BREAKING NEWS – top 5 stories 23/06/2021

CONNELLS & YOTI IN TIE UP OVER DIGITAL IDENTIFICATION

YOTI who specialise in a digital solution to identifying an individual, so that everyone can deal with that person knowing they are actually doing so, have recently acquired Connells as a client.

Though I must disclose that YOTI are a client of my company Proptech-PR, having seen a number of digital solutions around being the definitive ‘truth’ of ID verification, and being a part of numerous committees and programmes wrestling with this difficult topic. Robin Tombs’ company YOTI has in my opinion the best solution.

For anyone who has not seen what it does, and the technology it is based upon, please take the time to find out more. Given the huge amount of duplication in the real estate sector, with various stakeholders needing to verify a buyer or seller, landlord or tenant, mortgage or conveyancing client, the list goes on, YOTI https://www.yoti.com/ is going to be the trusted partner.

NATHAN EMERSON CEO PROPERTYMARK UNVEILS NEW CRM AND DIGITAL FUTURE

Propertymark have just unveiled their new CRM which will enhance its ability to service its member clients, and it is looking very much at the way technology will knit together with the needs of the modern property professional.

In my opinion Nathan Emerson has put Propertymark on a new and enlightened digital pathway, that will enhance the value to its membership. His inclusive and listening policy, together with his insight into traditional agency, and the needs of agents to adapt to a less analogue age, where clients are digital natives expecting service at a faster rate, and via multi-channels, is winning hearts and minds.

SEARCH SMARTLY RAISES 1.25M IN FUNDING

Based in Shoreditch SearchSmartly a solution based on artificial intelligence, which looks to help the property consumer ‘do property’ in a quicker more intelligent way, has just received a sizeable amount of funding. The company CEO is Tahar Dar.

Empowering the UX for end clients has always been at the heart of the SearchSmartly proposition, a deeper dive into what the client really wants, means better ‘searching’ enhanced matching of tenant or buyer with property, wins for all.

ONE WEEK TO GO TO SDLT DEADLINE

With the end of Stamp Duty Holiday just around the corner, many agents have experienced a frenzy of action as buyers push to get their transaction over the line. Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, says that as expected, agents and buyers are rushed off their feet and doing their utmost to ensure that they are able complete their property transaction before the cut off at the end of June.

Buyers and agents driving hard

According to Guild Member, Suzanne Vincent, Founder of Urban Village Homes in Denmark Hill, South East London, buyers in her area are driving sales hard, chasing their lenders and solicitors, reviewing legal documents quickly, and hand delivering signed papers.

“In cases where information is incomplete and not essential to the lender or purchase; buyers are ‘taking a view’ and cracking on with the purchase anyway. Even though many solicitors are overwhelmed with sales the efficiency and pragmatic approach of buyers is genuinely helping achieve the timeline,” she says.

Lucy Watson, Director of Borron Shaw Estate Agents in Wigan, St Helens, Orrell, Hindley and the surrounding areas, exclaims: “Wow, what a frenzy and we aren’t even there yet.  We have had tears of joy and tears of pain. We have battled through the last months to get some of our high value homes over the line and are riding the emotional roller coaster with our clients.”

She adds, “we have encountered a number of interesting situations from clients threatening to pull out of deals to clients offering to live together. It really has been stressful for all, but we hope that come 30th June we can hand on heart say we have done all we can for our clients.”

Vincent says that while none of her buyers have asked to renegotiate, but some have indicated they would pull out of the deal. “Hopefully, this won’t be the case and we will be able to get everyone through exchange and completion before the deadline. The solicitors are pulling out all the stops, us agents are helping where we can, sourcing missing documents and gathering third party information, such as missing guarantees etc. I have heard of solicitors working late into the evenings and all weekends – it’s intense!”

Demand remains high

Despite the looming deadline demand seems as strong as ever. According to Adam Mackay from Mackay Property in Sawbridgeworth, there has been no signs of slowing down in his local market.

“Demand for homes is very strong, particularly in the £500,000 to £1.5 million price range. This is spurred on by the trend of buyers wanting to move to homes with bigger gardens and home office space,” he comments.

According to Vincent, her office has also not really seen any level of demand dropping. “The original stamp duty holiday was extended by three months, so the first ‘rush to buy’ happened in lockdown and the extension had seen limited new sales as the three-month sales line would be tight, especially if the buyer or sellers were in a chain. So, the second rush has been steadier, and we are seeing sales from the original stamp duty holiday spill over into the new June deadline; largely those in chains or delayed due to EWS1 certificates, which have delayed many movers,” Vincent notes. “We have also seen an influx of first-time buyers taking advantage of the help to buy ISA and 5% deposit. Houses with nice gardens, home office space and proximity to parks are like gold dust!”

Edward Chelton Brown, Director of Chelton Brown Lettings and Sales in Northampton, says that it has been a busy six months in the area with a record number of transactions taking place and more in the pipeline than they have seen since the change in stamp duty back in 2016. He adds that the new found demand has also driven prices up by as much as 10% in the same time period, growth that they have not seen since 2006!

The high levels of demand are not localised to England. Lisa Butler from Knights Estate Agents in Wales says that the Land Transaction Tax deadline at the end of the month has influenced buyer’s behaviour with demand being very high. “We are finding that properties are selling within 24 hours of going onto the market, with some properties going over the asking price. We have a lot of first-time buyers trying to find their first home and a high demand in investors looking for a buy-to-let,” she adds.

What will happen after the deadline?

Mackay says that as with many other regions, his area is experiencing low levels of stock and high demand. “If this continues, I feel it will remain a seller’s market for the remainder of the year,” he notes. “I feel the confidence is there in the marketplace that prices are not going down. While money remains cheap to borrow, I feel the confidence will remain.”

Vincent says: “Steady sales, there may be a return to buy to let as many landlords have had to sell due to the heavy taxation, resulting in negative rent equity. There are lots of tenants looking for good properties, so now may be the time to invest in buy to let, if structured correctly; there is a gap in the market.”

CHANCELLORS SIGNS UP TO NEW FIVE YEAR AGREEMENT WITH ZOOPLA

Chancellors have renewed their ties with Zoopla, it has just been announced.

 

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.

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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