Good news via the Bank of England regarding mortgage approvals, at 66,766, were up both month-on-month and year-on-year (the latter by a very creditable 9.1%) and similarly remortages showed improvement.
The average price for a property in England and Wales is just 4 thousandths off the £244,030 of last August, the highest ever recorded – prices in London went up a fraction month-on-month, to £473,822 (0.1%.)
A recent repost has seen an increase in percentage sales to first-time-buyers. The number of sales increased for a second month, from 24% in December to 26% in Jan – the highest since July 2018.
A new English Housing Survey showed a rise in the home ownership rate in 2018 to 63.5%, up from 62.6% the year before.
The number of new homes completed rose 1% to 149,480 last year, according to the National House-Building Council. There have been some successes with decisions to release and divert funds from central Government to local house-building projects. The Government has also pumped £6.5 million of funding into researching modern methods of construction to increase house building in the UK.
The Government is considering a 1% Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge on any person purchasing residential property in the UK who is not a UK resident, proceeds would supposedly go towards tackling rough sleeping, which the Government is seeking to end by 2027.
Other good news sees sales figures up in January, with a 40% increase per branch in December 2018.
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