This week saw the reopening of indoor hospitality which has been great, It is nice that we do not have to sit outside anymore to visit our favourite eatery, especially with this horrible wet and windy weather we have been having.
Now, let’s take a look at the headlines that caught our attention this week, I always try to summarise the links to save you having to click through.
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Property news this week
- Inner city property roars back as UK reopens – Nick and I had predicted this in previous podcast episodes and it seems we may have been right (for the time being!). With the easing of restrictions, city centre locations and flats are staging a comeback in the housing market. The UK’s biggest property website, Rightmove, has done an analysis of over 1.6 million properties from their portal and the data gathered showed that flats have seen the biggest jump in buyer demand since January, up by 39%, replacing family homes which had been the strongest performers in the market. Demand in city centres is up by 35% compared to a 32% jump in demand for villages. Rightmove found that the easing of covid restrictions has increased the appeal of living in a city centre, leading to some cities seeing buyer demand jump as high as 76% in York city centre. Urban locations are also now outperforming buyer demand growth in rural areas. These are early signs and data but definitely good news for city centres across the country.
- Chancellor urged to scrap stamp duty altogether – The think tank Bright Blue is arguing that stamp duty should be scrapped altogether to stimulate further activity in the housing market. It wants to see stamp duty abolished, along with council tax, and both replaced with an annual property tax instead. They believe that the new annual proportional property tax (APPT) would still be able to raise the same amount of tax for the government but would more closely reflect the value of homes than the current system that includes council tax valuations dating back to 1991. So they basically want to shift the taxes to the better off. The reactions have been mixed and buying agent Henry Pryor took to Twitter to pose the following question: ‘Would you rather pay tax when you buy a property (roughly £10k on an average home) or pay an annual tax of 0.11% (0.14% for 2nd home) of the value of your home?’ with 440 votes concluding 53% for Stamp Duty and 47% for Annual Property Tax.
- UK property boom set to roll on as savings unlocked – A Reuters poll has found that Britain’s pandemic property market boom is set to roll on as government support for the roaring market continues and those who have managed to save money during lockdowns look for more living space. House prices rose at the fastest rate in nearly 14 years in March and a poll of 21 property market experts found that they now predict prices will increase 5% this year which is a stark contrast from their February poll which predicted they would flatline. Prices in London, long the hotbed for foreign investment, were expected to lag the national market and rise 3.0% this year.
- Buy-to-Let Watch: The staycation effect – So even with the successful vaccine rollout and holidays abroad fully on the horizon, it seems the popularity of UK staycations may be here to stay. This has been made apparent by data collated and released by Moneyfacts in early April, which showed that the number of holiday-let products available in the market had continued to rise since March 2020. There has also been a surge in sales with data from research carried out by Hodge at the end of March, highlighting that sales of holiday homes near the coast had surged over the previous six months. The most popular destination for holiday-let buyers was the Southwest at 39%. This will be great news for the UK economy if more Brits do stay home to holiday and spend money rather than going abroad.
That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary then please feel free to send us an email at [email protected] – if not, see you next week.