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UK house sales hit record levels in June with monthly transactions up  216.1% up on previous year

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House sales in the UK surged to record levels in June as buyers desperately tried to complete deals before the stamp duty holiday deadline.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said an estimated 213,120 sales took place in June – the highest monthly UK total since the introduction of the statistics in April 2005.

The figure was 216.1 per cent higher than June 2020 and 108.5 per cent above that of May 2021. 

It comes after buyers in England and Northern Ireland rushed to complete transactions before the temporarily increased ‘nil rate’ band to £500,000 for residential stamp duty land tax (SDLT) ended on June 30.  

Some 428,620 house sales took place in the second quarter of this year – the highest quarterly figure since the third quarter of 2007 and the highest total for the second quarter of any year on HMRC’s records.

House sales were 216.1 per cent higher than June 2020 and 108.5 per cent above that of May 2021. (Stock image)

House sales were 216.1 per cent higher than June 2020 and 108.5 per cent above that of May 2021. (Stock image)

The report said the June figures ‘have captured significant impacts from forestalling activity by taxpayers’.

It explained: ‘Forestalling is when advanced action is taken to prevent an anticipated event.

‘For these statistics, forestalling refers to taxpayers completing property transactions earlier to take advantage of government housing market policies.’

In England and Northern Ireland, buyers rushed to complete transactions before the temporarily increased ‘nil rate’ band to £500,000 for residential stamp duty land tax (SDLT) ended on June 30.

The temporarily increased nil rate band has now shrunk to £250,000, until September 30, meaning current buyers still have an opportunity to make some tax savings. From October it will revert to normal levels.

The report added: ‘Forestalling has also been observed in Wales as taxpayers sought to complete transactions before the temporarily increased nil rate band to £250,000 for residential land transaction tax (LTT) ended on June 30 2021.’

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said an estimated 213,120 sales took place in June. Pictured: Chart shows that the non-seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted transactions rose in June 2021. They are the highest transactions in June during the previous 10 years

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said an estimated 213,120 sales took place in June. Pictured: Chart shows that the non-seasonally adjusted and seasonally adjusted transactions rose in June 2021. They are the highest transactions in June during the previous 10 years

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the revenue body estimated that 198,240 homes were sold in June – 219.1 per cent higher than June 2020 and 74.1 per cent above that in May 2021.

Seasonally adjusted figures strip out variations associated with particular times of year.

June is a historically high month for transactions as they increase during summer, which has also likely contributed to very high June 2021 figures, HMRC said.

It also cautioned that estimates for the latest month are based upon incomplete data as not all tax returns from completed transactions during that month will have been received.

Transactions halved annually in April and May 2020 as the market was effectively shut down due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This also helped to create pent-up demand as the market reopened.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: ‘June is always a busy month for the property market but this one was exceptional as the stamp duty holiday and low mortgage rates spurred buyers on.

‘With lenders keen to lend and having plenty of money to do so, mortgage rates continue to fall to new lows. As Nationwide launches a five-year fix this week at sub-1%, there continues to be plenty of competitive deals to attract borrowers.’

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said: ‘These figures clearly illustrate the frenzied rush to the finishing line for buyers to take advantage before the stamp duty holiday drew to a close.

‘However, activity has reduced since, particularly in London where the savings were greatest. Early signs are that sales will be down significantly, but we have noticed nearly all of our transactions are continuing with very few renegotiations. This leads us to believe prices will not be markedly different over the next few months.’

Sam Mitchell, chief executive of online estate agent Strike, said: ‘June saw the property market turn to a frenzy, with homeowners scrambling to complete and exchange in time for the end of the stamp duty holiday.

‘There may be no further extension this time, but let’s not forget the tapering off period is still in place until the end of September, meaning properties valued under £250,000 still benefit from the relief.

‘What’s more, there are plenty of other incentives at play to keep the market moving, including the increase of 95% mortgage offers combined with low interest rates.

‘The fact remains that the pandemic has forced a change of lifestyle for many, and with this has come changing needs for a property. 

‘Despite some now returning to work, we’re still seeing increased numbers seeking a more rural area with extra space – and this trend is likely to stay for the long-term.’

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IHG to open new hotel in Brussels (BE)

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IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) announced the signing of voco Brussels City North, marking entry into a new market. Due to open in autumn 2023, the 92-key voco Brussels City North property will be operated by Prem Group, a strong partner for IHG in the region. The state-of-the-art hotel will feature a restaurant and conference centre and will adjoin the Innovation Centre, which is already open on the site, to create a hub for hospitality innovation and a truly stimulating environment.

 

Located to the north of the city, the hotel will feature a striking 50-metre tower with huge glass windows providing panoramic views of the Brussels skyline. The site itself will be Europe’s largest experimental lab for creating ideas and a vision for the future. In line with voco hotels ethos, voco Brussels City North will stand out from the crowd and give guests a different choice.

 

Willemijn Geels, VP Development Europe, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “I’m delighted to announce that we are partnering with Living Tomorrow to bring voco hotels to Belgium. We know that Brussels is a strong market for branded properties, and we are confident that the voco hotels’ brand will fit well with the goal of creating a truly innovative hub on this unique site.”

 

Yin Oei, CEO, Living Tomorrow, said: “Living Tomorrow is focused on driving the future and we’re excited to partner with IHG to develop this exciting hotel – the first voco in Belgium. The values of voco hotels fit well with our desire to innovate and push boundaries and we know that the strength of the IHG systems will provide a stable platform from which to innovate.”

 

 

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Mitheridge and London Green unveil plans for Lambeth mix-use scheme (GB)

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Mitheridge Capital Management and London Green have unveiled plans for a residential-led, mixed-use development in Lambeth, south London. The project will make use of a former industrial site in Loughborough Junction, Lambeth, while also protecting the adjacent intersecting Victorian railway viaducts which remain a rich heritage asset.

 

Managing Partner of Mitheridge William Yerburgh said: “London desperately needs more homes. We believe strongly in an approach to housing provision that is affordable but also enhances the character and vibrancy of local communities. Our partnership with London Green will show that new housing provision can deliver for everyone.”

 

Daniel Rastegar, Investment Director at Mitheridge commented: “We are excited to work with London Green to deliver a scheme that will contribute positively to this area of Lambeth, both by providing highly sustainable, high-quality homes as well as new industrial space for SMEs.”

 

Harry Green, Director at London Green added: “This represents yet another opportunity to develop an underutilised site into a mixed community of sustainable homes and workplaces. We look forward to working with best-in-class consultants and contractors to deliver the vision that we share with Mitheridge Capital Management”.

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IIProp grows its presence in Spain

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IIProp (International Industrial Properties) has successfully delivered the initial phase of its built-to-suit project in the Spanish city of Murcia. The joint venture has also launched a new development project at a prime location in Nadarzyn, Warsaw South, Poland. The scheme is located in Murcia’s San Andres industrial park and offers 22,346m². The project is set to add another building of over 23,000m², bringing the total development area to 46,600m² GLA. Construction of a 23,000m² follow-on component is under way and scheduled for completion in January 2023. The project marks an important milestone for the IIProp’s expansion in Spain, where the platform has secured pipeline for development of some 63,000m² GLA in the Murcia and Barcelona regions. The development comes with excellent connectivity and visibility as it sits alongside the A7 highway, part of the Mediterranean transit corridor that links Spanish and Portuguese ports with mainland Europe. The project is set to obtain “Very Good” BREEAM certificate, which will be supported by green solutions such as solar panels, charging stations for electric cars, power sockets for electric bicycles and scooters as well as bicycle parking space and a bee shelter.

 

Nebil Senman, Managing Partner at Griffin Capital Partners, said: “The logistics market in Europe experienced an unprecedented growth during the pandemic and despite the geopolitical turmoil the tenant demand remains strong. We selectively are developing projects in Murcia and Warsaw with highest ESG standards and securing highest tenant covenants to fulfill core investor’s requirements. We plan to continue to build up carefully our European logistics footprint by selectively adding projects in core European markets as well as through converting our well-positioned land bank into standing assets.”

 

Maciej Dyjas, Managing Partner at Griffin Capital Partners, commented: “The projects in Murcia and Warsaw are another success stories in our strategic partnership with Panattoni. We continue to screen new European markets for entry and already begun working on potential development projects in countries like France, Italy, and Austria. In parallel, the IIProp’s pipeline stands at ca. 430,000m² GLA, despite latest disposals completed in Germany.

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