What is the true effect of tax changes on the buy to let market?

Although media coverage of landlord reactions have been mixed, it is fair to say that the buy to let industry has undergone radical change over the past couple of years and most, if not all landlords have been affected in one way or another. Speculation suggested that landlords would quit buy to let in their droves. Meanwhile, there has been a growing trend for landlords to move property ownership into a limited company for tax purposes. Furthermore, recent data from property advice website…

Is traditional tenant referencing dead?

A Sheffield-based letting agent and prop-tech entrepreneur claims that traditional tenant referencing is dead, as it uses old and slow systems, has little technology support and is grossly overpriced. For years, letting agents have had to use traditional referencing suppliers, who provide an expensive, out-dated service. They are mostly owned by large insurance companies, who use referencing simply as a lead generator to sell insurance products. Due to this, they operate on a call centre, tick-box process and if the tenant doesn’t fit the…

Energy theft: spotting, stopping and preventing it

Energy theft – where a meter is tampered with to save on utility bills – will already be on most property professionals’ radar. However, with average portfolio sizes at an all-time high, it can be easy for checks to fall by the wayside as landlord workloads continue to rise. This is a worrying prospect given that the practice can cause electric shocks, fires, street-wide gas explosions and is responsible for at least one death or serious injury every 10 days in the UK. …

What are the top 5 things people notice first about your home?

When we welcome guests into our home, we hope they walk away talking about how lovely it is. But when it comes to spending our hard-earned cash on home improvements, are we focusing on the right things? New research from Hitachi Personal Finance reveals the areas that people first notice when visiting someone’s home compared to our top property priorities, plus the experts have given their tips on the best changes to make to improve those all-important first impressions. With recent research suggesting…

Largest pre-Christmas house price drop for six years: Rightmove

The latest data released by Rightmove has shown that once again, at this time of year, it is a buyers market. According to the figures, the price of an average home in the UK fell by 1.7%. Although not unusual for prices to fall at this time of of year, this is the largest November drop seen since 2012. Rightmove was keen to explain that the larger than usual drop has been compounded by a cooling market in the south as well as…

How long does it take to sell an average home in the UK?

The latest research from Post Office Money and property-tech provider, Gazeal, has revealed that the time it takes to sell a home has increased by a week in the last year, with properties in Luton and Bristol seeing the median time properties spend on market increase by 20% and 19% respectively. According to the data, most sellers get an offer in less than three months, however, as many as one in three have experienced an offer fall through within the first three weeks of…

Landlords warned that arrears and evictions have doubled under Universal Credit

New figures from the BBC’s Panorama programme have revealed that tenants claiming Universal Credit have more than double the rent arrears of those who have yet to move to the new benefit system. A survey of Universal Credit claimants in every local authority area where the changes have been implemented shows they owe their landlords £662.56 on average, compared with £262.50 for those on traditional housing benefits. The figures also indicate that evictions have risen by 55% in just one year in areas when…

Inventory clerks happy to go the extra mile despite being under pressure

The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks is reminding letting agents, landlords and tenants that one of the reasons they engage its members is because they are independent. Danny Zane, chairman of the AIIC, says: “As an association we like to know what drives our members. Time and again our members tell us that they are proud of having no direct links to the landlord, agent or tenant because this allows them to carry out their job in the manner that is professional, impartial and…

UK property demands are changing: how should investors respond?

Housing needs in the UK are changing amid declining levels of home ownership and lifestyle shifts. Rather than the traditional ‘buy-and-hold’ model, residential housing needs are shifting towards developments that are built for rent and aimed towards a specific demographic who are at a particular life stage. As such, funding needs are changing to support these types of developments and this should lead investors to consider new ways of accessing the property market. For many years, the typical approach to property investing has…

Property sales in Blackpool up 17% during 2018

Famous for its iconic tower, sticks of rock and miles of golden beaches, the family favourite seaside resort also boasts some of the lowest house prices in the UK and is currently one of the UK’s hottest property markets. Housesimple looked at the latest completed property sales data recorded every month by the Land Registry, which revealed that the number of houses sold in Blackpool increased by 17% between Q2 and Q1 2018, more than any other major town or city in the UK.…