Rat and Mouse
Wed
02
Apr

20140402nationwide 2

It’s the rate of growth the commentary’s focussing on when it talks about “moderation” in the market. Still, with annual gains approaching 10% nationally (and double that for London), I don’t think the bubble forecasters are going to be convinced. Some commentary here. Your copy of the official release here.

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Tue
01
Apr

The data’s from Hamptons, and it shows just under half (49%) of buyers in Prime Central postcodes were from the UK in 2013, up from 43% in 2012 and 37% in 2011. That translates as 2,800 sales versus 2,900. Looking at London as a whole, 77% of sales were to UK buyers, up from 65%. Accompanying comment singles out cooling interest from foreign investors with concerns about an over-heated market.

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Mon
31
Mar

London property “ bubble” biggest in history? [Evening Standard]
Property values rise three times faster than rents [This Is Money]
Google Glass tour of Heron penthouse [Daily Telegraph]
Battersea Power Station bedsit: £800,000 [Evening Standard]
London: home to 67 billionaires [Daily Mail]

The Rat and Mouse - London’s property blog, since 2005 

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Fri
28
Mar

Sell the four-bedroom terrace in London and buy the detached house with ten acres in Wiltshire, says Merryn Somerset Webb, while the property price gap between London and the rest of the country remains at an historic high. More here.

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Thu
27
Mar

I feel so strongly that we must build places which combine market-rate and affordable housing seamlessly, and create places where people actually want to live, that are built with an eye to enduring appeal and where, for example, people can walk from their house or flat to the shop and to the local school.

Mid-rise buildings of between five and eight storeys make ecological sense, too, as they are more adaptable than high-rise, easier to build out of natural materials, are easier to repair and still work for people when the lift is broken or there is a power cut.

On the building side, mid-rise buildings also allow a greater diversity of developers and builders as the initial outlays required by high-rise buildings make it the business of relatively few.

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The OBR told MPs yesterday that 10% annual house price rises in London are a temporary response to rational market forces, with prices peaking nationally later in the year and then growing slowly in line with wages. More here.

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Wed
26
Mar

Average London house double UK average [HITC]
Mayor takes eccentric view on effect of pension reform on property [Guardian]
Russian buyers spread their net [Metro] 
Off-roading in a Fitzrovia basement [Evening Standard]
Stamp Duty and the divorce buy-out [Guardian]

The Rat and Mouse - it’s about your house 

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Tue
25
Mar

He thinks a roof-top terrace, 6ft glass screens and big planters, would be lovely. His neighbours disagree. 

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According to the Express, expect more fuel to be thrown on the house price fire as pensioners get into the buy-to-let game as an alternative way of providing themselves with an income, pushing house prices up by as much as 30% (there’s no mention of time frame, however… a classic bogosity red flag). According to the Guardian, the further twist in the tail comes in the form of interest-only mortgage debt. With 600,000 interest-only loans due to end in 2020, and a significant proportion of those borrowers unlikely to be able to pay of the actual loan, the change in the pension rules couldn’t have come at a better time. Some are even wondering whether there’s method in this madness. However, I suspect the majority of borrowers with interest-only loans are more likely to reach retirement age a bit later than 2020. 

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Mon
24
Mar

There’ve been reports in a couple of places that valuations might be beginning to lag behind agreed prices… a problem for buyers when it comes to matching their dream cheap mortgage to their dream expensive home. No mention of actual data… other than confirmation of rapidly rising house prices.

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Fri
21
Mar

At home with Trinny Woodall [Daily Telegraph]
Surf-and-city, London and Cornish property package deal [Daily Mail]
London property and the postcode lottery [AOL]
Savills enjoys “ripple effect” [Evening Standard]
Southwark Council housing fraudster jailed [ITV]

The Rat and Mouse - London’s property blog, since 2005 

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Thu
20
Mar

Please provide us with any further information that you feel is relevant: LOVE the flat. I fear others of deeper pocket might like it just as much.

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Wed
19
Mar

The key points from today:

  • Inheritance tax to be waved for members of the emergency services who die in the line of duty.
  • A lowering of the 7% Stamp Duty threshold on homes held in corporate envelopes to £500,000, and an extension of an annual tax on empty properties owned by offshore companies to those worth £500,000 or more.
  • An extension of the controversial Help To Buy scheme to 2020.
  • Support for the building of 200,000 new homes, including a new “garden city” in Kent.

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20140319battersea 2

A late-Victoria laundry in Warriner Gardens, Battesea is the subject of a fierce local revolt against proposed development. The site is said to have washed the Royal smalls, and so has special historical interest. More here.

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A term apparently coined by the FT a few days ago, it’s the property equivalent of the fake eBay bid… the pretend post-offer accepted cheeky counter-offer aimed at scaring the buyers into raising a little more money. It’s not just the result of a rising market, it’s also aided and abetted by a media-obsession with hyping the bubble. Just when you thought it couldn’t get uglier...

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Tue
18
Mar

Greenwich, Beckenham, Earls Court, Harrow and Stoke Newington can expect to be graced with new high street presences between now and May, bringing the Foxtons office total to 49.

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