The last year has seen a clear contrast within the changes in house prices across the UK with the difference highlighted most starkly in the cases of Northern Ireland and London. According to the Office for National Statistics, there was a considerable drop of 12.8 per cent in the price of properties in Northern Ireland for the last year up to August. Conversely, the same time period saw the prices of houses in London increase by 6.3 per cent.
The house prices for the UK as a whole went up by a figure of 1.8 per cent, with the average cost of a home calculated at £234,000. When the separate nations of the UK are examined the figures show that only Northern Ireland experienced a decrease in the price of its houses. With the significant rise in London house prices this was a clearly significant contributory factor in the 2.1 per cent increase for England as a whole. It was also found that Wales went through an increase of 1.4 per cent, with Scotland’s prices rising by 0.5 per cent. The downturn in the UK’s housing industry has led in recent times to a low amount of price changes.
Despite the continuing wider struggles for the UK’s housing industry there is at least expected to be a promising end to 2012. The Funding for Lending scheme put in place by the government has been highlighted as a measure that should bring a welcome boost to the market as the year draws to a close. A survey carried out by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has this week revealed that the outlook at present is at its highest in over two years.
The higher level of mortgage availability is the biggest reason for this optimism and this follows on from the introduction of the Funding for Lending scheme. The stream of decreasing house prices has steadied to a certain extent but the overall difficulties are still very much present. The predicted positive end to the year is certainly a welcome factor but experts have reiterated that there is a need for a number of other aspects to improve. The Funding for Lending scheme may have been cited as a reason for the positive impact on the availability of mortgages but it has also been noted that people are still finding it immensely difficult to make it onto the property ladder.
The United Kingdom’s housing market has experienced a drop in the prices of its properties for a third consecutive month. The figures from the property analytics company Hometrack indicate that there was no region able to register an increase in the price of its houses in September. The overall fall for house prices was the same as the previous two months at 0.1 per cent and England’s North West suffered the greatest decrease at 0.3 per cent. In terms of the most promising part of the data, property in London attracted a buyer in an average time of 5.8 weeks. This is considerably less than the 9.9 weeks that property in the UK as a whole took to find a buyer.
The September fall in the UK’s housing prices is a continuation of the downward trend of recent months in a time for the market characterised by a long-standing lack of confidence coming from the buyer. This also comes with the government introducing the Funding for Lending scheme designed to give assistance to those looking to make their way onto the property ladder. It is however thought that there will be a tightening of the supply which will lead to a slowing of the volume of price decreases.
The outlook for the UK’s economy is a topic endlessly debated with the struggles documented at length on a regular basis. The housing market has experienced its own difficulties and the quiet nature it went through last month has been cited as a reflection of the wider issues related to the economy. This was said to be down to factors that include a lack of confidence in the housing industry and this claim is backed up by the decrease in gross mortgage lending, which fell from £12.7 billion to £12.6 billion in August.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders also highlighted a 4 per cent drop in the lending when compared to August 2011. In light of this, the CML did also point out that the new schemes put in place could well bring about some much sought-after positive change.
The Funding for Lending scheme is seen as a particularly important one because money will be lent by the Bank of England to financial organisations to lend in turn to prospective homeowners. There is also the NewBuy scheme under the terms of which new properties will be matched up with those who cannot pay a substantial deposit.
While the housing industry as a whole may be in need of something of a boost, one company has at least enjoyed an extremely welcome period of late. David Wilson Homes and Barratt Homes fit under the company umbrella of Barratt Developments and the group has reported what they describe as ‘relative stability’ in recent times and an overall double in their profits as a result.
Barratt’s average selling prices for the year ending June 30th rose 1.2 per cent to £180,500 with a steady stream of sales during that time. Further contributory factors to the profit rise include the FirstBuy scheme which was introduced by the government last July. This reason together with more reasonable land prices was said to be key in the sales rise from 11,078 to 12,673 for the last year.
The company is based in different spots around Leicestershire and they have stated that the rise in sales has enabled them to offer around 3,000 new local jobs as a result. The UK’s well-documented financial troubles led to a greater amount of new constructions being put together on less expensive areas of land and this has been another reason for Barratt’s profits.
There have been certain rules and regulations in place that you previously had to closely adhere to if you wanted to plan an extension for your home, but the government have now decided to offer a greater degree of leeway with regard to this. Anything you do choose to build at present is of course subject to successfully gaining the required planning permission, and this could very easily be an unsuccessful exercise.
The specific details of the new rules are to be announced in the very near future but currently you have to be able to obtain what is known as a permitted development if you want to subject your property to relatively small changes in its construction. Examples of a permitted development are conservatories and loft conversions.
It is believed that the change in rules will allow for greater freedom with regard to single-storey extensions, with double the length expected to be allowed. It is however thought that details such as the height and the materials will stay as they are. The new rules are due to be implemented during the remainder of this year and should be set to run until 2015 draws to a close.
Private developers can make a very big difference in the housing market at times when the major house builders have to exercise a measure of restraint in terms of the new projects they embark upon. What private developers are able to do is target areas for development with their own projects if they see an opportunity to supply the demand for housing and make a positive business investment.
The demand is certainly there for new housing developments. Many industry insiders do not believe the housing market will ever truly meet all the demand out there perfectly, but it has every chance of getting close is private developers also get in on the act and identify plots that are currently not being made the most of.
Timber frame developments often prove successful because of their cost-effectiveness – a very influential factor in a market that doesn’t seem to know whether it is coming or going at the present time. Ambitious developers are in a good position to make a positive difference to communities up and down the country with new projects that also enable them to build their portfolios and do good business.
The housing market is in a strange state at the present time because of economic uncertainty both in the UK and in Europe. Wider economic concerns do impact the housing market in the UK, just as they impact lending markets and all other industries. At the moment, there is hope that the housing market will pick up in the future, but for now most industry insiders view a period of steadiness with positivity.
Steadiness is sometimes preferred to rapid growth because rapid growth sometimes leads to an economic snap which is no good at all for the market. Steady growth is the ideal because it demonstrates greater health in the market. It acts as a much more reliable indicator that the market is on the up.
Steady growth is what those behind the scenes are working to try and achieve, but it depends on a number of different factors, from the economic position of house builders and the willingness of mortgage lenders to lend more widely to the presence of government incentives and the wider economic concerns affecting Europe described at the beginning of the post.
Certain parts of the country are really popular places to live because they have all the right amenities for individuals, couples and families and they are aesthetically pleasing to boot. Property in these areas is always in demand from buyers and landlords. If you are thinking of investing in a development then it is important to find the perfect spot where demand for property is high.
On the one hand, this gives you a great opportunity to earn money from a lucrative venture. On the other hand, it gives you the opportunity to provide for people and help meet the high demand in those popular communities. This represents the ideal situation for developers keen on doing things properly and responsibly.
Do you research in order to find the perfect location for your development and then assess the market to see what people actually want in that area – whether flats or houses are in more demand and whether it is first time buyers or movers and shakers who are most interested in properties in the area. These are important question to ask yourself before embarking on a such a project.
It has been reported a number of times in the last few years that the state of the London housing market has enjoyed better prospects than that of other parts of the country and in particular the North. There is a sense in which the property market indicates a genuine divide between North and South and some are suggesting that this will actually become more marked in the near future.
The double-dip recession currently being experienced in the UK is likely to have implications in the housing market and this means that properties in the North are likely to drop in price but it has been predicted that properties in the South will continue to see growth in terms of prices. This is largely because properties in London will remain in demand and will also continue to attract the interest of foreign nationals interested in relocating to the capital.
Properties in the North do not wield as much power when it comes to foreign interest and this may contribute to the continued slide in prices in the future. As a result, it may be that the gap between the North and South opens up even wider in the coming months.