1. One in five Brits consider moving abroad to get on the housing ladder
Gocompare.com Mortgages’ most recent survey has shown that of the survey’s 2,000 respondents, 30% would apply for assistance from Help to Buy. However 20% would consider moving to another country, with English-speaking countries the most likely destinations for 70% of potential emigrants.
Men, at 22% of respondents, were more likely than women (18%) to consider a move overseas to buy a home; 18- to 24-year-olds (23%) were keenest to quit the UK, followed by 35-44 year-olds (21%), and over-55s (19%). Matt Sanders, Gocompare.com Mortgages’ spokesperson, commented that “A lack of affordable housing has resulted in a property market that is closed off to an increasing number of would-be homeowners”. Other strategies for acquiring a first home are being considered, including shared ownership with friends, family or colleagues, or comprising by buying smaller or alternative types of accommodation. To read more, go to Property Reporter.
Read - First Time Buyer Quick Guide
2. Boris Johnson wants to make London ‘the world’s most accessible city for disabled people’
Hard on the heels of the recently-announced £75 million to accelerate disabled access to the London Underground, the Mayor of London has issued the Accessible London Supplementary Planning Guidance, with the intention that all new developments incorporate top-level accessibility. The planning advice borrows heavily from lessons learned during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which showed that inclusive design at the outset achieves high accessibility. Boris Johnson said, “I am determined that we use that experience…. (to help) to change perceptions of disability and enabling disabled people to be part of our economy and fully contribute to our great city.” The guidance promotes ‘lifestyle neighbourhoods’ designed to be inclusive regardless of disability or age. The need for inclusive cycling is also emphasised. Investment into the capital’s transport network means future step-free access to many rail stations, all buses and taxis and the DLR, besides all of London’s 30 Crossrail stations. For more information, see The Mayor's Press Release and for the Accessible London Supplementary Planning Guidance visit Accessible London.
3. How do we prevent flooding? ‘Innovative, inspiring and challenging’ 5-minute films sought in new competition
The Landscape Institute and the Inter-Institutional Flooding Group have issued a call to landscape architecture students and practitioners, and the general public, to submit innovative and inspiring five-minute films to showcase ideas on flood prevention. Five professional bodies, all members of the Inter-Institutional Flooding Group, have teamed up to make this appeal for fresh thinking in the light of increasing numbers of the UK’s communities suffering the devastating effects of flooding each year. Measures until now have been reactive rather than preventative. ‘How to Prevent Flooding’ is a film competition that asks entrants to look at how the UK manages its water resources and how we plan to make our communities more resistant to flooding. They are also encouraged to think outside restrictions such as current planning law and land ownership issues. Submission date is Monday, 5th January, 2015. Top prize is £2,000 with a second prize of £1,000 and two runners-up receiving £500 each. The top eight submissions chosen by the judging panel will be shown at the Landscape Institute’s Building Centre exhibition in January 2015 at NLA (New London Architecture). For more information, go to the Landscape Institute.
4. Mayor Boris Johnson confirms hundreds of new homes for long-term private rent in Elephant and Castle
Work starts shortly on one of the largest long-term rental developments in London, at Newington Butts, owned by the GLA. In partnership with Realstar and Mace Investment, 457 high-quality homes with excellent amenities will be built by 2018, 278 of which will be available for private rent, and 179 low cost homes for rent and shared ownership. Over two million Londoners currently rent but there are few purpose-built schemes. Two further GLA-owned sites, in Canning Town and Newham, are due to be brought forward for private-rented properties. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said, “Capitalising on London’s undeveloped public land, I want to entice more institutional investors to come forward and invest in quality homes for Londoners, boosting the economy and creating thousands of new jobs.” The development forms a key part of Elephant and Castle’s £3 billion wider regeneration. Around 5,000 homes will be built, 1650 of which will be affordable housing, and plans also include an overhaul of the transport infrastructure and the creation of roughly 5,000 new jobs. To read more, go to the Mayor's Press Release.
Read - Renting a home checklist
5. Homes worth £1 million reach all-time sales high
Recent research by Lloyds Bank reveals that increasing house prices have now pushed the sales of £1 million UK homes over previous highest figures. Almost 50% more £1 million house sales were registered during the first six months of the 2014, relative to the same period in 2013, and four times as many as in 2009. Sarah Deaves, Lloyds’ Private Banking Director, commented that “Property values in prime locations have been boosted by growing demand from wealthy….. buyers from the UK and overseas”. Limited supply of this type of property is also a factor. Although property values in London are decelerating, sales of properties worth £1 million and above made up 7.6% of total sales in January to June 2014, as opposed to only 1.13% of sales nationally. Properties in London valued at £1 million or more accounted for 70% of all UK sales in the first half of the year. Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and Wandsworth on their own made up 30% of total sales for the entire country. To read more, go to FT.
Read - Selling a home checklist