Suttons City Living Blog

Different types of agents ‘as confusing to public as mobile phone charges’

November 27, 2014

| November 27, 2014 A portal which bans agents, but accepts free listings from private sellers and landlords and also from new homes developers, has said the property market will undergo “massive change” affecting both high street and online models – both of whom could see themselves out of business. John Candia, CEO of the […]

Agent announces which portal he will be dropping

| November 27, 2014 Yesterday, Surrey NAEA chairman James Wyatt announced that his firm, Barton Wyatt, has given notice to Zoopla. He wrote to member agents saying: “We’ve all been talking about portals for a long time. Property Live – remember that?! “I know that not all of you have joined the Agents’ Mutual Group, […]

Agent’s advert which did not mention length of lease is cleared by watchdog

| November 27, 2014 A leasehold property advertised on Rightmove drew a complaint that it was misleading because the length of the lease was not made clear. The property in question had almost 102 years remaining on its lease. The complaint was rejected by the Advertising Standards Authority – but the watchdog’s ruling strongly suggests […]

ARLA warns ‘revenge eviction’ Bill could be abused by tenants

| November 27, 2014 The battle lines are being drawn up for tomorrow’s crucial reading of a Bill to ban so-called revenge evictions. The Bill would prevent landlords and agents being able to use the Section 21 procedure within six months of a “legitimate” complaint about a property’s state of repair being made by a […]

Letting agent loses appeal after being stripped of ‘fit and proper’ status

| November 27, 2014 A letting agent has lost his appeal against being stripped of his “fit and proper” person status and banned from managing any house with multiple occupiers. Ifthikar Uddin, 48, was company secretary of Key Property (UK) in Hounslow, west London, when it was fined £42,500 in September last year after being […]

Turbulent day for Zoopla as City mulls results

November 26, 2014

| November 26, 2014 Zoopla shares fell yesterday despite delivering strong results to its shareholders and giving them reassurance that it did not regard the launch of OnTheMarket on January 26 as more than a passing threat. Although the shares initially went up 3%, the collapse set in as the day went on, with the […]

Hatched boss attacks online agents ‘who are about private sales’

| November 26, 2014 Online agent Adam Day of Hatched has launched a scathing attack on many in his own industry – saying they do nothing more than facilitate private sales. He has also attacked Sarah Beeny’s C4 show, How to Sell your Home, in which he himself appeared on Monday night. Day said he […]

New house pricing tool launches, based on square footage

| November 26, 2014 A new house price tool has been released, aimed at telling home buyers how much square footage their money gets them, depending on where they are looking. The tool, launched by housing and regeneration specialist Keepmoat, is here While those on the property hunt in Greater London may be looking at […]

Sales volumes in central London go back to 2008 crunch levels

| November 26, 2014 Sales transactions in prime central London have fallen to the levels in the six months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Patrick Bullick of Stanley Chelsea, who is chairman of the NAEA London branch, said: “Sales volumes now are incredibly low. “In the second quarter of this year, there […]

House purchase mortgage approvals slump for fourth month

| November 26, 2014 Approvals for house purchase mortgages tumbled for the fourth month in a row in October, according to the British Bankers’ Association. New mortgage approvals hit a 17-month low of 37,076 in October and are down by nearly a quarter from January’s 76-month high of 48,649. They were also down 16% year-on-year. […]

Zoopla shrugs off threat of OnTheMarket

November 25, 2014

| November 25, 2014 In its first set of results delivered to the stock exchange, Zoopla this morning shrugged off any possible threat posed by OnTheMarket. Zoopla said the launch of Agents’ Mutual’s portal in January “may have some short-term impact on our agency membership numbers but we have seen numerous launches into our market […]

Estate agents ‘a joke’ over money laundering, says lawyer

| November 25, 2014 Estate agents are “a joke” when it comes to reporting money laundering suspicions, a lawyer has said. Barrister Jonathan Fisher QC made his remarks to 300 solicitors at the Law Society’s anti-money laundering and financial crime conference. Donald Toon, director of economic crime command at the National Crime Agency, raised the […]

Ex-Poundland boss puts £6.5m home on sale through his online agency

| November 25, 2014 The former owner of Poundland, Steve Smith, has put his £6.5m house up for sale with his own online agent, EstatesDirect. Smith reckons it will save him £115,212 in estate agent fees. It will be interesting to see if in future he should require the expertise of the likes of Knight […]

Bank of England to publish review of mortgages debacle

| November 25, 2014 The Bank of England is to publish its review early next year into last month’s mortgage debacle, which left buyers stranded on what should have been their home moving day. The review, to be conducted by Deloitte, will be into the events of October 20 when the Bank of England suspended […]

Labour’s Mansion Tax to hit more homes than thought, claim

| November 25, 2014 There are 110,000 homes in the UK worth over £2m which would be hit by an annual Mansion Tax. The new estimate by Zoopla is higher than previous forecasts. The research, which was done for the London Evening Standard, says that most (86,000) of the homes are in the capital. Labour […]

Fund manager takes huge punt on investing in property portal

November 21, 2014

The extraordinary nature of the property portal market took an unexpected twist this week when a 30-year-old Australian hedge fund manager told an audience in London that his firm is investing more than it has ever done before in a single firm – US portal Zillow. It is doing so because it believes that it […]

Century 21 UK agents set to reap big windfall from deal

Shepherd Direct, the parent company of estate agency franchise business Century 21 UK, has confirmed a deal to build thousands of new private rental homes across the UK. The deal, completed this week, hands a huge amount of business to Century 21 UK franchisees – initially in the north, but eventually all over the UK. […]

OnTheMarket: local newspapers take up the story

Local newspaper readers are now starting to hear about OnTheMarket. Today this full page advertisement appears in the Grimsby Telegraph, having already appeared in yesterday’s Scunthorpe Telegraph –courtesy of DDM Residential. Is this the first time that OnTheMarket has been advertised in the press? Meanwhile, OnTheMarket has also been featured in a local newspaper editorial […]

Rents across England and Wales hit new high

Rents across England and Wales hit a new record in October of £770 per month, up 1.5% (£12) over the last 12 months, LSL reported this morning. On a monthly basis, rents in October rose 0.3% (£2) compared to September. Rents in nine out of ten regions are now higher than a year ago. Rents […]

Agents with local knowledge come out on top with public – Rightmove

An agent with good knowledge of the local area and market is most important to prospective sellers deciding whom to invite out to value their home, according to the latest research among thousands of Rightmove users. The findings reveal that for 74% of sellers, local knowledge is among the most important things they look for […]

Agents’ Mutual has ‘lost momentum’ – but claim by City analysts is blasted by AM

November 20, 2014

City analysts at an investment bank which has been paid by Zoopla (see Company Specific Disclosures paragraph in the report here) have produced a ‘flash’ note claiming that Agents’ Mutual has lost momentum and that “there is no news on the conversion rates of ‘letters of intent’ to contracts”. The update by Jefferies on Zoopla […]

Advertising watchdog rules against ‘quick home buying’ company

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that claims made by a ‘fast home buying’ company that it was not an estate agent were misleading. We Buy Any House – which has no connection with other companies that may have similar names – was also ruled to having misled the public because it suggested that it […]

Man who burst into agent’s office screaming obscenities caught on camera

An angry man who burst into a letting agent’s office, screaming obscenities at the three women staff present and throwing items from desks, was caught on the firm’s CCTV. Staff at Lovett International in Boscombe, Bournemouth, say the same man shouted at staff in a different branch nearby two weeks earlier. But, say the agents, […]

New tenancy referencing service launches as immigration checks loom for agents

New tenancy referencing checks that take account of the immigration status of prospective tenants are being launched by Let Alliance. The firm will also protect letting agents from any penalties incurred from the Home Office. The so-called Right to Rent checks are part of the Immigration Act. A trial is starting in parts of the […]

Eye survey: How much are you paying the portals?

| November 20, 2014 The Eye portal price survey has already achieved a level of participation far in excess of expectation. Before launching the survey last week, we anticipated receiving something around 500 responses in total, but to date we have achieved 1,000 and there is still more than a week to go. Eye managing […]

Online agents make a lot of noise – but (so far) are not a game changer

| November 20, 2014 Online agents have been good at making a lot of noise – but little else so far. They have been around for some time, says Cheshire agent Maurice Kilbride, “but they haven’t exactly been a game changer”. But he does warn high street agents that they should not dismiss online agents […]

Vanessa records another busy week

| November 20, 2014 Vanessa Warwick has had a busy week – and as a result, has a lot of information to pass on. It’s published today on our site – and it’s essential reading for both agents and landlords. Like(0) Be the first one to .

Landlords’ Barometer – #6

Trending Topics Vanessa Warwick is the Co-founder of Property Tribes forum Written by: Vanessa Warwick | November 20, 2014 Welcome to “Landlords’ Barometer #6” – trending topics for landlords and agents. I’ve had a busy week editing all the footage from the NALS Conference, but Property Tribes forum keeps on buzzing and up-dating with conversations […]

Eric Walker: Why my head hurts

November 19, 2014

| November 19, 2014 By Eric Walker My head hurts and it’s not from over-indulgence – well, not of the nice variety: rather the excessive consumption of new rules and regulations, guidelines and red tape in general. I agree with many of the principles behind these rules, but genuinely believe the didactic patronising tone is […]

Did you have sex on your honeymoon night? asks Rightmove

November 18, 2014

| November 18, 2014 Rightmove has launched an ‘alternative census’ into people’s habits. It asks about your drinking, your exercise regime and whether you have been on a diet in the last 12 months. One question is about your wedding day and whether you consummated your marriage. Aimed at consumers, people who complete it are […]

Criminal letting agent ‘pretended to be member of ARLA’

November 14, 2014

| November 14, 2014 A letting agent who defrauded customers to the tune of £68,000 could barely read or write – but nevertheless was said in court to have passed his ARLA exams. However, in an extraordinary twist, last night it emerged that Roy Jackson had never been a member of ARLA and had not […]

Rightmove reported to Trading Standards over ‘find an agent’

| November 14, 2014 An agent is reporting Rightmove to Trading Standards, citing Consumer Protection Regulations. Simon Fisher, of Absolute Sales & Lettings in Torquay, is angry that Rightmove’s local “find agents in Torquay” shows national online agents who have no offices in the Devon town. Rightmove has strongly defended itself. Among those listed for […]

CLG: Agents must reveal all tenant and landlord fees to both parties

| November 14, 2014 There was shock and anger at yesterday’s NALS conference when delegates heard that in future, letting agents will have to declare all tenant and landlord fees to both parties. Ruth Hayes, senior policy adviser at the Department for Communities and Local Government, told delegates that this will be mandatory under the […]

NALS delegates protest at more red tape for letting agents

| November 14, 2014 By: Nick Salmon Delegates to the National Approved Letting Scheme conference in London yesterday heard presentations from a rich variety of speakers. Ian Springett of Agents’ Mutual began the proceedings with an update on the progress of OnTheMarket. In the course of doing so he asked for a show of hands […]

LSL on target for best year yet – but firm urges caution

| November 14, 2014 LSL, the parent group of brands including Your Move, Reeds Rains, Marsh & Parsons, and Davis Tate, says it is on track for a record year in 2014. In an interim management statement covering July 1 to October 31, it said estate agency revenue was up 10% on the same period […]

easyProperty could float on stock market next year

November 10, 2014

| November 10, 2014 easyProperty could float on the stock market next year. The company, headed by Robert Ellice and which uses Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s “easy” brand, could join this year’s other big newcomer, on the stock exchange as Eye reported last month. easyProperty launched less than two months ago on September 17 after […]

Selling properties online – not ‘so easypeasy’ , says online agent

| November 10, 2014 An agent has said that it is “not so easypeasy” to sell properties online. Aimee Johnson, of, was responding to Eye’s story on Friday which featured high street agent Chris Wood’s analysis of an online agent’s performance in his local patch in Cornwall. Johnson said she particularly took issue with […]

Landlord hit with £280,000 bill over illegal flats

| November 10, 2014 A landlord has been told to hand over £280,000 after a judge made a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act. David Kohali had turned an outbuilding in Holloway, London, into six small flats some time before 2009. In that year, he was ordered by the council to stop using […]

Savills stares into crystal ball to predict 19.3% house price rises by 2019

| November 10, 2014 Heaven knows why they do it – it certainly escapes us. Just why would Savills come up with a five-year forecast for the housing market – apart from the fact that it employs 12 (yes, 12!) people in its research team. Savills is, of course, not alone in this kind of […]

Picture of the week: an early contender, but will it be beaten?

| November 10, 2014 Here’s an early contender for our picture of the week – what you might call a drive-by photo. Or, alternatively, a selfie. Look closely in the wing mirror and you’ll see what we mean. But it looks as though it’s raining, so can you blame this particular agent for not getting […]

Man sentenced after supplying agents with fake EPCs

November 7, 2014

| November 7, 2014 A man who supplied fake EPCs to estate agents has been ordered by a court to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work. Neil Mackie, 48, of Gloucester, supplied a number of EPCs estate agents for houses being sold across Gloucestershire between March and May 2013, even though his membership of […]

Selling online? It’s not so easypeasy, says high street agent

| November 7, 2014 Online agents have failed to sell up to 82% of every home that “they have taken money from this year”, a high street agent has claimed. Furthermore, one seller who “saved” on agents’ fees was actually worse off by around £21,000. Their property was sold for £25,000 less than a very […]

Rightmove’s shares slide despite upbeat statement to City

| November 7, 2014 Yesterday’s slide in Rightmove share prices came after an upbeat management update – and after another City analyst gave it a strong “outperform” rating. William Packer, of Exane BNP Paribas, said that he had expected a slowdown in Rightmove’s new homes business in the second half of this year. However, Rightmove […]

Mortgage time bomb ready to explode for thousands of borrowers

| November 7, 2014 A ‘mortgage time bomb’ is looming for people aged over 50 with interest-only mortgages and who had hoped that an endowment would clear the lump sum, typically after 25 years. Some million such borrowers who are rapidly reaching the end of the mortgage period say the endowment will fall short. According […]

ID fraudsters target young working tenants

| November 7, 2014 Young working tenants should be warned that their living arrangements and lifestyles are exposing them to identity fraud. They have become a prime target for identity thieves, overtaking rich home owners with bulging bank accounts. New research shows that private tenants in their twenties and thirties and on low to middle […]

Advertising watchdog rules against agent showing fee as 0.9% + VAT

November 6, 2014

| November 6, 2014 The advertising watchdog has upheld a complaint against an estate agent who advertised their fee as 0.9% plus VAT. The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that this was a breach, and rejected the agent’s offer to show their fee in future as 0.9% plus 20% VAT. Instead, it has ruled that […]

OnTheMarket would be ‘non-issue’ but for exclusivity clause, says Morgan Stanley

| November 6, 2014 A new report on Rightmove by investment bank Morgan Stanley says that Agents’ Mutual would be a “non-issue” if it weren’t for the exclusivity clause. The report, called Mutual Understanding, specifically looks into the threat posed by Agents’ Mutual. The report says that Morgan Stanley has now incorporated a drop of […]

Will Rightmove share prices pick up after today’s update?

| November 6, 2014 Rightmove’s share price has fallen some 25% this year. The shares ended yesterday at 2,205p, having hit a 52-week high of 2,814p and a low of 1,935p. Morgan Stanley says that its shares have underperformed by 20% this year, first on Zoopla concerns and most recently on Agents’ Mutual worries. However, […]

More tenants will put in vexatious complaints if Bill becomes law – warning

| November 6, 2014 If a new Bill becomes law, then the number of tenants putting in vexatious complaints to hold up eviction proceedings will rise. The warning has come from Paul Shamplina, of Landlord Action. But Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather, who is introducing the Bill, says that tenants who “try it on” by […]

Shelter embarks on battle trail again in Scotland

| November 6, 2014 Shelter has begun a new campaign in Scotland, aimed at reforming the ‘out-dated’ private rented sector. The lobbying group’s new campaign, called Making Renting Right, was launched in a rally outside the Scottish Parliament. Shelter Scotland is calling for longer-term tenancies, saying that it is seeing “too many households forced from […]