The headlines: 4.3% annual growth (September-to-September, measured in 21 major cities around the world by Knight Frank) is the lowest it's been since 2009. There's a new and interesting volatility, with major cities in single regions behaving very differently (Jakarta: +15.1%, Mumbai: -17.9%). But - most interesting of all - the rate of growth appears to be slowing right across the board, with 15 cities showing rising prices over 12 months, but only eight in the black across the last quarter. Reasons? Exactly what you'd expect. Sovereign debt across Europe and America, and a cooling of several hugely-over-heated Asian markets.
The Hometrack index shows English and Welsh property prices falling down 0.2% on the month, after five months of 0.1% falls, leaving the index down 2.8% on the year. With supply up 11% over the last six months, the outlook - according to the accompanying comment - isn't good.
Apparently, the number of monthly UK searches on the property portals for unmodernised properties is in excess of 40 million. You know what? Somebody ought to build a website just for doer uppers.
And it's called Unmodernised.com. It's been developed by a property investor/developer, with an eye on the developer's needs (ticker-tape links to the latest properties as they go up, news, information, project management software), and it currently features around three thousand properties, which isn't a bad start. Check it out. Let us know what you think.
It's a $2.9m "compound" in one of West Hollywood's more desirable neighbourhoods... five bedrooms, four bathrooms but no pool - which, according to the Real Estalker, is a problem. It sounds as if Lucas can drive a hard bargain, though. The $2.9m purchase price compares favourably with the $3.49m the previous owner paid back in 2007.
Like... come on! They've been there, like, two weeks already.
Actually, they're disputing their status as squatters. They've shown the police a tenancy agreement and - in a shocking display of balls so big they blocked out the sun - accused the man whose name is on the deeds and whose estate agent stumbled across the new residents during a viewing of being an impostor. It will go to court.
It was apparently on the market back in February with a guide price of £15.75m. It's on Hamilton Terrace, between Maida Vale and St Johns Wood, and it's a wedding-cake-on-the-outside, modern-on-the-inside style place with five bedroom, screening room, nice garden. Go here for a floorplan. According to the Daily Mail, it's still for sale, but I don't know where they've got that information. I can't find a listing anywhere.
Estate agents Knight Frank predict a 5% fall for UK house prices in 2012, the market's first annual fall since 2008, as the market is hit by wider economic concerns. And don't - they say - expect further growth until 2014. Falling prices will extend to London, where there'll be an overall drop of 3.7%. Prime central properties, however, will continue partying, with a 5% rise.
A penthouse in Whitfield Street's Crabtree Place development has set a new record for the area, achieving £1,500 a square foot. The development, by Artesian, turned a former power station into a collection of high-spec properties. More here.
He's not heard enough, though. He's calling on Londoners to contact him with their grumbles, so he can formulate a "plan" to improve London's private rented sector.... all part of of mayoral campaign. Catch him here.
There might not have been much cheer for estate agents recently but Knight Frank's partners - boosted by a booming top end - should be happy with the £73m bonus pool they'll be sharing, more than twice 2009's payout. Thank Mammon for foreign buyers.
There's an interesting piece in the Independent today about why it pays dividends to keep a close eye on public transport policy when planning your next London move. It's all about Dalston, Peckham... and there's this interesting snippet:
According to a new survey by FindaProperty, the average monthly rent in London has hit £2,075, that's £151 more than the country's average take-home pay. Yes, average salaries in the capital are higher than elsewhere, but - even here - that's more than three-quarters of net pay (the highest ratio in the country. Does something need to give?
Following yesterday's report suggesting tax breaks to encourage elderly "bedroom blockers" into smaller properties, Rantzen and Etherington put in their teeth gumshields and go toe-to-toe for a couple of rounds, in the Telegraph.
Not much of a commute for somebody with £4.5m to spend on this remarkable Sir Christopher Wren-designed tower in the heart of the City. It's over ten - yes, ten - floors, with a lift and a spiral staircase to get you up and down. At the very top... a balcony with 360 degree views, including St Paul's. Completely unique, and the Rat and Mouse's favourite London property this year. Particulars here.
October's Rightmove asking price index is a bit of a shocker. Average asking prices rose, and by 2.8% in the month, leaving them 1.2% above where they were in October 2010. So what the heck's happening? This (blue = asking prices in the north, red = in the south):
Look how close together they were in January 2007. What's happened since? There's been a southern recovery. Drilling down into today's figures a little further you find asking prices in the south rising a massive 4.7% on the month, while they fell 0.7% in the north. According to the report, this is all indicative of the long forecast effect of public sector job cuts. Get your own copy here.
House prices are down 0.3% August to September, the first fall in three months, according to Acadametrics/LSL Property Services, leaving prices down 2.3% on the year. Every region except London showed a decline in the three-month average (when compared year-on-year). In London, prices are still up 1.1%. Interestingly, the number of transactions was higher than they'd expected, unchanged from August. Accompanying comment is about further restrictions in lending, as the banking sector tries to deal with current stormy conditions.
Private rents are now unaffordable in 55% of local authorities, according to a report by Shelter, doing the rounds this morning. What does unaffordable mean to Shelter? It means that the average rent costs more than 35% of the average take home pay in a particular area. Most shocking of all, the report claims that 38% of families with children have been cutting back on buying food in order to meet rent. The cost of renting a two-bedroom home ranged from £394 a month in Burnley to £2,714 a month in Kensington. The average rent on a two-bedroom home London is £1,360 a month, almost two-and-a-half times the national average. To get a copy of the actual report itself, click here.
An interesting piece here on the Primelocation blog. Jennifer Warner attended the launch reception for Central Square - 170 apartments in a good location in Clerkenwell with underground parking - and reports...
More agents/surveyors saw falls than rises in house prices, but not as many more as analysts were predicting. New buyer enquiries were up a tiny bit, but the most interest data aspect of the latest RICS report is that September saw the first decline in sales since January (with the average number of properties on agents' books rising by 3% to 68.9). RICS' expectations are for house prices to continue to fall for the next quarter.
Buying into new build is as risky as ever, but there are places, according to new research by Knight Frank, where you stand a greater than average chance of making a return on your investment. Nine Elms, in Wandsworth, is forecast growth of as much as 140%, as the area gets set for the opening of the new US embassy in 2017. Go here for a fun and effective interactive map.
The pictures come courtesy of a US magazine, but they've been reproduced by the Daily Mail. It's in Richmond (Whornes Place, to be precise) and it's a property with a lot of history. Parts date back to the 15th Century, although it was rebuilt in the 1920s. More recently, it's been popular with other Hollywood A-Listers (including Johnny Depp and Michael Douglas). Brad Pitt is currently filming in London. For a look inside, go here.
No change, and the official base rate remains at 0.5%, where it's been since March 2009. There was a surprise, though... the decision to inject a further £75bn of quantitative easing into the economy, a move that looks set to become known as QE2. Angry pensioners, looking forward to further years of rising inflation and poor returns on savings, took to the streets, executing a big model pig outside the Bank of England.
The big one, in many people's eyes... the HBOS index shows a monthly fall of 0.5%, a quarterly rise of 0.1%, leaving the annual change -2.3%. Accompanying comment:
Greater uncertainty about economic and personal financial circumstances, together with pressure on householders' finances from weak earnings growth, higher inflation and increases in taxes, are likely to be constraining housing demand. Despite these pressures, low interest rates and a rise in employment over the past year, have been supporting the market, resulting in broad stability in both prices and activity. We expect little change over the remainder of this year.
Yes, according to Wooster & Stock estate agents of South London. They point to funding campaigns on Facebook and information about neighbourhoods on Twitter as examples of how areas are being boosted by online chat. More here.
LuckyWu.com... it sounds (and looks) like a dodgy gambling site but actually it's the first specialist portal marketing London property to Chinese buyers. It's already shifted a £1m+ property. More here.
There was a mildly interesting piece on Friday over at FullFact.org ("promoting accuracy in public debate"), looking at the range of spin the different newspapers are able to give to house price data... a subject the Rat and Mouse has regularly picked up on over the last few years. How, they ask, is something like this possible?
The answer, of course, was that they were not only using different data (not so significant) but that they were talking about different time frames. Obvious - you'd think - but clearly not obvious enough to sell newspapers. Read it here.