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UK Property News Recap - 31.05.2024

This week the house prices indices competed for column inches. Unable to agree, they jostled for space with data for April and May 2024. Discontent with just this, Rightmove and Nationwide tried to settle pre-election slowdown nerves by showing past elections have had little to no effect on enquiries. Rightmove however, Top Trumped with chief finance officer Alison Dolan’s move to Marks and Sparks and also released notes for an incoming government on how to keep the market moving. Keen to get in on the act, Knight Frank revised its house price predictions, again, as a result of policy changes to non-dom status and rental supply and demand normalising quicker than anticipated. Mortgage growth remained steady, Rayner was cleared of tax avoidance, Lendlease abandoned UK soil and Cala was put up for auction. Welcome to another UK Property News Recap – 31.05.2024


House price growth in rural areas exceeds urban areas


A survey conducted by Nationwide concluded house prices in predominantly rural areas have risen by 29% over the last five years, compared to 18% in predominately urban areas.

The race for “rural space” stoked house price growth out of towns between December 2018 and December 2023. Semi-detached properties in the countryside performed the best and flats the worst. The presumption that the office was dead fuelled permanent moves while others opted for temporary escapes, investing in tourist hotspots. As the office recalls workers, and legislation changes on second homes, some may regret going out to pasture.


Urban and Rural House Price Increases Nationwide


E.surv House Price HPI April 2024


According to e.surv house price HPI for April 2024, the retracing of the stamp duty gains begins to show signs of slowing. Buyers coughed up an extra £127 last month in April making the average house price now £359,154, £18,920 lower, or 5%, below the peak reached in October 2022, but some £43,750  or 13.9% – higher than at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, over four years ago.

Prices in the southeast corner remain on ice, the rate trims sellers hoped would thaw price reductions continuing to elude them.


Knight Frank Renal Predictions April 2024


Knight Frank revises house price forecasts…again


PCL is feeling the non-dom taxation squeeze. As Conservative policy revised non-dom terms to four years from April 2025 and Labour considers more stringent terms, international buyers have been weighing up their options causing Knight Frank to revise their forecast. They now expect prices to fall by 1% this year in PCL, down from a rise of 1% predicted in January. As this affluent market braces for impact the rest of the UK remains unscathed from any predictive rewrites.


Knight Frank Sales Predictions April 202


Knight Frank’s rental predictions were also amended as the normalisation of supply and demand expedited resulting in average rental value growth to be revised down from 5.5% in January to 2% in prime central London this year and from 4.5% to 2.5% in prime outer London.


Knight Frank Renal Predictions April 2024,


Lendlease sells off UK construction arm


Lendlease has decided to cut its losses and return to its roots down under. After a difficult four years that saw its share price tumble and its UK stock lose half its value, the developer has decided to restructure the business to focus on the market they know best. Frustrated by UK planning delays and constant amendments; they aim to free up £2.35bn of capital to pay down debt and realise value for its shareholders.


Cala Group goes up for auction


After six years of ownership, and an 18% uplift in orders on the previous year, Legal and General have put up Cala Group for auction with a £1bn price tag. Rival developers are circling following the auction next week with Persimmon being the forerunner.


Rightmove tries to settle market pre-election nerves


Property portal Rightmove, keen to suppress any pre-election stalling, released a press release to impress buyers and sellers that business remained unaffected by the looming and somewhat predictable election. 


To do this they commissioned a survey of which 95% said the upcoming election would not affect their moving plans. To strengthen this argument they made a pretty graph showing that ENQUIRIES in 2015 and 2019 remained consistent leading up to an election with a POST-election boost in numbers.


Past elections buyer demand Rightmove 2024


Rightmove loss is Marks and Spencer’s gain


Following this another announcement was made that their chief finance officer, Alison Dolan, had decided that the “Rightmove” was to move on to Marks & Spencer’s & “reshape it for growth.” 


Angela Rayner gets cleared of tax avoidance


After six weeks, HMRC concluded on Wednesday that Angela Rayner owed no capital gains on her former council house in Stockport, a day after Greater Manchester police cleared her of wrongdoing.


Zoopla May HPI 2024


In Zoopla’s May HPI 2024 it was clear that well-stocked property shelves had enabled buyers to shop around, reducing markups and facilitating discounts in southern areas where budgets can no longer afford the bullish price tag and second homes have become burdened with additional tax. . 


Broad variation in house price inflation at a city level zoopla hpi may 2024



The pre-election lead-up is expected to slow momentum for agreed sales, which are currently up 13% on last year, but not stall it. 

Despite house price inflation over the previous quarter improving +0.4%, it remained negative at -0.1% annually. As stock levels increase at a higher rate than agreed sales, expectations at Zoopla are for growth to remain largely flat in 2024.


Rebound in house prices quarter zoopla hpi may 2024

Rightmove pre-election report for the incoming government


Rightmove asked around and then drew up a wish list of the five key things the incoming government should do to enable people to move…and help their business…okay they didn’t say the latter. 

 1 – Build more, quickly 

2 – Reform Stamp Duty 

3 – Incentives for homeowners and landlords to make homes greener

4 – Speed up the home-buying process

5 – Help people to afford to buy their first home


Nationwide HPI

The beginning of summer may not have brought much sun but it did bring some modest house price growth. Buyers who believe prices have bottomed out and are keen to move before others recommenced their property search, make their move but often with longer mortgage terms. In May, UK house prices increased by 0.4% compared with April & annually rose by 1.3%, making the average house price according to lender Nationwide £264,249.



Nationwide HPI May 2024


Money and Credit – April 2024

In the Bank of England’s Money and Credit report for April 2024. The impact of the effective interest rate on newly drawn mortgages increasing by 1 basis point, to 4.74%, had a limited impact. Net approvals for house purchases remaining fairly steady only reducing by 200 to 61,100 in April 2024.


Money and Credit Mortgage Approvals April 2024


Political parties’ landlord policies

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to include The Times’s breakdown of the political party policies that affect landlords.



UK political parties stance on key issues affecting landlords - The Times


And that concludes another UK property News Recap – 31.05.2024. If you have any comments or suggestions, please get in touch here.