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London mayor spends £12m on hospital land for affordable homes

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Part of a hospital site in north London is to be developed for affordable housing.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has invested £12.8 million from the Land Fund he created to buy the 1.4 hectare site in Edmonton in Enfield. The site is part of the North Middlesex University Hospital (NMUH) and is currently home to a car park, offices and hospital testing facilities.

Those facilities are to be relocated to other areas of the hospital site while at least 200 homes are built on the vacated land.

Part of housing strategy

At least 50 percent of the new homes will be social rented or other genuinely affordable housing as part of Mr Khan’s housing strategy.

The redevelopment of the site will start by March 2022.

James Murray, deputy mayor for housing and residential development, announced the purchase, saying: “The mayor and I are determined to do everything within our power to build more social rented and other genuinely affordable homes for Londoners.

“Under Sadiq, City Hall is taking a far more active approach to unlocking sites across the capital.

“We are using the Land Fund he established to buy sites like this one in Enfield, where we will be able to build genuinely affordable homes while protecting healthcare for the local community.”

Fantastic opportunity

Maria Kane, chief executive of North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, added: “This investment is a fantastic opportunity to develop the area around NMUH. We’re looking forward to working with the Greater London Authority to make best use of the land so that it better meets the needs of people who use the hospital and benefits our local community.”

Mr Khan has put aside £250 million for a Land Fund that acquires and prepares land for new and affordable housing, working with London’s boroughs and development partners. Any money made from selling the land is then used to buy more land for new homes.

London’s top 10 most affordable boroughs revealed

Peter Fitzgerald, Richtom80 [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Peter Fitzgerald

The 10 most affordable London boroughs for those looking to buy a property have been revealed.

Topping the list is Barking and Dagenham in east London, according to analysis of the sold prices for property recorded by the Office for National Statistics.

The east London borough is the cheapest in the capital with its property up to a third cheaper than other boroughs. The average price there is £300,518, up 4 percent on the year. This district is also expected to be boosted by another 11,000 new homes created on the Olympic legacy sites.

Crossrail will bring benefits

At No.2 on the most affordable list is Bexley in south-east London, with average property prices of £341,784, up 1.8 percent on the year. The town will benefit when a Crossrail station eventually opens and directly connects the area with the centre of the city.

Newham, again in east London, takes the third spot on the most affordable list, followed by Croydon in fourth place. Newham’s average property price is £365,182 (down 0.8 percent), while Croydon’s is £365,931 (down 2.6 percent).

Rest of the top 10

The rest of the top 10 is: 5. Havering, average property price, £375,014 (down 2.1 percent); 6. Sutton, average property price £382,607 (up 0.3 percent); 7. Hounslow, average property price £395,734 (down 0.4 percent); 8. Enfield, average property price £396,908 (down 0.5 percent); 9. Hillingdon, average property price £399,639 (down 4.5 percent); 10. Greenwich, average property price £411,492 (up 2.9 percent).

Low interest rates prompt steady increase in mortgage approvals

First-time buyers and home movers are securing mortgage approvals in increasing numbers as they seek to take advantage of still-low interest rates. Figures from UK Finance, the trade association that represents the lending industry, showed steady increases in mortgage lending in its analysis of mortgage trends for November 2017.

A report in The Times said housing market activity could be on the up after a difficult 2017, which saw the first rise in the Bank of England base rate in a decade and a slowdown in properties for sale.

The report added: “The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors had reported previously a sharp dip in the number of people looking to move house and the number of agreed sales over the past year, while the Land Registry said there had been a 15 per cent fall in housing transactions in England in September compared with the same month a year ago.”

In July 2017, estate agents across the UK also reported the lowest level of stocks on their books in four decades.

However, the data from UK Finance is more positive. It compared figures with the previous month and also for November 2016. With £5.6 billion agreed lending for 34,800 new first-time buyer mortgages in the month, November 2017 showed an increase of 15.2 percent in mortgage numbers and 16.7 percent in mortgage funds year-on year.

According to the figures, the average first-time buyer is aged 30 and has an income of £40,000.

Buy-to-let slows down

Meanwhile, there were 36,200 new home mover mortgages in the month, up 16.8 percent on a year earlier at a funding level of £7.5bn also up 19 percent in the same period. The average home mover is 39 years old with an income of £54,000.

Remortgaging continued to prove popular as 38,4000 homeowners reworked their finances to the tune of £6.5bn.

There was a fall in the number of buy-to-let (BTL) mortgages agreed, with 6,600 new mortgages financed by £0.9bn of lending and 13,5000 new BTL mortgages, valued at £2.1bn.

Paul Smee, head of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “The data shows housing market activity remains buoyant, despite November’s rise in the base rate. Steady increases in lending for house purchases, together with increases in homeowner remortgages, reflect a keenness among consumers to benefit from still historically low interest rates and a highly competitive marketplace.

“In contrast, declines in buy-to-let lending reflect the changing regulatory and fiscal environment for landlord businesses, where some landlords might be inclined to reappraise the viability of their portfolios.”

Access top-class conveyancing services

If you’re a first-time buyer, a home mover or a homeowner looking to remortgage, Capital Conveyancing is your link to fast and comprehensive conveyancing services tailored to the London property market.

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Forecast of record rainfall every winter makes Residential Flood Search priority for home buyers

Flooded streets such as this one in York in December 2015 are becoming a more common sight in the UK

Flooded streets such as this one in York in December 2015 are becoming a more common sight in the UK

The grim sight of homes and communities destroyed by flood waters has sadly become all-too familiar in the UK in recent years. The severe storms of 2013-14 and 2015 caused destruction across the country and caused billions of pounds worth of damage, along with untold upset for families who lost everything.

Now the Met Office is predicting record rainfall could strike every winter from now on, putting the entire country on high alert.

Its researchers have suggested there is an increased risk of “unprecedented” winter storms of the type that ravaged parts of England and Wales in recent years. There is now a one in three chance of record monthly rainfalls in at least one part of the UK every winter.

Using a supercomputer to model future weather events, the team from the Met Office suggests there is a 7 percent risk of record monthly rain in the south-east of England, rising to 34 percent when the rest of England and Wales is taken into account.

Risk of flash flood not confined to winter

As the events of early July in the Cornish village of Coverack showed, the risk of flash flooding is not confined to winter. When a summer storm hit the region, some residents had to be airlifted to safety by helicopter as torrents of water raced through the village.

It’s obvious from these recent extreme weather events that it is not only those areas of the country that are consistently flooded during heavy rain that are at risk; few places can now consider themselves safe.

That means those looking to buy a home have to consider seriously the risk of flooding when choosing where to live. Mortgage lenders demand that any property they lend on be covered by buildings insurance that includes flood risk. If you can’t insure a house, you will not be successful in securing a mortgage.

Extensive detail from environmental search

A Residential Flood Search, instructed by your solicitor or conveyancer, is one of the environmental searches that can provide extensive information about surface water, ground water and other flood risks around your intended purchase.

Talk to the expert sales team at Capital Conveyancing today to get the lowdown on the essential searches that are carried out during the conveyancing process, from the extent of the searches to their cost. Call now on 0207 406 5880 or get a no-obligation quote instantly.

How long does conveyancing take and how can delays be avoided?

Legal papers

Delays in conveyancing are one of the biggest bugbears for this involved in a property transaction. Whether buyer or seller, one of the first questions you’ll ask of a solicitor or conveyancer is how long the process will take. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question.

A straightforward transaction, with no chain involved and no mortgage required, might be completed in a couple of weeks. The reality for most folks is that the conveyancing process is likely to be closer to eight weeks.

Several factors can cause delays in conveyancing and here at Capital Conveyancing, we take a look at some of the most common, along with some advice on how you, whether buyer or vendor, can do your best to avoid them.

The effects of a chain

One of the most frustrating parts of buying or selling property is being part of a chain, where each move is dependent on another party buying or selling. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to influence how quickly other people organise their conveyancing or surveys. However, you can keep on top of your own side of any move by speaking regularly to your solicitor or conveyancer and replying promptly to any queries or request for documentation.

Survey held up or defects uncovered

Not every purchase requires a survey – for instance, a cash buyer might be prepared to proceed with a sale without a survey. However, mortgage providers will insist on a survey and so the sooner you get that underway, the better. The main reason for delay in getting a survey result is the lack of access to the property so do keep on top of the estate agent or vendor. Any defects revealed by a survey tend to become part of the price negotiation, but more complicated or structural problems could cause a delay in the conveyancing process or the whole transaction to grind to a halt.

Failing to secure a formal mortgage offer

This might seem like a no-brainer, but many buyers stick in an offer on a property they want without having the finance in place to buy it. Banks and lenders will often let you check online if your finances are secure enough to get a mortgage. That’s not the same as a formal application for a mortgage, and if you start the process of buying a property, at some point your solicitor (and the seller) is going to want to see proof that you have the funds. Get your mortgage application underway as early as possible so you don’t hold up the conveyancing process.

Slow return of search results

Searches are essential information about a property held by the local authority and organisations such as the Land Registry, which reveal accurate information on who actually owns a property and other facts such as planning permission for the surrounding area. These searches are ordered by the buyer’s solicitor or conveyancing firm. The solicitors and conveyancing firms on Capital Conveyancing’s London panel use the professional team at Searches UK to ensure quick returns on searches that avoid any delays.

Seller's title not straightforward

The information that details who owns a property is contained in the title deeds, which are held by the Land Registry. The seller may not always be the registered owner, which can lead to complications – for example, when someone has died and their estate is being sold via probate. The onus is on the buyer’s legal team to ascertain that all the legal requirements for the sale are in place, but they depend on receiving the correct information from the vendor. Again, this is a situation that the buyer cannot influence but it may cause a delay in conveyancing. As with all elements of the conveyancing process, work out early on the best method of communicating with your solicitor or conveyancing and make regular contact with them. Capital Conveyancing‘s sales team are available seven days a week if there are any issues around communication with your legal representative.

The key point to remember about accelerating the conveyancing process and avoiding delays is to keep on top of all paperwork, respond quickly to all requests from your solicitor or conveyancer and keep fingers and toes crossed!

For a no-obligation quote, call Capital Conveyancing now on 0207 406 5880 or click here. Remember, our no-move, no-fee guarantee takes the headache out of conveyancing because you won’t be out of pocket if your transaction fails to complete.

Homebuyers Warned Not to Forget a Planning Search Report

Homebuyers Warned Not to Forget a Planning Search Report

A Planning Search Report is vital for a safe house purchase. This essential report tells homebuyers if there are any planned developments due to be built in the vicinity of your new home, as well as the locations of any phone or electricity masts, radon gas and other important data all highlighted alongside a high resolution aerial photograph of the area for your reassurance.

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