I hope you have had a productive week. We have been receiving construction updates on several of our developments and are thinking it may be time to head over to some in person to see the progress for ourselves.
We love getting the chance to oversee the fascinating process of property development as things go from blueprint all the way to completion, and bringing those firsthand updates back to you.
If you would love to see more in-person footage of our off-plan property builds, reply to this article.
Now, let’s take a look at all the headlines that caught our attention this week. I always try to summarise the links to save you from having to click through.
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Property News This Week
- Is the Government AML Crackdown Vulnerable to Loopholes? – In an attempt to thwart money laundering within the UK property industry, the government has unveiled new plans which include a law forcing any anonymous foreign company attempting to buy land or property in the UK to disclose the true owners and beneficiaries of the deal. Under the new rules, any foreign company refusing to disclose the property’s true owner within 6 months of purchase could be fined up to £2,500 per day or receive a prison sentence of up to five years. Transparency campaigners have criticised the government’s approach as being vulnerable to loopholes, as Companies House currently has practically no legal power to act against red flags and the plans do not extend to privately owned properties or land.
- LGA Says the Right-to-Buy Scheme is Showing Signs of Failure – The Right-to-Buy scheme offers council tenants the option to buy their council house at a discounted rate and is responsible for the drastic decline in social housing since its inception in 1980. Now the Local Government Association has warned that the scheme is under threat of crumbling unless significant changes are made. The organisation, which represents over 350 councils throughout England and Wales, has revealed that councils cannot rebuild homes at the same speed at which they are being sold, especially as discount levels have increased over the past 2 years. Currently, councils are also not able to keep all of the money from Right-to-Buy sales, further depleting their budget for re-building. According to the LGA, the impact of this situation on low-income families will be devastating if not rectified.
- Holiday Lets Increase as Landlords Protect Their Profit Margins –
As attractive holiday mortgage rates hit the market en masse in the UK, Octane Capital has reported an increase of 1.25% in short-let rentals year-on-year, bringing the total to 100,551. The specialist lender analysed data across 10 popular UK holiday destinations, with the most notable STL growth of around 25% seen in the Lake District, the Cotswolds and the Peak District. Popular southern destinations such as Cornwall, Devon and Brighton also experienced above-average growth compared to the same time frame last year. In what may be a reflection of buyers’ desires to move away from highly populated areas, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle all saw a drop in STL activity. It is anticipated that as rising costs continue to tighten landlords’ profit margins, more will turn to holiday lets as an alternative investment.
36% Buyer Demand Decrease Won’t Stop House Price Rises – A recent survey published by the RICS has revealed that approximately 25% of property professional respondents saw new buyer enquiries drop in July. It is the third report of this kind, showing a clear downhill trend. Enquiries will likely drop further after the Bank of England’s recent announcement of their biggest base rate hike in 27 years. The number of new buyer enquiries reported has now hit its lowest point since the start of the pandemic in Q1 2020. The past two years have seen people searching for more space to live and work. This heightened demand, combined with the slowdown of house building, has added pressure to already-prevalent supply issues – and house prices are continuing to climb as a result. Although experts expect higher interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis to dampen this market activity somewhat, most agree that the factors causing price growth will continue to drive up house prices for another year at least.
That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary, please feel free to email us at [email protected] – if not, see you next week.