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Opinion: Home ownership 'slips even further out of reach'

27th November 2015

Shelter’s response to the latest Land Registry statistics showing that house prices in October in England and Wales have risen by 5.6% (£9,856) in the last year and by 0.4% monthly increase since September. The average house price in England and Wales is now £186,350. Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: Each new rise in house prices is another blow for the millions of young people and families watching their dream of owning a home slip even further out o...

Landlord tax changes will lead to rent increases, survey suggests

25th November 2015

More than two thirds of landlords say that changes to buy-to-let mortgage tax relief will lead to increased rents, according to a survey conducted by The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS). In July, George Osborne announced that the government would reduce the amount of tax relief available for interest on buy-to-let mortgages.  Of the 4,480 landlords who responded to a recent survey issued by The DPS, 68.51% said they believed the changes would lead to increased rents, with more than a th...

Average London rents to hit £2,000 a month by the start of the next decade

20th November 2015

The average rent for a two-bed home in the capital will hit £2,007 a month by January 2020 if rents continue to rise at their current pace, Labour’s London Assembly housing spokesperson Tom Copley AM has warned. That would mean a single earner household would need to earn almost £120,000 a year for their rent to be affordable by 2020. New analysis of Valuation Office Agency data by Tom Copley AM has found that the average private rent for a 2-bed home grew by 0.42% a month be...

Report: Low income tenants struggle to heat homes

18th November 2015

New research by national charity Turn2us has found that almost two in three (63%) social tenants on low incomes are struggling to afford their energy costs, despite being in work. Worryingly, of those who are struggling, half (49%) have done so for more than a year. The research reveals that nearly a third (31%) of low income social tenants have missed one or more payments to their energy supplier in the last twelve months. One in three (33%) are struggling with other essential bills, with Counc...

HA reports savings of £10 million

16th November 2015

Midland Heart has announced a £10m saving to its repairs and maintenance, only three years after commissioning a review of its delivery. Working with East London based housing and support services business, Just Housing Group, the review was commissioned by Carl Larter - director of assets, and set out to compare Midland Heart’s repairs and maintenance performance against benchmarked industry best practice. Together with the review, Midland Heart also took the unusual step of merging ...

350,000 excluded from housing market by 2020

16th November 2015

Reports show that at least 350,000 households will be excluded from the housing market by 2020. Property firm Savills latest report shows that, over the next five years, 70,000 new households a year will be unable to afford to rent or buy homes at a market rate without some form of assistance. This means that 350,000 will need some form of housing priced at below market rate by 2020, the firm said. As the gap between earnings and house prices widens, buyers in England and Wales forced to spend u...

Opinion: George Osborne’s social housing ping pong

13th November 2015

By Colin Wiles: As I write, a mighty battle is underway between the hawks of Downing Street (George Osborne and Alex Morton) and the dove of Marsham Street (Greg Clark) over the future of housing associations. You could gain a sense of this battle when Greg Clark said this at the NHF conference on the 24th September where the Right to Buy deal was announced: “There are some who say that the housing association sector has taken us so far but might not be the right partner for the future. ...

Osborne moots plans to sell of historic HA debt

13th November 2015

Chancellor George Osborne is considering plans to sell off billions of historical housing association debt as part of a plan to remove the sector from the public books, reports Tim Clark. According to the Financial Times the Treasury is drawing up possible plans to sell off up to £44bn of debt at a discount, with capital repayments stemming from future property sales. Under current rules the historic debt is not repaid to the government but 'recycled' into new-build programmes when properties...

No rates rise until late 2016 says BoE

5th November 2015

The Bank of England once again held UK interest rates at the record low of 0.5%. The decision came despite speculation among economists and the financial markets that a rate rise was possible. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee, led by governor Mark Carney, voted 8-1 to keep rates unchanged. But in a move that will help to cool mortgage lending activity, the Bank also revealed forecasts which included the prediction that interest rates could remain unchanged until late 2016. The move will a...

IFS report: Rent cuts ‘little or no benefit’ to tenants

5th November 2015

Reductions in social rents announced in the July budget will be of little or no direct benefit to most of the 3.9 million households in England living in social housing, according to a report published today. Most of those renting their home from councils or housing associations have low incomes and hence receive housing benefit to cover all or part of their rent. Entitlement to housing benefit will typically be reduced pound-for-pound as their rent falls. The reduction in housing benefit will...