Government pockets millions more from Stamp Duty surcharge

The Government took record Stamp Duty receipts for the first quarter of the year as the extra 3% charge helped overcome a fall in transactions. Figures from HMRC show estimated receipts in the first three months of this year at £1.9bn, of which £454m came from the Stamp Duty surcharge on additional properties. In comparison, Stamp Duty raised £1.7bn in the first quarter of 2016 and £1.4bn in the same…

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The Property Ombudsman Lettings - green

Could letting agents’ fee ban stop tenants being able to complain to Ombudsman?

The impending ban on letting agent fees charged to tenants could severely limit the ability of renters to complain to redress schemes about agents. The ban – confirmed by housing minister Gavin Barwell on the Today programme on Friday if the Tories regain power – would result in tenants not paying agents any fees. As such, it has been claimed, it opens a legal minefield as to whether renters could be…

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Almost £12 Billion Worth Of London Housing Is Sitting Empty

More than 20,000 homes are sitting empty across London, according to new research. The properties, worth a combined total of £11.7 billion, have all been vacant for six months or longer. Using data from the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Land Registry, as well as average property prices per area, Composite Door Experts put together this report on which boroughs have the most vacant homes — and…

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House prices set to fall

The 10 cheapest places to buy in London

Where to find the best-value homes in the capital, from Barking and Dagenham to Hounslow East London dominates the list of the most affordable boroughs in the capital, however there is value to be found in north and west London too, if you know where to look… The latest house price figures reveal that the average London home now comes with a £475,000 price-tag. However, homes on the capital’s fringes…

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For sale

Buy to let investors target smaller cheaper properties

Data from the first three months of this year suggests that investors are increasingly purchasing smaller, cheaper properties. Specialist lender Mortgages for Business says average loan amounts and security values fell among all property types with figures for ‘vanilla’ properties below any seen in the past year. The quarter also saw the balance of the buy to let mortgage market shift away from remortgaging – a dominant force until recently…

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Local Government Association

Councils want ‘tiny’ flats banned and jail for rogue landlords

A body representing 370 councils in England and Wales wants the government to close a legal loophole which allows the conversion of houses into multiple tiny ‘units’ which are then let as self-contained flats. The tactic is reported to have been used by some landlords to secure the maximum level of housing benefit payments which are paid on behalf of tenants direct to landlords. The Local Government Association claims the…

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Color desaturation abstract of commuter train on an empty station platform.

Rail improvements provide a ‘tremendous opportunity’ for property investors

Almost two-thirds of property investors now rate new and upgraded rail and tram links as providing the most attractive property investment opportunities, especially when it comes to new developments, fresh research shows. According to a new study commissioned by Amicus Property Finance, the specialist short-term property lender, 86% of UK property developers say that investors are increasingly looking to capitalise on the government’s £23bn infrastructure scheme. Improved road transport links…

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Client Money Protection

Cheap borrowing and a severe lack of supply will ‘support’ UK house prices

UK house price may growth may have slowed to a four year low in March, but indications are that prices will continue to increase, supported by record-low mortgage borrowing rates and a severe lack of housing supply. The latest Halifax house price index shows that property price inflation in March was 3.8% year-on-year, down from 5.1% the previous month, and a great deal lower than the 10% increase recorded in…

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Modern Map - Greater London labelled districts administrative area UK

Landlords, developers and planners must ‘accommodate London’s future growth’

London’s outer boroughs look set to benefit if they capitalise on an increasing trend towards shorter commutes and flexible working by providing greater flexible office space and affordable homes at a variety of price points, according to Savills. The company’s latest London Mixed Use Development Spotlight report suggests that, more than ever before, London office workers are looking for shorter commutes and demanding more from their workplace in terms of…

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Time to start painting

Third of private tenants wouldn’t admit to damaging property

Just over a quarter of all tenants across private and public housing would not say if they had caused significant damage to a property they were renting. While a sizable 58 per cent of respondents to a new poll of over 2,000 people conducted by YouGov claimed they would report the damage to the agent or landlord, some 27 per cent said they would not. Around one in nine would…

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Homes to let Central Housing Group

Surge in homes to let and slowing rent rises

The remaining overhand of last year’s buy to let buying surge by landlords means the annual rate of rent rises has slowed thanks to a 12 per cent surge in available homes to let. The data, from Rightmove, means that its calculation of average rents rising by 1.8 per cent is the lowest for 18 months and less than half the 3.9 per cent recorded in early 2016 before the…

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Build To Rent Central Housing Group

Build To Rent development in London

Build To Rent operator Essential Living has won planning consent for 221 new homes in Brentford – part of the firm’s ambition to provide 5,000 rental units across London and the south east. A Morrisons supermarket on Brentford High Street will be redeveloped into rental housing, a quarter of which will be affordable. The Build To Rent scheme will include bedrooms, shared spaces such as a residents’ lounge and rooftop…

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Tiles at Forty Hall, Enfield. Photo: Matt Brown

Why You Should Go To… Enfield

None more north For those nervously relocating from the north of England to London, may we introduce you to Enfield. It is the most northerly-reaching of London’s boroughs; cross the M25 just past Crews Hill Golf Club, and you hit the heady heights of Potter Bar (essentially, Tyneside). While many balk at its here-be-dragons geography, Enfield Town is nicely-connected — as of 2015, it’s been comfortingly coloured-in orange, as part…

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Average UK rent Central Housing Group

Average UK rent falls for first time in eight years

The average UK rent fell in May, according to the latest HomeLet Rental Index. The figures show that the average UK rent on a new tenancy last month was £901, 0.3% lower than the figure for May 2016. HomeLet says the pace of rental inflation across the UK has been slowing in 2017, after peaking at 4.7% last summer. Last month the firm reported that average London rents fell for…

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Key and Red House on Wood background

Housing Crisis: Would You Live In A Micro Home?

Americans call them “tiny homes”. Your parents probably called it a bedsit. And if you’re a developer, it’s most likely called a ‘compact home’ or ‘micro-apartment’. Whatever you call it, the debate around microhousing is intense. On one side it’s hailed as a long-awaited innovation to alleviate the housing crisis; on the other, there’s indignation at the temerity of developing and marketing what have been termed ‘rabbit hutches’ to desperate…

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Rugg review

New Rugg Review welcomed

The RLA is welcoming the new Rugg Review into the state of the PRS announced today by the Nationwide Foundation. The Rugg Review, the first since 2008, has seen the private rented sector changed almost beyond recognition, with more and more people living in rented homes. The foundation, an independent charity, is now funding the University of York to conduct an up-to-date review of the sector in England. The review…

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Universal Credit

Government rejects calls to halt Universal Credit roll out

The government has rejected calls to halt the roll out of Universal Credit. During oral questions to Ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions yesterday, Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP SNP, Banff and Buchan demanded the programme of Universal Credit be stopped, claiming it was ‘simply not working’. She said: “Rent arrears are soaring, claimants are waiting up to three months to have their claims processed and some people have…

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Leeds City Council v Broadley

Council refused permission to appeal Broadley case

The Supreme Court has refused Leeds City Council permission to appeal the Broadley case decision ruling in favour of landlords, following a protracted battle over council tax payments. The case of Leeds City Council v Broadley centred around the question of who is responsible for paying the council tax on a property if the tenant moves out, but a contractual periodic tenancy agreement is still in place – the tenant or the…

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Client Money Protection

Client Money Protection set to become compulsory

Compulsory Client Money Protection (CMP) schemes are set to be introduced for agents under recommendations from a government working group. Under the new plans announced today agents found to be handling client money without having Client Money Protection will be fined or shut down. Those who receive fines for non- compliance should not be allowed to continue to handle cash. Set terms and conditions for CMP will be agreed by…

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Energy Performance Certificates

New available Energy Performance Certificates

Data has been freely released giving access to Energy Performance Certificates for homes built, sold or let since 2008 – and it could prove useful to agents and valuers. The Energy Performance Certificates information gives the floor areas of the properties which, if cross-referenced with house price data, yields the average price per square foot in any particular area. Neil Hudson, director of Residential Analysts and previously associate director in the…

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