than a year earlier, Rightmove said.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director said: “Surprisingly there seems to be a bit of a summer buying spree, despite it normally being a quieter time of year.

“For some reason more buyers have cottoned on to the fact that it can be a good time of year to buy, with less competition from other buyers, and sellers typically more willing to accept a lower price.”

He continued: “While the end of October Brexit outcome remains uncertain, more buyers are now going for the certainty of doing a deal, with some having perhaps hesitated earlier in the year.”

By Vicky Shaw

Source: Yahoo Finance UK

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Housing Market Activity Slows But Remortgages Are Up

While the number of mortgages issued has fallen, indicating a slowing housing market, numbers of remortgages are up, as homeowners try to lock in rates amidst economic and political uncertainty.

Remortgages were up 8.3% in June, compared to the previous year, with 16,880 issued, according to data from UK Finance.

Lending was down across nearly all other buyer types, however, with the steepest declines seen in home mover mortgages (down 3.6% year on year) and buy to let mortgages (down 3.6%). Mortgages for first-time buyers were also down 1.5%, with 32,760 completed in June.

Buyers have clearly become reluctant to buy and sell as the Brexit deadline looms. Even flatlined prices can’t tempt movers, who are unwilling to take on the additional costs, including stamp duty, estate agent fees, and conveyancing charges. These push the average cost of moving house to £11,000, Daniel Hegarty, chief executive officer of online mortgage broker Habito, noted.

Unwilling to move but still looking for their dream home features or additional space for growing families, many are remortgaging to fund renovations to their existing homes.

“For many people, remortgaging is a way to realise the dream of upsizing for more space either by extending into the loft, building a conservatory or even digging out the basement. Even small improvements such as an update to a kitchen, bathroom or garden can add value to your home and improve a family’s quality of life,” Hegarty said.

The boom in remortgaging also suggests homeowners are becoming more proactive in seeking new fixed term deals, rather than simply rolling over onto expensive standard variable rates.

Meanwhile buyers, perhaps anticipating years of post-Brexit economic chaos, are eager to lock in interest rates. There’s been an increase in buyers signing up for fixed rate mortgages, including those lasting 10 years. Moneyfacts has found competition among providers of 10-year fixed rate deals is the stiffest it’s been in a decade, with 157 products on the market, driving down interest rates.

Rates for these long-term products are still higher than those for short-term deals. But many borrowers are choosing to pay a little more in interest in exchange for the security a long fixed rate deal can offer.

Source: Money Expert

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Housing market shows signs of improvement

The region’s housing market has shown signs of improvement, as sales activity and house prices grow.

According to the RICS Residential Market Survey for July, demand for rental properties in the region picked-up to post the strongest reading since the beginning of 2018 and landlord instructions fell once again, extending a run of continuous decline stretching back over the past 12 quarters.

Near term rental growth expectations were therefore driven up, with the net balance of plus 55 per cent in July representing the most elevated reading in 11 quarters, and the UK.

In more positive news, the West Midlands’ sales market hasn’t been drastically impacted by the introduction of new government. This month, six per cent more respondents saw a rise rather than fall in enquiries from new buyers in July. This marks the first month of positive growth in interest from would-be buyers since September 2018.

While buyers seem to be picking up, newly agreed sales also improved in July.

The net balance rose to plus 24 per cent, from minus 14 per cent in June. Some areas did see a stronger sales trend, in a slightly mixed regional picture, with only respondents in the region and the North East reporting a reasonably solid pick-up during July. Looking at the picture ahead, near term predicted sales also picked up, with a net balance of plus 20 per cent.

Again, while new buyer enquiries are picking up, the number of new properties being listed for sale also improved. This follows a string of 13 consecutive monthly declines in fresh listings. It seems there is little prospect of a sustained rise in supply coming onto the market in the immediate future.

Price wise, 21 per cent more respondents in the West Midlands reported price rises across the region. Elsewhere, prices were seen to be rising at a solid pace in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. But prices continue to fall in London, the South East and East Anglia.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “The latest RICS results will provide little comfort for the market with all the key indicators pretty much flatlining.

“Indeed, the forward-looking metrics on prices and sales also seem to losing momentum as concerns, clearly voiced in the anecdotal feedback, both about Brexit and political uncertainty heighten.

“Some support may be provided by an easing in the cost of money which could feed through into lower mortgage finance costs, but this may be insufficient to provide a spur to lift activity given the clouds hanging over the economy.

“Meanwhile, the lettings market data continues to send a very strong message that institutions need to upscale their build to rent pipeline to address the shortfall resulting from the decline in appetite from buy to let investors. It is significant that the near-term rental expectations indicator has climbed to a three-year high.”

By James Pugh

Source: Express and Star

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UK house prices suffer surprise July fall as housing market ‘treads water’

UK house prices continued to “tread water” in July as they slipped 0.2 per cent month on month, Halifax warned today.

However, annual growth rose 4.1 per cent thanks to the housing market’s poor performance in 2018, the bank’s latest house price index found.

Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax, said: “The average UK house price fell slightly for a second month, as the market continues to tread water with marginal increases or decreases in each monthly period.

“That said, it’s worth remembering that while economic uncertainty continues to weigh on the market, the overall trend actually remains one of comparative stability, with average prices down by less than £600 over the last three months.

Halifax said a drop off property sales in the early months of summer raises the spectre of a possible downturn.

But Galley added: “New buyer enquiries are up, and favourable mortgage affordability – driven by low interest rates and strong wage growth – should continue to underpin prices for the time being.

“In the longer-term, we believe there is unlikely to be a step change in market activity until buyers and sellers see some form of resolution to the current economic uncertainty.”

Summer slump or Brexit paralysis?
Marc von Grundherr, director of estate agent Benham and Reeves, asked: “Are we seeing a further indictment of Brexit paralysis? Or is this a seasonal blip given that the summer months simply tend to see lower demand?”

He believes the drop was the latter, adding: “For the UK property market to have seen year on year growth of over four per cent despite the best endeavours of our politicians to de-rail public sentiment, has to be viewed as at least resilient – perhaps even astonishing.”

Buyers look ‘beyond Brexit’
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors residential chairman, said the latest figures show buyers are “looking beyond Brexit”.

“Prices are being underpinned by shortage of stock, improving affordability and low mortgage rates,” he added.

“What is more important is the number of transactions, which remain sluggish and protracted as sellers reluctantly come to terms with new market realities.”

Property lender MT Finance said the market is “flat” with house prices continuing to fall, but said the decline was “relatively small”.

“However, there is a risk that come the autumn, the robustness of the property market will be put to the test,” director Joshua Elash added.

“If Brexit or deflationary forces lead to the Bank of England increasing the base rate, there will be consequential pressure on homeowners to sell as they struggle to deal with meeting the cost of increased mortgage payments.

“In this scenario we would expect to see more significant downward pressure on prices.”

By Joe Curtis

Source: City AM

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Mortgage Prisoners: 800,000 homeowners urged to switch to cheaper mortgages

Many homeowners became trapped as a result of the financial crisis in 2008, whereby their mortgage rates and affordability terms changed dramatically and many had their mortgages sold to private investors as part of bailing out various banks, with no choice but to accept terms given to them.

The Financial Conduct Authority estimates around 800,000 homeowners are currently overpaying for their mortgages and could be saving up to £4,000 each per year.

The City Regulator has put forward recent proposals to help ‘mortgage prisoners’ which currently affects an estimated 120,000 households in the UK. This group are currently unable to get new mortgage deals or remortgage due to a range of circumstances, and it is currently putting them on much higher standard variable rate, charging up to 5% or 6% for their mortgage per month.

Many homeowners became trapped as a result of the financial crisis in 2008, whereby their mortgage rates and affordability terms changed dramatically and many had their mortgages sold to private investors as part of bailing out various banks, with no choice but to accept terms given to them.

Many enjoyed 100% mortgages or being able to borrow 7 times their salary, which has since been slashed to 4.5 times at most. But this has had profound effects on their mortgage terms, and for some, it has made getting a new mortgage deal unfeasible.

You can also become a mortgage prisoner if you see a big fall in salary or fail to meet your provider’s new, stricter affordability checks (due to too many outgoings or bad credit). Or similarly, if you become a first time buyer, but the over the next few years, the mortgage lender reduces the amount you can borrow against your salary.

These circumstances have left many mortgage prisoners paying huge amounts and unable to change their scenario, meanwhile switching to different remortgage deals could offer just 1-2% per month and save the household up to £4,000 per year.

Households ‘unaware’ of cheaper deals
The FCA estimates that up to 800,000 homeowners in the UK could in fact be paying much lower rates, without their knowledge.

The regulator states that people should not get used to paying high amounts for their mortgages and should seek new deals and remortgages, and make the most of introductory offers and consult other lenders where possible.

What options are available for mortgage prisoners?
Meeting the stricter affordability checks for mortgage providers and banks is very important. If you can find ways to increase your salary (easier said than done), this can certainly help. But perhaps lowering your household costs and outgoings will make a big difference too, to show that you have improved affordability. Some simple savings could include reducing your monthly spend on food and takeaways, joining a cheaper gym or quitting smoking.

Whilst not always easy, overpaying on your mortgage will reduce the amount outstanding and therefore be cheaper long-term. The sooner that you can get out of your contract that holds you a prisoner, the better.

Downsizing or increasing any cash in your home can also help. If your children have flown the nest, downsizing to a smaller property can help free up your finances and get your out of the mortgage trap. Around 80,000 homeowners over the age of 55 have used equity release in the last year as a way to release cash from their home. This can be an expensive product, but usually causes you to pay off your mortgage in the process and give you enough cash for the remainder of your lifetime. There is also no tax on this product and will not incur inheritance tax either.

Moving home can be very tricky, unless you are downsizing and borrowing lower amounts. Many households have reverted to bridging loans, which can provide an effective way to borrow money if moving house (without having sold yours). But this can come with huge risks if the housing market crashes and if you fail to sell your home, you could be at risk of repossession.

By Daniel Tannenbaum

Source: Accountancy Age

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UK mortgage approvals rise but consumer lending slows

Britain’s housing market received a modest lift in June as mortgage approvals increased by more than analysts had expected, Bank of England figures showed today.

Annual lending growth to UK consumers slowed from 5.7 per cent in May to 5.5 per cent in June, however, the slowest rate since April 2014.

The number of people taking out mortgages increased by around 800 in June to 66,400 from 65,650 in May. This was the highest number since January and above economists’ expectations of 65,750.

Brexit uncertainty has weighed on house prices in 2019, particularly in London where official figures showed they dropped 4.4 per cent in May year on year, pleasing first-time buyers but upsetting homeowners.

“June’s mortgage data tie in with the view that housing market activity got some help from the avoidance of a disruptive Brexit at the end of March, but the overall benefit has been relatively limited,” said Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY Item Club.

The closely-watched housing survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) for June showed a “very modest” rise in buyer demand.

Net lending to UK consumers rose by £1bn in June, higher than analysts’ expectations. Yet this was below June 2018’s £1.4bn figure, and annual consumer credit growth slowed to a 5-year low.

“The overall slowdown in consumer credit growth has clearly been significantly affected by markedly weaker private car sales as this has reduced demand for car finance,” said Archer.

Consumer spending has been a bright spot in the UK economy in 2019 as trade and business investment have suffered from political uncertainty. However, there are signs it is slowing.

A CBI survey showed retail sales fell at the fastest pace in over 10 years in June, due in part to the warm weather and football world cup a year earlier.

By Harry Robertson

Source: City AM

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Average property values up £2,000 in first half of 2019 but London home owners have lost £13,000

London home owners have seen the value of their properties slide by £13,035 on average in the first six months of the year, Zoopla claims.

Analysis of house price data by Zoopla – using its valuation tool that regularly collates property data on all 29m homes in the country – found that an average of £11 a day has been added to home values since the start of the year or £2,046 in total.

But home owners in the capital are not benefiting and have seen their property valuations fall by £71.23 a day.

Scotland also saw a £20.59 daily drop or £3,768 in total.

The west midlands was Britain’s best-performing region, with the average value of homes increasing by £36.58 per day, or £6,695 in total, since the start of the year.

The south-east was close behind, where home owners have seen their properties gain on average £35.32 each day and £6,463 in total over the past six months.

Zoopla also analysed who in the UK at a local authority level uses its house price tools to research the value changes in their local property market the most.

The research found that those in Birmingham are the most frequent users of the house price pages, whilst three London boroughs also made up the top ten most viewed locations, with those living in Wandsworth, Bromley and Croydon featuring in the list.

Laura Howard, spokesperson for Zoopla, said: “The UK housing market gained £60bn in value during the first six months of the year.

“An increase in the total value of housing was recorded across nine of the 11 regions analysed, with average property values in the west midlands making the most money for home owners.

“Perhaps then, it is no coincidence that in the past six months residents in the west midlands, more specifically those in Birmingham, have been the most regular visitors to Zoopla’s house prices tool, which gives a price estimate for the value of homes, down to a single address.

“At the other end of the spectrum, residential values in London have continued on the downward trajectory of the last three years.

“However, a patchwork of micro-markets in the capital means there are a number of neighbourhoods – from Notting Hill to Forest Hill – that are bucking the trend of price falls and registering price rises.”

RankRegionJanuary value (£)July value (£)£ total change£ change per day
1West Midlands230,676237,371£6,695£36.58
2South East England406,821413,284£6,463£35.32
3North West England198,446202,177£3,731£20.39
4Wales190,610193,910£3,300£18.03
5Yorkshire and The Humber181,918184,181£2,263£12.37
6East of England360,707362,823£2,116£11.56
7East Midlands224,352226,177£1,825£9.97
8North East England192,388193,663£1,275£6.97
9South West England309,333310,165£832£4.55
10Scotland194,942191,174-£3,768-£20.59
11London670,535657,500-£13,035-£71.23

By MARC SHOFFMAN

Source: Property Industry Eye