Houselungo 14 Mar 21

Published 14th of March, 2021

A lungo length look at this week's housing market news

40 year mortgages Friend or Foe?

Are 40-year mortgages the way forward or is forwarned forearmed?

In a digital world characterised by short attention spans and a desire for instant rather than deferred gratification Habito is launching a range of long-term fixed-rate mortgages ranging from 10 to 40 years. But are such long term mortgages a good thing? Does the instant gratification of lower monthly mortgage payments risk blinding us to the total cost? There is also a risk that the lower monthly payments that enable homebuyers to borrow more will and push up house price

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RICS Residential Housing Market Survey

RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) issued its latest UK Residential Market Survey on Thursday

What they said

Upward pressure on house prices shows no sign of easing

Near term sales expectations moves into positive territory

No mention of a cliff edge…

Twindig Take

Fascinating results from latest RICS Residential Market Survey, because more than three quarters of the results were collected before the announcement of the Stamp Duty Holiday extension. One would therefore have expected to read a survey full of doom, gloom and cliff edges. However, near term sales expectations ‘moved into positive territory at 6%’, which was its highest level since October 2020 and there no concerns raised about cliff edges. I take my hat off to the those who drove the successful stamp duty extension campaign, however with the supporting evidence is harder to find than an NHS pay rise.

Foxtons forges ahead in 2021

Foxtons the London based estate agent published its 2020 results this week, although their performance so far in 2021 is what grabbed the headlines

What they said

Sales commission pipeline in started 2021 more than 30% higher than in 2020

Group revenue for the first two months of 2021 is well ahead of 2020 (and 2019

Stock levels in lettings are also well ahead of 2020


Twindig Take

Anyone doubting the benefit of the Stamp duty holiday need only read Foxtons FY2020 results, its revenue for the first two months of 2021 is “well ahead of 2020 and 2019” and its “sales commission pipeline started 2021 more than 30% higher” than the previous year.

Foxtons comment that it was “helped somewhat by the Government's Stamp Duty relief” is perhaps a rare case of under statement from the notoriously front foot estate agent. It has certainly made hay whilst the stamp duty holiday sun shone and will continue to do so as the extended holiday entices new buyers into the market. Despite the growth in the working from home movement it still seems that the streets of London are paved with gold.  

Sun shines for Savills during the Stamp Duty Holiday

The upmarket UK estate agency group reported its 2020 financial results this week

What they said

UK Residential grew revenues by 10% as the market recovered strongly from mid-year

Second-hand homes agency revenues up 18% benefitting from stamp duty holiday and impact of working from home on reassessed housing needs

UK residential profits up 29% to £23m


Twindig take

Impressive UK estate agency results from Savills this week. We appreciate that they merely abide by the rules rather than make them, but like Foxtons earlier in the week their 2020 results benefitted significantly from the Stamp Duty Holiday. It’s UK residential agency business saw revenues up 10%, second-hand agency revenues up 18% and profits up 29%. Such is the strength of the results one has to question whether the stamp duty holiday was needed and could that money be better spent on the NHS than helping Savills wealthy clients buy bigger homes.

Housing Hailey

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