Housing Market News Round Up

There is never any shortage of news when it comes to property matters.

The New Year and post election bounce have led to a VERY busy market, and there is plenty of news making the headlines. Here is a quick round up of the things that we think are going to be of interest:

Estate Agents will need to be Qualified – the Government has accepted the proposals of the working group which has been examining the case for mandatory qualifications for estate agents. The timescale for implementation will now be worked through and the proposals will start the process of becoming law. Here at Trigg & Co we already sponsor and pay for all of our sales team to take the current industry standard of best practice estate agency examinations – and our Directors are also qualified, alongside their 40+ years experience each in the industry.

Here at Trigg & Co we already sponsor and pay for all of our sales team to take the current industry standard of best practice estate agency examinations – and our Directors are also qualified, alongside their 40+ years experience each in the industry.

New Homes Ombudsman is Proposed – A new body will be set up with powers to ban unsatisfactory developers from building new houses, and award compensation to those who have unacceptable faults in new-builds. The new homes ombudsman, which was promised in the Queen’s Speech last year, will be expected to take “swift action” to resolve problems. .

New homes developers will be required to sign up to the new Ombudsman scheme. For example, the Ombudsman will be tasked with resolving issues like faulty wiring, poorly fitting windows and other significant defects

Flats with Cladding are causing problems for Owners wanting to sell – Following the Grenfell Tower fire, many flat owners are running into problems selling their properties, even when the cladding on their building is classified as low-risk. So cautious have lenders become, in fact, that even non-combustible cladding is preventing owners from selling or remortgaging, effectively trapping them in their homes. the problem is acute in blocks over 6 storeys, but lenders are now starting to ask questions even in low rise blocks that are as little as 3 stories high. Most high-street lenders are now asking for extra tests if someone wants to buy a flat in a building with cladding.

There are issues about who pays for the cladding tests on blocks of flats with freeholders expecting leasehold owners to pay.

This is going to be a problem for some time to come. The tests are complicated and costly.

House Prices are Rising – UK house prices are rising at their fastest annual rate for nearly two years, according to Halifax, supporting our view that the property market is heading into the crucial spring season in great shape. Halifax said house prices rose by 0.4% in January, adding over £1,000 to the average national price. This lifted the annual rate of price growth to 4.1% – the highest figure since February 2018.

Electrical Checks for Landlords – In July 2018, the government announced plans to make landlords carry out electrical safety checks on their homes every five years. These will cover all meters, plugs, sockets, fixed wiring and consumer units in the home.

Now we know that these checks will become mandatory for all rented properties from July 2020. There is going to be pressure on the electrical testing and property industry to get this done in time – Trigg & Co have been promoting electrical safety checks ever since we opened for business so our landlords and their tenants don’t need to be concerned.

It’s business as usual for us.

Rising Rents – less properties to rent and more increases on the way – Average rents increased by 2.6% to hit £886 per calendar month at the end of 2019, and although this is the highest rate in three years, it remains below the annual growth in average earnings, which stands at 3.8%, according to the ONS.  The typical renter now spends 31.8% of their earnings on rent, down from a peak of 33.3% in 2016, according to the analysis of trends in rents and rental affordability including a rental index powered by Hometrack.

With Zoopla recording a 4% drop in the supply of homes coming to the market for rent, coupled with an 8% increase in rental demand over 2019, there has unsurprisingly been upward pressure on rents.

This is set to continue and gather pace in 2020.