Ask most young Britons about the housing market and they’ll undoubtedly have a personal anecdote to share. They may tell you about their struggle to get on the ladder, or how they’ve had to make ever larger concessions such as moving to the fringes of town. Or, they may tell you of their plans to take on a mammoth mortgage because the alternative—waiting a little longer—means that what is in reach now will likely be out of reach soon enough. This post empirically underpins what has been anecdotally obvious for some time: that the burden of debt is disproportionately falling on the young, and much more so than any other time in the last 20 years.
Continue reading “A lifecycle story of housing debt in Blighty”
Buy-to-Let (BTL) investors are taking on an increasingly relevant role in the UK housing market. In this post, I present some initial findings from my ongoing research on BTL. I use data from the England and Wales Land Registry and the Zoopla web portal to find properties that are advertised for rent shortly after being bought. I show that: 1) BTL investors prefer (a) London and (b) flats; 2) BTL investors are more likely to pay cash; 3) BTL transactions are faster; 4) BTL investors buy at a discount; and 5) BTL discounts are larger for (a) Northern regions and (b) big properties.
Continue reading “Five facts about buy-to-let”
Good analysis requires new discoveries, creativity, even luck. But innovation is not just a matter of chance — it favours those who are ready for it, which in this case means having the right data. Utilising micro-data to answer new and different questions is a good start, but the next step is to link such item-level information from various sources together. That way we can create analytical opportunities beyond the sum of the parts. In this post I show how a unique linked dataset on the UK housing market reveals that buy-to-let buyers secure a greater discount from the asking price than other buyers.
Continue reading “Chance favours the prepared mind: What linked micro data can tell us about the housing market”