Real Estate

Residential

Housing Starts (Sep.)

Single-family starts and building permits have been stable over the past three months at around 1.1m annualised, as strong new home demand has run up against shortages of materials and labour. We expect new home demand will remain robust even as mortgage rates rise, but constraints on the supply side will continue. Overall, that means single-family starts will see only a small rise over the next year or so, ending 2022 at around 1.2m annualised.

19 October 2021

Residential demand returns to London

While the UK has seen house prices boom over the past year, central London has not joined in as increased remote working led buyers to shun the capital for more space in the suburbs and further afield. But indicators of demand show that it is far too early to call time on city living, with demand now returning to the purchase and rental market despite prices remaining far higher relative to earnings than in other regions.

18 October 2021

Rising mortgage rates will help cool booming prices

Mortgage rates are on the rise and we expect they will see further gains to end the year at around 3.5%. That, alongside relatively tight credit conditions, will help cool rampant house price inflation. From close to 20% y/y in July, we expect a slowdown to 15% y/y by end-2021 and 3% by end-2022. Stretched affordability will also weigh on home sales, although the drop in first-time buyers has at least arrested the fall in inventory. After four months of consecutive falls single-family building permits were unchanged in August. But with lumber prices rising again and shortages of other materials and labour, we don’t expect a strong rise over the remainder of the year. The lack of homes for sale and the reopening of cities have been positives for the rental sector. Vacancy rates are falling and rental growth is picking up, driving strong investor demand and pushing yields to record lows. We expect yields will stay low for the next year at least.

15 October 2021
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Credit Conditions Survey (Q3 2021)

An ongoing improvement in credit availability may offset the increase in Bank Rate we expect in 2022. That offers support to our forecast that mortgage rates will remain low.

14 October 2021

RICS Residential Market Survey (Sep.)

The RICS survey suggests that the housing market has shrugged off the deterioration in sentiment about the broader economy so far. Demand stabilised at a high level in September while stock remained limited, so strong competition between buyers appears set to bid up house prices further in the near term.

14 October 2021

Will sales of condos continue to outperform?

Sales of condos have been on tear in recent months, with their share in total existing home sales reaching a 14-year high in June. The reopening of cities helps explain that development, and condo sales have also benefitted from comparatively favourable inventory and pricing. With house prices not set to decline and mortgage rates on the rise, demand for relatively affordable condos is set remain high.

Halifax House Prices (Sep.)

The large rise in the Halifax house price index in September suggests that we are right to think that robust demand and limited inventory will mean that prices record further gains after the stamp duty holiday ends.

7 October 2021

Mortgage Applications (Sep.)

Home purchase applications rose for the first time in six months in September, even as mortgage rates increased to a 14-week high by the end of the month. But we expect a further rise in mortgage rates to around 3.5% by the end of this year and, combined with soaring house prices and tight credit conditions, that will weigh on home purchase mortgage demand. We therefore expect home purchase applications will drift lower over the remainder of the year.

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