Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Housing Market rallies

Further evidence of a resurgent housing market emerged today as lenders reported record levels of lending in January...
According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, gross mortgage lending totalled £23 billion in January - the highest January lending figure on record.
Although down by 14 per cent on December's £26.9 billion, January's total was still nearly a third higher than the £17.4 billion lent in January 2005.
Lending typically weakens in January, said the CML, but January's figure is still strong and reflects consumer confidence in the market and the expectation that interest rates will remain stable.
Commenting on today's data, Michael Coogan, CML Director General said: "Mortgage lending in all categories has been strong in recent months. This reflects the fact that consumers are feeling more certain about the future of the housing market and confident that house prices are unlikely to fall.
"The interest rate outlook for the near future is for stable rates. Our recent figures show that the majority of new borrowers are taking out fixed-rate loans to provide payment certainty at affordable cost.
"The mortgage market looks set for continued steady growth against a backdrop of pretty positive economic conditions."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Home Builders Federation (HBF)want to "road test" Home Information packs

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is today calling for a "proper trial" of Home Information Packs to ensure that they deliver the consumer benefits that are intended.
Commenting on plans for compulsory Home Information packs to be introduced in June 2007, Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF says:
"We simply do not know what impact Home Information Packs will have on the housing market. While no-one could object to seeking improvements to benefit consumers, the cost of these packs could result in fewer homes coming on to the market. In the context of the current housing shortage, this would damage consumer interests most of all.
"I urge the Government to conduct a proper trial to road-test the packs. We need to ensure that consumers do not become the unintended losers of a scheme set up to serve their interests."
Stewart Baseley’s comments are made on the day that a group of estate agents, chartered surveyors and solicitors - representing over 1,650 offices in England and Wales - call for the Government to drop plans to introduce Home Information Packs. The Group states that the packs will be "detrimental to the consumer; could dislocate the property market and will fail to significantly improve the home buying process."
Last week, the Council of Mortgage Lenders published an open submission to the Government on the issue. "We conclude," it stated, "that there will be additional transaction costs for consumers as a result of Home Information Packs and that the industry is not confident that the process will be completed efficiently and cost-effectively


Property professionals tell government "You've got it wrong" over plans for compulsory Home Information Packs.

Bychoice Estate agents of Sudbury have linked up with a powerful group of estate agents, joined by chartered surveyors and solicitors has written to Housing Minister, Yvette Cooper MP calling on her to drop plans for the introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPs) in June 2007. The group say HIPs will be "detrimental to the consumer; could dislocate the property market and will fail to significantly improve the home buying process."

500 heads of firms representing over 1,650 offices in England and Wales are warning government that HIPs will cost home sellers and buyers over £600 million pounds every year in extra costs yet will fail to deal with the problems of delay, frustration and abortive cost in home buying.

The letter's signatories include household names such as Knight Frank and Savills, but it is not only top firms that are up in arms. Hundreds of smaller firms and local agents from all over the country, dealing in all price ranges, have signed up too. Todd Lewis MNAEA commented “this will hundreds of pounds to the cost of moving and add further delay in marketing”
London estate agent, Nick Salmon, a fellow of the National Association of Estate Agents leads the group and says that HIPs will have very serious consequences for the public.

"The government is about to con the consumer that HIPs is a magic cure for the problems incurred in home buying whereas in fact it will be an expensive disaster for everyone except the commercial enterprises that have set up to cash in on this new, annual billion pound market. There will be a 30% reduction in the number of properties put up for sale each year as sellers are deterred by the £700 to £1000 cost of a Pack. That reduction in supply will cause massive house price inflation."

"Buyers and sellers will be disappointed and angry to discover that the expensive HIP will leave them still facing most of the problems currently inherent in the property buying system including gazumping, gazundering, and chains. The government are forcing us over the edge of a precipice by pushing this through and it is the consumer who will pay. This is 'Prescott's Penalty' on the housing market and it must be stopped."

"We would all like to make home buying easier but the government is deaf to any constructive criticism levelled at HIPs. So now the property industry is coming together to protect the interests of the consumer and calls upon the Housing Minister to shelve the implementation."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

"Relocation Relocation" Needs House-hunters

Popular Channel 4 programme "Relocation Relocation" is back for a new series and Phil and Kirstie are on the lookout for participants...
Phil Spencer and Kirstie AllsoppThis time around Britain's most famous house-hunting duo need people who're planning a double property purchase: city pied a terre and country house retreat.
If you're planning on doing just that, imagine how much easier the whole process could be with lots of advice from professional relocaters plus assistance from a whole team of experienced researchers.
Filming will take place in the next few months so if you fancy a helping hand with your double property purchase call the team on 090 11 200 255 leaving a daytime contact number and some details of your search so far, or email: