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This Month's Property Sector News Highlights...

 

Right To Rent App makes checks fair & simple for LME Move's landlords & tenants alike

The 1st of February 2016 marks a critical day for residential landlords throughout England. It is from this date onwards that all landlords will be legally responsible for checking that all new tenancies issued for their properties are only made to persons legally entitled to reside within England. Failure to do so may result in offending landlords being hit by a £3,000 fine for every instance where an illegal tenant is found in-situ.

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Coming soon - LME Move's landlords' Buy-To-Let mortgage & re-mortgage service

Nationwide property services supplier and co-ordination hub LME Move has announced its intended collaboration with a well respected FCA authorised and regulated group of independent financial advisers and whole of market mortgage consultants earlier this week.

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Buy or sell property sector businesses with LM Expert's newest service launch

Following several months of consultancy and planning, January 2016 saw the unveiling of one of LM Experts newest service additions for property professionals.The LM Experts property sector sales and acquisitions service is set to assist Directors of property related companies to locate opportunities to buy or sell Ltd Companies, business opportunities, property portfolios, client followings and associated property sector undertakings.

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LM Experts launches exclusive e-book, 'How to survive the war on UK Buy-To-Let landlords

Today LM Experts announced that its exclusive e-book, 'How to survive the war on UK Buy-To-Let landlords' is scheduled to be made available for priority download to all registered LM Experts Executive Club members. The insightful e-book and 'must have' insider guide pulls together expert views and survival tactics from some of the most well respected property and economic authorities around.

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Surrey’s property market is no Monkey business for Chinese buyers

February 8th sees the start of the new Chinese Year – this year the naughty Monkey takes over from the staid Sheep. The Chinese New Year also heralds the start of Golden Week in which many Chinese nationals take a week off, often overseas, to celebrate the start of their New Year.

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London falls from the top 10 European cities for property investment

For the first time since 2012, London has slipped out of the top 10 best cities in Europe for property investment to 15th place as a result of high prices and a crunch on yields. Berlin and Hamburg came out on top in 1st and 2nd place, while Birmingham was 6th according to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate report by PwC and the Urban Land Institute.

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Sprinklers for converted and new Welsh homes affect landlords as of 1st January 2016

A new law requiring that all new and converted homes in Wales be fitted with sprinklers has come into force, the first of its kind anywhere in the world. CFOA Vice-President Dave Etheridge attended an event at the Welsh Senedd on January 12th to celebrate the introduction of the new law. The event was hosted by Ann Jones AM, who was one of the key drivers behind the campaign to see the legislation introduced.

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Affordability in the UK housing market has got worse and worse

Yesterday I watched the UK Prime Minister David Cameron on BBC television as he made various claims about “affordable housing”. The BBC itself summarised it thus. There should be both affordable housing for rent and to buy, Mr Cameron said, but “a shift towards more affordable housing to buy” was needed. If this is to be the new government policy then it will represent an even larger U-Turn than the recent one on tax credits. This is because as I have covered frequently on here it has been government and Bank of England policy to drive house prices higher for quite some time now. Also along the way the Prime Minister contradicted the speech given by Chancellor George Osborne on Friday and which I analysed then.

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Latest report from Kate Faulkner: Housing and Planning Bill: Good, bad and ugly!

Latest report from Kate Faulkner: Housing and Planning Bill: Good, bad and ugly! According to the government, the Housing & Planning Bill will “transform generation rent into generation buy”. Is there any truth to this claim? Well, I've taken a look at the impact this bill is really going to have - the good, bad and ugly bits!

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35 year mortgage repayment terms fast becoming the norm

A 35 year repayment term is fast becoming the norm for a first time buyer taking out a mortgage according to the FT. This comes after reports that there were more than 300,000 first time buyers last year. This is the second year on the spin where the 300,000 mark has been passed.

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Could State Aid Law protect Buy-to-Let Landlords?

The Guardian and The Telegraph have posted articles in the last week picking up the quandary of buy-to-let landlords. By a combination of changes in the summer budget and autumn statement, the previously lucrative venture whereby landlords would purchase property with the sole intention of renting has now been placed “in the red”. Landlords could previously claim tax relief on mortgage interest payments at the marginal rate, but from April 2017 to 2020, this will gradually be reduced to 20% (the ‘Clause 24’ change). “Wear and tear allowance” previously allowed landlords to deduct 10% from rental profits, but from April 2016 will only be granted for costs actually incurred. Meanwhile, George Osborne used the autumn statement to increase stamp duty on purchases of buy-to-let and second homes by 3%.

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Document warned Government before storms that homes at risk of flooding will double

Many of Britain’s flood defences are being abandoned or maintained to minimal levels because of government cuts that could leave almost twice as many households at “significant risk” within 20 years, according to a leaked document submitted to ministers. The paper, written by the body representing all major organisations responsible for flood defences, was presented to ministers on 30 November last year – days before Cumbria was hit by the heaviest rainfall recorded in 24 hours in Britain. It was then discussed by floods minister Rory Stewart and Oliver Letwin, the cabinet office minister leading the government’s flooding review.

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Help to Buy helps more than 60,000 people onto the property ladder

The Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme helped more than 60,000 people onto the property ladder in Q3 2015, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Showing an annual increase of 4%, 81% of the purchases were made by first-time buyers, with 50,969 being first properties. Andy Frankish, NewHomes director at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said the scheme continues to reach its target audience of first-time buyers and commented on the new dedicated Help to Buy scheme for first-time buyers London.

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Landlord tax grab? Possible Judicial Review re legality of Clause 24 Finance Act 2015?

Researchers from a landlord tax campaign group, who joined forces via the Property118 online forum, believe they have located the source documents behind the discriminatory taxation policies targeting private landlords which are being implemented by Chancellor George Osborne. The landlord tax grab, which will make the housing crisis worse, was proposed by David Kingman, a non-economist, in a deeply flawed report which he wrote in 2013, the year he left university with a degree in – Geography!

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Why should you rent to DSS tenants?

With the rising number of people claiming benefits, there is a great demand for rental properties within the private sector. However, there are not many landlords prepared to consider DSS tenants, even if it means their properties will remain empty for another month(s) to come. While there are concerns, which are stopping some landlords from letting to benefit claiming tenants, there are also advantages, for those landlords who are willing to put stereotypes aside.

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Lead Galaxy has launched the first ever student property investment comparison portal

Dedicated to the booming student housing sector, www.StudentProperty.Investments allows investors to search and compare dozens of student accommodation investment opportunities.The site’s stripped down interface makes it easy to locate the newest and best opportunities in the sector.

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Growing numbers of young professionals demand luxury city-centre living in Liverpool

Knight Frank’s latest Prime Country View report highlighted the rise of urban prime in the UK over the past decade. According to the report, prime property values in town and city markets have jumped 26% since 2005, compared to just 7% for rural properties. Whilst rural homes languish at 13% below their 2007 peak, prime city residences have now exceeded their former peak by 3%.

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Feliz Navidad: Have yourself a sunny little Spanish Christmas!

There are many reasons to own a second home in Spain and at this time of year, with the weather closing in in the UK, one of the most tantalising Spanish draws is undoubtedly the weather. But the weather isn’t the only reason that second home buyers look to Spain over the winter months, as Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director for leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España, explains,

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ONS latest house price index published

Average mix-adjusted house prices in October 2015 reached £300,000 in England and stood at £174,000 in Wales, £196,000 in Scotland and £158,000 in Northern Ireland (Figure 7). In October 2015, London continued to be the English region with the highest average house price at £531,000 and the North East had the lowest average house price at £158,000. London, the South East and the East all had prices higher than the UK average price of £287,000. Excluding London and the South East, the average UK mix-adjusted house price was £217,000

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3% surcharge on Scottish Land & Building Transaction Tax for second homes & buy-to-let

In yesterday’s Budget, John Swinney, finance minister for Scotland, matched the move made by Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement and introduced a 3% surcharge on Land and Building Transaction Tax (LBTT, Scotland’s equivalent to stamp duty) for purchases of second homes and buy-to-let property.

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Bank of England could rein in the Buy To Let market

The Bank's governor, Mark Carney, said he was concerned about high levels of lending to landlords and that the Bank would take action. "There are a number of things happening ... we are watching it closely and we will take action," he told the FT. Mr Carney said the problem was that investors might sell their properties at the same time if house prices fell.

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Why war on Buy To Let market will make the housing crisis worse

Landlords sighed with relief at the Conservative victory in the General Election in May. Faced with the threat of rent controls from the Labour Party, they had looked forward to a government that accepted the importance of the rental market, and supported its development while properly targeting the crooks renting out sub-standard accommodation. But these last six months have felt like a sustained assault on the very foundations of the buy-to-let market.

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Purplebricks starts trading on London's junior market under the ticker PURP.L.

Shares are currently trading down on the AIM market, at 96.5p, down six per cent from an opening price of 104.5p. The 240m ordinary shares were placed at 100p each, with proceeds of £25m and giving the company a market cap of £240.3m.

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By 2025 the average UK house price will be £419,000

Just when you thought the housing market couldn’t get hotter: the average London house price is set to reach £931,000 by 2025. UK house prices are set to rise by 50 per cent, while rents will increase by more than 25 per cent by 2025, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) joint housing 2025 report.

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UK house price index is 18.7% higher than the pre-economic downturn peak of 2008

These are the two words which must not be mentioned along the lines of the rules of Fight Club in UK inflation measurement. We get to see why just by observing the numbers they provide. On a seasonally adjusted basis, average house prices increased by 0.8% between September and October 2015……UK house prices increased by 7.0% in the year to October 2015, up from 6.1% in the year to September 2015.

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Don't get burnt when buying, selling or inheriting property in Spain

Mr. Rainyday and Mr. Blueskies were catching up over a beer in Barcelona on a sunny Friday morning. Mr. Rainyday had barely taken a sip of his beer before he was on his pet topic — complaining about Spain, his and Mr. Blueskies’ adopted home as of a few years ago.

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It’s a Hat Trick for Churchill Retirement Living

Retirement housebuilder, Churchill Retirement Living is celebrating three major awards wins for the business. The developer has been crowned ‘Most Outstanding Retirement Operator’ at the UK Over 50s Housing Awards.

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The year the world moved to Berlin

25 years ago, the world watched in wonder as the first pieces of the Berlin wall came down and the broken city began a long healing process to make it whole once more. Now, no longer content to view this vibrant city from afar, it seems the world has decided to move to Berlin!.

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High-tech holiday homes, at your command from 2,000 miles away!

The modern age could be said to be defined by connectivity: social media has made a multitude of interactions commonplace, Wi-Fi in public places is becoming increasingly the norm, Google is now the go-to for providing the answer to any debate. And this connectedness is now extending its reach to the modern day home.

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10 years on, the overseas property market resets itself

Over the past decade, the landscape of the overseas property market has changed vastly. Property entrepreneur and Founding Director of Ideal Homes Portugal and Ideal Homes International Chris White has been selling property through the good times and the bad. After a turbulent 10 years, he believes the overseas property market has finally reset itself – and that now is the time to look to the future.

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Landlords in Scotland must install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms by 1st December 2015

An average house in the region now costing £312,242 – nearly 11 times the local average salary of £29,037.

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South East average house prices now £312,242 – nearly 11 times the local average salary

The National Housing Federation’s Home Truths 2015/16 Report has shown that South East house prices now top the table outside London, with an average house in the region now costing £312,242 – nearly 11 times the local average salary of £29,037.

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WhatHouse? Awards 2015 winners

Redrow has retained its Best Large Housebuilder Gold from last year, with the WhatHouse? Awards 2015 celebrity host David Walliams presenting the plaque to chief executive John Tutte.

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Kate Faulkner of Property Checklists view on the Autumn Statement

The economy: Strong economic forecasts over the next five years for the country of growth between 2.3% and 2.5% are expected and are being driven in a healthy way via business investment and a growth in exports, not just consumer spending.

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No fools gold in Manchester - business is booming for property lawyers

Mary Nowell shares her thoughts on the North West legal marketplace where business is booming for property lawyers. A survey by polling organisation YouGov found that Manchester should be the 
UK’s second capital city. That’s probably not a surprise to many people but it’s just more evidence that the future of the North West 
legal scene looks very bright.

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Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law - why all the legal changes in the private rented sector?

New legislation is a welcome attempt to deal with problems that have been affecting the private rented sector for years, but does it go far enough, asks Tessa Shepperson

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Is the 3% rise in Stamp Duty a nail in the coffin for BTL?

In today's Autumn Statement, George Osborne announced a 3% increase in stamp duty for buy-to-let properties and second homes from April next year. Speaking, Osborne said that "more and more homes are being bought as buy-to-lets or second homes", and that many of them are cash purchases that aren’t affected by the restrictions introduced in the Budget on mortgage interest relief.The news has been criticised by the industry, with Brad Bamfield, CEO of Joint Equity, describing the announcement as another nail in the coffin of buy-to-let investing".

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