When former chancellor George Osborne launched his help to buy housing scheme in 2013, wise heads warned that, once a government starts subsidising mortgages, it will find it hard to stop. So it is proving. Another £10bn is to be thrown at help to buy, the government has said in a supposedly crowd-pleasing announcement. This is a 50% increase on the sum already spent. City analysts calculate it will take until 2027 for all the money to be distributed. For as far as the eye can see, help to buy is here to stay. On the evidence since 2013, the only guaranteed beneficiaries will be housebuilders. With a prop under house prices, their profit margins have returned to the 25% mark. Returns on capital are fatter in many cases. Yet this lovely cash hasn’t fuelled a golden era of housebuilding. Instead, the companies are returning their “surplus capital” to shareholders. Top executives, incentivised to do exactly that, are becoming richer than pre-crash bankers. It … [Read more...] about May’s help-to-buy extension is another boon for housebuilders
Millennials dont buy houses
Meghan Markle helped to sky-rocket sales of an independent Brooklyn-based jewelry brand after she was seen wearing a budget-friendly ring from the company - prompting 20,000 people to snap it up. The Duchess of Sussex, 38, has been wearing New York brand Catbird's half-millimeter Threadbare ring since long before she had a royal title, even writing about her love for the style back when her lifestyle blog The Tig was around. However, since her relationship with Prince Harry was made public, Meghan and her closet have become the subject of much intrigue and interest - and the founder of Catbird says that has resulted in a huge boost in sales of the brand's simple $44 design. Look like a royal on a budget: The jewelry brand behind Meghan Markle's favorite thin stackable gold ring revealed 20,000 people have snapped up the band Mix and match: Meghan's omnipresent gold ring, seen on her pointer finger above, is among her most often worn … [Read more...] about The Meghan Markle effect strikes again! Jewelry brand founder reveals 20,000 millennials have flocked to buy a $44 ethically-made gold ring after the Duchess of Sussex first wore it
Q My little family are looking to buy a house in London after many years of renting and scrupulous saving. The good news is that we have accumulated about £100,000 in savings, but the bad news is that the London property market is unfathomably expensive. We have a daughter under a year old, and hope to have another child in the next few years, so are looking for a two- to three-bedroom house somewhere that’s near our friends, who are mostly in zone two in south London – from Herne Hill to Brixton to New Cross, Peckham and Brockley. Unfortunately, a simple two-bedroom terraced house (in, say, Brockley or even Lewisham) is priced at more than £550,000. And despite having a relatively decent income and a large deposit, it’s still unreachable for us. My wife is a full-time mother and doesn’t have an income. I work full-time and earn £84,000 a year. I wondered if you could offer us advice on whether the government’s help to buy London scheme … [Read more...] about Should we use the London help-to-buy scheme to purchase a home?
A Mission District property that was at the center of a fight over neighborhood gentrification will become the site of 100 percent affordable housing now that the city has agreed to buy the parcel for about $18.5 million. The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development is in contract to buy 1515 South Van Ness Ave., a former electrical contracting warehouse that had been on track to be replaced by market-rate apartments. Instead, the property will now accommodate about 150 housing units affordable to low-income families. Mayor London Breed said the deal would help “families who are at risk of displacement.” “For too long we have not built enough housing, especially affordable housing, and we are working to change that with investments like this one,” said Breed. She said the Mission neighborhood would continue to be a priority for her administration. The city was to announce the deal Tuesday. Along with the so-called “Beast on Bryant” … [Read more...] about SF buys South Van Ness site, turning it from market-rate to affordable housing
The first production run from a vast new factory outside Leeds began this week – with timber delivered at one end, and just a week later a fully furnished one-bed flat popping out the other. Legal & General Homes is promising to build thousands of flats and houses a year at the revolutionary, and highly secretive, factory, and delivered around the country on the back of trucks. Is this the solution to the housing crisis – or a new age of soulless prefabs for rabbit hutch Britain? In Richmond, south-west London, the future opened its doors on Wednesday, with the first of hundreds of housing units to be built by L&G, driven down the A1 and placed on site in just a couple of hours. The housing association that has ordered the homes, RHP, buys them off-the-peg for at least 15% below the standard cost for onsite construction. It is an extraordinary move by L&G, better known as a car and home insurer, which if successful will catapault it into the top league of … [Read more...] about Prefab sprout: off-the-peg homes bid to ease UK housing crisis