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Euro buyers grabbing £26,000 discounts on London property

22nd June 2016

Eurozone buyers are piling into the London property market as prices wobble in the face of EU referendum uncertainty. On the eve of the referendum vote, London Estate Agents Stirling Ackroyd has released analysis showing house prices have fallen €33,200. The depreciation in Sterling in June means the average price of a house in London equates to just €596,900 – compared to a record high of €630,100 in November 2015. This change means homes in London have become33,200 cheaper to Euro ...

Help to Buy ISA – small step, little impact

20th June 2016

As a “small step” the Help to Buy ISA isn’t making much of an impact says Paula Higgins, CEO of the HomeOwners Alliance. A BBC investigation has found that would-be-homeowners in large parts of England are being priced out of the government scheme to help first-time buyers. The Help to Buy Individual Savings Account (HTB Isa) was introduced last year to help people save for a home. In many areas, the average price of a starter home exceeds the maximum purchase cap of £250,00...

Futures strikes near £150m deal to triple housebuilding in the Midlands

20th June 2016

Futures Housing Group has struck a £147.5m financing deal - including £53.5m of new funds - to help triple its housebuilding in the Midlands. The agreement, which will help Futures build more than 1,000 new homes by 2020, sees loans refinanced from existing partners Newcastle Building Society, RBS and Nationwide Building Society. A further £50m has been borrowed over five and 10 years from the latter two lenders, with each providing £25m. In addition, new partner Lloyds Bank...

Welfare support a ‘vital lifeline’

15th June 2016

The majority of tenants claiming benefits are worried about future welfare changes. Research by national charity Turn2us shows over four-fifths (82%) of social tenants who are claiming means-tested benefits are concerned about changes to the welfare system. Significant changes to the benefits and tax credits system are taking place over the next few years. Worryingly, over two-thirds (69%) of claimants living in social housing said they would feel more stressed about their financial situation if ...

Lifeline for affordable loan scheme

14th June 2016

Street UK has come to the rescue of an affordable loan scheme. The Midlands-based social enterprise has made a deal to take over My Home Finance (MHF) launched by the National Housing Federation to beat loan sharks and doorstep lenders. Street UK will take over the MHF loan portfolio, which will enable thousands of people to continue accessing affordable small sum loans. A Community Interest Company established in 2000 – Street UK has a track-record of providing affordable credit to people previo...

Average rents in the UK up 2% higher than last year

13th June 2016

The average cost of renting a one-bedroom home accounts for 48% of the post-tax income of an average young UK full-time worker - compared to 45% in 2007.  This rise is revealed in the May Countrywide Lettings Index which show that in most parts of the country, the proportion of income taken up by rent is less now than it was in 2007. In the North East, the cost of a one-bedroom home accounts for 35% of the post-tax income of an average full-time worker under 30, much lower than the 42% in ...

House buying saves council nearly £1m

13th June 2016

A London council has saved almost £1m in two years through a house buying scheme. Enfield Council purchased family homes to cut the cost of nightly accommodation for vulnerable families. The council set up an independent company called 'Housing Gateway' to buy homes in the borough and surrounding area.  Families are placed in an HGL property and given an assured shorthold tenancy - with support to find alternative accommodation.  Housing Gateway was set up in March 2014 to reduc...

Bank confirms £280m investment for Northern Ireland

8th June 2016

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is supporting two major projects that will provide a total of £280m for social housing in Northern Ireland. The long-term loans mark the bank’s first direct engagement with social housing providers in the region, and will substantially lower the cost of borrowing for Choice and Apex housing associations who have received EIB approval for £150m and £130m respectively. They now join a shortlist of high-performing associations in the UK and Ir...

Index reveals cooling pace of rent rises

8th June 2016

The May Homelet Rental Index reveals good news for landlords and tenants. Although rents across the UK continued to rise during May, the rate of increase has slowed somewhat in recent months. The index also reveals that rents agreed on new tenancies across the UK over the three months to the end of May were up by 4.4%, compared to the same period in 2015. That compares to an annual increase of 5.1% in April and 7.6% in May last year. Landlords may have been expecting some impact from the increas...

Universal Credit leads to rent arrears

7th June 2016

Universal Credit is to blame for 79% of rent arrears cases. One year on from the roll-out of Universal Credit (UC) in England, new research shows that 79% of council tenants in receipt of Universal Credit (UC) are in rent arrears. The report, published by the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) and the Association of Retained Council Housing (ARCH) reveals that prior to claiming UC only half of those households had pre-existing rent arrears. On Tuesday 7 June, the NFA and ARCH are due to mee...