Sun 03 May 2015
Transactions drop across England and Wales, says Land Registry
The average house price in March stood at £178,007 across England and Wales – a monthly drop of 0.8%.
According to the Land Registry, annual house price inflation was 5.3% in March.
The survey also showed a drop in transactions. From October to January – the latest period for which data is available – there were 71,090 sales on average per month, down from 76,056 for the same period the year before.
In January itself, there were just 53,169 transactions, 18% down on the figure of 65,175 for January 2014.
Transactions fell in every single price bracket.
Separately, LSL – parent company of Your Move and Reeds Rains – reports today that first-time buyer numbers dropped to 60,900 in the first quarter of this year. In the same period last year, there were 79,900 first-time buyers.
Although numbers did pick up in March to 23,000 they were still 3.7% lower than March 2014.
More agents leave Zoopla to join OnTheMarket – but losses slowing
One of the City analysts briefed by Zoopla following yesterday’s announcement of the firm’s acquisition of uSwitch said he remained unconvinced by the move.
William Packer, of BNP Paribas Exane, also said that the briefing revealed a further loss of around 100 more agents to OTM in April.
This followed a loss of some 950 as at the end of March. Packer said that Zoopla had expected 500.
According to Zoopla, at the end of March there were 12,449 estate agency offices listing on its websites, down from 13,402 in February. However, there was a rise in overseas membership and a 6% increase in developer members.
Packer said that total losses to OTM “now stand at nearly 25% of the Zoopla agency client base”.
Yesterday, Zoopla said that the pace of losses was slowing with churn returning to normal levels. It also reported that traffic was up by 11% in the six months to the end of March.
Read the full article here http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/more-agents-quit-zoopla-to-join-onthemarket/
‘A million tenants could lose their homes if Labour is elected’ claim
Furious reaction to Labour’s political package for the private rented sector continues to pour out from agents.
Belvoir yesterday forecast that the party’s “anti-landlord” rental policies could result in up to a million tenants losing their homes if Labour is elected.
Dorian Gonsalves, Belvoir’s director of commercial and franchising, said: “I am shocked at Ed Miliband’s proposals and his decision to ignore industry experts who have issued warnings about the suffering that his party’s policies are likely to cause to tenants.
“Under a Labour Government, landlords will be forced to commit to three-year tenancies and banned from raising rents above inflation. You don’t have to be a mathematician or property expert to work out how deeply flawed these policies are.
“There are currently 11m people renting property in the UK, which amounts to about 20% of the population and includes 1.5m families with children.
“There are around 4m rental properties available and if just 10-15% of landlords decide to withdraw from the rental market because they are uncomfortable with Labour’s proposals and feel unable to manage their risks – particularly when mortgage rates rise – these homes will no longer be available.
“Labour’s proposals are full of loopholes and merely put forward as a way to attract votes.
“Labour’s policies will not raise standards or increase tenant security. They are likely to cause a housing crisis that will result in millions of people left with nowhere to call home.”
Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “Whatever the outcome of the general election, the private rented sector doesn’t need more intervention. Rent rises look to be settling into an affordable rhythm by their own accord.
"Anthony Webb were quick to inform us of available properties that suited our requirements and showed a keen effort in finding us a place to live! Their staff were attentive, reassuring and we felt that they really understood what type of property we were looking for. Their connections and reputation is second to none and you're guaranteed to be looked after."