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Letting agent gives away free Rightmove and Zoopla listings

July 12, 2016

An online letting agent is giving away free listings on Rightmove and Zoopla. Landlords can take up the offer, regardless of whether they sign up to the firm’s management service, charged at 10%. Landlords also get 12 months’ rent upfront, while tenants can choose to pay no fees, deposits and rent up-front. However, those that […]

Agent jailed for a year after £15,000 theft of client money

An agent who pocketed over £15,000 in client money has been jailed for a year. Osian Hughes, 26, took the money paid over as rent and deposits by 27 tenants. Swansea Crown Court heard that the thefts came to light when it was discovered that ten months worth of rent from one tenant had not […]

Property valuations rise for first-time buyers but sharply down for buy-to-let landlords

Predictions of property price cuts since the Brexit vote have yet to ring true, Connells data suggests. Figures from Connells Survey and Valuation show the pace of property valuations conducted in June 2016, the month of the referendum, grew 4% annually and 24% since May. First-time buyers appear to be leading the market, with a […]

‘Tide begins to turn’ after sales plummeted almost 30% before referendum

July 11, 2016

Transactions plunged almost 30% in June at estate agents haart. They were down 28.6% month on month and 25.1% year on year. But haart CEO Paul Smith said “we are already seeing the tide begin to turn” as sales pick up again after the uncertainty caused by the referendum. Based on the firm’s own data […]

Government’s bid to boost first-time buyers (and Tory voters) ‘not working’

First-time buyers are 2.2m behind where they should be given demographic trends – despite significant government investment in home ownership. A new report from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association suggests that interventions in the housing market are missing the mark. However, for political reasons, schemes such as Help to Buy ISA are likely to remain […]

Zoopla says it has delivered record valuations leads to agents

Zoopla Property Group says it delivered record levels of valuation leads to its agent members in the first six months of this year – up 40% on the same period in 2015. It said the total estimated value of the leads sent to ZPG members during this period is worth £104m in potential fees. Total […]

Councillors told that response of just 58 gives ‘clear mandate’ for blanket licensing scheme

A council which is planning to introduce a blanket licensing scheme of all rental properties in the city received just 58 responses to a consultation on its proposals. Out of those 58, 45 backed Oxford City Council’s plans – which could be introduced as early as next January, covering thousands of properties. A report to […]

Steep rise in private tenants seeking help with illegal evictions

There has been a 50% rise in private tenants appealing for help with illegal evictions, Citizens Advice has reported. It said that 2,087 people asked for help after being threatened with illegal eviction in the year to March 2016, up 47% on the previous year. Citizens Advice said in many cases, landlords had simply shut […]

Could jittters on commercial property funds hit Build to Rent?

July 9, 2016

Several property investment funds have suspended trading this week in attempts to stop nervous investors from pulling money out of the sector amid uncertainty following the Brexit vote, but could this be an opportunity for residential landlords and developers to beat the institutional big boys? Big fund names such as Aviva, M&G and Aberdeen have […]

The stories that got you talking this week: Brexit still dominates

It’s been another hectic week for the industry, here is what has caught our eye. First: Brexit There are five stages of grief and loss. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It looks like when it comes to Brexit we are now in the bargaining stage. First Zoopla boss Alex Chesterman was named by the […]

Agents and Agents’ Mutual square up to each other in High Court

July 8, 2016

Connells Group and Agents’ Mutual were in court this week. Agents’ Mutual, which runs OnTheMarket, confirmed that the hearing related to Gascoigne Halman, the firm in the north that was bought by Connells last autumn. A hearing in the Chancery division of the High Court was also listed between Agents’ Mutual and Moginie James for […]

Picture of the Week: Agent’s marketing campaign catches the moment

If this doesn’t make you smile, we are not sure what will. A great piece of marketing from London agent Marsh & Parsons, which should win votes in advertising awards. We’re sure you’ll let us know if you have anything similarly topical and inventive. [ comments ] Source:: Picture of the Week: Agent’s marketing campaign […]

Little evidence of a post-Brexit hiatus in housing market

The balance between property supply and demand has barely changed despite concerns over the vote to leave the EU referendum, according to analysis from Jackson-Stops & Staff. The Brexit vote shocked many and has led to gloomy predictions for the property market. However, there appear to have been limited fall-throughs, with a continuing high percentage […]

London agent’s instructions treble after Leave vote – and sales rise 11%

July 6, 2016

London agent Douglas & Gordon has announced a leap in both sales and new instructions in the week after the Leave vote. Instructions nearly trebled compared with the previous week, while sales increased by 11%. Many of the deals were struck by people taking advantage of the weak pound in the immediate aftermath of the […]

New network launches to help independents grow their businesses

A new network has launched, designed to help independents grow their own businesses, specifically by expanding into land and new homes. The Land & New Homes Network is the brainchild of Kevin Ellis, who ran the new homes department at Romans for 13 years. He is joined by managing director Ian Stratford, who began his […]

Inquiry launches to examine ability of house builders to meet demand as CLG committee admits crisis

An inquiry has been launched into the capacity of the house building industry to meet demand. The Government wants to see 1m new homes by 2020 and there is no suggestion that ministers want to reduce this. However, the launch of the inquiry suggests significant nerves as to how this can be achieved. The Communities […]

World first claimed as Zoopla gets set to launch remote viewing platform

Zoopla Property Group has partnered with prop-tech company Vieweet and is set to launch what is claimed to be the world’s first remote-viewing platform. Called Smart Viewing on its Zoopla site, it enables house hunters to view property remotely and allows all interested parties to take part in an interactive viewing event via Zoopla, from […]

Estate agent loses both legs in horrific hit-and-run accident

An estate agent has lost both his legs in a horrific hit-and-run accident. Branch manager Shaun Whiter, 27, was helping a friend change a tyre when the hit-and-run driver ploughed into them. Shaun has worked for independent agent David Lee, in Stansted, Essex, for 11 years, starting as a teenager delivering leaflets before joining as […]

Zoopla boss named as backing high-profile legal challenge to Brexit

July 5, 2016

Zoopla boss Alex Chesterman has been named by the political insider website Guido as being one of those behind a legal challenge to Brexit. City law firm Mishcon de Reya is launching the challenge with the backing of a number of businesses which have not been named publicly. Guido yesterday said it “can reveal one […]

Agents told to expect higher PI premiums after negligent valuation case

Estate agents have been warned to expect higher professional indemnity insurance premiums in the wake of a Court of Appeal ruling that found in favour of a lender which claimed that a surveyor had over-valued a property. The bridging lender, Tiuta International, was seeking damages for professional negligence. In February 2011, it instructed De Villiers […]

ARLA President says online letting agents expensive for what they do

As the new President of ARLA, Nik Madan can expect a busy year. And maybe an unpredictable one, given the shock of the Leave vote so soon after taking office. “I am actually quite positive about it,” he says. “I am however disappointed by calls for a second referendum. You have to respect democracy. “As […]

Record traffic and leads claimed by OnTheMarket

OnTheMarket said last night that both its traffic and leads reached record levels in June. It said it had over 8m visits last month, a rise of 33% since January. OTM also said the number of branches listing with OTM continues to grow, adding “We continue to work to build the portal and to strengthen […]

Rightmove and Zoopla both downgraded by Barclays

Rightmove was yesterday downgraded by analysts at Barclays. Their research note cuts its target price for Rightmove shares from 4,440p to 3,300p – a potential downside of 11.72%. Yesterday Rightmove shares tumbled 238p, down 6.3%, to 3,500p. Barclays also downgraded Zoopla, which reduced its target price from 335p to 250p. Zoopla shares ended the day […]

London deals fall through and thousands of asking prices cut – claim

July 4, 2016

Thousands of asking prices across London have been slashed since the Brexit vote and hundreds of deals have fallen through, the Evening Standard has claimed. But outside London, the picture seems completely different. Agents belonging to the Relocation Network, with over 700 offices nationwide, have painted a “consistently calm picture” of “business as usual”. The […]

We’ll keep building homes, developers promise housing minister

Sales and reservations of new homes have not been affected by the referendum result. This was a key message at a meeting between trade body the Home Builders Federation and major house builders with communities secretary Greg Clark and housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis. At the meeting, builders reaffirmed their commitment to increasing the […]

On the buses! Zoopla takes to the streets and does more TV advertising

Zoopla is increasing its advertising, both on television and on London buses. This is the second bus campaign for the brand but this time it has taken the whole bus rather than just the sides. The bus campaign will be seen on multiple routes across the city. In addition, Zoopla will also be significantly increasing […]

Ending of private tenancies responsible for almost a third of homelessness

The ending of an assured shorthold tenancy with a private landlord was the most common reason for homelessness in the first quarter of this year. Official figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government says that the ending of a private tenancy was responsible for 31% of all households accepted as homeless in England […]

Picture of the Week: And it looks like an own goal

Here’s today’s contender for Picture of the Week – as spotted on Rightmove on Friday morning. As the agent explains, “Football fever is upon us and those dreams of success are once again dominating our thoughts. “The pride and belief we have in our England team is the same pride and belief we instill throughout […]

That was the week: The stories that got you talking

July 2, 2016

It’s been another hectic week for the industry: here is what has caught our eye. First: Brexit There has been one story dominating the news this week, Brexit. Almost every other article contains the B word, and just think there are at least two more years of speculation to come! There was plenty of gloom. […]

Home moving website claims huge drop in people planning to sell and buy

July 1, 2016

The impact of Brexit on house-buying behaviour has been dramatic and immediate, both on expected property prices and transaction volumes, a website has claimed. However, an independent conveyancer has insisted that the Leave vote has so far had almost zero effect, while a buying agent said there has been no significant change in sentiment. The […]

easyProperty boss calls for a £100 cap on letting agent fees

easyProperty CEO Rob Ellice is backing a call for letting agent fees to be capped. Ellice spoke out after the MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, Helen Hayes, presented a petition from her constituents calling for the cap. Ellice said: “We surveyed 1,000 renters through the UK and our findings show 51.4% of private renters […]

Picture of the Week: We know it’s been a poor summer – but snow?

Here is a suitably seasonal contender for Picture of the Week – a Rightmove property alert that went out yesterday. We know it’s not been the greatest summer so far, but this snowy scene makes us realise we must have missed the odd blizzard in flaming June. Or, as Henry Pryor tweeted, thank goodness for […]

Zoopla introduces new ‘get to know the neighbourhood’ reports

Zoopla has introduced a new feature on its site, called “Get to know the neighbourhood”. Provided by Property Detective, it has an introductory price of £9.99, discounted from £17.99. It provides school ratings, crime statistics, amenities and other neighbourhood information, and is offered with each listing. One agent told EYE that it was a way […]

Right to Buy to be abolished in Wales

Right to Buy is to be abolished in Wales. Making the announcement, Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones told the Welsh Assembly that the abolition “will ensure social housing is available to those who need it and who are unable to access accommodation or the private rented sector”. In England, Right to Buy is by law […]

Just two in 600 deals fallen through since Brexit vote, says conveyancer

June 30, 2016

Just two clients have pulled out of deals since the Leave vote, out of a total of nearly 600 live cases being handled by conveyancer The Partnership. The firm, with offices in Guildford and London, said that concerns of an immediate and catastrophic downturn in the property market had been “massively overblown”. It said widespread […]

MP presents petition in Commons calling for letting agent fees to be capped

An MP has presented a petition to the House of Commons calling for letting agents’ fees to be capped. Helen Hayes, the Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, presented the petition signed by 1,480 of her constituents. Hayes told MPs that letting agents charge “very high fees” to her constituents and that it is […]

‘Quick’ way of gaining possession is slowed to a crawl

Changes to the process of accelerated possession have put an end to so-called ‘seven day evictions’. In reality there never was such a thing, says Paul Shamplina of evictions specialist firm Landlord Action. Most landlords and agents make possession claims through the county court and these are enforced by county court bailiffs. However, with a […]

People take to Twitter to share their failed house sales

House sales have fallen through and prices have dropped mid-sale because of Brexit, posts on social media suggest. Since Britain voted to leave the EU, Twitter users have been consistently posting the effect of the Leave vote on individuals’ house sales. Examples are: Neighbour’s house sale just fell through with buyers citing Brexit economic fears […]

Average house prices tiptoe up in month of EU decision day

Annual house price growth hit 5.1% in June despite jitters over the EU poll, according to the Nationwide House Price Index. Average prices hit £204,968 in June, up 0.2% on May, but Nationwide is warning it will be hard to know if the expected falling demand in the coming months is due to transactions taking […]

Serial fraudster who ran string of letting agencies jailed for four and a half years

June 29, 2016

A letting agent who scammed dozens of tenants and landlords out of more than £220,000 of rents and deposits has been jailed for four and a half years. In one of the very worst cases involving a letting agent, Martin Marcus, 52, of Bushey, Hertfordshire, was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Monday after admitting […]

Housing market turnover expected to bear brunt of Brexit uncertainty

Transactions are expected to slow rather than house prices fall in the wake of the EU vote, says Hometrack. Richard Donnell, director at the property analyst, said: “At present we expect housing market turnover to bear the brunt of increased uncertainty rather than house prices. “Standing back from the immediate turmoil in financial markets, the […]

The big interview: Secrets of a winning agent

Karl Tatler is managing director of the agent that bears his name and that has won the two biggest titles in the industry within months of each other – Estate Agency of the Year and, earlier this month, Lettings Agency of the Year. The 18-year-old business now has five offices on the Wirral and has […]

Zoopla getting set to relaunch PrimeLocation

Zoopla Property Group is to launch a “brand new look” to PrimeLocation, its current upper-end brand. In an email to agents yesterday, ZPG says that the launch will be supported by a nationwide advertising campaign “designed to attract more home movers to the site so we can deliver greater results to our members”. It says […]

Brexit jitters ‘will not deter first-time buyers’, says LSL

First-time buyers defied the EU referendum jitters in May after paying a record amount to purchase their first home, according to estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains. While the wider market may have stalled, May saw first-time buyers pay an average of £173,282 to get on to the housing ladder, up 2.7% from £168,656 […]

How To Secure A Rental Property ? Top Tips

June 28, 2016

If you are starting the search for a property to rent in Manchester City Centre then a lot of you will know that now is the time that it starts to get tricky. Why does it get tricky ? Because it gets busy, not just a little busy, very busy. As we move towards October […]

Son of HIPs: Why agents MUST be vigilant

It has been known for some months that the Department for Business Innovation and Skills is going to be looking into the home-buying process, with a view to making it “better value for money and more consumer-friendly”. Agents should not lose sight of what this could mean, even if you are currently pre-occupied with the […]

Bloodbath as millions are wiped off value of property firms

Millions of pounds were wiped off the value of property firms yesterday. Shares in Foxtons crashed over 22% after it issued a post-Brexit profits warning. Since last Friday, its shares have fallen almost 40%. Yesterday, Foxtons warned that its profits for the year to December will be “significantly below expectations”. Analyst Peel Hunt expects Foxtons’ […]

Rightmove: New listings slightly up after referendum vote

New Rightmove listings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday were very slightly up compared with the same three days the previous week, the portal revealed to EYE last night. The increase was just 1.3%. Rightmove also told us that it has yet to see any price reductions beyond the usual pattern. Rightmove has however seen a […]

Serious mistakes on official forms used by letting agents, warns ARLA boss

Potentially serious mistakes have been made by civil servants on documents that must be served by letting agents. The two errors are serious – and each could invalidate a claim for possession. In the first example, the official form for serving a Section 21 notice leaves agents with nowhere to put the landlord’s name and […]

Shadow housing minister quits Corbyn cabinet hours after plea on housing crisis

Former housing minister John Healey quit Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet yesterday – hours after calling on the Chancellor to ensure that the Leave vote does not exacerbate the housing crisis. Healey, a housing minister under the last Labour administration, urged George Osborne to take “immediate steps”. Healey said he was concerned about the consequences for […]