BREAKING NEWS – top 5 stories 26/03/2021
RETAIL SALES ONLINE INCREASING FROM 20% LAST FEBRUARY TO 36% THIS FEBRUARY
As reported in the Times, the amount of the complete spend in retail increased to 36% via online shopping an increase of 16%, from the 20% headline figure last February.
Whilst real estate or estate agency may not see itself as in the retail sector, it is clear with over one third of people buying online, that a digital strategy is required by all agents. Many rely on portals to ‘sell or let’ their inventory, but many forget that their own website is their most efficient shop window, especially during lockdown.
SHAWBROOK BANK TO LAUNCH NEW PLATFORM TO FACILITATE SPEEDIER LOANS
A forward-thinking mortgage lender has been busy during lockdown doubling down on the problem of how to speed up the process of giving a thumbs up or down on a mortgage for a rental property. It claims this can be done in just two days, and is based of course on the latest technology and AVM – automated valuation model.
AVM’s have been around for two decades, but all of a sudden, they are becoming a really huge noise in the proptech sector. As the lending sector – forced by the inability to have surveys during lockdown, realises their latent value. Especially as advances in modelling and AI has moved on dramatically in the past four years. Soon we may have a property listed at 400K that is a 400K property, which means a mortgage could be pre-arranged.
That would cut out the ‘friction’ at offer stage and speed the buying in process. Speaking as an ex- agent of 30 years who spent decades answering calls from surveyors ‘looking for comps’ for a three-bed semi they are ‘valuing’, I think that an automated system based on a large data set is maybe far better than this approach.
FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY LAUNCHES NEW INIATIVE
The FCA are encouraging people to inform them of wrongdoing, promising protection for those who blow that whistle. This will of course cover anyone in the real estate ecosystem. The FCA have of late been called out over their low rate of dealing with problems in regulated companies.
HOWSY LOOKING FOR FURTHER CROWD FUNDING TO KEEP AFLOAT
Howsy the lettings platform are looking for a further cash injection, and have apparently announced that they still do not think they will be at break-even for another two years. I am fully supportive of all enterprises that look to automate analogue systems.
But speaking as a founder of Proptech-PR a privately funded start up that launched in May 2020 during lockdown, who used my own cash, paid myself back all my start-up capital about £50,000 after five months – and now have a business that makes 55.7% gross profit pre-tax a month, I scratch my head why will it take nearly a decade for Howsy to ‘possibly’ break even? Maybe we should get on a call?
FIFTH OF LISTED PROPERTY NOW END OF CHAIN ON PORTALS
There has been an uptick to over 20% of the number of properties now being offered for sale, which are ‘no upward chain’. This may be a mix of landlord’s looking to sell stock and upgrade or get out of the market, but it also may mean that with high sale prices being achieved, a new sector of seller is coming to market. Those who will take a buyer then look to rent and but at a later date.
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.