March 2020 Property Surveying Newsletter

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In this month’s Property Surveying Newsletter … we look at new use of Unexplained Wealth Orders, discuss the government’s plans for the housing market and discover ways to improve your ‘life skills’

The Property Surveying team is continuing to operate during the current crisis. Our office staff have been redeployed to work from home and our independent Chartered Surveyors are working to help our clients.

We wish you and your families well in these difficult times.

Will COVID-19 affect property prices?

The onset of movement restrictions and financial insecurity has already caused an element of uncertainty within the property market.

The timing is all the more unfortunate, as it coincides with property asking prices reaching record highs and a hint of confidence creeping back into the housing market. Brexit and election uncertainty and the Boris Bounce seem far behind us, but are we to anticipate a new financial crash of property prices, the likes of which haven’t been seen since 2008?

It is fair to say that viewing are likely to be severely impacted by the coronavirus. Few homeowners will welcome other people in their home, whether they are viewers, estate agents or property professionals, such as Chartered Surveyors.

The number of property transactions across 30 Chinese cities is estimated to have dropped 90% three weeks after the country’s coronavirus lockdown. While our own property market may grind to a halt, property professionals are currently predicting that house prices will by and large stay as they are. The reduction in housing stock coming onto the market is likely to maintain house prices.

Estate agents are seeing a reduction in viewings of 50% this week, down from 25% last week. A number of property contracts are being exchanged but mostly those where the deal had already taken place. A number of £10 million plus property sales have already fallen through, perhaps reflecting falls in the stock market.

At the moment, it is expected that low interest rates and the government’s pledge to help workers should avoid a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, which led to many people being unable to meet their mortgage payments. However, this may change in the event of large-scale redundancies and business failures, should the coronavirus continue long term.

The Property Market Monthly Fact File

The property market fact file is a collection of data compiled each month by our Chartered Surveyors and the team, reflecting survey data, statistics, trends and information from the property market. This provides a single place where anyone with an interest in UK property can find the information they need.

McMafia law claims London properties

Three multi-million homes in London has been seized as part of the National Crime Agency’s Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) powers.

Government accused of hypocrisy over building in at-risk flood areas

Denbighshire County Council’s planning officers recommended that an affordable housing development should be built, even though it would be built on land that had previously flooded.

London Renters Union advises struggling tenants amid COVID-19 uncertainty

During this COVID-19 outbreak, many people across the nation and indeed across the world are beginning to worry about how they are going to afford the cost of living and paying their mortgage or rent. Uncertainty is rife and even more so if you fit into the ‘self-employed’ sector with limited income.

Most UK homes fail energy targets

The government has set a net zero carbon target for Great Britain by 2050 and this was written into law in June 2019. But is this achievable?

Want to make money from your property with Airbnb?

Airbnb has become so popular in parts of the UK that it has effectively priced people out, in deprived local communities where there are no affordable homes to buy. In some areas, such as the Lake District or coastal areas of North Devon and Cornwall, the short-term letting site offers 25% of homes available for rent.

Self Build Wales new way to self build your own home

The Welsh Government has introduced a new scheme to encourage self-builders by helping to “remove the barriers and uncertainty that prevent people in Wales from building their own homes”.

Energy efficiency in UK homes

The energy efficiency of British homes must be urgently improved, according to experts. In 2018, the UK’s homes produce nearly 66 million tonnes of CO2. That’s more than the CO2 produced by the power stations that generate our power.

progress of a government housing bill through parliament‘Bold action’ to come from planned housing bills

The housing minister, Robert Jenrick, has announced a series of new UK housing bills that will soon be introduced to the Commons.

Unscrupulous ‘quick sale’ estate agents leave homeowners stranded

The government has been called on to instigate the reforms to estate agency that were detailed in a report by the Regulation of Property Agents working group, chaired by Lord Best, once leader of the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust.

Stoke on Trent solar panel company accused of Erroneous Transfers

Tenants of properties in Stoke on Trent have accused a solar panel company of mis-selling. The company worked with the City Council offering free panels with reductions in the cost of electricity and gas bills for 6,000 homes.

And finally …life skills around the home

Why not use self-isolation to revive your life skills?

What would you do if your radiators weren’t performing well? Or you fancied a change of colour scheme in your home’s front room? Or your much-loved ‘lucky’ socks developed a hole?

Written by Independent Chartered Surveyors
of the UK wide network of Property Professionals

The Property Surveying Newsletter is a free service by for those with an interest in the UK Property Market. As well as being posted online here, it is emailed direct to our subscribers all across the country.

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