Be Social, get in touch
Brickweaver Property News Recap

This week saw further analysis on the year just gone and further conjecture on the year ahead. Lenders continued to shed some of their 2023 rate gain. Michael Gove sets out timeframes for landlords. Developers submitted their end of year report cards, while other companies “Combined.” Welcome to another UK Property News Recap.


More lenders cut rates

More lenders joined the forerunners, cutting rates this week, with the best deals to be had for those with a 40%+ deposit. Expectations are that rates could continue to be shaved but any significant cuts won’t be forthcoming till the Bank of England tweaks the “Base.” Many are hopeful this will happen earlier than previously forecasted but increased wages and global unrest remain a constant threat to any rate cut.


Awaab’s Law 

Michael Gove on Tuesday put forward proposals that under Awaab’s Law landlords would be required to investigate hazards found within their properties within 14 days and start fixing them within a further 7 days. For emergency repairs, action would be required within 24 hours. If not compliant, “residents will be able to hold their landlords to account by taking legal action through the courts for a breach of contract. If a case does reach the court, and the registered provider is found to be in breach, the court can order the landlord to do the repairs, pay compensation to the resident or pay some or all of the resident’s legal costs.”


Councils set their sites on empty homes

Councils are looking to plug their social housing and financial black hole by tracking and filling empty properties. To do this, they are asking the Government for more powers to enable them to coerce, tax and incentives Landlords into action. According to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, 260,000 properties currently have been empty over the long term. If councils could access these in a more timely fashion, it would go some way to alleviating the current rental crises but not resolve the issue. Until more social housing is built; this issue will persist.


Cladding to do list 

Over at the Guardian they highlighted new Government  figures showing the true scale of work the country’s developers have in front of them to fix blocks. Many blocks continue to remain on a waiting list to either be assessed or fixed, leaving many a leaseholder trapped. With 1,325 buildings yet to be remediated that’s a lot of lives on hold. 


housebuilders cladding buildings to fix


2023 Hamptons Property Market Analysis

After assessing 2023 data, Hamptons found 50% of homes last year were sold following a price reduction, with the average buyer going on to negotiate an extra 1.4% discount. 

Price reductions peaked in October 2023 with 54.6% of property prices “amended” to achieve an end of year sale. However, December wasn’t far behind with 51.5% of stock sold following a reduction.


2023 Rightmove UK Property Analysis

According to Rightmove, national average asking prices decreased 1.1% in 2023. For Sandbanks in Dorset though, demand outweighed supply, resulting in  average asking prices increasing by 20% compared to 2022, from £1,586,349 to £1,909,943.

While renters generally looked to the suburbs for better value. The Capital regained interest from both renters and buyers. Many are finding the grass isn’t always greener further afield and the commute even less so.


The most popular keyword search for sales on Rightmove’s portal was…drum roll…garage. Perhaps due to buyers wanting to charge their electric, tax deductible, company car or to repurpose it as an office/gym/extension.


Rightmove buysr ssearch locations 2023 UK Property News Recap


For Rentals, it’s clear pandemic pets need a roof too, while their owners want stability in the form of bills.


Rightmove sales and lettings keyword search 2023


Developer end of year results for Persimmons and Taylor Wimpey

Both developers are glad 2023 is behind them, with both suffering from a reduction in sales due to increased rates, squeezing buyer affordability. Despite this, both increased their average selling price and remain optimistic should the Bank of England be forthcoming with early rate cuts. 


Developer Persimmon’s completions reduced by -33% as many buyers faced affordability issues and doubt over the market. Yet their average selling price increased 3%.  Looking to the year ahead they “anticipate market conditions will remain highly uncertain during 2024, particularly for first-time buyers & with an election likely this year.” 


Persimmon 2023 performance report


Taylor Wimpey’s end of year report card for 2023 also showed completions and affordable home delivery were down. Average selling prices though, on private completions, increased 5.1% to £370k. Overall: their year ending with a lower order book. 


Taylor Wimpey 2023 Performance


Housebuilder Stewart Milne goes bust

Steward Milne’s retirement timing misses the market beat, resulting in the loss of 200 jobs. The predominantly Scottish and North of England developer planned on retiring in 2022 but after a failed sale attempt last year the company is now in administration. 

Inflation forecast rewrites 

Inflation target forecast rewrites for 2024 were more optimistic than their previous incarnations, with three institutions suggesting the inflation rate will halve to 2% by April:


  • Oxford Economics expects CPI to be down 2% by April hovering at 2.1% for the rest of the year.
  • Deutsche Bank: a little below 2% by April and May; hovering around 2% to 2.5% for the year.
  • Investec expects CPI to be at 1.5% in the third quarter of the year and the first rate cut in June.


The Property Franchise Group PLC & Belvoir Group PLC Merger

2023 saw many mergers, and 2024 looks set to be no different, with the boards of The Property Franchise Group PLC & Belvoir Group PLC agreeing terms. Their marketing team, keen to show a united front, tirelessly working to conjure up a new company name…settling on the Combined Group.”  You see what they did….


ONS Construction Output November 2023

The construction sector fell by 0.2% in November 2023. Three out of NIne of the construction sectors saw a fall in output. The main contributors; New Housing & Infrastructure continue to be “rained off”, dragging monthly construction output down 3.9% and 2.0%, respectively. The sector, waiting along with buyers for reduced borrowing costs.


ONS Constuction Output Nov 2023


And that concludes another UK Property News Recap. 

If you have any comments or suggestions, please get in touch here.