BREAKING NEWS – 18/06/2021
RICS INDEPENDENT REVIEW FINDINGS NOW LIKELTY TO BE PUBLISHED A MONTH LATE
It would appear that the RICS review is running behind again, it was originally derailed by the original person looking into the matter not being able to finish the review, which meant that Ms
Levitt was put into bat as the second option, with an original target date of June for findings. Now though it would seem that further delay is evident.
Set out below is the full chapter and verse on new timetable for the RICS report to see the light of day.
‘INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF RICS TREASURY MANAGEMENT AUDIT ISSUES Alison Levitt QC
Articles have appeared in the press alleging that RICS tried to suppress a critical internal report into its finances in 2018/19 and then unfairly dealt with those who sought to explore the issue.
RICS has commissioned an Independent Review in relation to these issues. It is being led by a senior barrister, Alison Levitt QC. On 14 April 2021, Ms Levitt QC set the revised Terms of Reference for the Review.
Call for Evidence
On 30 April 2021, Ms Levitt issued a call for evidence.
She would like to hear from as many people as possible who can offer insight into the issues which form the subject of this Review.
She is particularly keen to hear from:
• Current and former members of RICS
• Current and former Directors and Officers of RICS
• Others with an interest in the governance of RICS
The Independent Review has received a healthy and encouraging response to its call for evidence. As a result, Ms Levitt QC now expects to provide her report in July’.
WEEKLY NEWS ROUND UP
RESEARCH SUGGESTS GOVERNMENT BACKED 95% LOANS FOR FTB’s DISTORTS HOUSING MARKET
Recent analysis suggests that Landlords are finding it harder to buy housing stock, as a swathe of FTB’s are using the new funds that the government has set aside in a new scheme.
The scheme underwrites the risk element in 95% loan to value mortgages, and the 3.9BN fund is upsetting the balance of who gets the property.
HOUSING SHORTGAGE BUT 75% SAY NO NEW HOMES ON GREENBELT
There has been a lot of noise about building more homes, each year, though the population grows, the number of new residences being built is woefully under the 300,000 / annum target.
Casting around for the public’s view on the way forward, a recent survey suggests that as many as three quarters of those asked also feel that the ‘green belt’ should stay that way, and should not be open to development. Something will have to give.
NRLA’s BEN BEADLE SPEAKS OUT ABOUT THE RENT BENEFIT ‘GAP’
The CEO of NRLA has given an assessment that as the government has ‘fudged’ how over three million renters in the Private Rented Sector get the money they need to pay their rent. In that, some are getting other benefits rolled into a single payment the aptly named ‘Universal benefit’ payment.
2,017 BUILDINGS NEED CLADDING REMOVAL, BUT LESS THAN 100 A YEAR ARE BEING DEALT WITH
The new Shadow housing secretary Lucy Howell has come out swinging saying that it will take over twenty years to have buildings with sub-standard cladding fixed. She claims that Labour’s analysis showed that the work rate was only eight high-rise buildings a month were being dealt with, leaving over 2,000 properties with hazardous cladding, on a waiting list. Meaning thousands of people are left in a state of limbo and potential danger.
BOOMIN GET NEW LEAD IN THE FORM OF ATHENA HUBBLE
Boomin has appointed Athena Hubble to strengthen the immediate c-suite of Booming, this is quite a coup as Hubble has a solid background in the portal, commercial and digital space and is of course an original veteran of Zoopla. As the weeks pass – Boomin seems to be getting lots of experienced talent, watch this space.
BIG DEVELOPER SETS ASIDE OVER £10M TO COVER POSSIBLE CLADDING AND FIRE ISSUES
Willmott Dixon has put another £5M plus in a fund that already had almost the same amount in it, specifically to be used to deal with any upcoming problems relating to buildings they erected which may need remedial work. The monies will be there, to sort, if necessary, problems arising from remedial cladding works or fire safety protocols.
HIPS WILL NOT BE RESURRECTED SAYS LAW COMMISSION – UPFRONT INTEL MAY BE GOOD
A consultation by The Law Commission with a closing date of the 31st of July is looking into the upside of gaining a lot more property/legal information ahead of a sale being agreed.
For those who remember the failed HIP’S (Home Information Packs) saga, the spokesperson for the commission bats the idea of HIPS being resurrected away, Nick Hopkins says ‘We’re not digging up that coffin … (and) take a fresh look at how to do what HIPs were trying to achieve but how to achieve that differently.’
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE DROPPED BY 1.9% ACCORDING TO LATEST LAND REGISTRY DATA
Latest analysis just in from HMLR shows that in the recent period average house sale prices have actually dropped by nearly 2% in recent months, though the annual national picture shows an almost 10% rise. It will be interesting to see if this is just a blip caused by many factors – or it continues in coming months.
AGENTS SAYS PRESSURE TO GET EXCHANGED AND COMPETED BY MONTH END IS BITING
A large Independent agent has said that,
‘Because many buyers are looking at up to a 15K saving on stamp duty if they complete by the last day of June, we are getting repeated calls daily to get the sales across the line. But the solicitors and lenders just are not responding. There is going to be a lot of upset people.’
COMMERCIAL LANDLORDS ‘ANOTHER NINE MONTHS OF PAIN’
The government has just announced that ‘commercial tenants’ cannot be evicted for another nine months. Whilst this gives some businesses respite, commercial landlords will be powerless to start with a new tenant who can pay being in situ. The government needs to think long and hard about the repercussions.
If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward.