BREAKING NEWS – 5 top stories 25/01/2021

Estate Agent Networking Breaking News

COUNTRYWIDE PLC – THREE WEEKS AND COUNTING

It is just three weeks before the shareholders of Countrywide Plc vote on whether or not to accept the Skipton building society (they own Connells) cash acquisition to purchase them. If the deal happens, the new owner has said that it will not look to make huge closures of branches but will look to technology to streamline processes, and there will be some changes with duplication at head office level.

Maybe the biggest question is – ‘Who will be running the show if it does happen?’

HM LAND REGISTRY RAMPS UP ITS RHETORIC ON HELPING OUT

The COO of HMLR Chris Pope, has said that the digital road map that has been worked on for some years is now bearing fruit and the real estate industry will see some further pushes in 2021,

‘We know the industry is under immense pressure right now, which is why we are focussed on streamlining the customer experience and accelerating change where possible. By the end of the year, we expect all customers to receive a simpler, faster service.’

Typical that he speaks of a better service opening up nine-months after the SDLT holiday ends.

EXPECTED MASSIVE TOTAL NUMBER OF COMPLETIONS IN DECEMBER 2020 CONFIRMED

2021 was of course the housing market like no other, with its stop-go mentality, and the new impetus of the SDLT holiday from the Chancellor. All this translated into a skewed amount of people moving into property in December 2020.

The official figures say that nearly 130,000 completions took place last month, which is over 30% more than the December 2019, and the biggest amount of move-ins for a decade.

OVER 300,000 PROPERTIES IN THE COLLECTIVE PIPELINE OF AGENTS & DEVELOPERS

With no parliamentary debate in site, regarding the SDLT holiday, figures suggest that at present there are going be many agents re-negotiating sale prices, as the 31st of March completion date now seems very close. One major problem is that it is not a simple matter of a chain, absorbing a £15,000 amount, the saving of SDLT at a £500,000.

If a chain had two or three buyers all at the maximum limit, that would mean, having to factor in £30,000 or £45,000 plus to find; we shall see if the Chancellor does anything on the 3rd of March to help in his budget.

HUNTERS SALE – NEGOTIATIONS EXTENDED DOES THIS MEAN A DEAL WILL BE DONE?

As we reported we are going to see a whole host of acquisitions, mergers, and collaborations in 2021, driven by economic necessity, high amounts of cash swirling around and a consolidation of the power base of how agency is done and by whom, we now learn that The Property Franchise Group are getting closer to doing a deal with Hunters.

The official deadline to state a deal is on was last Friday but in a telling statement Hunters said, ‘Discussions with TPFG regarding a possible offer for the Company remain ongoing and, to allow further time for these discussions, the Board of Hunters has requested, and the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers (the “Takeover Panel”) has granted, an extension to the deadline for TPFG referred to above. Accordingly, TPFG must, by no later than 5.00 p.m. on 29 January 2021’

So by dinner time this Friday we will know if the ride is on or not.

Andrew Stanton

Andrew Stanton

CEO & Founder Proptech-PR. Proptech Real Estate Influencer, Executive Editor of Estate Agent Networking. Leading PR consultancy in Proptech & Real Estate. Want to contact me directly regarding one of my articles or maybe you'd like a chat about future articles? Email me via [email protected]

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