Meeting the Secretary of State for Transport

It was my pleasure to meet the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP at an event organised by the MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey – Gordon Henderson MP.


The Transport Secretary spoke about the Southern Train strikes, the new Bus Services Bill, the new Heathrow Runway and the proposed new Thames Crossing. He clearly knew his brief and was happy to answer any questions. He also has a number of tough decisions to make. In my opinion, we need good infrastructure to help keep the economy growing – so I hope the right decisions are made.

Mortgage lending down but property market is confident

Lots of interesting figures have been released in the last few weeks.

For example, the Council for Mortgage Lenders (CML) say Mortgage lending was down 11% in October compared with the same month last year. And £10.5bn was borrowed for residential property purchases compared to £11.8bn a year ago,.

Home movers accounted for £5.9bn of lending, which is down 18% year-on-year, while first-time buyers borrowed £4.5bn. This is down 2% in the same period. But the steepest decline in lending was to buy-to-let landlords, which borrowed £3bn, down 21% year-on-year.

However, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown that house prices are up by an average of 0.1% month on month in October and  the market still showing growth since the end of 2013.

The data from the ONS also shows that prices are up 6.9% year on year, taking the average price of a house to £217,000, some £14,000 higher than October 2015.

The key contributing factor for the increase in UK house prices came from England where they increased by 7.4% over the year to October 2016, with the average price in England now £233,000.


London continues to be the region with the highest average house price at £474,000, followed by the South East and the East of England, which are £313,000 and £279,000 respectively. The lowest average price continues to be in the North East at £125,000.

The East of England is the region which showed the highest annual growth, with prices increasing by 12.3% in the year to October 2016. Growth in the South East was second highest at 9.1%, followed by London at 7.7%. The lowest annual growth was in the North East, where prices increased by 2.7% over the year.

The data also shows that sales have slowed considerably, down 20.3% year on year in England in August 2016, the most up to date figures available.

So despite all the noise around Brexit, the housing market continues to show confidence and looks to be a good investment for the future.


And if you look at the statistics over the last 10 years, there was a clear fall in 2008/9 but overall it has continued to go up compared to the last peek between 2006 and 2008. There is sure to be a slow down for December as traditionally happens  this time of year, but next year we shall hopefully see continued steady growth.

If you need any advice on mortgages, buying, letting or selling a home then please contact me or one of the team at Family Homes on 01795 473434,  or visit our Family Homes website  or email