• Borrowing constraints, limited political support, and a lack of planning expertise is hampering council housebuilding programmes in London. Although they’ve taken steps to increase their delivery in recent years, the London focused thinktank Centre for London believes councils are operating with “one hand behind their backs.” If councils committed to delivering just 10% of their Local Plan target then some 37,300 new homes could be built in the next five years. The thinktank has called on the government to help facilitate greater delivery by relaxing borrowing conditions and filling expertise gaps. PropWire.
  • Did you know Purplebricks has an investor app that gives exclusive access to off-market, Below Market value properties? Properties are typically discounted 20-30% and include distressed buy-to-let, HMOs, and tenanted units. IndustryEYE.
  • Landlords are nervous about expanding their portfolio, even in areas where rents are rising. Research by LendInvest seems to show landlords have adopted a buy-and-hold strategy based on their analysis of 105 postcodes from across the country. Their own data suggest landlords are preferring to remortgage existing properties rather than taking out new buy-to-let mortgages. Notably, many two-year fixed rate deals are soon to expire, so there could be a flurry of transactions as landlords weigh up their options. IndustryEYE.
  • UK house prices have rose +0.1% month-on-month between April and May according to the latest HM Land Registry House Price Index. The average house price now sits at £226,351 across the whole of the UK. However, England recorded slightly higher monthly growth of +0.3%, with the average price now sat at £243,583. Meanwhile, prices have fallen -3% in Wales to £148,894.  Twitter.
  • Flat owners have seen no growth in the value of their properties over the past year according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics. This is the first time it’s happened in six years. London accounts for a quarter of all UK flats and maisonettes and its stumbling market is holding back the headline figure. BBC.
  • Lenders slam rise in SME funding aggregators: these aggregation sites account for a tiny portion of new business but add an extra layer of fees, communication, and complexity to a market that desperately needs simplicity. Three new aggregators have launched in the past twelve months – Swoop, Federation of Small Builders’ Funding Platform, and Capalona – but none add anything new to the already saturated market. Commenting on the situation, FundingOptions Chief Executive said it was unclear why there are new market entrants as aggregation tends to favour scale. P2PFinanceNews.
  • Open Banking is causing a storm at Zopa as 50% of its potential borrowers embrace the new data-sharing initiative. Their ‘income verificiation tool’ automatically accesses and pulls data from the borrower’s bank, removing the need to upload documents manually. The new technology has drastically reduced the time it takes to conduct due diligence and verify information. Zopa is used third-party API developed by TrueLayer.P2PFinanceNews.