BREAKING NEWS – 5 top stories 14/01/2021
SDLT HOLIDAY – MOMENTUM CONTINUES 83,000 SIGNATURES AND RISING
Only three days ago 52,000 had signed the petition that would force the government to debate whether the SDLT – holiday should be extended past the 31st of March deadline.
Gaining roughly 10,000 new signatures a day, it now has over 83,000 signatures, so by Friday of this week probably it will hit the magic 100,000 trigger number. This does not mean that the SDLT holiday will be debated and definitely extended, but the smart money is saying it will go that way.
If you want to sign – https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/550545 is the place to go.
COVID-19 – WILL ESTATE AGENCY FUNCTIONS BE FURTHER RESTRICTED?
The pressure to close down agency activity is increasing, on a micro and macro level, in response to the huge spike in cases. Also, today I know of at least one agent owner who was pulled over by the police and asked why he was travelling?
Clearly, the direction of ‘travel’ is that the police are looking to manage the pandemic is a more hands-on approach, and in this instance, there was no problem as of course – agency is open for business – but I do feel the door is closing for physical contact and movement.
LATEST LETTINGS EVICTION BAN – WHO DOES IT BITE MOST?
The recent elongation of the bailiff-led evictions process, recently announced and much flagged up, could when reviewed pre-March be pushed out further. With the whole system, the judicial side, the landlord’s being squeezed the balancing of the rights of the tenants in the mix, the biggest flare up point is the lack of financial comfort for the Landlord.
In what is becoming a pressure cooker, we know that over 50% or landlords in a recent study did not get full rent in Q4 of 2020, which is likely to be a trend that continues – the government needs to do some joined up thinking very quickly.
REPOSSESSIONS MAY BE ON HOLD UNTIL 1ST APRIL – FCA TO DELIBERATE
The Financial Conduct Authority who regulates the mortgage sector and who at present has said that due to the pandemic repossessions are on hold until the end of January, (unless the mortgagee consents for action to move forward) is now consulting with all stakeholders to explore if this date should be pushed back another two months.
Focusing on the welfare of homeowners who would be entering a Covid-landscape where they to lose their homes, the FCA states they want to, ‘protect consumers in these difficult times’.
PERSIMMON FIGURES SHOW ROBUST PERFORMANCE – BUT WHAT NEXT
Recent company figures show that pipeline sales are at a high level with like-for-like sales agreed being up by nearly 40% in Q3/4 of 2020. Overall group revenue was a tad down, at 3.33 BN but perhaps the biggest unknown apart from Covid-19, is what the revised Help to Buy scheme, due to happen in the Spring, will do to its and every other housebuilder’s bottom line.