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John Lewis to Build Rental Homes on Twenty UK Sites

In an acknowledgement of the opportunity that the UK housing shortage presents, the owner of Waitrose and John Lewis stores plans to become a significant residential landlord in order to bolster profits. The company is already a major land owner and has identified twenty sites on which it will build fully furnished rental homes across the UK including some in Greater London. This makes them the second retailer to announce such plans after Swedish furniture giant, Ikea announced plans last year to build affordable housing in the UK.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sat, Oct 17th 2020

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UK Property Prices to Rise 20% Despite Recession

According to Savills' latest five-year property forecast, UK property prices are set to rise in excess of 20% over the next five years. The property expert predicts that the highest growth will be in the North West at 27.3% with significant growth expected from 2022 onwards. With rental yields in this region mostly above 5% and growth of 13.6% expected, overall returns over the five-year period should be in the 10% per annum range. This is a highly respectable return for a safe haven asset when alternative investments such as equities are highly uncertain and interest rates are at a record low. Further underpinning this positive outlook is the huge supply demand shortage of new builds across the UK which we have highlighted previously.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, Oct 11th 2020

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UK Housing Shortage Attracting First Time Buy-to-Let Investors

The UK housing shortage continues to grow with demand from June to September increasing 39% compared to only a 10% increase in supply, according to research by property portal, Zoopla. This ongoing trend has attracted many new buy-to-let investors with research by Legal and General showing a significant increase in searches using terms such as ‘first time landlord’ and ‘non-owner occupier’. In addition, searches by expats not in the country increased by 50% as investors look to take advantage of the UK’s weak currency and safe haven status.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, Oct 4th 2020

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East and South East Commuter Belt Benefitting the Most Since Lockdown

As people re-evaluate their living options post lockdown, sales for the two months end mid-September were up 58% on the same period last year. According to Savills using data from a TwentyCi homeowner report, the strongest demand has been in London’s commuter zone with the East and South East regions benefitting the most. According to Knight Frank, anywhere within a short drive or cycle to the station and a 35-40 minute train ride to Central London has been proving popular. Many parts of Kent fit the bill where areas such as Medway with it’s waterfront location and high speed rail access offer great value to potential buyers.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, Sep 27th 2020

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UK Sellers Not Reducing Prices

According to a recent survey by online agent, Strike despite 45% of buyers asking for discounts, most sellers are not willing to reduce prices. A quarter of those surveyed said they would accept a reduction of 5-10% whilst 29% said they would not accept a lower offer.

These findings are not surprising given the surge in demand post lockdown aided by the stamp duty holiday announced in July. Reports from leading property portal Rightmove and others have shown dramatic year on year increases in transactions across the UK. Somewhat surprisingly sales in the prime market were up 100% year on year in July and August according to Savills which underlines the robust nature of the UK property market in general.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, Sep 20th 2020

 

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