Housing secretary under pressure
Housing secretary Sajid Javid has come under some pressure after it was revealed that he personally approved a housing development scheme proposed by the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s for 700 houses in the east-London borough of Ilford with only 4% affordable housing provision.
The move has caused outrage due to the fact that the borough itself has a published official policy of at least 50% affordable housing provision when granting planning permission. The borough council has stated that they need an extra 15,000 affordable houses built within the next 15 years to meet demand.
Labour’s shadow housing secretary, John Healey, said it was “a clear case of ministers backing private developer profit over the homes that local people need”. London Mayor Sadiq Khan also waded into the row calling the decision “outrageous” and “disgraceful”.
A local action group consisting of local residents is now planning to demand a judicial review of the decision.
Manchester is the UK’s number one but-to-let hotspot
Property Forum has declared Manchester as the UK’s best Buy-to-Let (BTL) hotspot, hailing moves that have seen “business boosted, infrastructure improved and a significant rise in tenant footfall”.
Riding high nationally, the city has been posting some extremely impressive results in terms of price growth, yields and capital gains. By most measurements across the country, for example Halifax rankings and developer rankings, Manchester sits comfortably high in all of them.
Other areas for optimism are the fact that Manchester has outstripped London for economic growth in some measures and has continued to grow its tourism industry almost exponentially over the past five years with new additions to the region pulling in higher tourist numbers.
That and the city’s universities are contributing to a real feel good factor in Greater Manchester with more young professionals settling in the area than ever before and contributing massively to the local economy.
Modest rental growth across the UK
Figures released by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) show that rents across the UK have increased by 1.1% year-to-date, unchanged from January, however there are caveats to this, as it acts as a national average. English rents as a whole were up 1.1%, for example, but rise to 1.6% when London is excluded.
Inner-London growth was at its worst since 2010, growing just 0.1% year-on-year, whilst Scottish rents rose just 0.4% over the same period. Wales, East-Midlands and South-West properties enjoyed the best growth figures.
The East Midlands outperformed everybody else with annual growth of 2.5%, with the South West just behind on 2.1% annual growth. Derbyshire and the surrounding areas have been posting some of the strongest growth figures for landlords for roughly a year now, and it’s thought that its relative proximity to Derby and Manchester have been boosting the area.
The north of England continues to very much be leading the way across the UK. Scotland, for example, has relatively low entry prices for landlords looking to enter the buy-to-let market in the country but the relatively low rental growth rates mean that the slightly higher initial prices in northern England can be considered a worthwhile compromise.
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