Your chance to live in a Grand Design

Alex Johnson

c696f3dbee1d72808f397b06527f7ef755ff0615 300x198 Your chance to live in a Grand DesignHomes featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs series do appear on the market every so often and here is the latest, designed by Lincoln Miles several years ago, an awardwinning four bedroom detached house (converted from a bungalow) on the Isle of Wight asking price £975,000. It is not far from the beach in Binstead and in the middle of woodland. Features include a large artist’s studio and office , charred wood cladding, and a mural designed by artist Lisa Traxler covering one of the outside walls.

How much does a house cost to buy?
We regularly point out on this blog the problems with the various conflicting house price indexes- today the Halifax has issued its latest figures as has the Land Registry which effectively has two sets of data for England and Wales. The first is free to everybody to access and puts the average house price at £161, 793, while you have to pay for the second one which puts the price at £234, 962. They’re calculated in different ways which explains the massive discrepancy. Whichever you look at, Flat A at One Hyde Park was the most expensive sale in March (£29,350,000) while a terraced house for £8,000 in Blaenau Gwent was the cheapest.

The case for a Land Value Tax in the UK
An interesting piece of research by Andy Hull for the Centre for Labour and Social Studies who argues that “a Land Value Tax, targeted at unproductive wealth and speculation, could help deliver the house-building revolution – and the economic revival – our country desperately needs. It would incentivise those who trade and sit on empty land to develop it for the common good. It would mean that the costs and proceeds of investment were more fairly shared. And it would be impossible to evade.” Click the link to download the whole, short, report which also argues that a LVT could replace business rates and Stamp Duty.

Could multi generational mortgages boost the housing market?
According to Aviva, around 36 million people in Britain now have experience of living as adults in the same home as another generation of their family. Charles Brittain, Business Development Director at property investment specialists Invest Connect says some countries, including Australia , have introduced multi generation mortgages to make rising property prices more affordable, but that the UK is shying away from providing the asset security to the lender over longer timescales.

“Like the US, the UK has seen a big increase in multi-generational households sometimes with three or more generations living under the same roof,” he says. “Unfortunately, the mortgage lenders do not seem to want to capitalise on this opportunity to lend in a more prosperous way for the lender and affordable way for the mortgagee. Affordability is crucial for enabling those stuck living with parents to buy for the first time and those wishing to move or upgrade their home. Lowering interest rates is not an option as they are low at present, nor can exposing the bank to more capital risk through higher loan to values.

“So extending the terms is the most practical solution. The lenders benefit from longer interest producing periods and the buyers enjoy lower repayments, leaving enough from earnings for further consumer spending to help boost the wider economy. A 20 year old gaining a 40 year mortgage can still see the term finish within their working life and would either have monthly payments reduced by approximately £150 a month or be able to afford in the region of £30,000 more lending.”

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