Live updates

Estate agents warn new mortgage rules damaging sales

New rules on mortgages introduced last week are already reducing the number of buyers according to some estate agents. Credit: PA

Estate agents are warning that the house market could be about to slow in the south west. The new rules on mortgages introduced last week are already reducing the number of buyers according to some agencies.

Purchasers now face tougher questioning over their finances before being granted a mortgage. But a house price survey out today shows that prices are rising.

Demand for houses rises at fastest rate for over a year

The RICS say buyers want to see what's available before Christmas Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Demand for houses in the South West rose at its fastest rate since summer last year, according to a survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Despite this, prices continued to fall, although the RICS said the amount of homes coming onto the market also improved.


South West bucks trend as rental rates fall

Rental rates in the South West have fallen this year Credit: John Giles/PA Wire

Whilst rent in the private housing sector reached another new high last month, the South West has bucked the trend, with rates dropping by 1.5% annually.

Demand for rental homes has rocketed in the last year as people struggle to get on the property ladder because they cannot raise a deposit or meet lenders' toughened borrowing criteria.

Although rents increased by 3.2% nationally to an average of £741pcm, rates in the South West fell to an average of £638.

The findings come a day after the Money Advice Trust announced that a record 12,000 tenants were struggling with arrears had contacted its national debtline this year - the biggest number in its 26-year history.

Cotswolds is hardest place to buy first home

New figures have revealed the growing gap between what we're earning and how much it costs to buy a house in the West. According to the latest research, it's getting more and more difficult for people to get on the property ladder.

The hardest place to buy your first home is in the Cotswolds. Prices there have risen by eighty three per cent in the last 10 years, while wages rose by just five per cent.

The report from the National Housing Federation calls for a major building programme to improve the situation.


Consultation on plans to redevelop MOD sites

People in Bath can find out more about plans to redevelop the city's MOD sites later today.

Draft proposals to turn the sites at Ensleigh, Foxhill and Warminster Road into thousands of new homes were approved earlier this month.

Tonight a special consultation exercise is taking place at St Andrews church hall in Foxhill. More events will be held in May.

Residents: 'There has to be a limit to growth'

Residents are unhappy at plans to build thousands of homes in and around Yeovil. Residents opposed to the plans filled a council meeting today to try and get the proposals scrapped.

David Cloke, who lives in East Coker, say there is little support for the plans that could see homes built in the historic village.

Discussions by South Somerset District Council could go into tomorrow before a decision is reached.

Load more updates