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The UK housing market and coronavirus: The chances of recovery in 2020

With stock markets crashing all over the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are fears that the UK housing market could also be badly hit. To understand the chance of this happening, we need to look at the current situation and what might happen next.

The situation before March

The country’s housing market was motoring along nicely before the coronavirus outbreak caused havoc. Figures from Nationwide Building Society show that British house prices increased by an annual growth rate of 3% in the month before the lockdown was imposed. This was the fastest rate in two years.

This was due to a monthly rise is 0.8%, which followed on from 0.3% in February. The annual growth rate in February was 2.3%. The average house price in the UK rose to £219,583 in March. The surge had been led by booming cities such as Manchester and Liverpool but most areas have seen good growth recently.

The different ways the market has been affected

The impact of the coronavirus can be put into different categories.

  • Lockdown measures mean that potential buyers are unable to view properties that they might be interested in.
  • The huge effect on the economy means that many people are unemployed or facing an uncertain future. Around 950,000 new welfare claimants applied in the second half of March, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.
  • Banks have made it more difficult for people to borrow on new mortgages. Some have withdrawn high loan to value deals and others don’t take overtime or bonuses into account as salary.
  • Official government advice is to avoid property transactions.
  • Many people have decided that buying a new home isn’t a priority.

These factors all add up to give us a UK housing market that is grinding to a standstill. To put it simply, the whole market has stopped and will remain that way until life gets back to normal.

The sort of price falls we can expect are unclear

There is no doubt that house prices will be affected by this period of uncertainty and economic gloom. The main issue is that it is extremely difficult to predict any figures. With virtually no transactions going through just now, there is a lack of data to base future estimates on.

The British economy is set for a deep recession. The last time this happened was in 2008, when housing prices crashed through the floor. In fact, it was so drastic that by 2017 property prices in a quarter of UK towns were still below their 2007 peak.

It is feared that the 2020 slump could be even worse than what happened in 2008.On the other hand, the more optimistic predictions suggest that it may just be a short-term wobble, like the way that Brexit affected property prices. It has also been pointed out that the severe economic damage down by the swine flu in 2009 didn’t stop house prices from soaring in the following year.

The chances of recovery in 2020

Very few analysts want to make predictions in this situation, particularly since we don’t even know how badly UK house prices will be hit.

However, the main hope is that overall economic weakness doesn’t tend to depress the UK housing market for long. It is possible that it bounces straight back as soon as the lockdown ends and people get back to their normal lives again.

The fact that interest rates are so low is sure to be a factor. Anyone who has the cash and the stability to buy a house might see this as being a great time to do so. Therefore, it is unlikely that we see the market standing still for too long.

In the best case scenario, prices will fall in the short term and recover by the end of 2020, but there are still too many unknown factors to bet on this being the case.

By Robert Bell

Source: Invezz

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Government rules out rent breaks for tenants

The Government has ruled out introducing rent holidays during the coronavirus pandemic.

Crossbench peer Lord Taylor of Warwick had posed a written parliamentary question asking the Government if there were any plans to issue a rent break for tenants affected by the coronavirus as part of its package of measures amid the virus outbreak.

But responding on the Government’s behalf in the House of Lords, Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist, appeared to rule this out.

She said: “Emergency legislation has been taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period.

“As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation need to be concerned about the threat of eviction.

“As such, the Government does not believe a ‘rent holiday’ is necessary at this stage.”

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has backed the Government’s stance, adding that the buy-to-let payment breaks on offer to landlords should also benefit tenants as it should only be used where renters are having trouble making payments.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, told EYE: “The Government has been clear.

“The buy-to-let mortgage holiday is not a green light to all tenants not to pay their rent.

“It enables landlords to provide flexibility where tenants are genuinely struggling to pay their rent as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak.

“A comprehensive package of measures has been put in place to support incomes, including increasing the Local Housing Allowance and the Universal Credit standard allowance to support tenants to continue paying their rent.

“This should be accessed as much as possible before any talk of deferring rent payments.”

By MARC SHOFFMAN

Source: Property Industry Eye

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Can you still invest in UK property during the coronavirus crisis?

Never in the history of the UK property market have we seen such a turnaround in sentiment. In January UK house prices were rising after the Conservative election victory and the expected resolution of the Brexit furore which had been dogging the country for the best part of four years.

Bank of England data has indicated that over 73,000 new mortgages were approved in February – a six year high which is now looking relatively meaningless as an indicator for UK property investment.

March will NOT be reflecting such positive sentiments: according to forecasts from Zoopla, we can expect a 60% decline in residential property sales in the months ahead as the entire UK residential sector goes into deep freeze. For those planning to buy UK property as an investment, especially overseas buyers watching the pound plummet against other currencies, the big question is how to get into this market while it is so cheap?

At the time of writing, the UK is in lockdown with the government advising buyers and sellers to avoid moving. It also means that it is extremely difficult if not impossible to arrange property viewings.

Housing stock still available for property investors

According to life tenancy specialist MacBeale, there is still housing stock available for investors who are looking at houses purely from an investment perspective. However, these are agreed deals which were negotiated prior to the coronavirus arriving in the UK.

Life tenancies are long term investments where the owner of the property is able to acquire it at a considerable discount, but is not able to actually live in it until the life tenant has died or gone into permanent care. They already have considerable discounts attached which are still larger than any discount that could be achieved from the current economic circumstances in the UK.

“All the existing stock price will remain unchanged as the formula for the discount is based on age against open market value,” explains Paul Beale, Director with MacBeale in the UK. “We are already looking to get new property via the secondary market from banks and insurance companies. These won’t be new life tenancies created from the open market, rather they will be existing stock which will be brought back to market.”

Beale thinks that UK house prices are currently holding steady as there are few forced sellers. This may change depending on how long the lockdown continues and its consequent negative impact on the British economy, with knock on impact felt in UK housing prices in Q3-4. With sterling now very weak, however, he reports increased interest in UK property again from overseas buyers, especially from East Asia. “We see this trend continuing,” he adds.

Overseas investors will also be aware that the latest UK budget has introduced a 2% surcharge for foreign buyers of UK property, which will take effect next year. This, coupled with a weaker pounds, is creating a fairly small window of opportunity for anyone living abroad looking at UK residential property as an asset class.

Source: The Armchair Trader

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Mortgages and coronavirus: UK property market grinds to a halt amid lockdown

Coronavirus has ground the UK property market to a halt, with most mortgage lenders suspending most new mortgages, and some even suspending remortgaging. Property transactions are becoming increasingly difficult with every link in the property selling chain affected, from estate agent appointments to property evaluations and viewings.

Property sales that are at contract exchange stage are legally allowed to go ahead to the completion stage, although everyone is being strongly advised to delay completion for up to three months. Channel Four’s Kirstie Allsopp advised in an interview with the BBC that ‘what is legal and what is compassionate’ are not necessarily the same thing under the circumstances, and urged everyone who is able to do so to speak to their seller and conveyancer and delay the move.

Where does that leave prospective home owners who were hoping to find the home of their dreams this year? All may not be lost: the first thing to do is to speak to your prospective lender or intermediary as soon as possible to gauge what options currently remain open. Lloyds and Barclays have both said that they still will lend to buyers with a deposit of 40 per cent or larger, and it’s possible other lenders will follow suit.

Some evaluations and viewings may be possible to carry out via video, so phone the estate agent that’s advertising the property to see what’s currently possible. Expect everything to take much, much longer, but remember: the restrictions are temporary and even if you’re not able to go ahead with a house purchase right now, it’s still worth speaking to the estate agent about the property market in your chosen area, and to a mortgage specialist.

BY ANNA COTTRELL

Source: Real Homes

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Housing market is ‘suspended’ as banks tell Government valuations are ‘impossible’

Banks are calling for the whole housing market to be suspended during the crisis and this morning The Times front page lead story said it had already happened.

It splashes with the headline: “Virus prompts No 10 to suspend housing market”.

The Times headline and story comes after mounting pressure from lenders to put the market on ice. The Times today concludes that the housing market is suspended anyway, with viewings cancelled, instructions to people to delay moving, and mortgage finance drying up.

The Daily Mail’s front page splash headline is “Don’t move home”. Its story says that the housing market is “all but frozen”, calling it a shut-down, and says banks have been lobbying for a full freeze on the property market.

Today’s Telegraph business section carries the splash: “Government suspends the housing market”. The paper says that the housing market “was halted last night by the Government after financial institutions said they could no longer operate properly”.

Today on BBC’s Radio 4 broadcast a similar report this morning, and the Financial Times is covering lenders’ concerns.

But an agent last night warned against banks trying to undermine the market rather than support it, and called on the Government to ignore lenders’ demands.

Banks pressing to freeze the market have expressed concern to ministers about the impact of the pandemic on valuations.

They have also expressed concern about giving credit when the economy is in freefall.

Lenders have told ministers that it has become impossible to survey properties.

UK Finance, the trade body for lenders, has written to its members saying it is seeking urgent clarification over the future of the market, “particularly as physical property valuations are no longer possible”.

One property lawyer, Laura Conduit at Farrers, told the Financial Times that banks will have to decide whether they can rely on valuations using videos of properties.

She said: “We haven’t got a clue what the value of anything is.”

Agent James White, of Yorkshire agent Belong, told EYE last night: “Time and time again, whenever there is a wobble in the property market, the banks can be relied on to undermine it.

“This time around, the market needs the full support of the banking system in order to avoid a collapse in confidence and house prices.

“If they implement a complete stop, who knows what will happen to house prices and repossession numbers?”

He added: “Given that the underlying fundamentals of low interest rates, steady demand and excellent employment levels created stability before the coronavirus pandemic, surely it is in everyone’s interest not to add to the woes of the economy and property market.”

Some lenders, including Lloyds and Barclays, have pulled many of their products, and some will only lend to borrowers with deposits of at least 40%.

Lenders have also said that their call centres are clogged with anxious home owners requesting mortgage holidays.

All told, tens of thousands of borrowers are said to be looking for payment breaks, but some are said to be pushing for breaks that they do not really need

Yesterday, Nationwide launched a dedicated coronavirus support page in order to free up phone lines and reduce waiting lines for customers including vulnerable people genuinely needing a payment break. www.nationwide.co.uk/support/coronavirus

One broker, Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients, said: “Lenders are throwing all their resources into dealing with payment holiday requests.

“But in the same way that people are stockpiling food they don’t need, there are selfish borrowers who are asking for payment holidays when they don’t need them.

“This is blocking the phone lines for those who do. Borrowers should ask themselves: can I pay the mortgage this month? If the answer is ‘yes’, then keep off the phone to your lender and let those who do need a payment holiday get through.”

He added: “Borrowers may be worried that there is a funding crisis. There isn’t – the banks are awash with liquidity.”

However, he said that not all banks are set up for staff to work from home, and that call centres are operating on skeleton resources.

By ROSALIND RENSHAW

Source: Property Industry Eye

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Intermediaries should be tapping into the increased demand for alternative finance

The commercial property and mortgage markets will continue to be worth following over the course of 2020 in terms of activity and innovation, although they will inevitably face their fair share of challenges.

We’ve already seen some positive signs from Shawbrook Bank, who recently suggested that its commercial mortgage enquiries were nearly three times greater in January 2020 when compared with the same month last year. In a similar vein to the rise in enquires seen across the residential property market, it’s not too far of a stretch to realise that much of this could be explained by the decisive election result back in December. After all, no property market likes uncertainty, and the degree of political certainty emerging from this vote has certainly helped provide a lift for all property-related activity. And this level of stability appears to be enticing house buyers and investors back into the market and to even broaden risk profiles across their portfolios.

So, what else can we expect from the commercial mortgage market?

First, and foremost, there will be an increased use of online platforms to make it easier for clients to access finance. These will help match investors – who are looking for a higher return on their money – with clients needing to borrow, for example, deposits through property funds. Retailers themselves are utilising innovative technology to grow their client base through logic capabilities algorithms which can provide predictive insights into customer behaviour, which in turn can transform their property location strategy.

However, obstacles surrounding access to finance for SMEs remain. A recent study from specialist lender Together has indicated that hundreds of thousands of UK SMEs have been turned down for property finance over the past five years.

It reported that nearly a quarter of SMEs said they had struggled to find the funds to move or expand – with inflexible lenders and a shortage of suitable property proving the biggest problems. The research showed that even the 24% which have successfully completed property moves or upgrades still struggled to navigate challenging funding processes. Finding a suitable property was ranked as the biggest problem by SMEs – 30% said it was an issue – but the next four biggest challenges were all driven by issues with lenders and raising finance. Around 28% of firms said lenders were inflexible, while the same number – the equivalent of nearly 840,000 firms – had applications rejected during the process. 27% said they had to resubmit applications and nearly one in five (19%) said lenders did not understand their businesses.

SMEs remain the lifeblood of the UK economy, and these figures highlight just how difficult it can be for some firms to access the type of finance which could support their business and help with expansion plans. In fairness, commercial lenders are being asked tough questions when it comes to funding lines and risk appetites in what remains some uncertain times for the UK high street and general economic conditions. Having said this, SMEs are evolving within this shifting climate and lenders have to be more flexible in both their criteria and product ranges in order to meet these needs. The Bank of England is also doing its bit after loosening some of the restrictions on banks to allow them to lend more to businesses, which is estimated to free up an extra £190bn of credit to the economy.

Thankfully, there are enough positive indicators to suggest that the market is moving in the right direction, and much of this is being generated through specialist lending and distribution channels, a factor which really highlights the importance of the advice process. Which means that intermediaries should be tapping into the increased demand for alternative finance as many of their existing clients, and potential new ones, will be part of this growing SME army. And now is the time to engage with them for their business as well as personal borrowing requirements.

By DALE JANNELS

Source: Financial Reporter

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Coronavirus causing slump in sales and viewings

Sales and viewings through online estate agents are falling considerably now the coronavirus outbreak worsened, data from online estate agency Doorsteps indicates.

Its daily sales have fallen by 77% from the first week of March to the third, while there’s been a 51% drop in daily bookings for viewing properties.

Akshay Ruparelia, managing director, said: “We are just trying to stay very lean and focus on getting through it.

“Demand to sell properties is not going to change, it’s just deferred, so when things pick up we could have a great few months.

“It’s about weathering the storm.”

He added that he feels lucky the firm is in its fourth year and has good volumes, while he is looking to retain staff during this difficult period.

Doorsteps suggested the situation is particularly bleak in London, where there’s been a 90.89% fall in property sales from the first week of March to this week.

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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What’s on the table for the new housing minister?

A new housing minister has picked up the keys and it feels like Groundhog Day. Step forward Christopher Pincher, the Tory member for Tamworth. Pincher is the 10th housing minister in the last decade – a shocking statistic even by recent standards of ministerial churn.

The 50-year-old Walsall-born MP, who took up the job following Boris Johnson’s latest reshuffle, joined the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) from the Foreign Office, where he was minister for Europe and the Americas.

Pincher, a former deputy chief whip under Theresa May, took to Twitter to express his “delight” at the new role, although he was “sad” at leaving his job at the FCO.

It’s understandable. His role at MHCLG is as hard-nosed and domestic as is imaginable.

As parliamentarians know, housing has always occupied the hearts and minds of the British public. But it has become a lightning rod for more deep-rooted problems, summed up in one word: inequality. And this is never more apparent than in the UK’s dysfunctional housing market. The housing crisis did not permeate the general election campaign as much as expected – mainly due to Brexit – but it is never far from the headlines.

So what is piling up in Pincher’s inbox?

After Theresa May’s swerve to the left on housing, the Conservatives have returned to a more recognisable focus on home ownership.

Last month MHCLG unveiled plans for a scheme dubbed ‘First Homes’, which will offer some first-time buyers discounts of 30%. The scheme has already proved controversial, however, as critics argue it will hamper the supply of affordable homes. Other prospective house buyers have also been dangled a carrot with a pledge to encourage a “new market for long-term fixed-rate mortgages”.

Social housing tenants are too being promised a chance to experience a taste of home ownership. The Conservative manifesto vowed to extend a voluntary Right to Buy scheme for housing association residents, and a shared ownership Right to Buy scheme for social housing tenants is also promised.

It’s not all about home ownership though. Renters have been promised a “better deal” through a yet-to-be-tabled Renters Reform Bill. To the annoyance of landlord groups, the Conservative manifesto retained a commitment to end so-called ‘no-fault evictions’. This means landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants without a reason when their tenancy ends. The Bill is also expected to include the concept of a ‘lifetime deposit’, designed to make it easier for tenants to move more freely.

The fact remains, however, that the UK suffers from a severe housing shortage. Prior to the general election, the Government vowed to build 300,000 homes a year. But this has been dialled down to the more muted ambition of “at least” a million new homes over the current Parliament.

Question marks also remain over what type of housing this will be. While Labour pledged to be building at least 150,000 council and social homes annually within five years, the Conservatives failed to give a breakdown. Their manifesto committed to delivering hundreds of thousands of “affordable homes”, which remains a woolly concept. Boris Johnson has vowed to publish a social housing white paper which will “empower tenants and support the continued supply of social homes” but what this will involve is unclear.

Either way, the Government wants new homes to be built to more exacting environmental standards to tackle the climate emergency. In his first announcement as housing minister, Pincher launched a competition for designers with ideas around developing low-carbon homes. This move follows proposals for a ‘Future Home Standard’, which means from 2025 all new homes must have 80% fewer carbon emissions. A ‘social housing decarbonisation fund’ was also promised in the Conservatives’ manifesto.

But it does not stop there. Ministers believe that part of the problem with new-build housing is aesthetics. Bleeding through ministerial speeches has been the concept of ‘building beautiful’. It culminated in a report, overseen by the late Roger Scruton, which has inspired MHCLG to launch a ‘national model design code’.

Bear in mind however that the vast majority of new housing is built by the UK’s giant PLC housebuilders. A string of horror stories involving substandard new-build homes has resulted in the Government launching a New Homes Ombudsman, to protect homebuyers faced with “shoddy building work”. A ban on new-build homes being sold on a leasehold basis in future is also still planned, with critics referring to the system as “fleecehold”.

The other issue is where and how new homes should be built. The Tory manifesto vowed to “protect and enhance” Britain’s precious green belt. Instead, ministers will prioritise building on brownfield sites. This idea has caught the eye of companies building homes in factories, using so-called modern methods of construction (MMC). The Government is backing this fledgling idea and working with a number of offsite manufacturers to speed up the housebuilding process.

Meanwhile a white paper has been promised on reforms to the planning system to “ensure it works better for the public and small builders”, MHCLG has said.

It’s a head-spinning list. And this is without mentioning homelessness, which falls under the remit of another MHCLG junior minister, Luke Hall.

One issue will inevitably overshadow Pincher’s term in office – the ongoing response to the cladding crisis in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Government has committed to a series of reforms around building safety. But for some, more immediate action is needed. Hundreds of residents of high-rise blocks are dealing with crippling bills to cover 24-hour fire safety surveillances and the cost of removing and fixing dangerous cladding. While the Government is providing money to fix Grenfell-style ACM cladding, it has failed to act on other types of dangerous cladding, amid a legal minefield for property freeholders and leaseholders. And with the second phase of the Grenfell Tower public inquiry having resumed this month, scheduled to run into next year, it is destined to stay high up the agenda.

Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, has taken ownership of the Grenfell response. Whether Pincher will have vacated MHCLG and dropped off the keys by the time the inquiry concludes is anybody’s guess.

By James Wilmore

Source: Politics Home

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House prices return to pre-financial crisis levels

House prices across English cities have risen above pre-Financial Crisis peaks for the first time since 2007, the latest research has found.

Property in Central London recovered to pre-crisis levels in just 2.3 years, the fastest of all UK cities, as overseas buyers entered the market attracted by a weaker pound.

Oxford and Cambridge followed the capital, returning to 2007 levels at 3.7 and 3.9 years respectively.

Newcastle was the last city to exceed pre-crisis house levels, only registering recovery in late December last year, according to the Zoopla UK Cities House Price Index.

Meanwhile, London’s house prices grew two per cent from January 2019 to last month, and all English cities have recorded annual house price inflation of at least two per cent per year for the first time in two years.

Richard Donnell, director of research and insight at Zoopla, said: “While it took 12 years for all English cities to return to pre-Global Financial Crisis levels, the central London market returned to this level in just 2.3 years.

“The subsequent decrease in the value of sterling created a window of opportunity for overseas buyers to secure competitive value in high value markets and, since then, house prices in London have rebounded by almost 60 per cent, outstripping all other UK cities.

“Today London’s growth is more moderate, slowly ticking upwards at two per cent per annum. We do not expect the annual growth rate to accelerate further as affordability pressures limit buying power.”

Data by the Office for National Statistics published last month showed that London house prices jumped 2.3 per cent to £484,000 in December after the Conservative election win.

Across the UK house prices increased 2.2 per cent on an annual basis, and reported an increase of 0.3 per cent on a month by month basis.

By Jessica Clark

Source: City AM

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Can the UK escape its housing crisis?

Last year research from the National Housing Federation found that 8.4 million people in England were living in an “unaffordable, insecure or unsuitable home”, prompting the government to say housing would be a “priority”.

Low supply, high prices and almost nonexistent real terms wage growth has made it even harder to get a foot on the property ladder.

What can be done to fix Britain’s housing crisis and what impact could that have on people on various stages on (or off) the property ladder?

The Claim

The government’s new policy to fix the housing crisis is called First Homes, which they say will have “life changing” consequences for people trying to get onto the property ladder.

First Homes will cut 30 per cent off the price of certain homes for first-time buyers, with the benefit also extending to military veterans and people coming to fill important jobs in the local area such as nurses, teachers or police personnel.

If the buyer decides to sell up and move on then they would have to sell their house with the same discount to a local resident to avoid people buying the discounted properties and quickly selling them on for a significant profit.

The government expects “tens of thousands” of people will be able to take advantage of the policy to buy a home in their local area.

The policy is going through consultation so it will be some time before the finished article can come into effect but early details suggest councils will be able to apply a “local connection” test to prospective buyers to determine whether they are eligible for the discounted properties or not.

If the government is really serious about solving the housing crisis then it also needs to build far more houses than it has done over the past decade, with affordable housing being a significant part of the new housing stock.

The UK is going through a housing crisis but schemes like First Homes could help people afford homes in their local area and building more houses will mean people actually have more places to live.

The Counter Claim

However, research from Shelter found that even with the First Homes policy 96 per cent of average earners would still not be able to afford a house.

Many people who want to get a home of their own are private renters, almost two thirds of whom have no savings and cannot afford a deposit on a property that would already be very expensive.

There are also warnings that the prospective policy would put social housing at risk and make the situation even worse.

First Homes requires housing developers to cover the costs of cutting prices for certain properties by 30 per cent, but developers already have a planning system they use with councils to ensure a certain amount of affordable housing is built and infrastructure is constructed around it, called Section 106.

Between 40 and 80 per cent of the Section 106 money is expected to go towards First Homes if it launches, meaning there’s less available for building affordable homes.

If there are fewer affordable homes being built and the houses available under the First Homes policy are still out of reach to 96 per cent of average earners then the people in the most need of secure housing will be harmed.

The prospective policy could help those who earn above the average wage or have enough savings to afford a deposit, but paying for it from the same pot of money which goes towards building affordable housing could make things worse for those with below average incomes and no savings.

The Facts

Affordable housing includes social homes, shared ownership schemes and affordable rent properties. Six out of 10 social homes are built using Section 106 money.

The average price of a newly built house in England is £314,000, meaning First Homes would knock £94,000 off the initial price.

The National Housing Federation report into the 8.4 million people in England living in an “unaffordable, insecure or unsuitable home” found that 3.6 million people were living in an overcrowded home while 2.5 million couldn’t afford their current rate of rent or mortgage.

A further 2.5 million people are living in “hidden households” they can’t afford to leave including house shares, living with parents or living with an ex-partner. 1.7 million are living in “unsuitable” homes, which includes the elderly in homes they can’t move around in and families in homes with no outside space.

Some 1.4 million are in poor quality homes which aren’t in a good condition for human habitation and 400,000 people are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless as they sofa surf, sleep rough or live in temporary accommodation.

The government is now on housing minister number 10 in as many years, with Christopher Pincher replacing Esther McVey in the reshuffle last week. Long-term government plans are being hampered by the regular turnover of ministers.

A report from Shelter last year found that England would need three million new homes built over the next 20 years, while the Scottish and Welsh governments are committing more money to building new affordable houses.

One in 10 new homes built since 2013 have been constructed on land with a high risk of flooding, with over 84,000 new homes considered to be at risk from extreme weather the UK is currently experiencing with Storm Dennis.

A shortage of housing stock and a low number of new houses being built over a long period of time has contributed to the UK’s housing crisis and it will take a long time to compensate for years of issues.

By Joe Harker

Source: Kent Live