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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 […]

NEWS FLASH: Foxtons issues profits warning post-referendum

June 27, 2016

Foxtons this morning warned that after the referendum, challenging conditions are likely to persist for the rest of this year, impacting on revenues and profits. In a statement to the stock market this morning, it said: “The run-up to the EU referendum led to significant uncertainty across London residential markets and the decision to leave […]

New £80m class action against Foxtons could affect almost all letting agents

A new class action is being assembled against Foxtons over its charging of fees to tenants. The case has major implications for all letting agents in England that levy tenancy fees. If the action is won, it could mean letting agents having to refund fees charged in the last six years. It is being actively […]

Brexit aftermath: Agents urged to keep calm and carry on

In the aftermath of last Friday’s seismic events – the Leave vote and David Cameron’s resignation – the property world is attempting to settle down to the new ‘normal’, whatever that may be. The task has not been helped by decidedly mixed media commentary over the last few days. Mortgage costs are going up – […]

Picture of the Week (or should that be the Year?): An oops moment

Here is our Picture of the Week – and it’s unusually topical. A window card in a Hamptons branch has been spotted urging people: “Decision made. Time to get moving.” Look at the text, though, and it says: “Following the decision to remain in the European Union now is the time to consider selling or […]

Brexit opens way for EPCs to be ditched and Right to Rent rules rewritten

One effect of the Leave vote is that some legislation will have to be rewritten – while some measures could be scrapped. Leading contender for legislation which would have to be rewritten are the two Immigration Acts, with their Right to Rent provisions. Both Acts make considerable reference to the automatic acceptability of tenants with […]

After the Leave vote, what will happen to property?

June 25, 2016

The die is cast and after months of speculation the UK has voted to leave the European Union. A turnout of 72% of the population saw 51.9% back leaving against a 48.1% vote to remain – prompting David Cameron’s announcement that he is to resign. The UK will now at some popint start the formal […]

The stories that got you talking this week

It’s been another hectic week for the industry, and here is what has caught our eye. First: Home buying consultation The industry is still awaiting a government consultation on speeding up the home-buying process. In perhaps uncharacteristic speed, conveyancers have established a working group to deliver their response to the forthcoming ‘call for evidence’ on […]

Property market reacts to momentous Leave decision and Cameron resigns

June 24, 2016

A stunned UK woke up this morning to news that the Leave campaign has won and that there is to be a Brexit. In a further shock – and with breath-taking speed – David Cameron announced at 8.25am this morning that he is to step down as Prime Minister, although he will stay in post […]

Repossessions and arrears higher in shared ownership than private rented sector

Repossessions and rent arrears are higher among households in shared ownership than in the private rented sector. And relatively few of those in the shared ownership sector seem to be ‘staircasing’ up to full ownership. Estate agents who deal with sales of shared ownership homes might not be too surprised by the findings. The new […]

Purplebricks could expand by acquisitions, says Investors Chronicle

Lettings will be key to the future success of Purplebricks, says Investors’ Chronicle – and expect acquisitions. A blog by Ian Smith makes clear that Investors Chronicle has been “a fan” of Purplebricks when it listed on the stock market last December. The publication rated it as a buy in January when shares went down […]

‘Severe correction’ could be on cards for region with sharply rising asking prices

House prices in the east of England are rising faster than anywhere else in the UK. Search engine Home says that the region’s average asking price has risen twice as fast as the rest of the country over the last 12 months. From June 2015 to June this year, prices in the east of England […]

The Jury is back! New role for former eMoov PR man

Stephen Jury, who was formerly at eMoov where he was in charge of PR and marketing, has joined Plentific. Jury, whose very sudden departure from the online agent surprised many, told EYE: “I’m really excited to join Plentific as their head of marketing. “I met with a number of proptech firms while I was looking […]

Conveyancers get their act together ahead of ‘Son of HIPs’ call for evidence

June 23, 2016

Conveyancers have established a working group to deliver their response to the forthcoming ‘call for evidence’ on the home-buying process from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. There is still no sign of the call for evidence – dubbed son of HIPs – which was announced in the Budget over three months ago. The […]

Regardless of today’s referendum result, lettings market to be ‘unaffected’ in short term

Whatever the outcome of today’s EU referendum, lettings agents do not believe supply, demand or rental costs will be shaken or stirred – in the short term, at least. However while the private rented sector will be unfazed by the referendum result, Stamp Duty changes could continue to be an issue, according to the Association […]

New Mayor slates Boris failure to halt overseas sales of ‘golden bricks’

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has criticised Boris Johnson’s flagship scheme that aimed to stop new homes in the capital being sold off-plan as ‘golden bricks’ to overseas investors. The previous mayor’s ‘Concordat’ scheme was originally unveiled as the solution to stop major developers advertising London homes abroad first for overseas buyers, often many months […]

Ambitious agent set to hit £1.5m turnover two years after launch

A sales and letting agent with national ambitions which launched less than two years ago is on track to hit £1.5m turnover in its current financial year. Ascend Properties reached its target of 1,000 managed units a year ago and now has a management book of over 1,500 properties. Sales director Ged McPartlin at the […]

Transactions will rise no matter what the result of today’s referendum

A personal view by David Cantell What’s in store for the housing market after today’s referendum? I suspect we will see more transactions whether we remain in or leave the EU. Over the last four months we have seen a stand-off between purchasers and sellers; we are in neither a buyers’ nor a sellers’ market […]

eMoov subject of follow-up complaint to advertising watchdog

June 22, 2016

Online agent eMoov has been the subject of a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority. The complaint, a follow-up to one made earlier, has been resolved informally. A spokesperson for the ASA said: “We received a complaint about a claim on eMoov Ltd’s website that stated ‘With 99% of advertised price achieved we get you […]

Fraud concerns as hundreds of Right to Buy homes sold to tenants on benefits

Around 16% of council homes that have been sold by ten local authorities under Right to Buy have been to tenants on housing benefit. The figures, from the trade magazine Inside Housing and which were featured on radio’s File on 4 yesterday evening, raise the question of fraud. Inside Housing contacted 40 councils which have […]

Twenty years on and this is how the UK looks after a Remain vote

Whatever the outcome of the EU Referendum tomorrow, the world is likely to continue turning on its axis come Friday. The real test will be how the UK looks in the future. Two of our superb EYE writers look into the crystal ball and imagine life from a 20-year perspective. First, Marc Shoffman on life […]

Twenty years after the vote to Leave (and look who became the US President)

Whatever the outcome of the EU Referendum tomorrow, the world is likely to continue turning on its axis come Friday. The real test will be how the UK looks in the future. Two of our great EYE writers look into the crystal ball and imagine life from a 20-year perspective. Second, Rayhan Rafiq Omar on […]

Picture of the Week: So this really is what agents mean by ‘original features’

Here is a Picture of the Week which we are in a state of swoon about. It has never been on the open sales market since being built in 1886, and to say it has original features is something of an under-statement. Check out the contents of the larder (picture 10) and the utterly splendid […]

Estate agents set to deliver Remain vote in EU referendum

June 21, 2016

Estate agents believe that a Remain vote will be a far safer option for the housing market than one to Leave. EYE’s snap poll yesterday, which ran from mid-morning through to 8pm, drew a total of 777 responses from agents. EYE did not attempt to lead the responses in any way, and our stance on […]

Purplebricks pair pick up almost £3m of shares at huge discount

The chief financial officer at Purplebricks and the wife of chief executive Michael Bruce bought shares worth £2.8m for less than £20,000 last Friday. Chief financial officer Neil Cartwright bought 1.9m shares for 1p – a tiny fraction of Friday’s share price which closed at 141.5p. It means the 48-year-old paid £19,400 for a holding […]

Rising house prices are ‘killing off’ latest Help to Buy scheme

The Government’s flagship savings scheme to help first-time buyers appears to be failing due to rising house prices. Research by the BBC, based on two-bedroom homes, found 28% of areas in England exceed the price cap for a Help to Buy Isa bonus. The Help to Buy Isa was introduced in December giving first-time buyers […]

Students’ £20m idea for shared rental market earns them a payday

A firm which specialises in the shared rental housing market has been sold for an undisclosed sum. Glide was the brainchild of two students at Birmingham University ten years ago. It aims to make sharing bills simple for tenants and letting agents by delivering one monthly bill for all utilities and services. Founded by Sandeep […]

Energy supplier to lettings industry set for management buyout

Spark Energy, the niche energy supplier to the lettings sector, has announced that a management buyout of the company is close to completion. The MBO of the business, launched in 2007, is led by CEO Chris Gauld and CFO Hamish Osborn. Four large institutional investors, including a major UK pension fund, a European family office […]

EU referendum and the housing market: We’re asking for agents’ views

June 20, 2016

How do YOU think the outcome of this Thursday’s referendum will affect the UK housing market and your business? And have you found that uncertainty has affected your business in the run-up to the vote? Amid all the hyperbole, claims and counter-claims, we are seeking the views of those on the ground, via an EYE […]

Zoopla warns of 20% fall in house prices if there is a Leave vote

Zoopla has forecast that house prices will fall 20% if there is a vote to leave in Thursday’s EU referendum. Its prediction appeared in yesterday’s Mail on Sunday, which has been waging a fierce stay campaign – unlike its sister paper, the Daily Mail, which is pro-Brexit. According to yesterday’s forecasts, Zoopla says that a […]