Insulation of Timber Floors

Very often, when people are insulating a house, they insulate the roof space, double glaze the windows but forget to insulate the floors.  If the rest of the room is insulated, the floor becomes a thermal weak point.

A solid ground floor is difficult to insulate retrospectively.  However, if there is enough room to increase the height of a floor slab or if it is a suspended concrete slab construction, one can sometimes get access under the floor making it possible to improve insulation.

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HIPs to be scrapped?

The housing spokesman for the Conservative Party, Grant Shapps, has said that they would scrap the Home Information Packs (HIPs) “in a matter of weeks” after coming to power.   He has said that it would be his first job should the Conservative party win the next general election.

This follows claims by some estate agents that the packs are impeding the housing market recovery, as the cost of a HIPs report commits the vendor to expenditure of, typically, some £400, even if they do not sell.

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Can’t Sell – Won’t Sell?

When your home refuses to attract a buyer there are usually good reasons and some of them are within your power to influence. Frustrated sellers are now beginning to question the need to engage an estate agent and save between 1% -2% of the sale price in fees.

Taking this route in turn demands a fresh look at how you are presenting your home to the potential purchaser.

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Chartered Surveyor Help ?

An interesting article explaining some of the ways an Independent Chartered Surveyor may be able to help you has been written by a member of the team.  This lists the work undertaken from building surveys to valuation work as well as the less common party wall, expert witness, retrospective valuations and other related work undertaken by multi discipline professional independent chartered surveyors. Read more here

August sees average house prices fall again

The average price of homes for sale in England and Wales fell to £222,762 during the four weeks to August 8, about 2.2 % less than in the previous 4 weeks. The property website Rightmove says this drop in asking prices was in line with a similar fall seen in August 2008, although it was still the biggest drop recorded so far this year. Price rises had been experienced in five of the previous seven months.

It added that the market was continuing to be held back by a lack of mortgage finance. Traffic wise, Rightmove has seen its busiest month ever, despite the fact that there is usually less activity during the summer, due to potential buyers going on holiday.

However, there continues to be a shortage of available properties, with 82,700 homes put up for sale during the month, 23 % fewer than in August last year. It is also around half the level of new properties that were put on the market in August 2006 and 2007.


Residential property builders lash out at banks

Leading homebuilders Barratt and Redrow have complained that restrictions on mortgage financing is preventing a recovery in the country’s property market.

Bovis Homes have reported that potential buyers are still unable to get a mortgage, although there is continued interest in their developments. Persimmon have seen an increase in reservations but also hit out at the lack of lending. ‘We are encouraged by the improvement in sales rates when compared to last year but will remain cautious until mortgage availability improves further and employment prospects stabilise,’ they said.

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RICS new Homebuyer Report

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has launched a new survey report, designed to focus on the needs of the consumer with clear, simple and easy-to-follow information about the condition of a property.

Concise and user-friendly, the new HomeBuyer Report reflects changes in the home buying and selling process, assisting the purchaser in their decision by reporting on a property’s condition, value, need for repairs and replacements, and what further advice is required before exchanging contracts.

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