I hope you have had a lovely week. We have enjoyed a wonderful start to the year so far, with a collection of incredible new developments gracing our portfolio.
Variety is the spice of life as they say, so whether you are looking for a family-friendly suburban home, a central city apartment for professionals or a short-term-let haven for holidaymakers, let us know your investment criteria and see what we have to offer you.
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
- Nationwide Launches Interest-Free Loans for Green Home Improvements –
Nationwide Building Society is offering a 0% interest rate on its Green Additional Borrowing products to incentivise its mortgage members to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Starting 1st June, this will allow up to 5,000 households to borrow between £5,000 and £15,000 for non-structural, energy-efficient improvements. The initiative seeks to contribute to the UK’s net-zero target by 2050. The move is expected to encourage green home improvements where finance costs have been a deterrent.
- Expert Advises 100% Mortgages as Key to Getting on the Ladder –
Skipton Building Society’s 100% mortgage offering has sparked debate. Critics suggest that it could lead to negative equity and destabilize the banking system, while proponents see it as an opportunity for the “Generation Rent”. The author, a landlord for over 100 Generation Rents, lauds the offering, believing it to be the best opportunity for renters to become homeowners. Drawing from personal experience, they argue that Generation Rent needs to take risks to progress and owning property can lead to financial growth. They believe those who pass up this opportunity risk remaining in the rental market, potentially regretting their decision in the future.
- Labour Planning to Reduce Greenbelt for More Homebuilding –
Sir Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party, has proposed a policy allowing for more homes to be built on green belt land and planning restrictions to be relaxed. The Labour manifesto includes a target to increase the homeownership rate to 70% and support for first-time buyers through a mortgage guarantee scheme. This would have the state act as a guarantor for those who can afford repayments but cannot amass a large deposit. Labour also proposes reforms to the leasehold system, planning and land purchase rules, and a stamp duty increase for foreign buyers.
- Landlords Urged Not to Sell Up Until Reform Bill Is Published –
Worcestershire estate agents, Nicol & Co, are advising private landlords to not sell their properties and exit the rental market despite proposed legislative changes. The forthcoming Bill, including abolishing Section 21 “no-fault evictions” and stronger rights for tenants, is still in its early stages. James Gwynne, lettings manager, encourages landlords to communicate with their local managing agent for any concerns and assures them that a “new normal” will establish. He recognises some proposed changes may deter landlords, but highlights the potential benefits, such as a new Ombudsman and easier dispute resolution.