Smart home projects double over 12 months

A record surge in home automation and smart home installation jobs has created a new multi-million pound market for experienced tradesmen, with in-demand trades such landscapers enjoying a six-fold increase in earnings to £120 an hour. The finding emerged from analysis of over six thousand related tasks posted over the last year on the local services marketplace Bidvine.com – and with smart home items set to be a popular present this Christmas, the volume of work is tipped to rise well into the New…

1 in 5 online valuations turns into a completion

According to new data, 18% of online sales valuations generated by The ValPal Network over a two-year period resulted in a completion with HM Land Registry. Between January 1 2016 and December 31 2017, member agents of the network – which now represents over 800 brands and more than 4,000 branches – generated 551,620 online valuation leads, 97,228 of which went on to complete with HM Land Registry. Agents earn huge commission pot from online valuations The network calculates that using an…

Equity release product numbers trebled in 2 years

Equity release referral service, Key, has found that the number of equity release products has grown by 206% in the last two years – prompting calls for customers to receive specialist advice. The analysis shows that the number of products available has trebled in the past two years to 144 from just 47 in October 2016 with more product features than ever before. Currently, 81% of all plans (117 products) allow ad hoc penalty free repayments and 15% explicitly allow interest to be…

Green eyed over green fingers

A new survey of around 1500 Brits has revealed the old saying of ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ is still as relevant today as it has ever been. Garden and conservatory furniture experts, Alfresia.co.uk, revealed that 53% of Brits judge their garden based on their neighbour’s and many are getting green-eyed when it comes to their outdoor spaces Keen to keep up appearances, 71% of British residents even reveal that they would make improvements to keep up with their neighbour’s garden updates. Garden…

Monthly house price growth slowdown continues

The latest data and analysis from LSL Acadata has shown that despite most regions seeing annual price rises, average month on month growth (apart from in August) continues to slow. The figures for September revealed further a 0.1% during the month and 0.9% increase over the year – the lowest level in six and a half years. According to LSL, the average price in England and Wales remains above the £300,000 mark, and is up almost £3,000 on a year ago, now standing…

Cash purchase numbers fall to lowest level on record

New research published today by Hamptons International shows that in H1 2018, the proportion of homes in England and Wales bought with cash fell to 29.6%, the lowest level since the company’s records began. Hamptons International’s records started in H1 2007 when 33.6% of homes were purchased with cash and peaked in H2 2008 when 37.8% of homes in England and Wales were bought without a mortgage. In H1 2018, 113,490 homes were cash purchases, totalling £25.3 billion in value according to Land…

England’s empty home crisis is getting worse

A new study has revealed 605,891 homes were unoccupied in England last year and that a third of them are classed as long-term vacant, after being empty for more than six months. Good Move conducted the study and found that Liverpool takes the crown for the most vacant properties, with a staggering 10,512 properties laying empty last year. The data comes despite efforts by Liverpool City Council to reduce the amount of vacant homes with a free matchmaking service to introduce buyers and sellers…

Hamilton Fraser adds second date to Academy Course Letting Agents

Next month, Hamilton Fraser is launching the Hamilton Fraser Academy, a series of half and full day workshops to offer property professionals advice and education covering the full tenancy lifecycle. The first course, ‘Legal update and compliance’ is aimed at letting agents of all sizes and will be hosted by Susie Crolla of The Letting Training Centre on 22nd November. Due to high demand, this course is now full and a second workshop has been added on 13th December. Following a raft of…

The Mortgage Lender announce new residential mortgage range

The Mortgage Lender has announced that it has refreshed its residential mortgage range, including increasing maximum LTV’s, reducing completion fees and a new cashback range. According to the announcement, benefits of the new range will now include an increased maximum LTV to 90% through selected introducers, reduced completion fees, Rates for Real Life 1 at 70%t loan to value starting at 2.8% for a two-year fix and 3.55% for a five-year fix. At 90% LTV a two-year fix starts at 3.99%. £750 cashback…

Scrapping the Severn Bridge toll has driven up house prices in Wales

New research by Housesimple.com has revealed that property prices in south east Wales have soared since last year’s announcement that the Severn Bridge toll would be scrapped. Land Registry property figures analysed by Housesimple reveal that since the decision was announced in the summer of 2017, average sold house prices across the three Welsh local authorities closest to the Severn Bridge – Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen – have increased 13.2%. That’s over four times more than average prices have risen across the UK over…