The "furore" in the UK housing market is dying down because a recent surge in demand is "gradually exhausting itself", according to surveyors.
The increase in would-be buyers was at its lowest point in almost a year during February, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said.
Last year just 109,370 new homes were completed in England, the lowest figure for four years.
Yet the number of households is expected to grow by 221,000 every year this decade.
The result of that shortfall - according to a basic principle of supply-and-demand economics - is that house prices will continue to rise, making them even more unaffordable.
Energy bills are to come with compulsory Quick Response (QR) codes to help people switch supplier more easily, the government says.
The barcodes, which can be scanned by smartphones and tablets, will let customers upload tariff and consumption data directly from their bills.
HARWORTH Estates, the property regeneration company, has forward sold and secured infrastructure funding for the first speculative industrial development in Yorkshire for six years on a site being transformed into the region’s largest-ever mixed-use development.The funding will enable Harworth to begin development next month of 100,000 sq ft of industrial units on seven acres of land
It was not an especially desirable two-bedroom flat in Oxford, said a local estate agent, that went on the market in January this year and sold for £210,000. But just a few weeks later, after a mild refresh, it went back on the market – and was soon snapped up for £249,000. Oxford is in the grip of a property price boom that has made it the least affordable city to live in within the UK when compared to local wages, according to Lloyds bank.
Large numbers of mortgage lenders and brokers are predicting part of the government's Help to Buy scheme will be withdrawn early because it is artificially inflating house prices, according to an industry survey.
Research by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (Imla), a group made up of banks and building societies that offer loans through brokers, found growing concerns that rising house prices could cause the chancellor to pull the plug on the part of the scheme that guarantees 95% home loans before the end of its planned three-year term.
Home affordability in UK cities has improved in 51 of 62 cities in the last five years, according to the Lloyds Bank Affordable Cities Review.
The average price for a city home in the UK stands at £184,215 - 5.8 times gross annual average earnings, down from 6.1 in 2009 and just under 20% below the peak of 7.2 in 2008.
COMMERCIAL property investment transactions climbed to a six-year high in 2013, reaching a total of £44.7bn, according to latest data.
Investment surged in the second half of the year with nearly half of the yearly total spent in the last quarter alone, according to figures from DTZ.
The current system of business rates is in need of "fundamental reforms" in order to help retailers and boost local economies, a group of MPs has said.
A report from the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee says the property tax is no longer fit for purpose, and calls for a "wholesale review".
The committee's views echo those of several leading business figures.
In less than two months from now – on 26 April – lenders will be required to advance mortgages to their customers under new rules coming into effect as a result of the mortgage market review (MMR).
The rules, which are being introduced to reinforce consumer protection, will be overseen by the industry regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and apply across the whole industry.
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