Flat owners in England and Wales who lease their properties need to get to grips with two things that could otherwise result in considerable financial pain.

They go under the names of "leasehold enfranchisement" and "leasehold extension".
Many leases on flats built in the 1960s, 70s and 80s are getting close to a critical stage in their lifespan. Flat owners who want to extend their leases, but wait too long, could see the price for doing so rise sharply.

But let us not get ahead of ourselves - what do the two terms mean?

Definitions
Leasehold extension is fairly self-explanatory. It is the process of extending a lease on a property by paying the landlord, or freeholder, a sum of money - sometimes referred to as compensation.

Leasehold enfranchisement is not so self-explanatory. It is the process of buying the freehold from the landlord and thereby turning your leasehold property, in which you are the tenant, into a freehold property. You become the freeholder and own the property and the land on which it is built outright. A lease, for the record, is a contract allowing you to occupy a property during a pre-agreed period in exchange for a pre-agreed rent. Leases on flats are generally between 99 and 125 years.

Right to extend or buy
So what options are open to people who lease their flats? Well, they can choose to individually extend their lease. To do this, however, they must have owned, but not necessarily lived in, the property for at least two years.

A lease extension is achieved by granting a new lease in place of the existing one, but for 90 years longer. An advantage is that the original ground rent will be reduced to a peppercorn, or nominal, ground rent. This is involved purely to show that the property is still leasehold rather than freehold.

Tenants in a block of flats can club together to buy the freehold - this is referred to as collective enfranchisement. For a collective enfranchisement, at least 50% of flat owners need to co-operate, although the two-year ownership requirement does not apply. The advantage of enfranchising a block of flats is that the flat owners themselves can have more control over how the block is managed and other relevant costs. This can be very important if the block of flats you live in is being poorly managed.

Why extend now?
Many flats built in the 60s, 70s and 80s came with 99-year leases.
These properties now have unexpired terms of only 50-80 years and will be difficult to sell or mortgage. They will also be worth a lot less than those with long leases or freeholds. Properties with leases under 70 years can be particularly difficult to sell, because mortgage lenders generally do not like to lend on flats with short leases, as they do not provide them with enough security. It is therefore very important for owners of such flats to exercise their right to extend their leases, especially if they are thinking of selling later.

Also, if the unexpired term is 80 years or less, the premium payable can be much higher. The law says that 50% of what is known as a "marriage value" needs to be paid as part of the compensation to the freeholder. The marriage value is the amount by which the value of the house or flat will increase once the lease has been extended. So any property owner with an unexpired term of just above 80 years should act without delay to avoid paying a marriage value.

House price dependent
Another reason to extend now is that the compensation payable to the freeholder relates to the current value of a flat. Property values as a whole have fallen in the past two years and are still lower than 2007 levels, despite recent price rises. The process of lease extension can take a few months, so it is also worth starting early so that it can be concluded well before you want to sell or re-mortgage a flat. Note, too, that the tenant has to pay the landlord's valuation and legal costs. Because of this, anyone wishing to acquire their freehold or extend their lease should seek specific professional legal and valuation advice.

How much does it cost?
The law sets out how much compensation has to be paid to the landlord when you extend or enfranchise your lease.
Key determinants include:
- the value of the landlord's interest, namely the present value of the right to receive the existing ground rent until the end of the lease term
- the present value of the landlord's right to get the flat back at the end of the lease with vacant possession - known as the "reversion".
As we have seen above, if the lease is less than 80 years the tenant will also be required to pay 50% of the marriage value to the freeholder.
Essentially, the shorter the unexpired term the higher the reversion, and on leases below 80 years a marriage value is applicable.
In short, the longer you delay extending your lease, the more it will cost.
For example, take a two-bedroomed flat built in the 1970s or 80s, held on a 99-year lease, paying £50 ground rent per year and having a market value of £250,000.
Assuming an unexpired term on the lease of 80 years, the premium for a lease extension might be about £6,000.

However, with an unexpired term of 70 years, the cost of the lease extension would be about £16,000.

For flat owners up and down the country, a bit of short-term pain will result in long-term gain.

Contact us here for a quote and further information

 

 

WHO OWNS A CATHEDRAL?

In most cases there is no legal evidence that anyone does - there was no Land Registry several hundred years ago, and grants of land to ecclesiastical authorities were often poorly documented. Take Hereford Cathedral. There has been a cathedral on the same site in the centre of Hereford for more than a thousand years. And yet there are no deeds to the land on which the cathedral stands -- and it would have been impossible to prove legally that the cathedral and the land it stands on was owned by the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral.

Until now.

Acting together with a specialist department set up at Telford District Land Registry, the Specialist Property LawyersMundy's of Gwynne Street in Hereford (next to the cathedral!) have successfully applied to the Land Registry for 'first registration' of the Cathedral. Also included is other property owned by the Dean and Chapter in the centre of
Hereford, notably the Hereford Cathedral School properties around the cathedral and the Wyeside Playing Fields used by the School and the community.

Nick Mundy, the senior partner of Mundy's, dealt with the application. "To register land at the Land Registry it is usually necessary to produce original deeds going back at least 15 years," he says. "But in the case of Hereford Cathedral there are no deeds at all - the land has been used for ecclesiastical purposes for hundreds of years and nobody has ever questioned its ownership. "Today, however, it is increasingly important for any landowner to be able to prove Title - if only to prevent unwanted developments and other moves that might affect the property.

"The decision was taken by the Dean and Chapter to apply to the Land Registry for what's called 'voluntary first registration'. This was supported by a Statutory Declaration, a legal document to confirm occupation over many centuries."
A significant part of the Land Registry's role is to sort out exactly who owns what in England and Wales. "As part of that, the Land Registry is very keen to encourage the owner of any apparently unregistered land to apply for registration," says Nick Mundy. "This can be extremely complicated, and you need a specialist. It's a field in which Mundys has developed considerable expertise."

Now that the Title is registered, there are proper plans showing all the boundaries of the territory owned by Hereford Cathedral. Says Nick Mundy: "Because the Title is guaranteed by the Land Registry, any dealings with Cathedral land in the future will be greatly simplified. And now we know who owns Hereford Cathedral!"

For more information, call Nick Mundy on 01432 265 630 or email here

 

 

 

The Mundy Morning Mail

Issue 5 No. 3 | November 2008

Mundy Comment: Recession is good for you
Housing market in numbers
Your most expensive streets
Focus on Hips
Property Investment
Property News


MUNDY COMMENT:

Recession is good for you:

signs of hope for the housing market


The Governor of the Bank of England has finally joined just about every other economic analyst in deciding that

(a) Britain is actually in recession and (b) it will stay there for at least one year, maybe two.

Since his remarks followed hard on the Monetary Policy Committee's decision to slash interest rates by 1.5 per cent, it was hardly a surprise to see the pound going into a tailspin against the dollar, the euro, and just about every other currency.

Rate cuts and devalued Sterling are in theory good for business, especially exporting business, and in the middle term that should mean fewer job losses and more cash in the economy.

Rate cuts are bad for savers, of course, but they're good for anyone who wants to borrow money - including mortgage hunters.

That at least is the theory. In practice, things are rarely so clear-cut.

For starters, we can agree that the housing market is undeniably a bit sickly. For instance:

  • All the market measures indicate that house prices are falling - and Halifax says they're falling faster than in any year since 1931 (down by 13.7 per cent year-on-year).
  • The RICS says each of its members completed an average of only 11.5 sales over the last three months, the lowest figure since the RICS survey was introduced in 1978
  • The Bank of England recorded 33,000 loans approved for house purchase in September. A year before there were 102,000.

And it doesn't help that interest rate cuts - including the latest - haven't really been feeding into the mortgage market. Lenders are being ungenerous (or "prudent" as it's sometimes called); in many cases they haven't cut mortgage rates by the same reduction as bank base rate, deposits of 20 per cent or more are needed to secure the better rates, tracker mortgages are being reintroduced but at a larger premium on bank rate (it used to average below 0.4 per cent, now it's typically 0.75 per cent or more).

According to the Bank of England, the average rate for a tracker mortgage pegged to the base rate jumped from 6.12 per cent in September to 6.84 per cent in October. Those figures are based on deals available to borrowers with a 25 per cent deposit.

Given that the property market is driven by the availability of mortgages, this doesn't auger well.

But even if the glass is not half full, there's a case for thinking that it's not entirely empty either.

  • Even if the terms aren't great, there are more mortgage products around. The lenders need the revenue they get from lending, after all - that's their core business.
  • Ok, there's often a seasonal increase in the autumn, but buyer enquiries do seem to be picking up slightly - the RICS says 17 per cent more surveyors reported a fall than a rise in enquiries in September, compared to 27 per cent in August. And RICS members say the decline in newly agreed sales in September was the smallest pace since December 2007. Hometrack's survey also said October sales were up 5 per cent on August, which in turn had been 6 per cent down on July.
  • Although it's still too expensive for most incomes, housing is (gradually) becoming more affordable. The Daily Telegraph / Lombard Street Housing Affordability Index, where 100 represents an average level of affordability and anything below it indicates that house prices are overvalued, now stands at 93. Last year it was at a 16-year low of 83.

And above all, LIBOR is coming down. The London Interbank Offered Rate is the interest rate used by banks to lend to one another, and it's a much more potent indicator of mortgage costs than the Bank of England base rate since its value can determine how risk-averse banks are when it comes to letting each other get at their money. Since this is the principal source of capital for banks, the cost of those inter-bank loans are key to the cost of loans made available to the public as mortgages.

The key three-month sterling Libor rate started the year marginally above 5.5 per cent, climbed up to 6 per cent in early April as the extent of the credit crunch became apparent, drifted down in the summer but went up to 6.3 per cent on 30 September. Better news and the dramatic cut in bank base rate has brought it down to 4.18 percent (14 November). But it's tricky for a mortgage lender to plan their business on such wide variations in the cost of money.

Industry analysts think LIBOR won't fall any more for a while, simply because banks will want to sit on all their reserves so that the end-of-year accounts show strong cash balances. But many expect further LIBOR falls in the New Year. And that could/should mean cheaper mortgages then, especially in key products like fixed-rate loans.

So we might be approaching the tipping point where falling prices and increasing availability of finance translates into market activity. More mortgages and cheaper mortgages could well be feeding something of a revival by next spring.

The spotlight may then turn on supply. Property is undeniably too expensive; the current correction is going to be A Good Thing if it shakes out the market-skewing second-homers and the short-term buy-to-let investors looking for quick returns.

There's some evidence that would-be sellers are (understandably) reluctant to sell in a falling market, and most people feel that the market isn't going to bottom out any time soon. And maybe would-be buyers are also sitting on their money, waiting for further discounts.

But we feel the market does need the pump-priming provided by starter homes, and we simply don't have enough of those - even if the first-time buyers could find an affordable mortgage with a doable deposit, which isn't easy right now. The combination of more affordable homes and more affordable mortgages would provide a useful injection of andrenalin, and while tinkering with Stamp Duty might help consumer confidence we need something more dramatic to get things moving.

The recession isn't going to go away, and house prices aren't going to start rising again any time soon. But next year might see a little more sanity in the market. We're not out of the woods yet. But maybe the first few steps away from the Big Bad Wolf's house are a little clearer today.

Nick Mundy



Housing Market in Numbers


 

WhoWhenMonthly changeAverage PriceAnnual inflation
     
House Price IndexSept-2.2%£168,814-8%
HalifaxOct-2.2%£168,176-13.7%
NationwideOct-1.4%£158,872-14.6%
RightmoveNov-2.9%£222,979-7.1%
HometrackOct-1.3%n/s-7.3%
Home.co.ukNov-1.3%£247,483-3.7%

House Price Index: The official UK Government's mix-adjusted figures (now calculated by the Land Registry) reports an 8% September decline that has led to prices last seen in Autumn 2006. Wales did particuarly badly, with a 5.5% fall on the month and 10.7% for the year to take the average to £126,530. Hartlepool bucked the trend with an increase of 4.7% to £115,018. The most recent figures available show that during July 2008 the number of completed house sales fell by 57% over the year to just 49.784. Our immediate locale:

AreaAverage PriceMonthly changeAnnual change
    
Gloucestershire£186,510-1.6%-5.3%
Herefordshire£186,246-1.2%-7.6%
Monmouthshire£193,286+1.1%-2.4%
Powys£160,706-2.2%-4.5%
Shropshire£175,332-0.5%-5.5%
England and Wales£168,814-2.2%-8.0%

Halifax: With a year-on-year decline approaching 14% and the average house price now £168,176, Halifax still sees a silver lining - housing affordability is improving, with the ratio of house price to average earnings falling below 5.0 for the first time in over four years. "We expect a further improvement in the ratio over the coming months," says Halifax, with the ratio falling back towards its long-term average of 4.0.

Nationwide: UK house prices fell for the twelfth consecutive month in October. At £158,872 the price of a typical house is now almost £30,000 less than a year ago, still almost £30,000 more than five years ago. House purchase approvals dropped to new lows in the third quarter of the year, and the number of completed house purchase transactions as a proportion of the total stock of mortgages is at its lowest ever level since the Nationwide started recording data in 1974. It takes an average of almost 12 weeks to sell a property now compared to 7.4 weeks this time last year. "This lack of activity is puzzling given that the last time turnover rates approached this level was in the early 1990s when market conditions appeared more hostile," says Nationwide's analysis; it's not a question of supply - RICS says that during 2008 the stock of properties per agent has been at its highest level since 1998, and house builders are suffering from low levels of interest in new build properties - yet the sharp falls in prices have not yet led to an increase in market activity. Perhaps buyers expect prices to continue to fall into 2009 and will therefore be reluctant to trade without some discount on the asking price.

Rightmove: The slight recovery in average prices for October was reversed in November and the 7.1% annual decline saw average prices fall below £230,000 - but agents report that sales are being agreed at around 20% below asking prices, which suggests that there is a lot further to go. The deepest price falls were in Wales, where house prices in Wales were 11.2% down on the year to £164,395. RIghtmove recorded 80,000 new sellers in the month, the lowest number since 2002, as those that hope for a price recovery choose not to go to market. And the steady fall in the average number of properties for sale continues; it peaked at 77 per agency branch in July and now stands at 73. There has also been a slight fall in time on the market over the last three months from 90 to 87 days, probably due to properties being withdrawn unsold.

Hometrack: The last 12 months have seen average property prices fall by 7.3%, taking values back to a level not seen since March 2006. Weak consumer confidence continues to undermine demand with a 35% fall in the number of applicants registering with agents over the last six months; the supply of properties coming to the market has also fallen back. But after five months of falling sales volumes, the latest survey highlights a 5.4% increase in the number of sales agreed over October - vendors are finally starting to become more realistic on pricing and accepting lower offers. With expectations now being driven by the economic outlook, however, conditions in the housing market are set to remain weak well into 2009.

Asking Price Index: This index, based as the name suggests on asking prices rather than actual transactions, should be the most forward-looking of all the indices. A drop of 3.7% on the year included cut on the asking prices of 200,000 homes in October (187,000 in September) by an average of £20,194; more reductions are to be expected over coming months.

FT House Price Index: The Index, based on analysis of Land Registry figures, records an eighth consecutive month of price falls taking the annual figure to -6.2% for an average house price of £216,097. The East Midlands also experienced the steepest annual downfall (-7.0%), followed by Wales (-6.6%) and the North West (-6.3%). Said the report: "With further price falls anticipated over the coming months and the reality of rising unemployment, we can expect to see growing problems created by negative equity".

National Association of Estate Agents: Most estate agents don't expect prices to rise again for at least 18 months, says a survey by the NAEA. And 45% of respondents said the £37 billion cash injection from the Government would have little impact on the property market overall - the feeling is that more short-term relief needs to be made available.

Council of Mortgage Lenders: The number of loans for house purchases in September was 57% lower than a year before - 35,000 mortgages worth £5 billion were approved, a 15% drop in volume and a 15% fall in value compared with August. First -time buyers suffered, their numbers dropping from 28,200 in September 2007 to 13,400 in the same month this year. They borrowed an average of £104,500, continuing a steady decline from the peak of £119,250 in July 2007.

RICS: The RICS Housing Market Survey for October 2008 shows a modest improvement in the price balance, although it remains at a historically low level. It also recorded a further fall in the level of transactions, though new buyer enquiries and sales expectations both picked up during the month. The net balance of surveyors reporting falling rather than rising prices improved slightly from -84.5 to - 81.8 in October. That said, completed sales per surveyor over the last three months fell to 10.9, the lowest level since this series was introduced in 1978. The main factor depressing prices is the large stock of property on estate agents books relative to the pool of able buyers, rather than any surge in distressed selling.

Bank of England: Mortgage approvals rose slightly in September to 33,000 - the first increase in more than a year, but still the second lowest level recorded since the series began in 1993 and more than 67% lower than the 101,000 mortgages approved in September 2007. The BoE analysis is that "the downturn in housing market activity and prices still has a long way to run".

Cluttons: The estate agent's latest Residential Property Forecast predicts continued house price falls for the remainder of this year and next before a flattening off in 2010. Cluttons anticipates a 14% fall by the end of 2008 and a further 7% decline in 2009. The UK is "trapped by a severe shortage of credit, an economy entering recession and collapsing confidence in future house price prospects".

Chesterton: The estate agent's 'poll of polls', which takes into account all the major house price indices, says that year-on-year prices in England and Wales fell by 9.5% in October though the monthly decline eased from -2.1% in September to -1.5% in October. The average house price is now £178,534. The largest regional annual falls were recorded in Northern Ireland (-17.0%), Wales (-12.8%), the East (-12.0%) and the South West (-10.9%). Scotland recorded the lowest annual decline (-1.8%).


Your most expensive streets


The Halifax has been analysing Land Registry data to identify the most expensive streets in England and Wales on the basis of transactions there in the last four years.

Unsurprisingly, 25 of the 50 are in Kensington and Chelsea, and The Vale (off the Kings Road in Chelsea) tops the list - the average price paid between 2004-2208 was £4,677,500.

In second place however was Ingram Avenue in Barnet, NW11, and Panorama Road, Poole was fifth. Outside the South of England the most expensive street was to be found in Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

 
RankStreetAreaPrice
1The ValeKensington and Chelsea SW3£4,677,500
2Ingram AvenueBarnet NW11£4,465,000
3Cottesmore GardensKensington and Chelsea W8£4,288,125
4Wycombe SquareKensington and Chelsea W8£4,205,192
5Panorama RoadPoole BH13£4,158,333

For the full list, click here


Focus on HIPs


The government has just published some focus group research on Home Information Packs that it ran earlier this year with house buyers and sellers. The principal conclusions:

Overall perceptions

  • Many discussion group participants had a limited understanding of the purpose of HIPs and a low level of knowledge of what information the HIP contained.
  • Most assumed that their lawyer would alert them to anything they needed to be aware of and so they were not concerned about the information the HIP contained.
  • Some participants had also found their estate agents were fairly negative about HIPs and had showed certain levels of apathy towards the HIP.

Perceived advantages

  • Greater commitment from sellers, preventing those who were not serious about selling their property from putting it on the market
  • Having all the necessary information up-front would make it less likely for sales to fall through
  • The EPC was a good way of raising awareness about more wide-spread environmental issues

Perceived disadvantages

  • At present the costs was not sufficiently balanced by benefits
  • The requirement for HIPs made the buying and selling process more complicated
  • The HIP contains too much jargon with inappropriate legal language
  • The HIP does not provide a complete overview, for example; omitting information on the structure of the property, building regulations and local amenities

The full report (and it is quite substantial) is available here


PROPERTY INVESTMENT

(click on the headlines for the full story)


Rugg review aims to boost private rented sector 23 Oct 2008

The government review into the Private Rented Sector by Julie Rugg of the University of York calls for the private rented sector to be seen as a tenure of choice rather than where people end up if they have no other option. This implies a more professional approach with more awareness education for landlords and regulators. The report recommends ...

a light touch licensing system for landlords and mandatory regulation for letting agencies
a new independent complaints procedure for consumers
tax changes to encourage good landlords, including changes to stamp duty to encourage them to buy more properties
more government support for landlords to take on tenants on lower incomes
more local authorities support for good landlords whiletackling poorly performing landlords and promoting tenants' rights.
The report has generally been well received by the industry, with the RICS for instance commending the call for a more professional, businesslike approach from landlords and agents. RICS also likes the proposed independent national accreditation scheme, especially if this were to be run by the industry.

Survey finds positive relationships between landlords and tenants 17 Nov 2008

The majority of landlords and tenants enjoy a good relationship, according to a poll by the Deposit Protection Service -- 84 per cent of renters get on well with their landlord, with a quarter of respondents saying the relationship is "fantastic".

Landlords optimistic 12 Nov 2008

The latest quarterly survey of private landlords in the UK from specialist research agency BDRC reports that 14% said prospects for the UK's private rental sector looked "very good" up from only 10% in Q4 2007.

Top 20 buy-to-lets show gross yields up to 10.9% 12 Nov 2008

Ludlow Thompson has a list of 20 BTL deals in London offering gross rental yields of up to 10.9%. That'on a two-bed flat in a high-rise in Tottenham, on the market at £109,999 and renting for £230 per week; there are several similar deals on the list.

Tax warning for Landlords 07 Oct 2008

Buy-to-let landlords should ensure their tax affairs are in order in advance of a crackdown by HM Revenue & Customs, according to Target Chartered Accountants. From next April tax officers will be given new powers to visit landlords' homes and inspect their records; the accountants say HMRC has been gathering information for some time to move against landlords who have escaped paying tax, knowingly or otherwise.


PROPERTY NEWS

Click on the headlines for the full story.


Homeowners underestimating falling house prices 14 Nov 2008
The average mortgage holder now estimates the value of their property to be worth £200,998, down from £202,231 three months ago, according to figures from 'find a mortgage adviser' service Impartial.co.uk. That is a decrease of less than 0.1%considerably below the fall recorded by all the major indices. And homeowners under the age of 34 actually believe the value of their property is still increasing.

Housing shortage "will help the market recover" - Brown 13 Oct 08
Gordon Brown says that the shortage of UK housing should influence a housing market recovery - our failure to build enough houses has produced a "pent-up demand". In a speech he opined that the UK problem was not shortage of homes at "the right prices" but rather a shortage of mortgages "at the right prices for people to buy".

Consumer confidence rises after bank bail-out 5 Nov 2008
Consumers were feeling more confident in October following the Government's announcement of support for the banking sector, says the latest edition of Nationwide's Consumer Confidence Index. It reports a rise in confidence, from 51 points in September to 55 in October - the first time since December 2007 that confidence has increased. Two thirds of respondents (66%) said that now was a bad time to make a major purchase such as buying a house or a car; and When asked what they thought would happen to house prices over the next six months, consumers predicted they would drop by 5.6% (compared to September's forecast of a 4.9% fall).

Savings plans show glimmer of hope 12 Nov 2008
Nationwide Building Society's latest savings research shows that although only a quarter of consumers think they currently save enough, just over half (52%) think that they will be saving the right amount in six months time. This compares to 47% seen in last month's report, a small improvement in future sentiment that Nationwide takes as a positive sign.

Housing prospects grim without more intervention 5 Nov 2008
Without evidence that lenders are prepared to increase lending, the scale of the housing market downturn is likely to accelerate in 2009, according to the second part of The Modern UK Housing Market: Origins and Prospects by Prof Michael of the University of Reading. He argues for ...

  • Substantial cuts in interest rates (which did happen almost immediately)
  • "Strong new measures" to increase the volume of mortgage lending substantially
  • Temporary government guarantees for the top slice of mortgages, both for first-time buyers and others
  • More extensive temporary action on Stamp Duty.

The full report can be downloaded here.

GE Money fined £1.1m 26 Sep 2008
Mortgage lender GE Money Home Lending has been fined £1.12 million by the FSA for causing 684 borrowers to lose £2.3 million. The mortgage borrowers affected have received full redress. The fine referred to 'retention clauses' whereby around £3,000 was held back from mortgage advances as a condition of the loan, normally where the borrower was required to carry out essential repairs. GE Money still charged interest on the full amount, and did not always return the interest earned on the holdback.

Fewer empty homes 1 Nov 2008
The latest annual Halifax Empty Homes in England survey reveals that there were 279,281 empty private residences in April 2007, 9% fewer than in April 2003. Empty homes still account for 1.5% of all privately owned dwellings in England and 3% or more of all homes in 17 local authority areas, all in the North of England.

More repossession help required 13 Nov 2008
A poll for homeless charity St Mungo's found 80% of British people want the government to be more active in helping homeowners at risk of having their homes repossessed. It also found 52% of us are concerned about our current financial situation and more are now cutting down their spending on gas, electricity, heating, and household food.

Repossessions rise 71% 28 Oct 2008
The number of homes being repossessed rose 71% in the last year. According to the FSA a total of 11,054 homes were repossessed in the second quarter of 2008, bringing the number of homes repossessed by lenders in the first half of the year to over 20,000. The data also show the number of people falling into arrears is remaining steady - up 3% on the first three months of the year and up 16% on a year ago.

FTBs pay more for loans 13 Nov 2008
Analysis by mortgage website mform.co.uk suggests first-time buyers are paying up to 0.75% more for a mortgage than a year ago despite the Bank of England rate cuts. mform found that the most competitive two-year fixed-rate deal for borrowers with a deposit of 10% - typically first-timers - is 6.44% compared to 5.69% last November. Three- and five-year fixed-rate deals were also more expensive this year, according to mform's research. The best offers were 6.44% and 6.14% respectively, compared to 5.69 and 5.39% a year ago.

UK commercial property values "at 22-year low" 17 Nov 08
Investment Property Databank's monthly UK commercial property rental index showed All Property total returns falling for a sixth successive month to a year-on-year -3.8%. The steepest capital value falls were in Retail.

 
 Total returnIncome returnCapital growth
All property-3.8%0.5%-4.3%
Retail-4.2%0.5%-4.7%
Office-3.7%0.5%-4.3%
Industrial-2.7%0.6%-3.2%

 

 

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