Posts tagged ‘Zoopla!’

UPDATED: House prices edge up to five times salary

House price growth slowed to 0.6 per cent in September as affordability became increasingly stretched, figures showed today.

House prices 3

The rise, which followed no change in August, added more than £1,000 to property prices, leaving the average value of a UK home at £187,188, the highest level since April 2008, according to mortgage lending Halifax.

Recent strong house price gains, combined with slow wage growth, have pushed the typical cost of a home up to 5.04 times average earnings.

The price to earnings ratio is now at its highest level since June 2008, and close to the 5.83 peak reached in July 2007 when house prices stood at £199,084.

The increase leaves consumers on average earnings needing increasingly big deposits or equity stakes in order to comply with Bank of England guidance under which lenders should not advance more than 4.5 times a borrower’s income.

Unsurprisingly, the deterioration in affordability is beginning to act as a brake on the property market.

Halifax reported that the annual rate of growth eased for the second consecutive month in September to stand at 9.6 per cent, down from a recent peak of 10.2 per cent in July.

The figure is in line with data reported by Nationwide Building Society, which showed a slowdown in annual house price inflation slowdown to 9.4 per cent in September, with prices dipping by 0.2 per cent during the month itself.

Meanwhile, property sales fell below 100,000 in August for the first time since November 2013, according to HM Revenue & Customs.

The number of mortgages approved for house purchase, a leading indicator of market activity, also dropped for the second month running in August.

Martin EllisMartin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: “The recent rapid rise in house prices in some parts of the UK, earnings growth that remains below consumer price inflation and the possibility of an interest rate rise over the coming months, appear to have tempered housing demand.

“This weakening in demand has led to a modest easing in both house price growth and sales.”

He added that annual house price inflation may have peaked at around 10 per cent.

“A moderation in growth looks likely during the remainder of 2014 and into next year as supply and demand becoming increasingly better balanced,” he said.

Matthew Pointon, 
property economist at Capital Economics, said: “The cooling in house price inflation is being driven by a sharp drop in housing demand.”

He said demand should recover as mortgage lenders got used to the new regulations, more homes came on to the market and there was a return of real earnings growth.”

But he added: “It is unlikely buyers will be willing or able to accommodate yet another burst of house price inflation, which suggests we are set for a prolonged period of far more subdued house price gains.”

Meanwhile, consumer confidence about house price growth has fallen to a 15-month low, according to Zoopla.

Around 88 per cent of homeowners think property prices will rise in their area in the coming six months, down from 92 per cent six months ago and the lowest level since July 2013.

The survey of 6,746 homeowners also found that 39 per cent of people thought it was now more difficult to get a mortgage than it had been three months ago.

Zoopla’s Lawrence Hall said: “With the lengthier funding approval process following the Mortgage Market Review and fewer homeowners predicting that house prices will continue to rise in the short term, the coming months will be crucial to determine if the housing market recovery has stalled or simply paused for breath.”


October 8, 2014 at 9:16 AM Leave a comment

Most viewed properties on Zoopla in August

Which are the most popular properties in August so far? With asking prices from less than £164,950 to almost £65m and located in a variety of places – from Plymouth to North Yorkshire – here are the most viewed properties on Zoopla.

1. The humble bungalow reigns supreme this month, with a three bedroom version topping the most viewed chart. The £164,950 property in Leicester is ‘an ideal investment opportunity’ according to estate agents Leicester Premier, which is handling the sale.

26.08.14 Popular 1

2. This four bedroom home has an asking price of less than £450,000. It can be found in a small town within commuting distance of Plymouth.

26.08.14 Popular 2

3. With possibly the most unforgettable address, this building is equally unique and has the potential to be a stunning Grand Design. The property is at Number 1, The Thames, in Sheerness and is currently on the market for £500,000.

26.08.14 Popular 3

4. As well as seven bedrooms, this gated property close to Hampstead Village includes a cinema room, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, garages for three to four cars, and a separate staff flat on the lower ground floor. It has an asking price of £46.5m.

29.07.14 Popular 2

5. This three bedroom luxury apartment in the heart of Royal Greenwich boasts three bedrooms and three bathrooms, and covers a floor space of 909 sq ft. It has an asking price of £580,000.

29.07.14 Popular 1

6. If you would like to live in a modern mansion north of Birmingham, this six bedroom property fits the bill. It boasts solid oak and natural stone finishes throughout, zoned underfloor heating and landscaped gardens.

26.08.14 Popular 4

7. This five bedroom apartment at London’s iconic One Hyde Park has an asking price of £64,999,950. The accommodation spans an entire floor and boasts views of both Knightsbridge and Hyde Park.

29.07.14 Popular 5

8. Diversity is at the heart of this £659,000 detached property in North Yorkshire. It can be used as a five bedroom house, a successful B&B with separate owners accommodation or it could be converted to a three bedroom property with an adjoining two bedroom cottage that would be ideal for relatives.

29.07.14 Popular 7

9. A nine bedroom detached house in London’s Kensington is being offered (POA) with full planning permission to build a separate cottage, tennis court and garden pavilion.

28.03.14 Popular 5

10. This newly built ambassadorial-style and stucco-fronted London home has 11 bedrooms and is spread over five floors – including a lower ground and basement.

26.06.14 Popular 4

August 27, 2014 at 12:33 PM Leave a comment

Property Rich List shows number of ‘property millionaires’ in Britain reaches half a million

The number of homeowners in Britain who can claim to be ‘property millionaires’ now stands at 484,081, almost 50 per cent higher than last year, according the latest research from Zoopla.

22.08.14 Million

The latest Property Rich List 2014 from Zoopla shows the 10 most expensive streets in Britain have seen property values grow 12.9 per cent in the last year, compared to the rest of the country where average values have risen by 6.6 per cent over the same period.

The growth in property values at the top end of the market has also helped increase the number of streets with an average property value of more than £1m by almost a third in the past year to 10,613. Just under a third of the streets with average property values over £1m are located in London (3,744).

There are now 12 streets with average house prices of more than £10m, all of which unsurprisingly are in London. The average property on Kensington Palace Gardens, the most expensive street, is now worth £42,730,706 – 162 times the value of the average British home, which is currently valued at £263,705, according to Zoopla. For this price, you will be able to count the Sultan of Brunei as your neighbour on this exclusive ‘Billionaires Row’.

The Boltons in SW10 takes second place on this year’s property rich list with average house prices standing at £26,570,341, and Grosvenor Crescent in SW1 rounds out the top three with average property prices of £22,293,470. Outside of the capital, the most expensive street in Britain is Sunninghill Road in Surrey, where the average home is currently worth £5,605,067. The two most expensive towns outside London are both in Surrey, with average house prices in Virginia Water at £1,186,262 and Cobham at £1,003,400.

W8 (Kensington) remains London’s most prestigious postcode, with average property prices in the area of £2.78m. Neighbouring SW7 (Knightsbridge), the next most expensive area in the capital, has average values of £2.48m, while property values in third-placed SW3 (Chelsea) stand at £2.37m. The rest of the top 10 is dominated by areas in South West, West and North West London.

Zoopla’s Lawrence Hall said: “London boasts all of Britain’s 20 priciest addresses. Prime properties in the capital have long been a magnet for the super-wealthy looking for a safe investment asset. For the lucky few who can afford these stratospheric price tags, the fabulous mansions on streets like Kensington Palace Gardens and the Boltons are offering very strong returns.

“However, you don’t need to be a billionaire to get a chance to own the crème de la crème of property on offer. In Wales and the North East, you can still snap up a prime property in the region’s most desirable streets for little over £1m.”

August 26, 2014 at 7:00 AM Leave a comment

Number of properties changing hands begins to ‘cool’, reveals Gov’t figures

Property transactions slumped in July as the housing market continued to show signs of cooling, Government figures revealed today.

for sale

A total of 101,190 homes valued at more than £40,000 changed hands during the month on a seasonally adjusted basis, 1.3 per cent fewer than in June and the lowest level since December 2013.

But despite the dip, sales levels were still 13.5 per cent higher than they had been in July 2013, according to HM Revenue and Customs.

The figures add to growing evidence that the property market is beginning to slow down, as buyers balk at the high prices being demanded by sellers.

The introduction of the Mortgage Market Review is also thought to have contributed to the fall in sales, as the new rules, which include stricter affordability criteria, have lengthened the mortgage application process.

House price gains also appear to be moderating, with Nationwide Building Society reporting that property values remained largely unchanged in July, rising by just 0.1 per cent.

In its latest Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions, which was released yesterday, the Bank of England also said housing transactions had eased in recent months.

It added that house price growth was slowing in the South, with some areas seeing price falls, while there were fewer cases of sealed bids and people making offers over the asking price, as some of the heat came out of the market.

Strong house price gains have left the typical British property costing £263,705, according to Zoopla.

But despite evidence that the housing market is slowing in the South, there are also suggestions that price growth is accelerating in other areas, as the recovery ripples out across the country.

Meanwhile, separate figures released today showed that the number of new homes started by builders rose by just 0.3 per cent during the second quarter of the year, well down on the 10.7 per cent jump recorded during the previous quarter.

help_to_buy_scotlandBut the total of 36,200 new homes started during the three months was still nearly 24 per cent higher than during the same period of 2013, according to the department of Communities and Local Government.

The increase was driven by a rise in private housing starts, which were up 1.6 per cent at 29,900. 

New properties started by housing associations and local authorities fell by 5.6 per cent.

Paul Diggle, property economist at Capital Economics, said: “The marginal gain in housing starts in the second quarter suggests that material and labour shortages are constraining housebuilders’ output.

“Despite the impetus from the Help to Buy equity loan scheme and favourable wider economic conditions, these constraints will keep a lid on housebuilding for a while yet.”


August 21, 2014 at 11:37 AM 1 comment

British parents anticipate typically spending £180 on back-to-school costs

Money Advice Service

The majority of parents with children aged between four and 11 expect to spend just under £200, although one in 10 will outlay more than £900, writes the Money Advice Service.

With the new school year looming, it’s time to start thinking about essentials like books, uniforms and stationery that you can bank on having to pay for. Money Advice Service research reveals 21 per cent of parents intend to dip into their savings, while 26 per cent say they’ll rely on some form of credit to cover the costs, such as credit cards or an overdraft.

Many parents will have experienced back-to-school spending in previous years, with mixed results. One in six admitted they had overspent in the past, while more than two in five said they expected to blow their budget again this year.

 Find properties for sale near your child’s school on the Zoopla website. Simply type the name of the school into the Zoopla search box.

With 17 per cent of parents having admitting to being worried about what it costs to send their children back to school in the past, it makes sense to take steps to avoid any undue stress. Here are five that could help:

  1. List all the back-to-school essentials you need to buy, with a cost against each. Involve your child in the process so they can see how much you’re spending. With luck they’ll appreciate what you are spending on them and will take care of the items.
  2. Use the old school network. You don’t have to buy new, especially when it comes to uniforms your child will soon grow out of. The school may have a parents’ club where you can swap or buy trousers, shoes or jumpers for a fraction of what you’d spend at a major retailer.
  3. Keep your eyes peeled for special offers, sales and discount vouchers (which may be advertised or included in local newspapers or on junk mail).
  4. Raid your drawers for items of stationery your child will need when they return to school. There is no point in spending a small fortune on the high street when you have plenty of erasers, pens, pencils and writing pads lurking in cupboards at home.
  5. Start buying early. You may be able to pick up some items before they are sold out and you’re left paying more via the official school uniform provider. Retailers also tend to increase prices as term time draws near, so it pays to plan ahead.

Beyond the back to school shopping spree, it’s also a good time to check your home insurance policy to see if the contents of your child’s school bag are covered.

Research by the Money Advice Service found the average pupil to be carrying £122 worth of gadgets in their school bag, with smartphones most common but also including music players, tablets and calculators.

School bag insurance infographic

Don’t presume your home insurance policy will cover these items as standard – 40 per cent of parents found their child’s gadgets were not covered. If your policy doesn’t, find one that will or ask your current policy provider to quote you for this additional cover.

August 18, 2014 at 11:00 AM Leave a comment

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About the Zoopla blog

The Zoopla property blog is maintained and edited by the Web Content Editor @ Zoopla Property Group Ltd Myra Butterworth.

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