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Fair rents will ensure higher-earning tenants 'pay to stay'

9th October 2015

Higher-earning tenants in social housing, will pay a fair level of rent to continue living there, under consultation proposals published today (9 October 2015) by housing minister Brandon Lewis. Households in social housing with a total income of more than £40,000 in London and over £30,000 elsewhere, will pay a rent at market or near market levels. This will put an end to the situation where higher-income social tenants benefit from taxpayer-funded subsidies of up to £3,500 ...

Thousands apply to buy Liverpool homes for just £1

9th October 2015

In total, 2,750 people have expressed an interest in buying empty terraced properties for just £1 in the Picton area of Liverpool. The scheme, which was started by Mayor Joe Anderson in 2013 aims to regenerate deprived parts of the city, In the successful first tranche, 20 homes were sold around Granby Four Streets and Arnside Road. Tony Mousdale, empty homes manager of Liverpool City Council, said: "All the plumbing and the electrics and fixtures and fittings have been ripped out - so it...

Finance watchdog to review mortgage market

7th October 2015

The financial regulator is to launch an investigation into the mortgage market, writes Chris Smith. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has called for ‘interested parties’ to help identify potential areas where competition may not be working well and could be improved.  Key issues will include firms' conduct and relationships, barriers to innovation as well as the treatment of consumers. The deadline for submissions of evidence is 18 December 2015 and a decision on whether ...

'Tackle high rents or face discretionary housing payments disaster'

7th October 2015

Labour councillors today issued a stark warning to Westminster Council Leader, Cllr Philipa Roe, and Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr Tim Mitchell, who this year are dipping into council reserves due to Conservative government cuts and failure tackle the problem of unaffordable rents in Westminster. This year Westminster Council has seen a massive 46% cut in the government money allocated to support residents unable to meet their rent due to the government’s welfare reforms.  Last year the council...

HCA publishes fourth statistical data return

29th September 2015

Private registered providers of social housing own 2,708,611 homes, a 1.6% increase on the total for 2014, according to the HCA’s statistical data return (SDR) which has been published today for the fourth consecutive year. The data come from an annual survey of all private registered providers (PRPs) in England and includes data on size and type of home, location and rents at 31 March 2015. Additional data for large providers with 1,000 homes or more include Right to Buy sales and acquis...

Metropolitan issues debut £250m bond 

29th September 2015

Metropolitan has made its debut issue on the capital markets, through its subsidiary Metropolitan Funding plc, with the launch of a £250m bond. The own name bond was rated AA by Standard & Poor’s  – of which £100m was retained. It is the first housing association to issue a bond since March.  The bond was placed at a coupon of 4.125% and has a maturity of 30 years. It attracted bids from 21 investors, of which 20 were successful – a level of interest wh...

New home levels continue to rise despite August dip, reports NHBC

28th September 2015

House building activity in the UK this year is set to top levels seen in 2014, according to new figures released today by NHBC. The new home registrations statistics reveal an increase of 11% for the rolling quarter June – August, compared to the same period last year. A total of 40,101 new homes were registered in the UK during this period, up on the 36,149 new homes registered in the previous year. The private sector increased by 12% during this period (30,210 in 2015; 27,072 last year)...

Buy-to-let leads to 'boom and bust'

25th September 2015

The growing buy-to-let property market in the UK could post a threat to wider financial stability, a Bank of England committee has said. Buy-to-let mortgage lending had the potential to "amplify" a housing boom and bust, the Bank's Financial Stability Committee (FPC) concluded. Lending in this sector has risen by 40% since 2008, the FPC said. It stopped short of suggesting any intervention by government or regulators at this stage. "The FPC is alert to the rapid growth of the market and poten...

Scottish rents fall month-on-month for first time since January

23rd September 2015

Scottish rents have fallen month-on-month for the first time since the start of the year, according to the latest Scotland Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move. Average rents in Scotland dropped 0.5% in the month of August, in the first monthly fall since January 2015.  This means the average monthly rent in Scotland has dropped £3 from its summer peak of £549 in July to stand at £546 in August 2015.  After an acceleration of annual rent rises throughout the first half o...

Housing association commits to "invest in new and existing homes"

22nd September 2015

Your Housing Group has reported an increased surplus of £17.1m, up from £12.9m in 2014. The increased surplus and turnover “shows that the group remains in very sound financial shape” as it enters the current financial year. The group recorded a turnover of £170.3m, up from £159.7m in 2013/14, and spent a total of £93m in capital programmes.  It also realised efficiency savings of over £3m. Savings included £262k in energy efficiency, a...