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September 2020 Market and Fund Update.

The increasing market activity mentioned above has again been reflected in the Fund’s property portfolio which increased in value again in September, following increases in June, July, and August. Month-end valuations for September were up 0.02%, giving a cumulative increase of 0.36% over the last four months. The Fund’s Standing Independent Valuer, CBRE, increased the value of our holding in Minster, Kent this month, and is continuing to scrutinise the strength of market activity across other regions. CBRE has expressed optimism regarding the momentum of house prices in many of the regions in which the Fund is invested, including Colchester and Haywards Heath, which has incidentally also seen a ‘surge’ in rental activity recently.

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August 2020 Market and Fund Update.

The outlook for UK house prices has significantly improved over the past months. With the rebound in activity since May being remarkably sustained, the market received a further boost with the Stamp Duty holiday announced in July. The impact on the market has been immediate, with house prices rising again since June.

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FundCalibre podcast

Pent-up demand in the UK residential property market, and Income Share Classes for TM home investor fund.

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July 2020 Market and Fund Update.

The gradual reopening of the UK housing market over the past 2 ½ months had a dramatic result on activity – whilst it remains to be seen how much of this was due to pent-up demand, most observers are surprised by the persistence of the rebound which now has extra momentum with the Stamp Duty Holiday.

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Fund Performance Factsheet – July 2020

As per the 19th July, triggered by a confirmation from CBRE in line with RICS guidance that the Material Valuation Uncertainty Clause for UK residential property can be removed, the Fund re-opened for dealing. Last month I talked about how the re-opening of estate agencies has led to increased demand – this has now been translated into actual deals, with agreed house sales 32% ahead of last year (according to Zoopla), and transactional data seemingly being boosted further by the recent SDLT holiday announcement by The Chancellor on 8th July 2020. Furthermore, Rightmove’s research indicates that average asking prices of property coming to market in Britain hit a record, 2.4% higher than in March pre-lockdown, whilst the 3.7% annual rate of increase is the highest since December 2016. In a further sign of a return to normality, HM Land Registry started publishing transaction figures for the period of March to June. Based on that still limited dataset, LSL Acadata reported an annual house price change of + 0.9% to May 2020.

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Suspension in dealing lifted: TM home investor fund re-opens to investors.

The property valuer for the TM home investor fund, CBRE, announced that the Material Valuation Uncertainty Clause will be removed for residential properties going forward. As a result, the Fund’s Authorised Corporate Director, Thesis Unit Trust Management, in conjunction with the Depositary NatWest Trustee and Depositary Services Limited have lifted the suspension of dealing in units in the TM home investor fund with immediate effect.

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Fund Performance Factsheet – June 2020

Following nearly three months of lockdown we are seeing “light at the end of the tunnel”. As reported last month, on 18th May estate agencies in England reopened and although all expectations were for a cautious start, this appears not to have been the case at the time of writing. Zoopla’s latest data states that sales agreed were up 4% by mid-June, with demand up 46% on March 2020 and supply 15% lower than June 2019. This relative lack of supply is maintaining pricing, with asking prices up 7% year on year and Zoopla’s UK House Price Index up 2.4%. Similar dynamics exist within the lettings market with demand up 60% on March 2020 whilst supply up ‘only’ 36% – leading to a 1.5% increase in the ONS rental index.

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June 2020 Market and Fund Update.

Activity in the English housing market continued to accelerate throughout June following its reopening mid-May, with estate agents, buyers, sellers, landlords, renters, lenders, and removal companies emerging from two months of hibernation. Wales saw a partial reopening on 22 June, with Scotland following, more cautiously, on 29 June. The initial bounce has been remarkable whilst the outlook on where the market will settle remains uncertain. As we are moving into the first post-lockdown phase, we are assessing the latest on house prices, rental demand, and supply of properties.

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