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Preliminary figures reveal that commercial property investment volumes in the City sector in London reached £9.2 billion in 2012, boosted by overseas buyers.

This represents more than a 50% increase on the £6 billion total for 2011, according to the quarter four figures from Jones Lang LaSalle.

It says that with the final figure likely to be close to £10 billion, the sector is on track for the highest figure since the financial crisis in London and the second highest year ever after the £10.6 billion achieved in 2006.

The West End has also been busy, with turnover for 2102 at £5.9 billion, some 25% above the £4.7 billion total for the whole of 2011. The firm forecas...

A cultural shift in favour of renting property in the UK rather than buying looks set to continue into 2013 and beyond, it is forecast.

An analysis of data from lettings franchise Belvoir’s nationwide offices confirms that there has been a change in cultural attitude towards renting property in the UK and that this change is likely to be permanent.

‘Belvoir Lettings predicts that the private rental sector (PRS) is likely to remain a popular choice for 2013, with demand for rental property unlikely to slow and newly formed households continuing to choose the rental market as opposed to buying,’ said chief executive officer Dorian Gonsalves.

‘We also predict that renting wi...

The number of loan approvals for house purchases in the UK increased in November and was higher than the previous six month average, the latest figures from the Bank of England show.

The number of approvals for remortgaging decreased slightly in November but was still above the previous six month average, the data also shows.

The mortgage industry welcomed the figures, which also showed that there was almost a billion pounds of extra lending in the first four months of the government’s Funding for Lending Scheme.

‘It is a sure sign that a steady momentum is building in the market. With £6 billion of funding made available for house purchases by the major lenders for the se...

Farm land prices in England are set to rise further in 2013 after rising 3% to over £6,200 per acre in 2012, according to the latest index from Knight Frank.

Average farmland values in England were £6,214 an acre in the final quarter of last year and are now expected to rise by around 5% in 2013.

It means that land has proven to be a good long term investment. In the last five year values have increased by over 50%, in a decade they have increased by 200% and in the 60 years prices have risen almost 11,500% from just £54 an acre.

‘English farm land’s Bull Run is not yet over, despite the impact of the horrific weather on farming profitability this year. The market proved...

A number of lenders in the UK residential property market have announced new rates and product changes for the beginning of 2013.

The Halifax has launched a number of new products and announced a succession of rate reductions across its product range.
These include a new two year fixed rate mortgage at 90% LTV launched at 4.99% with £995 fee for first time buyers, new five year fixed rates with £995 fees available up to 90% LTV for home movers and 85% LTV remortgage customers with rates starting at 3.34% and 3.39% with a £995 fee.

There is also reductions of 0.15% on two year tracker mortgages for home movers and remortgage customers, with rates now starting at 2.64% and a ne...

House prices in the UK increased by 1.3% in December and activity also improved towards the end of 2012, the latest index from the Halifax published today (Monday 07 December) shows.

House prices in the final quarter of 2012 were 0.6% higher than in the previous quarter, the first increase in this measure of the underlying trend since May 2012 following six consecutive falls.

Prices in the three months to December were slightly lower, down by 0.3%, compared with the last three months of 2011 but the lender pointed out that this marked an improvement over the previous few months and was the smallest annual decline since May 2012 when it was -0.1%.

Overall, there were six mo...

Over half of private rented sector landlords in the UK are planning to expand their portfolio in the next six months, the latest research survey suggests.

Some 55% are planning to expand and two thirds of them will need to refinance but three quarters say mortgage lenders aren’t doing enough to support property investors, says the research from specialist mortgage broker Mortgages for Business.

Its latest survey also shows that 43% ARE looking to remortgage, up from 36% six months ago and 39% of landlords have less than £25,000 income other than rent.

The firm says that landlord appetite for more purchases stems from the attractive yields available on residential investment...

Anticipated seasonal weakness hit the US residential property market in October as a number of cities saw prices fall, according to the latest index from S&P/Case-Shiller, but the housing recovery is well underway.

Some 12 of the 20 cities and both Composites posted monthly declines in home prices in October, both down 0.1%. But on an annual basis the 10 and 20 City Composites recorded positive returns of 3.4% and 4.3%, larger than the 2.1% and 3% annual rates posted for September 2012.

In 19 of the 20 cities, annual returns in October were higher than September. Chicago and New York were the only two cities with negative annual returns in October.

Phoenix home prices ros...

The price of new homes in Singapore increased to a new record by 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2012, the latest figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority show.

On an annual basis prices increased by 2.8%, much less than the 5.9% increase in the previous year.

The mass property market segment, which are commonly units located in the suburbs, increased by most, up 3.4%. The high end of the market saw price increased of 0.8%.

According to analysts the government’s market cooling measures, such as the Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty and the latest mortgage tenure curbs, have been slowed price growth.

Some analysts expect the Eurozone crisis to drive high networth indi...

Valuation activity in the UK residential property market grew annually for a third consecutive month in December, on the back of particularly strong growth in the buy to let sector, a new report shows.

The latest Housing Market Activity Report by Connells Survey & Valuation shows that the number of residential valuations conducted was 2% greater than a year ago. This improvement came despite the expected seasonal fall in activity, down 15% from November.

December’s annual growth contributed to stronger performance from the valuations market in 2012 as a whole, the firm said. The total number of valuations in 2012 was 12% higher than in 2011, the most annual activity since 2...

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