• Zopa’s plan to expand out of peer-to-peer lending is picking up steam as they raise £44m to develop their ‘next generation’ bank. A set of new savings and borrowing products will sit alongside existing P2P offerings. CityAM.
  • Licensed conveyancers will soon be made more transparent. New regulations from the Council for Licensed Conveyancers will require CLC practices to display fees, cost information, referral arrangements, and indicative timescales. IndustryEYE.
  • Interest rate rise is of little consequence according to most agents. Last week’s base rate increase from 0.50 to 0.75% is unlikely to have a major impact on borrowing or the wider housing market according to most estate agencies. The rate remains close to its historic low and is therefore unlikely to drastically effect buyer sentiment. IndustryEYE.
  • No-Deal Brexit could result in a 30% drop in house prices according to Bank of England. Scaremongering aside, the Bank’s stress tests of a No-Deal Brexit did, on occasion, result in significant house prices declines. IndustryEYE.
  • House prices rose +3.3% annually for July to an average of £230,280. This represents a +1.3% quarterly change and a +1.4% monthly change. The rate of growth has picked up since earlier in the year and is now equivalent to that of last November. However, activity remains “soft”. Despite improved mortgage approval rates new buyer enquiries and agreed sales remain flat. Halifax.
  • Likewise, the Mortgage Advice Bureau’s index shows buyer demand remains steady across the country. They, however, believe this to be a sign of resilience rather than weakness. Given the spectre of political uncertainty, one would expect both prices and demand to dwindle but this isn’t happening. CityAM.
  • Supply of homes to market fell -6% across the UK in July compared to June with London seeing the sharpest decline of -12.7%. Although somewhat disconcerting, these figures are in line with expected summer month slowdowns. PropWire.
  • Major housebuilders are going on a recruitment drive to counter the likely skills shortfall Brexit will create. PrimeResi.
  • Brownfield land could accommodate an extra 1,000,000 new homes according to Campaign to Protect Rural England’s latest report. Their investigation also found that the current plans to build 460,000 new homes on greenbelt land will not make it easier for young buyers to access the housing ladder. In fact, last year some 72% of homes built on the greenbelt did not meet the government’s affordable housing definition. The CPRE fears developers and councils are engaged in ‘strategic shrinking’ of the greenbelt and the low density unaffordable housing built on repurposed land does not constitute a good trade-off. PropWire.