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Taylor Wimpey expect to reach minimum 10% profit margin target
First time buyer activity increased in April
High proportion of capital repayment mortgages in Q1 2011
Jade Jagger designed apartments launched in Mumbai
Upward trend in Germany office market in Q1 2011

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Taylor Wimpey expect to reach minimum 10% profit margin target

Taylor Wimpey’s latest trading update to the City today shows that the housebuilder is on course to achieve an operating margin of at least 10% next year, despite a fall in UK home sales during the half of this year.
 
In a statement, Taylor Wimpey’s chief executive Pete Redfern said that the group’s full year profits will be ahead of current projections, with the group witnessing a significant improvement in operating margins from 6.7% in second half of 2010. 
 
Redfern commented: “I am very pleased with our ongoing performance improvement in the UK.

First time buyer activity increased in April

A growing number of first-time buyers are entering the property market as a consequence of slightly more relaxed mortgage lending criteria, according to e.surv, a firm of surveyors.
 
Homes under £125,000 accounted for 27% of all mortgage approvals in April compared to only 20% in April 2010 and a twelve month average of 23.8%.A year ago wealthier buyers represented a disproportionate share of the market.
 
That has now begun to correct. In April 79% of all approvals were for homes under £250,000 - typical first time buyer property.

High proportion of capital repayment mortgages in Q1 2011

A record high 77% of residential mortgages introduced during the first quarter (Q1) of 2011 were capital repayment mortgages, according to Paragon Mortgages’ Financial Adviser Confidence Tracking (FACT) Index.
 
The proportion of repayment mortgages was up from 71% recorded during Q1 2010 and has been increasing since the third quarter of 2007 when it hit a six-year low of 57%.
 
Conversely, interest-only continued its downward trend. Just 14% of mortgages introduced during the quarter were interest-only, the lowest proportion since Q1 2004 and down from a high of 28% recorded during Q3 2007.

Jade Jagger designed apartments launched in Mumbai

Yoo, a global leader in residential design, has announced the launch of their latest project, Lodha Fiorenza, at Goregaon in Mumbai, which is set to comprise 452 luxury apartments.
 
The project, which is being built byLodha Developers, will be designed byJade Jagger for yoo, and will be her first project in India.
 
Jade, the 39-year-old daughter of Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger, has already designed homes in Morocco, properties in Turkey and apartments in New York - The Jade condominiums.

Upward trend in Germany office market in Q1 2011

In Q1 2011 the five major Germ an office markets Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg an d Munich recorded a total take-up of slightly above 600,000sqm (6,4m sq ft), up almost 5% compared with Q1 2010, according to Savills research. 
 
The international property advisor reports that all markets saw a rise in take-up compared to Q1 2010 except Düsseldorf where the letting volume dropped by over 40% primarily due to an exceptional letting of approximately 90,000sqm (968,751 sq ft) of space to Vodafone in Q1 2010.

Affordable homes website launched for first time buyers

Affordable homes specialist L&Q and Metroplitan Home Ownership (MHO) in partnership with the Mayor of London and the Homes and Communities Agency have launched FIRST STEPS, a new affordable homes website aimed at helping Londoners onto the housing ladder.
 
Housing association L&Q and MHO are the Local HomeBuy agents for London and work in partnership to offer simple access to help first time buyers rent or purchase an affordable home.
 
Since 2006 the housing associations had jointly managed the ‘HousingOptions’ service across London.

London Mayor says affordable homes target will be met

Mayor of London Boris Johnson insists that he will meet his pledge to deliver 50,000new affordable homes in Londonby 2012, despite the recent tough economic environment.
 
The Mayor said that 38,840 new affordable homes had been completed so far during his first mayoral term, with many more new build homes nearing completion.
 
However, the mayor’s new homes statistics have been challenged by opponents representing ex-London mayor Ken Livingston, who insist that the Labour politician, renowned for encouraging the construction of new and affordable homes in London, is responsible for a significant percentage of the new homes in question.

Spain property planning approvals fall

The number of approvals issued for the construction of new homes in Spain increased by seven per cent in January compared to the same month last year, according to the latest statistics released by the Spanish government.
 
However, planning approvals fell by 15 per cent to 6,784 compared to December, indicating that the Spanish property market remains fragile.
 
Residential planning approvals in Spain have fallen by in excess of 90 per cent since the peak of Spain’s property boom in 2006 as a consequence of the glut of unsold homes on the market.

Paramount theme park not enough to help Murcia property market

Claims that property prices in Spain'sCosta Colida will soar when a €1bn Paramount theme park opens in four years are wide of the mark. Anyone who believes the Murcia property market is ripe for growth does not fully understand just how bad market conditions are.
 
Some local estate agents and developers claim that the new theme park, which is scheduled to open in 2015, and new international airport – expected to open later this year – will help drive demand for property in Murcia.
 

French property investment to reach £14bn in 2011

I’ve just received a press release from international estate agentsSavillsclaiming that it expects to see around £14bn invested in France’s commercial property market this year, which is not surprising given the stable nature of this market.
 
Unlike the boom-bust speculative nature of so-called emerging markets, the French property market – commercial and residential sectors - remains somewhat low-risk, offering solid long-term returns. 
 
France has traditionally always been a rather safe haven for property investors.