BREAKING NEWS – 5 top stories 10/02/2021
CLADDING CRISIS DEEPENS
The cladding crisis, a problem where buildings are not fit for purpose due to their construction methods and materials, and a change in thinking following the Grenfell disaster is now becoming more intense. With a government spat likely to kick off later today, the housing minister wants to keep the lid on it, but MP’s being pressured by constituents are having none of it sensing blood.
A governmental fund of 1.6 BN has been apportioned to deal with the situation, but some are saying this would barely cover 10% of the cost of remedial works required nationally. Other problems are that there are not enough people to carry out checks to buildings, and of course many are in buildings which could be breaching fire safety rules.
It is not clear why in the cases where the homebuilders built and used flammable materials, they are not being held to account, especially as some have had record profits. Also many homeowners are trapped as their homes are not mortgageable, so they cannot move or even re-mortgage. The government is expected to make an announcement imminently.
IS FOXTONS ABOUT TO BE SOLD? DEAL OR NO DEAL
Foxtons is fast becoming an unlikely takeover target as the share price has increased by 40% in the last eight days, though there is no official commentary on this listed agency, we have been informed by some insiders that there is appetite to secure a London centric agency. With the Countrywide Plc deal almost over the line, Brexit ‘done’ and a potentially recovering London market, it remains to be seen who if any will be brave enough to attempt to buy this gem founded by Jon Hunt, who exited and decided to try America.
AVERAGE COST OF CONVEYANCING
Though based on a small sample pool, recent data indicates that typically in the UK fees for conveyancing to clients, stand at around £750 plus VAT on sale and purchase, perhaps this is why there is such a bottleneck at present.
The figures are of course for the work, not the additional disbursements and the usual high amount of SDLT which most buyers have been historically paying, and of course leasehold matters when a vendor has to pay extra funds for leasehold packs etc.
RIGHTMOVE SAYS NEW LISTINGS DOWN BY OVER 20%
It is official but not unexpected the level of new inventory to the market is stalling, many point to the SDLT holiday, the hard stop deadline of the 31st of March, Lockdown 3.0, talk of negative interest rates by the Bank of England, and the need for FTB’s to typically find an extra £10,000 more as a deposit to secure their first home, as property prices rose so much last year.
ROBERT MAY’S – RUMMAGE4 ABOUT TO GO LIVE
Founder Robert May, who I have a soft spot for as often he seems a lone voice of sanity and reality much like myself, is close to launching his property platform. With MR May it is all about the analytical detail, so expect good things from this site, though adoption the thing that makes a service or a product fly may be elusive without a huge marketing budget.
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.