Suttons City Living Blog

Powered By
Powered By Property Industry Eye

Hunt goes on for police officer’s murderers in wake of burglary from estate agent

October 6, 2015

Charlie Stong | October 6, 2015 Police today are still searching for the driver of a stolen estate agent’s pick-up truck which ploughed into and killed a police officer following a burglary yesterday. PC David Phillips, 34 and a father-of-two, died after being struck by a Mitsubishi Challenger L200 pick-up following the burglary at Oxton […]

Bumper pay-out for Knight Frank equity partners after record profits

Rosalind Renshaw | October 6, 2015 A bumper pay-out is on the cards for Knight Frank’s 65 equity partners after the firm announced record pre-tax profits of £162m – up 19% on the year before. The firm also reported £443.1m revenue for the year ending March 31 – a 13% rise. Alistair Elliott, chairman and […]

Belvoir snaps up 16-office franchise chain for £3.26m

Rosalind Renshaw | October 6, 2015 Franchise group Belvoir has bought a 16-branch sales and lettings business. Goodchilds, itself a franchise business, will retain its name. The purchase, for £3.26m, means that Bevloir now has over 200 outlets. Half (£1.63m) of the purchase price will be funded by Belvoir’s existing resources. The other half will […]

First mortgaged properties bought by crowdfunding scheme

Rosalind Renshaw | October 6, 2015 A new marker has been laid down in the fast-growing property crowdfunding sector. For the first time, three properties have been bought in the same scheme, and then mortgaged at 50% before being offered to investors. The scheme is the brainchild of Property Partner, which launched this year. Because […]

Julian O’Dell’s portraits raise £5,000 for cancer charity

Rosalind Renshaw | October 6, 2015 Industry trainer Julian O’Dell has raised £5,000 after rediscovering his artistic talents. His drawings of well-known people have been sold over the last few months in aid of cancer charity Macmillan. Julian’s wife Caterina has cancer. She, like Julian, was a partner at Thomas Morris estate agents until earlier […]

NEWS FLASH: Murder probe into policeman’s death after burglary at estate agency

October 5, 2015

| October 5, 2015 A manhunt is under way after a police officer was mown down and killed by a stolen vehicle after a burglary at an estate agent’s in the early hours of this morning. Oxton Estates, Woodchurch Road, Birkenhead, was apparently broken into just after 1am. During the burglary, a red Mitsubishi pick-up […]

Next housing market crash could be just around the corner, warns ex-minister

| October 5, 2015 Former business minister Sir Vince Cable has warned of the possibility of another housing market collapse. He said there are “worrying signs” that Britain is “reliving the bubble of the pre-crash”. He was one of two ex-ministers to weigh into the private rented sector within days of each other, their concern […]

HouseSimple claims second place in online agency rankings

| October 5, 2015 HouseSimple has claimed it is now ranked in second place among online agents. According to CEO Alex Gosling, his site is behind Purplebricks but “well ahead of eMoov” in terms of new listings. Gosling also claimed that HouseSimple is catching up with Purplebricks fast “and doing so more much more cost-efficiently” […]

Mock funeral march ‘a great success’ says easyProperty boss

| October 5, 2015 easyProperty boss Robert Ellice has said that last week’s mock funeral to mark the “death” of high street agents was highly successful. Denying a rumour that easyProperty had parted company with its PR firm, The Red Brick Road, Ellice said: “We are delighted with the parade and feel it was a […]

Watch out! There’s another Quirk about

| October 5, 2015 A new online agent that has started advertising in prime time TV slots as a “genius way” to sell your home has a familiar name at its helm – Quirk. However, the director of Homeseller, which is also advertising on the Underground, is not Russell Quirk but his cousin Anthony, 48. […]

One direction: Harry Styles sets his sights on becoming an estate agent

| October 5, 2015 Cheer up everyone! Here is the PR coup that the entire industry has been waiting for – Harry Styles wants to become an estate agent. In what could well be the biggest single landmark for the industry since Mr Rutley said to his mates Messrs Knight and Frank, ‘How about it?’, […]

Bombshell as official guidance on revenge evictions ‘contradicts the law’

October 2, 2015

| October 2, 2015 Ministers delivered a new bombshell to the private rented sector yesterday with guidance explaining that tenants will be able to stave off eviction by complaining about repair issues without having to tell the landlord or agent of the problem. The could instead go straight to the local authority, leaving the landlord […]

eMoov extends crowdfunding pitch as founder Quirk says ‘this was never about money’

| October 2, 2015 Online agent eMoov has extended its crowdfunding pitch as investors continued to pile in. Due to end on the last day of September, the pitch will now not close until October 8. By yesterday evening it had raised £2,300,860 – way above the original £1m target. A total of 659 investors […]

OnTheMarket hits back at ‘detractors’ claims’ and says it will still succeed

| October 2, 2015 OnTheMarket has hit back at suggestions that at least four larger agency firms have deserted it to return to Zoopla. It has also rejected claims in a Barclays report, based on interviews with 100 OTM member agents, that 9% are considering leaving, with a further 35% saying they will review their […]

Property Ombdusman issues updated versions of all Codes of Practice

| October 2, 2015 The Property Ombudsman scheme has amended and updated versions of all its Codes of Practice. The updates are in the light of new legislation that has come into force within the last 12 months. Ombudsman Christopher Hamer said: “The decision was taken to carry out a full review of the Codes […]

Third redress scheme is given official stamp of approval

| October 2, 2015 A third UK redress for the property sales sector has been approved by the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team. The Property Redress Scheme, operated by commercial insurers Hamilton Fraser, is now approved to offer alternative dispute resolution to consumers and estate agents where there is a dispute in relation to […]

Second crowdfunding pitch for Property TV is pulled

October 1, 2015

| October 1, 2015 A second crowdfunding pitch for TV channel Property TV has been pulled within months. Property TV, which is viewable on the Sky platform, emphasised that this will make no difference to its future. It had reached 58% of its £100,000 target, which it says would have helped pay for marketing and […]

Four estate agency firms named as quitting OnTheMarket

| October 1, 2015 Four estate agents have left OnTheMarket. They are named by eMoov – which as an online agent cannot itself belong to the portal – as Stirling Ackroyd, Statons, Alex Neil and Cheffins. The online agent says that it has been tracking all the major property portals and says: “This reveals some […]

Time Out teams up with Rightmove to launch new property search

| October 1, 2015 Time Out London has teamed up with Rightmove to launch a property section. It launches with a new ‘Find Your London’ tool that identifies postcodes to live in – whether to rent or buy – according to the user’s preferences. It’s very clever. EYE used it saying we worked in W1, […]

Announcing a brand new feature on EYE – The Arena

| October 1, 2015 From today there is a new section of Property Industry Eye – The Arena. It’s in the menu bar at the top of the homepage. The Arena is the name we have given to the collection of individual forums where readers can continue talking about subjects that have started on the […]

A mattress under the stairs – yours to rent for £500 per month

| October 1, 2015 Here’s a sign of the times if ever there was – a cupboard under the stairs with a mattress crammed into it, available to rent at £115 per week or £500 a month, with bills extra. It is, naturally, in London. And it’s also just off the kitchen. Prospective tenant Alex […]

Mind the gap? It’s smaller than you think between us and Zoopla, says OnTheMarket

September 30, 2015

Rosalind Renshaw | September 30, 2015 A new report advising investors says that Agents’ Mutual’s momentum is “solid”, forecasting a potential sting in the tail for Zoopla which could risk a further “step-down” in membership. William Packer, of Exane BNP Paribas, concentrates in his latest report on Agents’ Mutual’s membership drive to reach 7,500 for […]

Lawyer warns that agents must check smoke alarms on day of new tenancy and not before

Rosalind Renshaw | September 30, 2015 Agents are reminded that as from tomorrow, October 1, the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations come into effect. These include a requirement for smoke alarms to be fitted on every floor of every rented property – whether the property has a new or existing tenancy. There will […]

Funeral march was ‘just a bit of fun’, says easyProperty boss

Charlie Stong | September 30, 2015 Robert Ellice on the march yesterday EasyProperty chief executive Robert Ellice yesterday hit back at agents who labelled his firm’s funeral march through central London marking the ‘death of traditional estate agency’ as crass and disrespectful. The three-mile procession, complete with jazz band, marked the official launch of Ellice’s […]

Double the money! eMoov crashes through £2m mark to set new fundraising record

| September 30, 2015 Online agent eMoov yesterday reached £2m in its fundraising campaign. The amount is said to make it the biggest proptech crowdfunding raise in history. The firm had originally set out to raise £1m by the end of September in exchange for 5% equity in the business – giving eMoov a valuation […]

Advertising watchdog resolves complaints against two agents

| September 30, 2015 The advertising watchdog has informally resolved two complaints against estate agents. One was Spicerhaart, which has had a number of run-ins with the Advertising Standards Authority in the past. In the case, the complainant challenged whether an online claim for a property that stated “air con is available in the summer […]

NEWSFLASH: Ex-easyProperty director Harry Hill condemns bad taste of ‘funeral’ march

September 29, 2015

| September 29, 2015 The fall-out from today’s ‘funeral’ march held by easyProperty to mark the supposed death of high street agents is beginning in earnest. Former easyProperty director Harry Hill – and now chief executive of Hunters – told EYE this morning: “Had I still been involved with the business, which of course I […]

Funeral march stunt marking ‘death’ of high street agent slated as ‘dead wrong’

| September 29, 2015 Online agent eMoov labelled today’s funeral march in London by easyProperty as “dead wrong”. eMoov said that in particular, easyProperty was wrong to pre-suppose the demise of traditional agency. The march got under way this morning, with “estate agents” in pin-striped suits and brick-sized mobile phones clasped to their ears. They […]

Labour shadow chancellor lays into private rented sector and calls for rent controls

| September 29, 2015 Labour’s controversial new shadow chancellor John McDonnell has laid into the private rented sector. During his Labour party conference speech yesterday, McDonnell referred to cutting the “billion pound tax breaks given to buy-to-let landlords” and called for action to control “exorbitant” rents. However, new data shows that rents have barely gone […]

Tenant evictions firm investigating number of ‘rogue’ agents

| September 29, 2015 A firm more used to evicting tenants on behalf of landlords and agents has revealed that it is currently investigating six or seven ‘rogue’ agents. Paul Shamplina, of Landlord Action, said that the number of current investigations is unusually high. In all cases, it has been instructed by landlords. Shamplina said: […]

Debunking the myth that people move just ten miles – it’s further than you think

Written by: Stephen Hayter | September 29, 2015 It is often said, within the industry, that most people move within ten miles of their current home – but has this mythical ten miles ever been proven? In my series of articles, which are designed to help blow away such myths, I apply some simple analysis […]

Agent speaks out after pleading guilty to fraud

September 28, 2015

| September 28, 2015 The boss of a lettings agency who pleaded guilty to eight charges of fraud at crown court last week has spoken to EYE. Keith Martin, owner of Seekers UK in the Kent towns of Ashford and Herne Bay, appeared at Canterbury Crown Court. The eight charges to which he and Seekers […]

Estate agent targeted by masked protesters in mass anti-gentrification demo

| September 28, 2015 An estate agent’s office was targeted in a large and ugly protest at the weekend which terrified members of the public. A branch of Marsh & Parsons, in Shoreditch, east London, had red paint thrown at it and a front window smashed in Saturday’s mass demonstration, in which one police officer […]

easyProperty to stage ‘funeral’ procession to mark ‘death’ of high street agent

| September 28, 2015 A ‘funeral’ is due to be held tomorrow to mark the “death” of high street estate agents. The event, likely to draw criticisms of being of doubtful taste, is being organised by online agent easyProperty. The publicity stunt is due to be held in London, starting outside a Foxtons’ office and […]

Rightmove strongly denies any moves to ban online agents

| September 28, 2015 Rightmove has strongly denied that it is to ban online agents from using its site. The denial came after an email emerged on Friday with an agent saying: “Rightmove have changed their policy internally and will now only allow companies offering full service estate agency services to market properties on their […]

Agents Giving on course to raise over £1m this year

| September 28, 2015 Industry heroes were celebrated at the second Agents Giving ball on Friday night – while Agents Giving itself announced that, as the industry’s charity, it is on course to raise over £1m this year. Agents Giving raises funds which ‘top up’ the fund-raising efforts of agents and industry suppliers. This year’s […]

Alarm as estate agent’s drone crashes into house

September 25, 2015

| September 25, 2015 A drone apparently hired to photograph a home for an agent’s particulars has crashed into the property next door. The incident caused little harm other than damage to the roof of the neighbouring property in south London, before falling to the ground. However, luck may have played a part with no […]

NAEA paints bleak picture of first-time buying – as major chains say it has hit record level

| September 25, 2015 The NAEA has once again found itself at odds with other commentators over first-time buyers. The NAEA said that sales for first-time buyers slumped in August to the lowest for over a year. However, this morning agents Your Move and Reeds Rains proclaimed the “strongest summer on record” for first-time buyers. […]

We’re seeing more gazumping, say conveyancers

| September 25, 2015 Gazumping is back, say conveyancers. The UK’s largest conveyancing firm, myhomemove, has confirmed a rise in gazumping, saying that just over a quarter of conveyancers have seen instances where a new buyer gazumped the original purchaser during June, July and August. The firm also says that 36% of conveyancers have seen […]

Comparison website uSwitch hits out at tenancy agreements which ban switching

| September 25, 2015 Comparison website uSwitch – now owned by property portal Zoopla – has hit out at landlords and agents who allegedly deny tenants the right to switch energy suppliers. The new accusation comes despite a high-profile BBC Watchdog investigation in 2013. The BBC then named Reeds Rains, Your Move and Foxtons as […]

Agent hit with £1,000 bill after flyboarding prosecution

| September 25, 2015 An agent has been hit with a bill for over £1,000 after being prosecuted for putting up illegal boards. SureLet and SureSale, of Hemel Hempstead, pleaded guilty at Watford Magistrates Court to two offences. The boards were not displayed on land or property for sale. SureLet was issued a £700 fine […]

Countdown to Section 21 changes – and new law looks nightmare for agents

September 24, 2015

| September 24, 2015 A housing lawyer has called for a “serious simplification” of the law relating to the new Section 21 regime, now just days away and with traps awaiting agents and landlords. Tessa Shepperson, of Landlord Law, has looked at the new Section 21 rules which kick in next Thursday, October 1, in […]

Headlines for easyProperty as it launches sales service to ‘wipe out’ high street agents

| September 24, 2015 Online agent easyProperty’s launch into sales has attracted national newspaper coverage. The Mirror – which also claims that 95% of vendors are “wasting” money on high street agency fees – carries the story under the headline “easyJet launches easyProperty online estate agency as company aims to ‘wipe out’ high street businesses”. […]

Battle lines drawn up over proposal to privatise housing associations

| September 24, 2015 Housing associations could be privatised with some 2.5m homes sold into private hands, a think tank has suggested – sparking furious opposition. Policy Exchange said that privatising housing associations, involving the sell-off of mainly ex-council houses, would be the “most obvious” way for the Government to prevent £60bn of debt being […]

Opposition to rent controls in Scotland mounts as new evidence emerges

| September 24, 2015 Protests are growing over the Scottish Government’s stated intention to introduce rent controls. The controls, to be introduced in rental hotspots, have been made part of the Government’s current legislative programme. Latest to step into the controversy is lettings portal Citylets, which made it plain that it has struggled to find […]

Lettings auction site looks for new investors

| September 24, 2015 A firm which wants to provide landlords and tenants with a lettings auction forum is looking for investors. AuctionLets launched in January last year but currently has no deals or properties on its site. Nevertheless CEO Spencer Rose claimed: “Our site has been successfully tested with great results. “An increasing number […]

Bank asks agents: What do you think of OnTheMarket?

September 23, 2015

| September 23, 2015 Analysts at investment bank Morgan Stanley are asking estate agents to help them in their research into online property portals. It is specifically looking into agents’ use of Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket, including whether agents are considering cancelling their contracts with OnTheMarket. Its survey does not explain to agents why it […]

Tax bombshell awaiting six out of ten private landlords

| September 23, 2015 The scale of the tax upheaval facing private landlords has become clear, with six in ten saying they face being pushed from paying the basic to higher rates of income tax as a result of the new regime. Top lawyer David Smith described it as a bombshell, warning that landlords could […]

Turnover and profits up for Hunters as network grows by 42 branches

| September 23, 2015 Hunters has published its first set of results after floating on AIM on July 2. The results relate to the six months ending June 30 – the period in the run-up to the flotation. The results show a 45% increase in revenue to £5.23m compared with the same period last year. […]

Coldwell Banker scouts for London office as it gets set for UK launch

| September 23, 2015 Coldwell Banker Real Estate, the US-based global giant, is expecting to launch in this country over the next few weeks. At its helm will be experienced agents, including some who met when they were at Countrywide. Director Stuart White, who was the former UK master franchisee of Century 21, said that […]