BREAKING NEWS – top 5 stories 12/04/2021
72% INCREASE IN SALES AGREED IN MARCH 2021 VERSUS MARCH 2020
There are many agents now stating openly that there is not enough inventory to sell and also that heated bidding wars are breaking out on key properties in prime areas.
According to TwentyEA data 162,000 sales were agreed in March 2021. That is a 72% increase in sales, against the volume sold over the same month last year, just prior to Lockdown 1.0.
This sounds like a great market, but although it definitely is a vendors market, if these people can not see a property to move to the market may become moribund.
Add to this that the country is today going through the next stage of ‘opening up’ it will be interesting to see where the market goes prior to the usual lull in late June when holidays typically slow the house selling cycle down.
REVIEW INTO CONDUCT OF RICS STALLS AS KEY PERSON BAILS OUT
The alleged problems at RICS, revolving around the way it conducts itself professionally have been compounded with the Chair of an investigative review Peter Oldham standing down. This means that the findings which were likely to be given in April have now been pushed back to June at the earliest. A new barrister and QC are now in play.
Given that the events that triggered all of this happened in 2018, all of this is doing little to help the image of RICS, which is presently gazing inward and looking at its purpose, many are keen to see what revelations if any will follow.
CHANCELLORS CONTINUES ORGANIC GROWTH
Often not on the media radar, solidly performing Chancellor’s has just opened a new branch in Fleet, Hampshire, and has announced they will be opening a cold start office in Basingstoke. I must admit a connection here, having in a former life dallied with working with this company.
Which meant dealing with young Darren Simpson the key engine, (Operations Director) he certainly runs a very efficient and modern agency, and they have in recent years opened branches in some key strategic areas including Windsor, which is of course very much in focus given the passing of Prince Phillip.
ROB HAILSTONE CONTINUES WITH HIS CALL TO MODERNISE CONVEYANCING
Rob Hailstone, who I have a lot of time for is publically looking via writing in the Property Industry Eye today, to elevate the debate how can conveyancing be a quicker proposition?
In answer to that, until the whole way in which the legal profession conducts its business, and specifically the process of moving the title from one party to the next is changed, nothing will change. I think you need to add ‘changing gatekeeper mindsets’ to the list Rob.
In fact for well over a decade you have been advocating the modernisation of the sector and that tells you the problem, many senior partners do not want to innovate – the cost, and conveyancing despite the ‘big players’ is like estate agency, very much a cottage industry, with a huge flank of small businesses catering for the 1.4M agreed sales a year that become the 1.1M completions.
The other arc that needs to be dealt with is of course the lender the mortgagees, these are the prime movers in this battle. Conveyancing though primarily for the ‘client’ in reality is majoritively there to ensure that if finance is in play the lender will not at a future date sue a conveyancer for ‘getting it wrong’.
Speaking as a person who is dealing with a number of key people in the legal sector and the proptech sector all wanting to put the process on roller skates, the view I formulate is that there is very little interest by the legal profession to change.
If anyone takes the time to read the major legal publications including Legal futures, Conveyancing Today, Law Society Gazette and of course The Bold Legal group, which I look at daily, with my journalist/Editor/analyst hats it is not the articles or updates that are indicative of this – ‘no change here policy’ it is the comments that those in the legal profession make – that are very telling.
Maybe change will come when the 25-year-old graduates in the legal system are 45 and are in positions of power, these tech natives will for sure being doing legals in a 2040 digital manner as their brains will be hardwired to this approach.
THE COST OF PRIVATE RENTING ALMOST £1,000 A MONTH
In a recent analysis, the Homelet Rental index stated that the average national rent now stood at £992, which is nudging the £1,000 a month mark. There are of course regional variations, but in a country with many in rent arrears, the underlying rental market appears to be in rude health.
The true condition of the PRS will be seen when court actions and repossessions come back into view and a more ‘real’ view of the housing landscape can be seen.
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.