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Latest Property News

The latest property news, covering house prices, affordability, HIPs and other residential property news:

September 18, 2012

House prices soar in London

by Jan Harris
House prices soar in London
UK house prices grew at their fastest rate in London in the year to the end of July, according to the latest House Price Index from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While house prices increased by 5.7 per cent in the capital, they increased by just 2 per cent in the rest of the UK, a significantly lower increase than the level ...




September 13, 2012

Government to amend the Estate Agents Act

by Jan Harris
Government to amend the Estate Agents Act
The Government is planning to make it easier for websites which display property for private sale to operate. Currently, these sites are governed by the Estate Agents Act 1979 and the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991, and are therefore required to make various checks such as ensuring that homes are described accurately in adverts. The government now plans to make intermediary ...




September 10, 2012

NewBuy scheme helps 1,300 first time buyers

by Jan Harris
NewBuy scheme helps 1,300 first time buyers
The Government's NewBuy scheme, which was launched in March, has already helped 1,300 first-time buyers onto the property ladder according to the Home Builders Federation (HBF). NewBuy was launched in an effort to increase activity in the first-time buyer market and to help the country’s ailing house building sector. The scheme, which was developed by the HBF and the Council of Mortgage ...




September 6, 2012

Planning rules to be relaxed to boost economy

by Jan Harris
Planning rules to be relaxed to boost economy
The government has outlined plans to boost Britain’s house building industry, including changes to planning regulations. The current restrictions on extending homes and businesses will be relaxed for a three-year period. This will allow detached homes to be extended by up to eight metres without the need for full planning permission, while all home owners will be able to extend ...




August 31, 2012

House prices increased in August says Nationwide

by Jan Harris
House prices increased in August says Nationwide
House prices have made their biggest jump since January 2010, Nationwide Building Society reports. Despite the recession, the price of the average house in the UK increased to £164,729 in August, just 0.7 per cent lower than a year ago. However, with mortgage approvals at low levels, the building society warned against reading too much into the August’s surprising surge. Robert Gardner, ...




August 29, 2012

Couples unable to afford family homes

by Jan Harris
Couples unable to afford family homes
The state of the housing market is causing many couples to put off having children according to housing charity Shelter. A YouGov survey commissioned by the charity found that 20 per cent of childless couples between the ages of 31 and 44 are putting off starting a family because of high housing costs. Many couples are unable to afford to move ...




August 23, 2012

Report tackles shortage of rented homes

by Jan Harris
Report tackles shortage of rented homes
With soaring demand for accommodation pushing rents to an all-time high, a new report suggests that rules on affordable homes should be relaxed to encourage the building of homes for rent. The average rent paid by private tenants in England and Wales reached £725 a month in July according to property group LSL. The government commissioned report by Sir Adrian Montague, the chairman ...




August 20, 2012

Think tank calls for council housing sell off

by Jan Harris
Think tank calls for council housing sell off
The Policy Exchange, a leading UK think tank, is calling for expensive social housing to be sold as it becomes vacant. This could raise £4.5 billion a year and the money could be used to create the largest social house building programme since the 1970s, the think tank suggests in a new report. Between 80,000 and 170,000 new social ...




August 6, 2012

Average house price falls to £161,000

by Jan Harris
Average house price falls to £161,000
House prices fell in July, to an average of £161,094 across the country, after increasing in the previous two months. Prices fell by 0.6 per cent in July, compared with the previous month, according to the Halifax House Price Index. Average prices are also 0.6 per cent lower compared with July 2011, the Halifax said. The bank expects prices to remain at ...




August 1, 2012

House price fall accelerates in July

by Jan Harris
House price fall accelerates in July
Nationwide building society reported a faster fall in house prices in July, as the economy continues to falter. House prices fell by 0.7 per cent in July, the fourth time they have declined in five months, and the fastest fall in three years. The average house price is now £164,389, 2.6 per cent lower than a year ago. Nationwide attributed falling ...




July 30, 2012

London and south east affected by house price slump

by Jan Harris
House prices fall in London and south east
The fall in property prices has now extended to London and south east England, according to the latest figures from property analytics company Hometrack. Hometrack’s figures for July how that overall house prices fell by 0.1 per cent, representing the first fall in seven months. Compared with June, the number of new homes coming on to the market increased by ...




July 20, 2012

Rents rise to average of £718

by Jan Harris
The average cost of rent increased to £718 in June, just below the record high of £720 in autumn last year. With mortgage lenders tightening their borrowing criteria and ongoing economic difficulties, demand for rented accommodation is outstripping supply, causing rents to soar.
Rents rise to average of £718
LSL Property Services’ monthly index recorded a 0.9 per cent increase in average rents in June, the third ...




July 16, 2012

Rightmove reports fall in house prices

by Jan Harris
Rightmove reports fall in house prices
Property website Rightmove recorded a drop in the average asking price for residential property this month, representing the first fall since January. Average prices have fallen by 1.7 per cent, a drop of £4,138, with demand low due to the wet weather deterring potential buyers from viewing properties. The website also blamed the Olympics for distracting people’s focus away from moving. There ...




July 3, 2012

Number of tenants with rent arrears up 24%

by Jan Harris
Number of tenants with rent arrears up 24%
The number of tenants more than two months behind on their rent has increased by nearly a quarter over the past year, according to chartered surveyors Templeton LPA, The number if tenants in serious arrears increased by 8 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 to 100,400, its highest level since tenant arrears tracker records began in ...




July 2, 2012

House prices stall and could fall

by Jan Harris
House prices stall and could fall
House price growth stalled in June according to new figures from property analyst Hometrack. New buyer registrations were 0.5 per cent lower in June, the first time they have fallen on a month-on-month basis, for the past five months. Supply continued to increase, causing prices to fall even further. The only place which saw an increase in house prices last month ...




June 25, 2012

Government proposes housing benefit cuts

by Jan Harris
Government proposes housing benefit cuts
Prime Minister David Cameron has suggested cutting housing benefit for people under the age of 25, in an interview with the Mail on Sunday. Housing benefit is paid to adults on a low income, to help them pay their rent, either to the local council, a private landlord or to a hostel. It is currently paid to around 380,000 under-25s and scrapping their ...




June 21, 2012

Tenants pay £200,000 more for housing than home owners

by Jan Harris
Tenants pay £200,000 more for housing than home owners
Over a lifetime, a tenant will pay nearly £200,000 more for their accommodation than a homeowner, Barclays suggests in a new study. Over a fifty-year period it costs an average of £429,000 to purchase a property through a mortgage and to maintain it, the study says, while renting a home for fifty years would cost £623,000. Renting is cheaper initially, ...




June 20, 2012

Tenants unaware of deposit protection scheme

by Jan Harris
Tenants unaware of deposit protection scheme
Housing charity Shelter is receiving a higher number of calls from tenants worried about losing their deposit on rented accommodation, despite regulations being in place to ensure this doesn’t happen. Calls to Shelter’s helpline over rental deposits have almost doubled from 1,764 in 2009-10 to 3,288 in 2011-12. Problems may arise when a tenant moves out and finds that a landlord is ...




June 14, 2012

80% aspire to own their home

by Jan Harris
80% aspire to own their home
Although house sales have plummeted in the past five years, most people still hope to own their own home in the future. Eight out of 10 people surveyed by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said they hoped to own their own home by 2022, while three quarters said they hoped to achieve this ambition within two years. Home ownership has moved out ...




June 7, 2012

House prices unlikely to rise says Halifax

by Jan Harris
House prices unlikely to rise says Halifax
The Halifax expects house prices to be the same at the end of the year as they were at the beginning, with uncertain economic conditions stifling demand. The bank, which is part of the Lloyds Banking Group, reported a 0.1 per cent fall in house prices in May 2012, compared with May 2011. However, compared with the previous month, house prices increased ...