Sales values for Central Housing Group

Sales values in annual decline for first time since financial crisis as transactions fall

Sales values in the major towns and cities of England and Wales fell for the first time since the midst of the financial crisis, the ONS says. The ONS house price statistics for small areas in England and Wales shows that the sales values in the year to March 2017 was £239bn, down from £273bn a year before. This is the first time it has decreased since the year ending…

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Figure in suit Surveyors down-valuing properties

Surveyors down-valuing are causing more transactions to collapse, says Bank of England

Increasing numbers of transactions collapsed in the third quarter as surveyors were down-valuing properties, the Bank of England says. The central bank’s latest summary of business conditions, based on feedback on the economy among 12 regional estate agents, said the housing market has softened, especially in higher price brackets. The feedback from regional agents said: “There were more reports of transactions falling through due to surveyors down-valuing properties, reflecting concerns…

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Private Rental Property Central Housing Group

Council Acts At Private Rental Property

A buy to let investor who kept 24 adults and children at a private rental property in what a local council calls “appalling conditions” has a bill of almost £10,000. Brent council says the residents of a two-storey flat over a commercial property in Wembley endured overcrowding, cockroaches and fire safety hazards; they were crammed into six bedrooms and two undersized rooms inside the flat. When neighbours complained to Brent…

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Online letting agency Central Housing Group

Online letting agency survey says 66% of landlords undeterred by tax changes

A survey for online letting agency Upad claims that 66 per cent of landlords are not going to change their property investment activities despite the substantial tax changes imposed on the rental sector by government in recent years. In a survey of 3,800 private landlords, some 59 per cent admit these changes – concerning mortgage interest tax relief, stamp duty and wear and tear allowances –  are an issue. In…

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direct payment and Universal Credit guide Alternative Payment Arrangement

Universal Credit inquiry launched

The National Audit Office is launching an inquiry into the effectiveness of Universal Credit. The inquiry will examine whether the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is on course to deliver Universal Credit, in accordance with its plans. It will also assess whether there are early signs that Universal Credit is delivering its objectives, and what impact it is having both on claimants and on local stakeholders. The RLA has…

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portfolio landlords for central housing group

New lending rules: what portfolio landlords need to know

Rumours abound over the impact of new lending rules on portfolio landlords. Here mortgage expert Doug Hall tells landlords not to panic – the biggest change is likely to be more form filling. With effect from 30th September, a new set of rules is being introduced by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) which govern the way lenders assess buy-to-let mortgage applications from landlords who own four or more mortgaged properties…

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lettings agent fees for central housing group

Enforcement needed before lettings agent fees ban

The Government needs to do more to better enforce existing rules over lettings agent fees before looking to ban them outright. That’s the call being made by the RLA as MPs today debate plans to ban lettings agent fees. Since May 2015 the law has compelled letting agents to publish details of the fees they charge. Agents breaking this law can be fined up to £5,000. However figures published earlier this year by…

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Brexit and rented housing for Central Housing Group

Brexit making access to rented housing more difficult for EU nationals

Almost one in five landlords are now less likely to supply rented housing to European nationals as a result of the immigration checks they are expected to make. Confusion over how landlords will be expected to identify which EU nationals will and won’t be able to reside in the UK after Brexit is being blamed for the growing caution among landlords. Leaked documents reported today on the Government’s plans for…

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Westminster debate on letting agents fees for private rentals

MPs set to debate letting agents fees ban in House of Commons

A Westminster Hall debate for MPs on letting agents fees will take place this morning in the House of Commons. The debate has been called by Kevin Hollinrake, the co-founder of Hunters Estate Agency and MP for Thirsk and Malton. After initially being announced in last year’s Autumn Statement, an outright ban on letting agents fees charged to tenants is expected to be implemented at some point over the next…

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For sale signs for renters

Third of renters can’t imagine ever owning a home

A third of renters can’t imagine ever taking their first step on the property ladder and owning their own home. This is according to a study of over 700 renters commissioned by GoCompare Mortgages. The research also found that 21% of tenants surveyed believe that the controversial restriction of interest tax relief on buy-to-let mortgages will reduce the supply of rental properties in their area. Some of those taking part…

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Coin stacks with letter dice for letting agent fees

Landlords favour letting agent fees cap as MPs push for blanket ban

The majority of landlords still believe that a cap on letting agent fees will be more effective than an outright ban, according to research by No Agent. The firm’s survey of over 100 landlords coincides with yesterday’s MPs debate on fees, where Housing Minister Alok Sharma said a cap would be harder to understand and enforce. More than half of those taking part said they believe the ban will result in…

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EU tenants for Central Housing Group

Right to Rent: Brexit is making it harder for EU tenants

Almost a fifth of landlords say they are now less likely to let to EU tenants or people from the European Economic Area, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA). This is due to confusion about how landlords will be expected to identify which EU tenants will and won’t be able to reside in the UK after Brexit and the subsequent impact this will have on mandatory Right to Rent…

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letting agent fees for central housing group

MPs wary of unintended consequences of letting agent fees ban

The majority of MPs speaking at a House of Commons debate yesterday acknowledged they are wary of the ‘unintended consequences’ of a blanket ban on letting agent fees. Several MPs referred to the potential implications for small businesses and low income or non-UK tenants, as well as the prospect of rising rents and job losses. The debate – which was sponsored by Hunters co-founder and MP for Thirsk and Malton, Kevin…

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landlords could stop using lettings agent - Central Housing Group

1 in 11 landlords could stop using lettings agent to save money

A survey conducted for MyDeposits suggests some nine per cent of landlords – or one in 11 – is likely to cease using a lettings agent and instead self-manage their properties in a bid to save money. The survey says that overall some 44 per cent of landlords will make some change to their current circumstances because they are squeezed by rising costs in the shape of additional homes stamp…

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UK rents fall at Central Housing Group

UK rents fall for first time in five years

UK rents have begun to shrink for the first time in more than five years, dragged down by London, research claims. However, the fall is so tiny that it could not be smaller, and is driven by the London market. Elsewhere, rents are up. Figures from buy-to-let lender Landbay’s National Rent Review, based on analysis of around 100,000 advertised and agreed rents on Zoopla and ONS data going back to…

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Rental sector for Central Housing Group

Brexit and Westminster uncertainty hurting rental sector

Political uncertainty across the UK and increased restrictions on buy to let are leading many landlords in the rental sector to raise rents and review their portfolios, according to a lender. A survey of 780 landlords conducted for Foundation Home Loans by BDRC Continental discovered that, when asked how they had been influenced by Brexit and General Election uncertainty, 38 per cent admitted they had reviewed the size of their…

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Reference provider Rent4sure for Central Housing Group

Agents should beware growing ID fraud warns reference provider

Reference provider Rent4sure says agents should beware of the growing issue of online identity fraud, especially hitting people in their 30s. A recent report by not-for-profit anti-fraud organisation Cifas says individuals in their 30s are now the most targeted demographic for fraud, such as the gathering of names, addresses, dates of birth and bank account details. A total of 89,000 cases were recorded in the first six months of the year, which…

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TDS Logo for lettings sector

Over 145 rules and laws for lettings sector – yet enforcement ‘limited’

A new report identifies in detail over 145 laws and regulations governing the private lettings sector, varying across the four countries of the UK, yet finds enforcement of this blizzard of red tape is extremely limited. In a new 49-page report for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Foundation, buy to let expert Kate Faulkner itemises each of the regulations and laws as they apply to letting agents and landlords in England,…

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London Property Prices for Central Housing Group

London Property Prices Dropped £12k In August…But Don’t Expect It To Last

London property prices dropped nearly £12,068 – or two per cent – on average in August as the holiday season weighs on house prices, according to Rightmove’s latest house price index. The cost of a home in the capital remains higher than a year ago. However, London’s annual rate of price increase stood at 1.6% compared to the national average of 3.1%. Nationally, prices of property coming to market have…

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The Suburban Village Where Rifles, Muskets And Swords Were Manufactured

Enfield Island Village. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? It is indeed an island, plonked between the River Lee Navigation and River Lea to the northeast of Enfield Town. As for village, it’s more like a small town itself, home to a Tesco Express, a gym, a library and a nursery. So far, so mundane. However, this slice of suburbia has a colourful history.                …

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