Monthly Archives

June 2018

UK energy efficient social housing project hailed by designers

By | Residential Property

An energy efficient social housing project currently under construction in Norwich, UK, has been hailed by designers for its application of the Passivhaus standard.

The development will include 105 homes, 56 of which will constitute one-bedroom flats and the remainder of which will comprise a mixture of two, three and four bedroom flats and houses. This makes the development one of the largest energy efficient social housing schemes under construction in the UK.

The project is expected to complete construction later this summer, and has been lauded as one of this year’s ten greatest architecture projects in the world by The Times. Speaking to the Eastern Daily Press, Gail Harris, cabinet member for social housing at Norwich City Council, welcomed the announcement.

She said: “To be named, alongside some of these multi-million pound projects around the world, shows we have got vision and that we have driven it forward. What The Times said is recognition of what a good design it is and this is something quite special.”

What makes the new buildings energy efficient?

The new homes are under construction to a Passivhaus building standard, which means that they reach the highest certifiable standard of energy efficiency. This results in ultra-low energy buildings which take advantage of heat naturally generated within the home, so that they consume significantly less fuel for heating or cooling.

These buildings are therefore more eco-friendly, and will also save homeowners money on fuel bills. As an energy efficient social housing project, this opportunity to save money on fuel is vital. Harris added: “We know we have got a large amount of fuel poverty in the city and we know some people have had to make choices about whether to eat or heat their homes. This sort of development eases those problems.”

Elements of the Passivhaus building standard which facilitate this saving include:

  • Extra-thick insulation;
  • Triple-glazed windows and doors;
  • Heat recovery ventilation systems; and
  • Systems to prevent thermal bridges and air leakage.

The ventilation systems in question allow fresh air into the house, but prevent any from leaking out. The design also avoids thermal bridges, including pipes through which heat travels and can easily escape from other, traditionally designed buildings.

Source: Government Europa

Average property prices up more than 300% in many parts of England since 2000

By | Residential Property

Waltham Forest in London has seen prices rise the most in England since 2000 with Southend on Sea recording the highest growth outside of the capital city, new research shows.

Prices have increased by 364.9% in the borough of Waltham Forest in London with eight borough seeing growth above 300% in the last 18 years, according to the analysis of land registry figures by online estate agents HouseSimple.

Outside of London some 19 towns and cities have seen prices rise above 250%, led by Southend on Sea at 290.9% with average prices up from £71,879 to £280,948, followed by Bristol with a rise of 279.9% from £71,973 to £273,393 and Cambridge up 279.2% from £118,216 to £448,243.

Four of the top performing town and cities are in the East of England and only two, Salford and Sale are in the North of England with a price rise of 269.5% and 266.4% respectively, to an average of £156,190 and £279,776.

Other cities with strong growth include Luton with a rise of 276.7%, Basildon up 274.7%, Corby up 270.2%, Hastings up 268.9%, Leicester up 268.7%, Brighton up 265.2%, Lincoln up 262.8%, Exeter up 258.8%, Milton Keynes up 256.9%, Chelmsford up 255.7%, Norwich up 255.2%, Canterbury up 255%, Slough up 254.8% and Coventry up 252.8%.

In London the average price is now £436,859 in Waltham Forest, up 364.9% from £93,975 in January 2000 with Hackney seeing the second biggest rise in London at 339%, up from £121,135 to £531,788.

Lewisham has seen average prices rise by 331.9% from £95,725 to £413,413, followed by a rise of 326.5% in Southwark from £121,970 to £520,217 and a rise of 318.8% in Westminster from £241,773 to £1,012,444.

The other top growth in London was a rise of 318.7% in Newham from £83,861 to £351,114, a rise of 309.5% in Barking and Dagenham from £71,097 to £291,159 and a rise of 308.5% in Haringey from £136,422 to £557,234.

‘While London is the clear winner when it comes to house price growth since the turn of the century, prices have boomed in many areas outside the capital as these figures attest. What’s more impressive is that in the middle of this 18 year period, we experienced one of the worst recessions this country has ever seen. It shows the resilience of the UK property market,’ said Sam Mitchell, chief executive officer of HouseSimple.

‘During this period, London property prices stabilised thanks to an inflow of foreign investment, and then started to rise again 18 months after the height of the credit crunch. However, that wasn’t the case across large swathes of the country, where the recovery process was far more protracted,’ he pointed out.

‘Today, the property price growth picture is entirely different. As London’s property market shows signs of running out of steam, we are seeing strong growth in the north of England. Some 18 years from now, the UK’s property hotspot landscape could well look entirely different,’ he added.

Source: Property Wire

Dwindling supply of homes pushing up asking prices in the UK

By | Residential Property

A dwindling supply of homes in the UK has resulted in a new national asking price record of £309,439 although market conditions vary between the north and the south of the country.

A rise in prices in the north has shrunk available stock levels by an average of 4.3% compared to a year ago, restricting buyer choice and giving sellers upward pricing power, according to the latest index from property portal Rightmove.

It means that month on month asking prices nationwide increased by 0.4% or £1,364. It is the third month in a row that a new asking price record has been recorded. Year on year asking prices are up 1.7% in the 12 months to June 2018.

However, the less active southern regions all have more available stock, up by an average of 17.5% compared to a year ago, a driver for a buyers’ market and some downwards price pressure is being seen.

‘The main driver is good buyer demand in the comparatively stock starved northern half of Britain’s housing market. This demand, fuelled by prices that in comparison to the south are still relatively affordable, have meant the number of properties left available to buy has dwindled in the north and increased in the south,’ said Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst.

‘The reduction in property choice for buyers in the north compared to a year ago is a result of property for sale being snapped up, meaning it’s more of a sellers’ market there. In marked contrast the jump in buyer choice in all southern regions shows there are signs of a sellers’ market in some areas, but market conditions are clearly more challenging for sellers in much of the south,’ he added.

A breakdown of the figures shows that Wales and Scotland have the greatest drop in available stock, with 10.3% and 10.4% fewer properties for sale compared to a year ago respectively. Yorkshire and the Humber has 6.3% less choice for prospective buyers than a year ago, with the North West seeing a drop of 4.1%.

The North East and the West Midlands have smaller decreases in available stock, down 2.3% and 2.2% respectively, and the only northern region to see an increase is the East Midlands with a 4% uplift.

All southern regions have seen a stock increase compared to a year ago, indicating more challenging market conditions. The East of England has 24.9% more properties up for sale, and the South East has 20.0%. London has a smaller increase of 16.4%. The South West completes the southern stock picture with an 8.2% increase in available stock.

When it comes to asking prices, London has seen a decline of 0.9% month on month and 1% year on year to an average of £631,737. Month on month asking prices have also fallen in the North East and the East Midlands, down 0.5% to £149,098 and 0.2% to £222,877 respectively. In the North East prices are also down 0.1% year on year but in the East Midlands still up 4.6% compared to a year ago.

Strong annual growth has been recorded in the West Midlands with a rise of 5.5% to an average of £226,264, in Wales with a rise of 5% to £194,028, in the North West with a rise of 4.9% to £196,450, up 4% in Yorkshire and the Humber to £192,861, and up 3.7% in the South West to £312,210.

In Scotland annual asking price growth was 2.8% to an average of £146,578, while the East of England has seen asking prices rise by 2.4% year on year to £360,071. The South East has seen a more moderate annual rise of £1.2% to £412,073.

Source: Property Wire



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