BREAKING NEWS – top 5 stories 08/07/2021
Daily bite-sized proptech and real estate news in partnership with Proptech-X. Today, Stanton looks at AccuCities, Meet Parker, Halifax, and more.
- Halifax analysis shows 0.5% drop in house sale prices in June
- Dominic Grace appointed to the advisory board of Meet Parker
- AccuCities 3D mapping solution delivers on over 1,800 projects
- Welsh housing market may get protectionist taxation, deterring second homes
- Solicitor steals almost £400,000 stamp duty money
Halifax analysis shows 0.5% drop in house sale prices in June
Halifax has announced that, after sequential rises over many months, the upward tick on property prices has now gone retrograde with a half per cent decline. They concede that annually prices rose by nearly 9% over the year, but feel that now buyers have to pay a 5% levy when buying above £250,000 (up to £925,000) this added HMRC cost will slow things.
Dominic Grace appointed to the advisory board of Meet Parker
Meet Parker today announces that 35-years Savills veteran and former UK board Director Dominic Grace will join their advisory board.
Meet Parker is a customisable AI Virtual assistant that aims to streamline the mortgage process by connecting customers, advisers and lenders. Grace has joined the team to further the development of Meet Parker’s property solution, connecting property seekers, estate agents and developers, before handing things off to a selected panel of mortgage brokers for financial qualification.
As part of this announcement, Meet Parker will be deploying the Meet Parker Virtual Assistant at various stages of the property process; from upfront lead generation and nurturing to use by agents to communicate directly with clients during a property transaction.
In his field, Dominic Grace has always been renowned as a champion of innovation and technology. He stated: “I’m delighted to be both an investor in and advisor to Meet Parker. I’m hugely impressed by the founders’ dynamism, vision and focus on delivering a better journey for those seeking a mortgage, forming part of an exciting new era for a step-change improvement in making house buying less bureaucratic and intimidating.”
Freddie Savundra, the founder of Meet Parker, noted “Dom is one of the most respected players in the proptech sphere, with years of experience leading the Savills London residential team. His expertise and experience here will be invaluable as we look to enhance the client journey when buying a property.”
Savundra continued: “People buy houses, not mortgages. While our mortgage solution is a first to market, we are keen to enhance our lead nurturing and support tool in the property sector, helping connect Property Seekers with Agents and Developers, while helping Agents handle the volume of support enquiries, they receive by channelling requests through Parker. Dom is central to our vision here and we are looking forward to working with him going forward.”
AccuCities 3D mapping solution delivers on over 1,800 projects
AccuCities has now exceeded 1,800 projects for its growing database of clients, boasting a swathe of case studies to underpin its value. It provides amongst other services highly focused 3D models of cities such as London, for architects and related property and construction professionals.
Director Michal Konicek comments, “Setting up a completely privately-funded 3D mapping agency was incredibly daring … we entered a niche market already serviced by a variety of companies, without any governmental or Big Tech contract.”
AccuCities had a strong business plan and were well supported by early clients. And though in the early days finance was tight, Michal says that it forced them to be completely customer-oriented. “Our 5-star rating on Google is a testament to that,” Konicek says.
Now established in the London marketplace, the business is continuing to grow its library of model assets while supporting clients in numerous other regions.
The minute scale of AccuCities’ bespoke datasets and 3D models allows huge savings for planners, who do not need to physically map out the areas using traditional methods.
Welsh housing market may get protectionist taxation, deterring second homes
For as long as I have been in property, some areas of Wales have not liked the concept of outsiders owning properties in their communities. Rightly or wrongly, it helped local price inflation, making it difficult for ‘local’ people to buy locally.
At present, there is already a 100% extra community charge that second home buyers have to pay, but now the Welsh government is looking at stronger measures, headed up by Julie James, the Minister for Climate Change.
James said: “A high concentration of second homes or holiday lets can have a very detrimental impact on small communities, and in some areas could compromise the Welsh language being spoken at a community level… which means real and ambitious actions are delivered at pace, to inject fairness back into the housing system.”
If the capital of England took this stance, then London might not have so many non-domiciles buying prime property, and the question would be – is that good for the economy or is it sending the wrong message about our liberal society?
Also, prescriptive fixes allowing the young to buy locally is fiction. The next generation of locals often has to move away from an area to get on the housing ladder. This is housing economics, nothing more.
Solicitor steals almost £400,000 stamp duty money
HMRC was defrauded nearly £400,000 by Munpreet Singh Virdee, the principal of Reemans Solicitors in West London. In what was a protracted and calculated offence from 2012 to 2016, and included deception and the falsifying of documentation, he deliberately falsified figures to underpay tax on approximately 52 false returns. £235,000 of the stolen money has been refunded.
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.