Familes are letting out their London home to live in the country, while young executives abandon buying altogether in favour of a more flexible lifestyle.

“There is a definite move towards renting,” says Liam Bailey, head of research at Knight Frank. “It is becoming more middle class. The hiatus in the market has caused people with bigger properties who can’t sell, to rent. There is a lot of it going on with bigger, better-quality family houses available to let.” Thrusting professionals and creatives are opting for it, too.

“If the mortgage market is difficult to access without a big 10 per cent to 25 per cent deposit, buying is only possible for those with large amounts of cash.” He anticipates the rented sector could grow from nine per cent to 25 to 30 per cent of the market.

Source: Daily Telegraph

According to the Nationwide the average house price is up 0.9% and leaving it just 9.3% down on June 2008 However they throw in a curve ball by pointing out that the current stabalisation of prices comes at a time of extremely constricted supply.

– House prices rose by 0.9% in June
– Three month rate of change turns positive for first time since December 2007
– Low supply supporting prices for now, but a sustained recovery still faces risks

Source: Nationwide

Dalston – The New Property Hotspot

Prince Harry and his entourage have been spotted straying from their usual Chelsea haunts recently for a night out in – gasp – east London. Devotees of east London, known for a hipster rather than regal vibe, no doubt wish these toffs would stick to their side of the tracks.

Other recent arrivals are more welcome though: new train stations in Dalston, Hoxton and Shoreditch are set, from next year, to greatly improve the transport links for the area.

Click here to read more: The Independent

HM Revenue and Customs report a 7% rise in the number of residential properties sold in May, bringing the monthly total to its highest since October ’08. This follows yesterday’s report by the British Bankers’ Association, claiming a steady six-month rise in mortgage approvals.

Sources: HMRC, BBA and Rat & Mouse

The Rat and Mouse Property Blog reports a terrific piece in Citywire about how purchasers of £500,000 plus properties can avoid paying Stamp Duty. There are a number of systems, but what they share is a nominal “middle man”… a company that pays “85% of the purchase price”, leases the property to the buyer with an option to transfer the freehold. Because, technically, the property hasn’t actually changed hands, no Stamp Duty is payable. It’s complex, involves lawyers who’ll take up to 50% of the duty saved, but it’s real and according to Citywire, it’s happening.

Sources: Citywire & Rat and Mouse

The Council of Mortgage Lenders figures show a 16% increase in lending for new homes in April, bringing the figure to its highest since October (although still 28% lower than this time 2008).

Take up of fixed-rate products increased further as the interest rate cycle has now reached its floor, according to new data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. In April, 69% of borrowers took out fixed rate mortgages with an average rate of 4.83%, the highest share since June 2008.

Source: Council of Mortgage Lenders

A Belfast house builder has faked a queue of first-time buyers outside an estate agents, in a bid to stimulate interest in a new development.

The PR agency for Bradkeel Developments, which is building Belfast’s Sugar Walk scheme, sent out a press release entitled ‘Worth the Wait’, with photos of people queueing, one sat in a deckchair and wrapped in a sleeping bag…

Fake Queue!

Fake Queue!

Source: Contract Journal

The findaproperty Rental Index has found that Hackney is the best performer in Central London for rental yields. The average rental yield in Hackney is 5.51% compared to 3.86% in Kensington & Chelsea or 4.44% in Hammersmith & Fulham.

Source: Findaproperty

– The Knight Frank Prime Central London Index recorded positive growth for £1m+ house prices for the second month running in May.
– Prices in Central London rose by 1.6 per cent during May, which was four times the rate of growth seen in April, when prices rose by 0.4 per cent.
– On an annual basis prices are now down 20.1 per cent, and are down 22.3 per cent from the March 2008 peak.
– The recovery in prices has been led by the sub-£1million sector, where prices have now risen 2.7 per cent since March this year.

Source: Knight Frank

Nationwide Building Society, the U.K.’s biggest customer-owned lender, said U.K. house prices may keep falling for the rest of this year as more Britons lose their jobs.

The U.K. economy will remain in recession for the remainder of 2009 and any recovery next year will be “sluggish,” the Swindon, England-based company said today in a statement. Unemployment may continue to rise next year because the labor market will lag behind developments in the rest of the economy.

“I don’t think the fall in house price is over yet and will probably continue for the remainder of 2009 at least,” Finance Director Mark Rennison said on a conference call with reporters.

Source: Bloomberg