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Mortgage borrowers have never had it so good

June 4, 2016

Mortgage rates are at record lows, but that is only half the story for buyers Home buyers have never had it so good as mortgage rates continue to fall to record lows. This should translate into more business for estate agents as more clients will have funds to buy their first home or move to […]

NEWS FLASH: Savills takes major stake in new online agent YOPA

June 3, 2016

YOPA, the hybrid estate agency announced this morning that it has raised a £16m round of funding. This includes investment from Grosvenor Hill Ventures, the proprietary investment arm of Savills plc. The strategic investment sees Savills, founded in 1855, take a stake in the web-based estate agency market. Jeremy Helsby, Savills Group CEO, said: “We […]

Local property experts of online firms rush to join redress schemes to obey law

Individual Local Property Experts who are self-employed with the likes of Purplebricks and others are being urgently signed up separately to redress schemes, such as the Property Ombudsman Scheme, in order to avoid breaking the law. It is understood that these individuals and businesses are now being fast-tracked into membership of authorised redress schemes, as […]

What is the property market doing and is it on the turn?

Month Average New Applicants Average New Instructions Average New Viewings Average New Offers Average Exchanges May 16 74 11 114 16 3.9 Apr 16 91 11 132 18 3.89 Mar 16 85 12 123 17 6.76 Feb 16 90 12 133 19 4.17 Jan 16 100 9 132 17 4.06 Dec 15 47 6 65 […]

SAFEagent awareness week starts on Monday to highlight importance of CMP

Letting agents in the UK currently hold over £2.7bn of landlords’ and tenants’ money. The new calculation, by SAFEagent, is based on the number of private tenancies and the assumption that letting agents will potentially have their tenants’ deposits and one month’s rent in their accounts at any given time. But new YouGov research undertaken […]

Angry vendors conduct online campaign against agent

A vendor has been conducting an online campaign against Penyards, the agent that has been bought out of administration after collapsing with debts of almost £1m. Paul Tranter and his wife had signed a sole selling rights contract with Penyards. A buyer initially introduced by the firm re-appeared nearly two years later through another agent, […]

Another win for OnTheMarket as long established agent signs up

Meller Braggins, a five branch estate agency firm in Cheshire, has joined OnTheMarket. Established in 1836, Meller Braggins has offices in Knutsford, Wilmslow, Northwich, Stockton Heath and Macclesfield. The firm will now be listing all of its properties for sale and to rent at OnTheMarket and Rightmove. It has removed its properties from Zoopla. OnTheMarket […]

Castlefield Properties For Summer !!

June 2, 2016

Suttons City Living have recently been instructed on three superb properties in the Castlefield area of Manchester city centre. All three of these apartments are on the first floor or above, they all come with a parking space, and all have two double bedrooms, and two bathrooms. Why not book a viewing to see all […]

Mortgage product to be live on Zoopla listings shortly, claim

At the recent Future Property Tech conference, Trussle founder Ishaan Malhi announced to an audience that his mortgage advisory product would be fully live on Zoopla in a month’s time. He intimated that they would ‘exclusively’ be the only mortgage introduction product on Zoopla with the ability to “display the best mortgages for each consumer […]

Online agent Hatched introduces 24/7 viewings

Online agent Hatched has started offering 24/7 accompanied viewings. The firm was founded ten years ago by Adam Day, who said the firm had focused its efforts on responding to consumers’ ever-changing needs. He told EYE: “24/7 viewings is something we are trialling at the moment in order to better service our customers. “It’s very […]

Hunters heading for half-year results ahead of expectations

Hunters has grown its lettings income by 20% year-on-year, it has said in a trading update. The group said the start of the year exceeded expectations, with a strong performance across all divisions. It opened 32 branches last year, and ten more in the first four months of this year. It has also made some […]

New homes developer sells just 7% of its stock to owner occupiers

Developer Telford Homes has announced record-breaking results – largely thanks to foreign and other investors, and to build to rent. Sales achieved were split 28% to UK investors, 41% to foreign investors and 24% to institutional investors. Just 7% of sales were to owner occupiers, who are either reluctant or unable to buy homes off-plan […]

Average house prices inch up just 0.2% says Nationwide

Average house prices inched up just 0.2% between April and May, Nationwide has reported. It meant that annual house price inflation slowed to 4.7%. According to Nationwide, the average house price in May stood at £204,368, up from April’s £202,436. Meanwhile, the Bank of England has reported that there were 66,250 mortgage approvals for house […]

Advert by quick home-buying company in the clear after complaint it was misleading

June 1, 2016

An advertisement for a quick home-buying company which did not mention that it bought at a discount has been cleared by the advertising watchdog. The radio advertisement for Property Rescue said: “Need financial help? You need it now, not next month or next year. That’s why when Property Rescue buy your house they can give […]

‘Boris ignored repeated warnings over launch of failed London Rental Standard’

The new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has hit out at the London Rental Standard – a flagship programme launched by his predecessor Boris Johnson. Khan claimed Johnson was asleep at the wheel when he ignored repeated warnings to can the scheme and pushed ahead with it in May 2013. The London Rental Standard, described […]

Don’t buy shares in Purplebricks, warns City analysts

Analysts at Jefferies have warned that online estate agent Purplebricks is set to underperform, despite being backed by investors such as fund manager Neil Woodford. In a note yesterday, Jefferies said: “Whether people buy or sell their homes through Purplebricks, we don’t recommend that they buy shares in the company”, though it said the business […]

Two more inventory firms join Property Redress Scheme

The Property Redress Scheme has announced two new joiners who are not agents. Both are inventory businesses. They are the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, a licensee organisation, and VeriSmart. The AIIC and VeriSmart are joining the likes of No Letting Go and over 20 other independent inventory clerk companies and individuals as members of […]

Rise in rental supply in immediate aftermath of Stamp Duty change

The number of rental properties managed per branch rose by 8% in April, following the rush by landlords to purchase properties ahead of the Stamp Duty deadline. However, supply was nevertheless 5% down on April last year, from 193 managed properties per branch to 183. Demand also fell, from 36 in April 2015, and 34 […]

Creditors of collapsed agent unlikely to get money back

May 31, 2016

Creditors of the collapsed firm Penyards are unlikely to see their money back, according to a report in the Southern Daily Echo. Administrators Begbies Traynor sold the group of companies – Penyard Country Properties, Penyards Country Properties (New Forst) and Penyards Country Lettings and their assets for £180,000 to No.17 Marketing, one of whose directors […]

Housing market is close to peak just before 2008 crash, warning

The property market is very close to the peak reached just before the 2008 crash, an economic forecaster has warned. Fathom Consulting says UK house prices are now 6.1 times average earnings, close to the pre-crash peak of 6.4 times. Fathom says house prices either need to fall by up to 40% or incomes need […]

MP applies for Westminster debate on ‘portal juggling’

A Tory MP is hoping that ‘portal juggling’ will be the subject of a debate at Westminster. Derek Thomas, MP for St Ives in Cornwall, has submitted an application for a Westminster Hall debate on portal juggling for the week starting June 13. Cornish agent Chris Wood has been briefing the MP on the practice […]

Picture of the Week: When is an hour not an hour?

Here is our picture of the week which perfectly illustrates the timely conundrum of when an hour is not an hour. The answer is when it is an Open Hour hosted by Purplebricks this coming Thursday. The Open Hour lasts from 6.30pm to 7.15pm. It’s a bit like when you’re a sandwich short of a […]

eMoov among firms in marathon business pitch to Richard Branson

Property businesses are among those that have made the shortlists of a ‘pitchathon’ to Sir Richard Branson. The 19-hour marathon is a Guinness world record attempt. It consists of 160 businesses each making three-hour live pitches today and Wednesday. The ‘people’s vote’ opens on Thursday, with the next stage being competitive workshops with 40 of […]

What got you talking this week: EYE’s top stories

May 28, 2016

It’s been another hectic week for the industry with property peaks and portals dominating the news agenda. First: The top of the market? It takes a brave soul to call the top of the property market. But Spicerhaart boss Paul Smith made the bold claim this week, saying the market peaked in April and now […]

How realistic is a seven-day time frame to switch mortgages?

The industry has begun weighing up government proposals to allow home owners to switch mortgage within seven days. The plans, proposed as part of a call for evidence on helping consumers easily move between financial providers as with energy and broadband, would hit conveyancers and mortgage lenders who would have to find a way of […]

News Flash: Well known agent collapses owing over £1m in debts

May 27, 2016

A very well-known regional agent has collapsed owing over £1m. High-profile Penyards, with a head office in Winchester and eight offices in the south and which largely specialises in upmarket homes, has been the subject of a sale out of administration. Administrators Begbies Traylor sold the firm and its assets for £180,000 to a firm […]

Rightmove testing virtual reality – but is it really ‘360 degree property porn’?

Rightmove has started to test a virtual reality viewing platform that lets members of the public explore properties without having to leave their sofas. The Mirror has somewhat sensationally described it as three-dimensional “property porn”. More prosaically, two virtual reality tours are now available via Rightmove to view on a smart phone through a Google […]

A leave vote could hit transactions rather than prices, claim

A vote at the EU referendum to leave could have a bigger influence on transactions than prices, Hometrack has claimed. The technology provider looked back at big economic and political events that have hit the property market such as the dot com bubble and Iraq War, and claimed a Brexit could see housing transactions fall […]

Demand and supply both shrinking, says NAEA

Estate agents reported a large drop in demand for housing in April, with the number of applicants registered per branch at the lowest level for two years. The NAEA said there were 325 house hunters registered per member branch on average last month – the lowest number recorded since March 2014, when there were 313 […]

MP raises matter of banned letting agents in Parliament

The case of the letting agents banned from trading for three years by the Property Ombudsman has been raised in Parliament. Property Vibe, and the Flat Agency & Michael Browns, both owned by the same man, were expelled by TPO in March. Both the agents, in Southampton, are said to have failed to repay deposits. […]

Leaders announces two more acquisitions – with further purchases to come

National estate agents Leaders has added four new branches after expanding into Stoke-on-Trent and Chester. The company acquired Homesearch Property Management and its two branches in Stoke-on-Trent earlier this month, before taking over Minchin Fellows and its two offices in Chester this week. It is the first time Leaders has moved into Staffordshire, although it […]

Is a seven-day deadline to switch mortgages really possible?

The industry has begun weighing up government proposals to allow home owners to switch mortgage within seven days. Possible or impossible? The plans, proposed as part of a call for evidence on helping consumers easily move between financial providers as with energy and broadband, would hit conveyancers and mortgage lenders who would have to find […]

Will your phones be ultra-busy next Tuesday – or quiet?

With reports of falling demand, next Tuesday could be a test of the property market. According to Moneypenny, the phone answering service used by a number of agents, telephone calls to its property clients normally shoot up immediately after May bank holiday weekends. Moneypenny says calls rose by 34% on Tuesday, May 3, compared to […]

Fewer than 2% of all homes sold at auction as gavel growth stagnates

May 26, 2016

Just under 2% of all residential transactions in the UK take place through auctions. The proportion of 1.9% is the same as ten years ago, according to the RICS. If correct, it means that more homes are sold through online agents than by auction houses. But one auction house, IAM Sold, told EYE that if […]

Crucial day for protesters bidding to stop Land Registry sell-off

The consultation into the sale of the Land Registry closes tonight at 11.45pm. It does not give an option for keeping the Land Registry in public ownership, but gives various options regarding its privatisation. The intention to sell it into private hands was confirmed in the Queen’s Speech. However, a petition objecting to stop the […]

Shares in Zoopla shoot up after mega-results

Shares in Zoopla rose 10% yesterday after its outstanding half-year results, showing a 130% rise in revenues driven by performance at its comparisons website business uSwitch. The business was acquired last May and delivered a performance ahead of expectations, with 46% revenue growth. William Packer, analyst at Exane BNP Paribas, said uSwitch was now worth […]

Car boss’s open letter to ‘greedy’ portal says it has too much power

Can a portal do too much in terms of serving the public? Can it give consumers just too much help and information, when ultimately, it is not them who pays? A reader forwarded on a link to an open letter from the managing director of a car dealer to Auto Trader, saying that there are […]

Pictures of the Week: A question of May or maybe not

Here is our Picture of the Week. Or we should say pictures, which come, as they almost always do, courtesy of Rightmove. In fact, it was Rightmove itself which alerted us through its round-up of quirky property listings in May. In fairness, the round-up doesn’t actually say the properties were listed in May, only makes […]

NEWS FLASH: Estate agent who killed a stranger is banned from industry

May 25, 2016

An estate agent who killed a stranger with a single punch has today been banned from the industry. Sean Boggans was jailed for four years in 2013 for the crime. Boggans, of Chelmsford, Essex, clashed with Shaun McDermott as he tried to hail a taxi home from a party. Boggans punched Mr McDermott in the […]

NEWS FLASH: Zoopla reports 4% rise in agency members

Zoopla Property Group this morning reported record revenue of almost £100m along with a “robust” performance, saying that it has enjoyed 12 consecutive months of UK agency membership growth. It reported a rise of 4% in agency members, to 12,956 – still down from the number of 16,000 or so it had prior to the […]

Estate agency boss Paul Smith calls the top of the housing market

Spicerhaart boss Paul Smith has called the top of the housing market, saying there is “trouble in paradise”. The market, he said, peaked in April. He is the first mainstream, or indeed any, agent to state the claim, which was clarified by EYE in a series of emails yesterday. He made the remark after HMRC […]

eMoov reports online competitor to advertising watchdog

One online agent reported another to the Advertising Standards Authority over claims it was making. Russell Quirk’s firm eMoov challenged whether the following claims on HouseSimple’s website were misleading and could be substantiated: “£22 Million UK customer savings” and “By the end of this year we will have saved our clients around £22million in fees”; […]

Consumers deliver vote of confidence in estate agency expertise

Despite using the internet to search for properties, consumers not only value estate agency expertise but would like to have life-long relationships with their ‘bricks and mortar’ agency of choice. A new study, involving 1,000 home hunters, by software provider Dezrez looked at public attitudes and expectations towards both online tools and high street agents. […]

Woman agent who claims sexual harassment brings dismissal case against ex-employers

May 24, 2016

A woman negotiator is claiming constructive dismissal from her estate agency bosses who reduced her hours after she took time off work because of stress triggered by sexual harassment. Charlotte Lloyd, 35, says she was sexually harassed by a colleague, Michael Keilthy. She claimed he called her “sugar t*ts” and made lewd gestures and suggestions. […]

Landlords using Airbnb to bypass legal responsibilities as well as agents

Landlords and other property owners are potentially seeking to avoid their legal responsibilities by advertising the property as a holiday let on sites such as Airbnb. According to new research by the Residential Landlords Association, nearly two-thirds of all listings on Airbnb in London are for lets of 90 days or more. That, says the […]

Estate agency technology firm launches app for ‘self-serve’ landlords

Technology Blueprint, the company behind the technology that powers Countrywide, has launched an app for landlords to ‘self-serve’ called Rentr. According to Adam Blaxter of Technology Blueprint, Rentr is a “DIY lettings app for landlords doing it outside of the agency space”. When asked about any potential conflict of interest between his corporate agency clients […]

Part 2: Essential guide to the new Immigration Act

The new Act also contains substantial new powers for landlords to evict tenants where they have been found to be in the country illegally. These powers are based entirely around the service of notices by the Secretary of State telling landlords that some or all of the persons in the property do not have a […]

Part 2: Essential guide to the new Immigration Act

The new Act also contains substantial new powers for landlords to evict tenants where they have been found to be in the country illegally. These powers are based entirely around the service of notices by the Secretary of State telling landlords that some or all of the persons in the property do not have a […]

New Housing and Planning Act now published

The new Housing and Planning Act, with its implications for agents and landlords, has now been published. For those of us who completely lost track of all the amendments, including those which got through and those which didn’t, the link is here. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2016/22/enacted [ comments ] Source:: New Housing and Planning Act now published

New property website tells vendors: Be your own estate agent for £1

May 23, 2016

A new For-sale by owner website has launched, apparently with a large marketing budget, initially costing £2m. It is described by its owner as the Autotrader for houses and the “Google of buying and selling property”. It tells sellers that they can be the estate agent they always thought they could be. CubbyHole, the brainchild […]