UK HOUSE PRICES FALL AS PROPERTY MARKET REMAINS SLUGGISH

 

The UK property market is experiencing a sharp slowdown, with house prices falling to a modest degree, latest house figures from Rightmove show. Homeowners who have put their property up for sale in July have dropped the amount they are asking by 0.1 percent compared to June in an attempt to woo potential buyers. 

 

In London, asking prices were down by as much as 0.5 percent, with smaller apartments accounting for most of the fall. Rightmove Director and market analyst, Miles Shipside, considers the drop in asking prices to be ‘a sign of a falling market.’ 

 

“With more price reductions at this time of the year than in any of the last six years, there’s likely to be a combination of both initial over-pricing and failure to react fast enough – or to reduce by enough – when initial buyer interest fails to lead to a sale,” 

 

Bloomberg quoted Shipside as saying. 

 

House prices in the UK appear to be falling mainly because of the increased economic uncertainty concerning Brexit. Political uncertainty is often bad news for all sectors of the economy, including real estate.

 

 Experts say that doubts regarding what the future holds for the UK economy are likely to continue to exert a moderate drag on housing market activity beyond this year. A report filed by The Week cites property prices in London may continue to fall until 2020. 

 

More Homes, Restricted Demand

 

In the meantime, Homes and Property revealed that landlords are still rolling out a variety of new homes, with the number of new properties entering the market rising 8.6 percent year on year. The surge of new properties entering the UK market has left estate agents with the highest stock of homes since September 2015. Despite new homes coming on to the market in the past year, however, property demand has mostly remained static so far, the report claims. This has led most sellers to see falls in the number of properties being sold. 

 

Outside of Britain’s uncertain political situation and the excess supply in the housing market created by new-to-market properties, it appears that the seasons have also had a hand in the fall in UK house prices. The Homes and Property report suggests that the summer slowdown is partly responsible for the reduction in property rates, as people get distracted by sunbathing and drinking icy beverages rather than focusing on ‘for sale’ signs.

 

 “Prospective buyers will need tempting with a special summer price or a beautifully finished and presented must-have home, and sellers whose homes tick these boxes then need an estate agent with good marketing skills to promote it effectively,” continues Shipside, in Homes and Property. 

To boost sales at a time like this, property owners are encouraged to set a realistic property price for their houses from the offset. If you set the price too high, you turn away dozens of potential buyers who may have been interested. To set the fairest and realistic house price, you should enlist the expert help of a local estate agent who is knowledgeable in this area.

 

Sources:

https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/third-of-british-sellers-drop-asking-prices-amid-hike-in-number-of-homes-for-sale-a122226.html

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-15/u-k-july-home-asking-prices-fall-as-london-decline-intensifies

http://www.theweek.co.uk/london-house-prices 

 

 

SOUTHAMPTON PROPERTY SHOW 2018

 

We are proud sponsors of the Southampton Property Show, one of the UK’s biggest property exhibitions.

 

More than 600 landlords, investors and property professionals from across the South Coast are expected to attend Southampton’s largest property, business & networking event taking place on Thursday 13th September 2018.

 

Being held in Southampton’s prestigious AA 5 star rated Southampton Harbour Hotel at Ocean Village with its striking super-yacht inspired design, this phenomenal event will provide a wealth of networking opportunities to all in attendance.

 

Taking place at the same time as the Southampton Boat Show, this event is expected to be attended from visitors all over the country.

 

To purchase your FREE show ticket go to: https://bit.ly/2GmFGSR or for more information: www.southamptonpropertyshow.co.uk

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

 

GDPR Countdown: 7 steps to compliance for landlords

 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force in less than two weeks, on 25th May 2018.

 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union.

 

A fine of €20 million or 4% of annual turnover may be payable for non-compliance.

 

This new legislation affects anyone offering goods and services who holds and processes personal data.

If you are a letting agent or a landlord and you hold personal information, bank details or identification documents, carry on reading!

 

1. Register with the commissioner’s office

 

www.ico.org.uk.

 

2. Make a list of the specific type of data that you hold

 

For instance, if you are a landlord, you likely hold personal data about your tenants and if you are a letting agent, you will hold details about both landlords and tenants. Alternatively, if you have details about prospects such as email addresses or phone numbers, you should also make a list of these.

 

3. Make a list of various places where the data is being held

 

You might be holding data in more than one place. For instance, you might be holding it in on CRM software, Mailchimp, Gmail or any other account software.

 

4. Make sure that those places are compliant to GDPR

 

If the data is being held online, make sure it’s on a secure site with a strong and protected password. You should contact the relevant support service to ensure the data is totally safe.

 

5. Make sure you have permission from respective people to process and use their data

 

If someone has applied to rent your property, this does not mean you can now send marketing emails to them. If you purchased a list of marketing emails, you should be very careful in making sure you have permission from everyone on that list.

 

One of the major purposes of the rules is to reduce unwanted mails and spam. In this case, you should make sure that everyone in your list has consented to receiving your e mails.

 

6. Write a privacy policy page on your website

 

This should set out what you do with people’s data and should include information on what people can do to unsubscribe. After writing the privacy policy page, make sure to link it with all your automated mails.

 

7. Appoint Data Protection Officer

 

Appoint a nominated officer to monitor compliance to ensure that employees are well informed of their respective duties.

 

Other key suggestions

 

Keep a diary to prepare for the GDPR. If ICO happen to contact you about a certain breach, you can easily show them you are taking it seriously and have a record of your compliance.

 

LOOKING FOR GREAT TALENT!

Great talent makes it all happen…

 

Do you want to shake up your career?  From a great package to an active social calendar, Home Hub Southampton really is unlike any other workplace. 

 

We have a winning culture where you benefit from an uncapped commission structure, a company pension scheme and your birthday off! Join a rapidly growing modern estate agency shaking up the market! 

 

 Southampton, Hampshire

 

- £30K OTE

 

- Full time

 

If this sounds like you, please drop your CV to:

 

will@homehubsouthampton.co.uk

 

A WARM WELCOME TO WILL!

 

 

 

Home Hub Southampton are pleased to announce the appointment of William Alexander as its new Branch Manager. William will be responsible for contributing to Home Hub’s overall strategy and will oversee both the sales and lettings teams.

 

William joins Home Hub from a large corporate, where he held various roles across both sales and lettings, his last role being Residential Sales Manager. William has started several ‘cold start’ branches, the last of which became the top performing branch of the area he was operating in.

 

William brings valuable experience and know-how to Home Hub Southampton and will be an asset to the management team. His experience in sales and systems will be invaluable as they look to further grow their presence in Southampton.

 

The Tenant Fee Ban: Landlords Beware!

 

Last week the government published its response to the consultation on banning letting agent fees to tenants along with a draft bill. The bill imposes a BLANKET ban on fees to tenants, not even a cap as was thought might be the case. With no more tenant fees, most agents will have no choice but to pass on the lost fees to landlords instead. Landlords beware. It's about to get a bit crazy out there! 

 

Last week the government published its response to the consultation on banning letting agent fees to tenants along with a draft bill.

 

The level of fees charged by letting agents and some landlords are often not clearly or consistently explained, leaving many tenants unaware of the true costs of renting a property.

 

The draft Tenant Fees Bill generates a complete blanket ban on fees charged by agents (and landlords) for the creation, renewal or continuation of an AST or license.

 

This is much harsher than was anticipated. Many thought the ban would be in the form of a cap or upper limit on tenant fees, rather than a full ban.

 

Tenancies which fall outside of the Housing Act 1988 will not be covered and it appears that company lets have not been included in the new rules.

 

PERMISSIBLE FEES

 

There is a list of permissible fees that agents and landlords can still charge to tenants.

 

Those permitted include fees for breaching tenancy agreements and fees for losing keys.

 

ENFORCEMENT

 

Enforcement will be through trading standards officers, who have a duty to enforce the legislation so that agents can complain about other agents who are not playing by the new rules.

 

A civil penalty of £5,000 is payable initially for a breach of the ban on letting fees, but a repeated breach would amount to a criminal offense. However, civil penalties of up to £30,000 can be issued as an alternative to prosecution.

 

If the offense is by a company, the directors can be made liable too.

 

There is also a list of anti-avoidance provisions to stop agents and landlords getting around the ban.

 

CLIENT MONEY PROTECTION

 

The government also launched a consultation on making membership of client money protection schemes mandatory for letting and managing agents that handle client money. This will give landlords and tenants greater financial protection and confidence that their money is safe.

 

ADVERTISING FEES

 

The bill will also amend the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to specify that the letting agent transparency requirements should apply to property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla - so that all fees being charged are clearly set out on all websites.

 

DEPOSIT LIMITS

 

The bill limits tenancy deposits to the equivalent of 6 weeks rent. This is an increase on the proposed one month which many agents and landlords considered to be not long enough.

 

AN INDUSTRY IN TURMOIL?

 

The bill has not yet been laid before parliament, so it is not in force yet.

 

But what is known already is that many agencies, especially the large corporates, make a significant amount of their revenue from tenant fees, and some of the big corporates have already started passing these ‘lost’ fees onto landlords in a bid to stay alive, even before the legislation has officially kicked in.

 

OUR PRICE FREEZE!

 

But at Home Hub Southampton we like to be different!

 

Our fees are already all-inclusive and transparent but we are going a step further...

 

If you put your property on with us fully managed before the end of 2017, we will FREEZE your prices for up to the next 5 years! That’s right! Lock in now, and you will not be subject to any fee rises in the next 5 years!

 

To contact us to find out what we can do for you or to find out more, e-mail office@homehubsouthampton.co.uk or telephone Sarah on 07793 354635 quoting PRICEFREEZE17

 

ANOTHER EXCUSE TO GET THE KETTLE ON!

Leading cleaning experts Dr. Beckmann has revealed the nation’s most popular household smells in its Cleaning and Laundry Bible, and they may just help you achieve a successful sale/let!

 

Here are Britain’s favourite household smells:

 

  1. Laundered clothes
  2. Freshly baked goods
  3. Freshly mown grass
  4. Scented candles
  5. Flowers
  6. Freshly brewed coffee
  7. A clean bathroom
  8. Toiletries (e.g. bath bombs)

 

So get the oven on, lawnmower out and the coffee on!

focus on...investing in southampton

Southampton is constantly referred to as a ‘buy to let hotspot’ in the media. HSBC ranks Southampton among the top 10 places to invest in property in the UK, and Southampton is tipped to register the highest capital growth in the country by 2019.

 

Southampton is currently undergoing massive transformation. Westquay Watermark is now complete and represents an £85 million investment in Southampton and is the UK's largest restaurant and dining complex. The Royal Pier development project is a £450 million development that will transform the landscape of Southampton’s waterfront. 

 

Southampton is a fun and vibrant place to live, and with its two universities (34,000 students), a large hospital, an airport and its location on the South Coast with proximity to London, there is high demand for HMO rooms.

 

The HMOs we source, refurb and manage for ourselves and investors are largely for professional tenants. The typical tenant might be a young person aged between 23-35 who is re-locating to Southampton for a job. They will usually require an initial 6 month contract after which time they may move in with friends or with a partner, or indeed move to a different area of the country for work.

 

Southampton is an Article 4 area which means that you can no longer change a family house into an HMO without planning permission in Southampton city centre. This means that you have to look outside the article 4 boundary for suitable investment purchases which can be converted into HMO properties without planning permission, or buy an existing HMO being sold on by a landlord.

 

Southampton has mandatory and additional HMO licensing. Regardless of HMO licensing, our properties are always refurbed as if mandatory licensing were in force in the area.

 

We have noticed that due to lots of new all purpose student blocks going up in central Southampton (with inclusive gyms and bells and whistles), there are more traditional student houses remaining void - especially the shabbier ones. As a result some student landlords are changing those properties to professional HMOs for which the market is strong. As with all buy to lets, the key is to stay ahead of your game in terms of the property you are offering so it will always be attractive to tenants.

 

 

Southampton is booming and we at Home Hub Southampton are enjoying being part of it.