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UK Property News Recap - 14.06.2024

This week, manifesto waving was in full force, with each party claiming theirs was bigger and better than the others. As each side tried to belittle the other, the media and the public tried to determine fact from fiction. Political promises that housing would be different with them gave developers hope that their profit margins would return, and first-time buyers hope for a step up… despite it potentially boosting prices. With mortgage rates increasing and base rate cuts stalling – buyers and sellers will look at political party policies but the cost of borrowing has the most sway. Welcome to this week’s UK Property News Recap – 14.06.2024


Social Housing 24-hour Displacement 


The cost of not replacing social housing is tenant displacement further afield or on the streets. Councils, struggling to keep up with demand and costly temporary accommodation, are herding tenants to cheaper northern pastures, ignoring that their constituents have lives, jobs and families where they are.


The campaign group Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth found that 319 households in 2023 accepted offers of a private tenancy outside London. Council officials were found to give tenants as little as 24 hours to accept homes out of the capital or risk making themselves “intentionally homeless” by refusing an offer.


The Political Parties’ Key Housing Manifesto Pledges 


In an attempt to help aid insomnia, four of the political parties offloaded their manifestos to the general public. Below, I’ve outlined the key housing takeaways from the Tories, Labour, The Lib Dems and the Green Party so you can spot the differences. 




  • Capital gains tax for landlords who sell their property to tenants would be scrapped for two years.
  • Help-to-buy gets revamped to include developer money to enable first-time buyers onto the ladder with a 5% deposit
  • Stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties up to £425,000 to be permanently abolished
  • 1.6m homes to be built over the next parliament
  • Renew affordable housing programme
  • Retain the Green Belt
  • End regulations on nutrient neutrality
  • Strong design codes
  • Brownfield development in inner cities
  • Fast-track planning on brownfield sites
  • Regeneration around Cambridge
  • Funding to 30 more towns with a £20 million package for improvements
  • Raising inner city density
  • Limit the amount of social housing given to non-UK nationals
  • Right to Buy discounts to rise with inflation
  • Cap ground rents at £250 reducing to a peppercorn
  • Abolish forfeiture on leaseholds
  • Council new powers to control holiday lets
  • Ban Section 21




  • 1.5m homes
  • A new town  commission to identify new town sites
  • Mandatory housing targets
  • Build on brownfield land
  • Redesignating some greenbelt land
  • Any development on grey or greenbelt land will aim to provide 40% affordable housing
  • Freedom to buy scheme for first-time buyers enabling them to buy their first home with a 5% deposit 
  • First dibs to first-time buyers
  • Increase the number of planning officers by 300
  • Reform planning laws
  • New towns with character
  • Increase stamp duty by 1 per cent on all homes bought by non-UK residents
  • Scrap Section 21
  • Awaab’s law to extend to private rentals
  • End unfair tenant discrimination
  • Right-to-buy discounts reviewed
  • Rented properties to meet minimum EPC rating 2030 – (but nobody forced to do it?)




  • Reform planning, 
  • Build more (10 green cities), 
  • Encourage brownfield and rural exception site development and infrastructure development
  • Ensure leaseholders don’t pay for cladding, 
  • Energy upgrades, 
  • Reform the Land Compensation Act 1961 
  • Properly funded planning departments
  • No development in flood zones
  • Give local authorities new powers to control second homes and short-term lets in their areas
  • New Rent to Own model for social housing where rent payments give tenants an increasing stake in the property, owning it outright after 30 years
  • Protect the rights of social renters 
  • Scrap section 21




  • Introduce a 1% Wealth Tax on individuals with assets above £10mn.
  • Let councils requisition empty properties or ones without proper insulation.
  • £49bn investment programme to insulate homes and public buildings over the next five years, and fit properties with heat pumps.
  • End the right-to-buy system for social properties
  • Allow councils, social landlords and community housing groups to be given the chance to buy up homes left empty for more than six months.
  • “Right Homes, Right Place, Right Price Charter” – Guarantee local authorities that new developments will be on appropriate sites with investment into infrastructure
  • Create 150,000 new social homes each year
  • A “Fair Deal for Renters” – rent controls 
  • Introduce a tenant’s right to demand energy efficiency improvements.
  • Private residential tenancy board to provide an informal, cheap and speedy forum for resolving disputes before they reach a tribunal.




Yet to be released but what we know so far..


  • Scrap stamp duty on properties under £700,000
  • Inheritance tax abolished for estates under £2m


Mortgage rate rises


There was no relief for stretched borrowers in June.  According to Moneyfacts, mortgage rate rises may have slowed, but another month of mortgage adjustments has left the overall average two- and five-year fixed rates at 5.97% and 5.53% respectively. 

The Standard Variable Rate flatlined at 8.18%, just short of the highest recorded (8.19%) during November and December 2023; leaving those reliant on a base rate cut in spring, wilting.


Mortgage market analysis - Moneyfacts June 2024


Mortgage Lenders and Administrators Statistics – 2024 Q1


According to the Bank of England’s Mortgage Lenders and Administrators Statistics – 2024 Q1 – Those left owing fell further behind while new arrears cases decreased in Q1 2024. The value of outstanding mortgage balances with arrears increased by 4.2% from the previous quarter, to £21.3 bn, 44.5% higher than a year ago while new arrears fell by 2.0pp against Q4  2023. 

Arrears balances - Mortgage Lenders and Administrators Statistics - 2024 Q1


The overall value of existing mortgages decreased by  2.6% but the value of new mortgage commitments increased by 30.8% from the previous quarter. The proportion of lending for those with smaller deposits decreased by 3.0pp as a result fewer first-time buyers stepped up. For existing landlords, though they had either borrowed more to stay in the game or join it; overall lending increased by 1.2pp to 8.3% from the previous quarter.


New Commitment - Mortgage Lenders and Administrators Statistics - 2024 Q1


ONS – Construction Output April 2024


A combination of bad weather and stretched funds meant for the third month in a row construction output fell; down 1.4% in April 2024. According to the ONS, seven out of the nine construction sectors decreased in April 2024. The main contributors to the monthly fall in output were private housing new work, down 4.4% (largely driven by a fall in commercial new work), and private housing repair and maintenance, down by 2.5% on the previous month.


Construction ouput April 2024 - ONS



Special Opportunities Reit misses the target for IPO


Special Opportunities Reit IPO window closed when they failed to raise the £500m target set by themselves. Instead of lowering their target, they’ve decided to spend the private capital already raised, around £104m, to secure buildings from distressed sellers. According to them, this was the right thing to do with investors’ money…unlike when they overspent the time before with the Home Long Income Fund.


Bellway circles as Crest Nicholson releases its half-yearly results 


Halftime for developer Crest Nicholson had its pundits predicting a dismal annual year. Their first half-yearly report forecasted their annual adjusted pre-tax profit in the range of £22m to £29m; previously expected at £38.9m. 

Base rate cut uncertainty has played havoc with their operating profit, margins and completions. The only exception was bulk deals which were up in 2023 by 62 to 177; potentially due to investors looking to capitalise on multiple dwelling relief before it was shut down in June. 

Looking forward, expectations for a more profitable 2025 season are high.


Sensing an opportunity Bellway made a second unsolicited approach to take over the business but was knocked back by Crest Nicholson who stated their share offering was “significantly undervalued and was not in the best interests of their shareholders”


Rics Residential Survey – May 2024


House prices dipped over broken base rate cut expectations, which buyers and sellers had pinned their hopes on to boost affordability and sales. Instead, a general election was called and rates increased. As a result demand and agreed sales waned in May 2024, especially in those areas still demanding above buyers’ current affordability means in the South East and West. Expectations, again, remain upbeat long term but RICS surveyors in May reported a -17% increase in reduced pricing, an uplift on April’s reading of 10%. 


Rics Residential Survey May 2024


And that concludes another UK Property News Recap – 14.06.2024. If you have any comments or suggestions, please get in touch here.