This week it emerged that more private tenants are leaving the capital in search of cheaper homes, while rents in the UK have edged up only slightly in the past year. Affordable housing is still a prevalent issue in the property market, and while office conversions are adding to the housing stock, none of them are creating affordable homes. Meanwhile, mortgage options for both first-time buyers and the older generation mean it’s a great time to borrow. Here are seven things you might have missed this week…
1. Why are record numbers of renters leaving London now?
Last year, Countrywide recorded a 10-year high of 65,000 renters quitting the capital. But they’re no longer leaving to become first-time buyers…
2. The rise of the short-term let: landlords taking lead from Airbnb
Void periods – the days, weeks or even months between one tenant moving out and another moving in – can be a landlord’s most dreaded expense, so growing numbers are turning to short-term, Airbnb-type lets to plug the gap.
3. The case for and against office conversions to ease the housing crisis…
Converting offices for residential use is great for adding to the UK’s housing stock, but it allows developers to bypass affordable housing requirements.
4. More focus on mortgage financing options for the older generation
Statistics suggest that between now and 2032 there will be 40,000 interest-only mortgages maturing annually, with no obvious means for their older borrowers to repay them.
5. Rental prices in the UK edged up more slowly than inflation in 2017
Last year’s UK rental market was decidedly steady, with average rents rising by 1.7% in the year to December 2017, although regional variations painted a slightly different picture.
6. Why now is an opportune time for first-time buyers with smaller deposits
With the government’s decision to scrap stamp duty for first-time buyers, and the base rate rise having little impact on mortgage rates with a 95% loan-to-value, this year is looking promising for prospective first-time buyers wanting to get on the property ladder.
7. How has Brexit really affected the UK property market?
With news that the pound has hit its highest level at more than $1.40 since Britain’s vote to leave the EU in June 2016, the UK housing market appears to be holding its own in the face of a difficult climate.