If you have been listening to our recent podcasts and following these weekly newsletters then you will know we are experiencing a lot of activity in the property market at the moment and we are hoping that next week the latest Hometrack house price index report will be released to provide the data and insight on how the property market is performing. My feeling is that it will be another positive one. Fingers crossed, it is released next week and I can give you the overview in next weeks newsletter.
Now, let’s take a look at the headlines that caught our attention this week, I always try to summarise the links to save you having to click through.
- Agents need to prepare for imminent EICR changes – Although the headline is aimed at estate agents, it is also landlords that need to know this, whether they have a managing agent or not. I have been contacted already by my managing agents to undertake the Electrical Inspection Condition Report which becomes a legal requirement on 1st April. David Cox, former ARLA Propertymark chief executive and current legal and compliance director at Rightmove, has warned agents that there will be no extension or grace period in place for the Electrical Safety Standards Regulations, and all tenancies in England will need to meet the new requirements by 1 April. If you own a property that you rent out via a letting agency and have not been made of this then I would contact them as soon as you can.
- Fury over Knightsbridge flat on sale for £150,000 – without a bedroom or bathroom – Yes you did read that headline right and not only does it not have a bedroom or bathroom but it is only 89 sq ft. Regulations were changed in 2011 to ban property developers from building homes smaller than 400sqft (37sqm) but this flat does not break any current laws because it was first leased in 1976. It is being advertised as a “blank canvas” and is being sold by Knight Frank. Thangam Debbonaire, Labour’s shadow housing secretary, said “This outrageous advert is evidence of a broken housing market and shows why we need more truly affordable homes”. You can view the listing here.
- John Lewis says house rental to provide growing share of profits – Last year we covered John Lewis’ plans to turn some of their sites into housing to boost revenue and they now say they are expecting 40% of its profits to come from non-retail activities such as housing over the next decade. The residential properties will fall under the Build To Rent category and are likely to be managed by an established lettings company. The furniture in the properties will come from John Lewis stores; food delivery options for tenants will be from Waitrose so they are truly trying to utilise their brands and keep as much in house as possible which I think is a great idea.
- Liverpool’s £100m waterfront project & new BTR scheme in Sheffield – This article is a further demonstration of the positive activity in the property market where regeneration and developments are taking place. Although the headline highlights Liverpool and Sheffield, it also lists a scheme in Northampton where we will see a shoe factory converted into 68 apartments and Unite Students opening a well needed £82.5m purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) development in Manchester. We know Sheffield has high demand but a short supply of student accommodation and plans have been submitted for a ‘gateway’ 336-apartment Build to Rent (BTR) scheme on the edge of Sheffield city centre which will be a massive boost to the student’s homes needed. Liverpool is a city we are talking a lot about at the moment and one I think will be spoken about for many years to come when it comes to property investing. There is so much going on in this great city and Liverpool-based global property developer Romal Capital has reinforced its commitment to Liverpool’s Central Docks by committing £100 million to transform the derelict brownfield area and realise its vision of Sydney in Liverpool’s city centre. The new £100 million scheme is set to include 330 sustainable, ‘smart’ homes, retail space, other amenities and public realm, as well as investment in the surrounding infrastructure to help regenerate the waterfront. The project is also going to include a ‘vitally important’ pedestrian link in the development of this dockside area, from the Three Graces landmark and Princes Dock to the proposed site of Everton FC’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. I am really interested to see where Liverpool will be in 5 years time and far it will have come by then. I think it is one where we simply look back and say, ‘wow’.
That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary then please feel free to send us an email at [email protected] – if not, see you next week.