I hope you are well. In the UK today we are all in the swing of celebrating the Coronation of our new King. As we embark on this latest chapter in UK history, we have decided to take a look through the journey of both the UK and Dubai property markets.
Understanding the development of these prolific markets can help to give us a clearer understanding of the crucial part we play in helping to create a strong and vibrant economy.
If you are interested to learn more about the extraordinary heritage of the UK or Dubai, click on these links to take a walk down memory lane:
Now, let’s take a look at all the headlines that caught our attention this week. I always try to summarise the links to save you from having to click through.
Remember, you can also listen to this week’s newsletter on the podcast as well.
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Property News This Week
- UK Prices Increased for the First Time in Seven Months in April –
House prices in the UK increased by 0.5% in April, breaking a seven-month streak of declines and signalling a potential stabilization in the property market. Nationwide’s house price index revealed that the average price of a house in April 2023 was £260,441, up from £257,122 in March. Consumer confidence has started to recover, which could support a recovery in housing market activity. However, the market remains challenging to predict, and any price upturn is expected to be slow.
- 44-Day Drop in Average Time it Takes to Sell a UK Home – The time it takes to sell a home in England and Wales has decreased by an average of 44 days, according to data from estate agent comparison site GetAgent. Over the past year, it took an average of 250 days to sell a home, compared to 294 days in the previous 12 months. The quickest area to sell a home is the SW1Y postcode in Westminster, averaging 79 days. Despite property market instability, home sellers and buyers have transacted at a faster pace in the past 12 months.
- UK Mortgage Approvals Have Reached a 5-Month High – UK mortgage approvals rose to a five-month high in March, reaching 52,000, up from 44,100 in February, and surpassing expectations of 46,300. However, mortgage lending stalled, hitting its lowest level since mid-2021. The Bank of England (BoE) reported a 17 basis point increase in the ‘effective’ interest rate on new mortgages to 4.41% in March. The BoE has raised the bank rate by 415 basis points since December 2021. Individual mortgage debt borrowing fell to net zero, the weakest level since June 2011, excluding the pandemic period.
- Brokers Speak Out Against Return of Help to Buy Scheme – Brokers have criticized the UK government’s early plans to reintroduce the Help to Buy scheme, arguing that it would inflate house prices and primarily benefit housebuilders. The scheme, which provided first-time buyers with government equity loans of up to 40% of the purchase price on new-build homes, was responsible for over 375,654 loans valued at £23.6bn over a decade. Critics argue that the government should focus on reducing bureaucracy and promoting an objective planning regime to encourage small builders to construct more affordable homes.