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Single homebuyers cause a major shift in housing demand, says Halifax

New research compiled by the Halifax, the UK&#39s largest mortgage lender, shows that there has been a fundamental shift in housing demand due to the growth in the number of single people buying houses.

These changes will impact planners and builders who will need to take account of these changes when designing the UK&#39s future housing stock.

The research shows that there has been a substantial increase in the proportion of single homebuyers over the past 20 years. Last year, single buyers accounted for more than four in ten buyers compared with only a quarter in 1983. This trend is set to continue as a result of social and demographic factors.

The proportions of both single male and single female buyers have increased significantly since the early 1980&#39s. The largest increase has been seen in the percentage of single women buying their own home – increasing from 8% in 1983 to 17% in 2001. Whilst this trend largely reflects the increase in the financial and economic independence of women over the past two decades, the proportion of all homebuyers who are single female purchasers has remained static at 17% for the last nine years. By contrast, the upward trend in single male buyers has continued &#45 rising from 21% in 1993 to 24% last year.

Most regions have proportions of single buyers that are closely in line with the national average, but London and Scotland are exceptions. Singles represent one in two buyers in the capital and 45% of all buyers north of the border compared with 41% for the UK as a whole. These two areas of the country also have the highest proportions of single female buyers – 22% in London and 20% in Scotland compared to the UK average of 17%. East Anglia and the South East have the lowest proportions of single female first time buyers – both with 15% compared to the national average of 21%.

Martin Ellis, Halifax Group economist, says: “The dramatic shift towards more and more homeowners buying on their own is set to continue over the next 20 years. It is, therefore, imperative that planners and builders take account of this when deciding what type of properties to build and where to build them.”


FSA ponders the status of &#39independent&#39 firms

The FSA is consulting on whether it should place requirements on firms in the mortgage market who choose to call themselves &#39independent&#39 and whether this should apply to both advised and non-advised sales. It also considers whether firms should adopt a different status in relation to different regulated products, for example, being independent for mortgages […]

Research shows rapid growth in self-certification lending

The 2002 Mortgage Achilles research study, which was undertaken among a sample of 250 intermediaries by research company BDRC, shows that the self-certification market is now the biggest niche mortgage area for intermediaries. The research, which was provided to subscribing companies last month, shows that 93% of intermediaries who handle specialist and niche mortgage products, […]

The number of super-rich doubles, says Datamonitor

Independent analyst Datamonitor&#39s new report, Ultra High Net Worths, finds that there has been a surge in the number of ultra high net worth individuals (those with more than £5 million in onshore liquid assets) in the last five to ten years. In the last five years alone the number of ultra high net worth […]

FSA reveals the scope of mortgage regulation

The FSA proposals put forward in CP146 outline the scope of the new mortgage regime. A mortgage will be regulated if the borrower is an individual or trustee; the lender takes a first legal charge over property in the UK and the property is at least 40% occupied by the borrower or by a member […]


Guide: reporting to the Pensions Regulator — what and when?

Johnson Fleming has published a step-by-step guide demonstrating the importance of record keeping and reporting, and how it can ensure you operate a successful scheme. The guide takes you through some key questions you need to ask and identifies the information you need to obtain. The topics include: why you need to keep records and the benefits of doing this; registering your scheme; what information you need to record to ensure you meet the Pensions Regulator’s requirements; and what items need to be recorded and when.


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