Thursday, 17 August 2017

Homelessness Reduction Act To Commence From April Next Year

The government has set aside £61m to distribute between councils to fund the new responsibilities they will face under the act, including intervening at an earlier stage to prevent homelessness and an expected increase in reviews when a person is not deemed to be priority need. But peers and housing experts have warned £61m will not cover the increased costs councils will face. In a letter to councils, homelessness minister Marcus Jones said the formula for how the funding will be distributed is being finalised and allocations will be announced in the autumn with the first payments expected to be made in the winter. Read more on Inside Housing.

Study Shows Social Benefit Of Housing Investment

Research carried out by Housing Plus Group has revealed that local communities benefit by up to £11 for every £1 invested in affordable housing and retirement living accommodation. The group has placed a value on the social return on investment for some of its major development projects, taking into account factors such as increased support for village schools and shops as well as reduced pressure on overstretched health services. Some of the most significant social return on investment was recorded in areas around new Extra Care communities. Read more on the Housing Plus website.

Include Rent Payments in Credit Scores

Rent payments should be included when calculating credit scores to support tenants wanting to buy a home of their own. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) found that 61 per cent of landlords would support such a move. At present, credit rating agencies do not routinely include rent payment history when calculating credit scores. This means a tenant can find it difficult to access a mortgage, even if they have a long history of rent being paid in full and on time. Including rent payment in this way would also support landlords, providing them with a more accurate assessment of a prospective tenant’s credit and rent payment history. Read more on the RLA website.

First-Time Buyer Activity Continues To Grow In June

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, UK Finance data shows that mortgage lending in June rose:
  • First-time buyers borrowed £5.9bn, up 26% on the previous month and 9% on June 2016.
  • Home movers borrowed £7.8bn, up 26% on May and 15% year-on-year.
  • Home-owner remortgage activity totalled £6bn, up 5% by value on May and 7% on a year ago.
  • Gross buy-to-let totalled £3.0bn, up 3% on May and up 3% compared to June 2016.

Read more on the UK Finance website.

UK House Price Growth Slows

Growth in UK house prices rose at a slower pace in June, yet remains close to the 5% average rate seen this year, with the slowest increases coming in London and the north-east.  The average UK house price rose by £2,000 in June to £223,000 compared with the previous month, almost £10,000 higher than a year ago, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While the annual growth rate has slowed since the middle of last year following the vote to leave the EU, prices are still outstripping increases in inflation and wages, at 4.9% in the year to June, down from 5% in May. Read more on the Guardian website.

Some Right To Buy Owners Now ‘Property Millionaires’

Research shows hundreds of ex-council tenants had the opportunity to become millionaires – at least, those buying at the right time in London had that opportunity. Figures show that the average amount paid for a home in the capital in 1996 was £79,000 but that by 2016 it had soared to almost £489,000. And social housing tenants could receive a discount back then on their purchase depending on how long they had lived in the property – up to 60% for house and 70% for a flat. In a Clarendon Place, Westminster – a three-bedroom flat was bought for £180,000 in 1995 and is still owned by the same person. Similar properties in the block have sold recently for £2.25m and £1.8m. Read more on 24housing.

Councils Have Whitehall Support Ensuring Safety Of Private High-Rises

The Government will support councils in taking action against private sector building owners who do not cooperate with councils in ensuring the safety of high-rise buildings from fire. Sajid Javid wrote to council chief executives responding to concerns voiced earlier by local authorities that they were in the dark about the safety of privately owned buildings because they did not have access to the relevant information. Mr Javid reminded councils that councils do have the power to ask landlords to take necessary action to ensure that their buildings are safe and can ultimately carry out any necessary work themselves and then charge the landlord for it. Read more on the LocalGov website.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Tenants Face Dwindling Supply Of Housing

Private sector tenants face a perfect storm with the supply of homes to rent set to fall as demand increases. According to a survey of almost 3,000 landlords published today, 22 per cent plan to sell at least one of their properties over the next year, with just 18 per cent planning to buy additional properties to rent. The new data, published in the Residential Landlord Association’s (RLA) latest quarterly research report, finds also that 33 per cent of landlords have seen an increase in demand for homes to rent over the past three years. Read more on the RLA website.

'Home-Owning Hopelessness'

The Local Government Association said councils need powers and funding to create a mix of affordable housing options, both for renters hoping to save up for a deposit and those looking to buy. The latest English Housing Survey figures show there has been a noticeable increase in the amount of renters that say that affordability will stop them from owning their own home. In 2008/9, the proportion of this group was 56 per cent, compared to 70 per cent in 2015/6. The LGAis also concerned that:
·         One in five (21 per cent) private renters are dissatisfied with their tenure
·         With the average homebuyer expected to pay 7.6 times their annual wages for a home, many renters are locked out of the housing market.

Read more on the LGA website.

Report Reveals Scale of Acute Homelessness in Britain

Nearly 160,000 households, estimated at just under a quarter of a million people, are experiencing the worst forms of homelessness across Britain, with rough sleeping forecast to rise by 76 per cent in the next decade unless the governments in Westminster, Scotland and Wales take long-term action to tackle it. This is according to new expert analysis conducted for Crisis by Heriot-Watt University providing the most complete picture to-date of the worst forms of homelessness, including rough sleeping and sofa surfing, as well as 25-year forecasts for each category across England, Wales and Scotland. Read more on the Crisis website.

Mortgage Arrears Numbers Drop To Lowest Level Since 1994

Cases of mortgage arrears have fallen to their lowest levels in at least 23 years, banks and building societies have reported. The number of mortgages in arrears amounting to 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance declined to 88,200 in the second quarter of 2017, trade body UK Finance reported. This was the lowest level since at least 1994, when records started. The total was 5% lower than in the first quarter and amounted to 0.8% of the more than 11 million mortgages outstanding in the UK. Read more on the Belfast Telegraph website.

‘Political Uncertainty' Blamed For Slowdown In UK Property Market

The property market has ground to a halt, with activity back to 2011 levels in some parts of the UK, according to the official surveyors’ body, which blamed “political uncertainty” and forecast flat prices and rents for at least the next year. A large majority of surveyors in both London and south-east England are reporting falling prices, though the national picture is balanced by price rises in the West Midlands, the south-west and Northern Ireland. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors ( Rics) said: “Record low stock numbers, political uncertainty and the aftermath of tax changes are obstacles hindering the UK housing market, with price growth and sales activity subdued during the month of July.” Read more on the Rics website.

Stamp Duty Is Making The Housing Crisis Worse

Stamp duty is making the housing crisis worse because it is deterring older homeowners from downsizing, it has been claimed. A report by the London School of Economics and the VATT Institute for Economic Research claimed that the rate of home moving would be 27 per cent higher if the levy was completely abolished. It identified both younger and older homeowners moving in different directions on the housing ladder as the victims of high stamp duty costs - leaving many to stay put in unsuitable homes that are either too small for a growing family, or too big for pensioners. Read more on the Daily Mail website.

Tenants Don’t Have Much Faith In Private Rented Sector

People renting a home in the UK feel that not enough is being done to help them onto the housing ladder with those in London forced to rent because of the high price of property, new research suggests. Some 67% of UK adults, 34.4 million people, feel the Government is out of touch with the wants and needs of tenants and 49% in London can find a better home to rent than they could afford to buy. Overall nationwide some 39% choose to rent so they can live in a nicer property than they could have any chance of buying, according to a survey by virtual letting agency LetBritain. Read more on the Property Wire website.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Landlords Losing Confidence In Rental Profits

Landlords are losing confidence in their ability to rely on steady rental yields, according to recent figures from the NLA. The figures show that the proportion of landlords who are optimistic about their ability to rely on a steady rental yield has fallen 15 per cent in the past two years – down from 64 per cent in Q2 2015 to just under half (49 per cent) in Q2 2017.  However, the sentiment contrasts with actual rental yields achieved across the UK, which have remained fairly stable. Over the past few years, the average yield has fluctuated around the 6 per cent mark. Read more on the NLA website.

MPs Urge Government To Delay Universal Credit Rollout

David Gauke, the work and pensions secretary, has been urged by 31 MPs to delay the expansion of the new universal credit benefit system to stop their constituents suffering severe hardship over Christmas. The group has called on the government to put off the latest rollout of universal credit until the new year, because people would not be able to afford delays to their first benefit payments over the festive period. Ministers are planning to accelerate the introduction of universal credit to about 50 new areas. But the 31 MPs, whose constituencies will be affected, said it would cause misery for thousands of new claimants who may not get their first payments for up to seven weeks after applying. Read more on the Observer website.

Government Recommit To Help To Buy

The government has come out in support of the Help to Buy scheme, with reports circling they could be looking to close it down. The statement from the CLG says: “We remain committed to the Help to Buy equity loan scheme to 2021, ensuring it continues to support homebuyers and stimulate housing supply. The government also recognise the need to create certainty for prospective home owners and developers beyond 2021, so will work with the sector to consider the future of the scheme.” Read more on 24housing.

UK Housebuilders' Shares Slump On "Help To Buy" Worries

Shares in British homebuilders have slumped after an article in trade publication Property Week cast doubt over the future of the government's "Help to Buy" scheme which is aimed at boosting home ownership among first-time buyers. The article said the government had begun a review of the scheme which could result in it being wound down or replaced before its scheduled end in April 2021. A spokesman for Britain's planning ministry said the "Help to Buy" equity loan scheme was regularly reviewed. "To infer from that that it will be cancelled is incorrect," the spokesman said. Read more on the Reuters website.

Big Rise In Families Sucked Into The Benefit Cap

Government figures show a huge jump in the number of households hit by the benefit cap since it was lowered in November 2016, with many areas of the country seeing more than a threefold rise.  The number of households capped nationally rose by 240% (from 20,096 to 68,079). Some places which had small numbers of households capped until the cap was lowered have also seen dramatic increases. The impact of the cap has spread far beyond London: before the cap was lowered, the capital accounted for 40% of capped households but now accounts for 23%. Read more on the Child Poverty Action Group website.

£65 Million Government Support For UK's Largest Build To Rent Site

The biggest development of homes built specifically for private rent in the UK is set to receive a £65 million boost from the government, Housing Minister Alok Sharma has announced. The deal will help to unlock over 7,600 new, high quality homes at the Wembley Park development in Brent, London – one of the largest strategic regeneration projects in the country. At least 6,800 of these homes will be for rent. It will offer more choice for Londoners and comes as the government confirmed widespread support for its proposals to open up the choice of rental properties on the market, to help those currently priced out. Read more on the GovUK website.

Landlords Cut Back On Renting To Young People

Younger people will have more difficulty finding rented accommodation in coming months as a substantial proportion of landlords actively cut back on renting to under-35s. Although nearly all landlords are willing to rent to under-35s, nearly a third are changing their letting strategy, mostly to ensure that they have security of rent payment. These are the findings of research involving nearly 2,000 mostly individual private landlords. The research found that 79 per cent of landlords who let to under-35s cited the higher risk of rent arrears as a reason for reducing the numbers in this category that they took on as tenants. Read more on the RLA website.

Grenfell Tower: Sixty Blocks 'Fail New Fire Test'

Cladding and insulation used in at least 60 tower blocks will be deemed to have failed a new fire safety test. The test was more thorough than previous checks after the Grenfell Tower fire, which only tested cladding. The new test checked the cladding in combination with the foam insulation that was used in Grenfell. Nine blocks in Salford are the only local authority-owned buildings so far known to be affected. Local Government Association chairman Lord Porter said buildings owned by housing associations and private sector landlords will also be on the list. Read more on the BBC website.

Consultation On Assessing Local Housing Need Delayed

The CLG has confirmed the consultation on assessing local housing need has been delayed until Parliament returns in September. Speaking at the Local Government Association (LGA) conference, communities secretary Sajid Javid said the government would launch a consultation on a new way for councils to assess their local housing requirements in July. This was first announced in the housing white paper in February. Now, a spokesperson at the CLG has confirmed that the department “intends to publish the local housing need consultation when Parliament returns in September”. Read more on the Planning Portal website.

Council To Let Associations Bid For RTB Receipts

Housing associations are invited to bid for the £16m pot – as long as it is spent on easing Hackney council’s 12,000-plus waiting list. Councils have just three years to use any profit made from Right to Buy sales, any longer and it is handed over to government – with interest. The money can only be used on housing, and can fund up to 30% of any new development, the rest of which has to be funded elsewhere. The council has so far managed to plough all £45m of its receipts back into its huge estate regeneration, building 3,000 homes, but is now running out of ways to spend it before the three-year cut off. Read more on 24housing.

One In Five High-Street Estate Agents Risk Going Bust

One in five UK estate agents are at risk of going out of business amid a growth in online companies, new research shows. Almost 5,000 estate agents are showing signs of “financial distress”, said accountancy firm Moore Stephens. Traditional companies are likely to have higher property and staff costs and are struggling to compete with low-cost, fixed-fee online agents, said the report. The growth in property websites has also undermined the role of estate agents, it suggested. The study follows a slump in profits announced last week at two of the UK’s biggest estate agents. Read more on the Guardian website.

Councils Losing £6.7m In Universal Credit Arrears

A new survey from the NFA and ARCH has revealed the total shortfall in rent from tenants claiming Universal Credit is £6.68m. That represents a significant chunk of the £68.5m total value of council rent arrears from landlords surveyed, despite Universal Credit claimants only making up 2.6% of tenants. A report accompanying the survey said the roll-out should be stopped or slowed “to prevent further distress and financial hardship to many families, as well as unprecedented levels of rent arrears and demand for support from landlords”. Almost three-quarters of Universal Credit claimants – or 73% – were in arrears, owing an average of £772.21, up from £611.73 a year earlier. Read more on Inside Housing.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Lowest Number Of New Home Mortgages Approved For Nine Months

Banks approved the lowest number of new home mortgages for nine months in June. Banks gave the greenlight to 40,200 house purchases in June, down from 40,287 in May. That is the lowest level for new home mortgage approvals since September - when approvals slumped to 38,893. Gross mortgage borrowing was for June was relatively in line with the previous month at £13 billion, versus £13.2 billion in May, but marked a 6% jump from levels tracked for June 2016. Analysts are now expecting a further slowdown in the housing market, which has already shown signs of cooling.  Read more on the Belfast Telegraph website.

New High Street Lender Offers Shared Ownership Mortgages

Virgin Money, which has more than four million customers following its acquisition of part of the stricken Northern Rock chain in 2012, has announced the launch of the product. Currently, only a minority of high street lenders offer mortgages on shared ownership products, which has been seen as a potential barrier to the development of the tenure despite political backing. The new shared ownership mortgages from Virgin are offered at 85% and 90% loan-to-value and will initially be available through specialist intermediary partners for properties in London, the South East and the South West, with the intention to broaden availability over time. Read more on Inside Housing.

Leaseholds On New-Build Houses In England To Be Banned

Builders are to be banned by the government from selling houses as leasehold in England and ground rents on flats could be cut to zero following widespread outrage over exploitative contracts. In a blow for major housebuilders the communities secretary, Sajid Javid, will set out plans to “ban new-build houses being sold as leasehold as well as restricting ground rents to as low as zero”. Flats can be continued to be sold as leasehold, but ground rents will be restricted to a “peppercorn” level and therefore be of little financial value to speculative buyers. The ban is expected to come into force after an eight-week consultation period. Read more on the Guardian website.

Hardship Payments Available Immediately To Homeless JSA Claimants

From October 2017, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants who are homeless will have immediate access to hardship payments if their benefit is reduced because of a sanction. Universal Credit claimants who are homeless and have received a sanction already have immediate access to hardship payments. However, JSA claimants currently have to wait two weeks. The regulations will cover eligible claimants who are homeless, suffering from a mental impairment, including a mental health condition, and their partners. People who are pregnant, lone parents, and people with long term physical health conditions can already access hardship payments immediately. Read more on Homeless Link.

Councils House Secondary School's Worth Of Homeless Children Each Month

The Local Government Association said latest figures show councils are currently providing temporary housing for 120,540 children with their families, which is a net increase of 32,650 (37 per cent) since the second quarter of 2014, an average of 906 extra children every month. There are 946 pupils in an average secondary school. Placements in temporary accommodation can present serious challenges for families – from parents’ employment and health to children’s ability to focus on school studies and form friendships. The LGA said the current situation is now unsustainable. Read more on the LGA website.

House Prices Set To Increase Up To 7%

House price growth across the UK’s biggest cities is set to be stronger this year than previously predicted, according to an index. Values across the 20 biggest cities are now expected by property analysts Hometrack to increase by 6 per cent to 7 per cent over the course of 2017, higher than its previous prediction of 4 per cent made in December 2016. Continued robust house price growth in large and vibrant regional cities, such as Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, despite uncertainty over Brexit, is behind the raised expectations. Read more on the Independent website.

Council Housing: Repairs and Maintenance – Parliamentary Written Answer

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what criteria will be used to access whether local authorities are able to afford the refurbishment costs associated with ensuring that their properties are safe.
Alok Sharma: It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that people are safe, and cost considerations should not get in the way of this. Where work is necessary to ensure the fire safety of social housing, we will ensure that lack of financial resources will not prevent it going ahead.

Not One Of London’s 20,000 Empty Homes Was Seized Last Year

Not one of London’s 20,000 empty homes was seized by town halls last year despite the housing crisis. Official figures showed that the number of properties taken back into use in 2016 was the lowest for more than a decade. Overall, 208 applications were made across the UK, of which 137 were granted. The number of applications country-wide peaked at 41 in 2012 but has fallen to an average of less than 20 a year since then. Across England, only nine seizure applications for long-term vacant homes were made last year, although government data shows there were more than 200,000 long-term vacant properties. Read more on the Evening Standard website.

Scammers ‘Making Millions’ Off Desperate Renters

With more and more tenants seeking out private landlords online and cutting out the traditional letting agent, scammers and bogus landlords have been making millions by targeting desperate renters. These scammers pose as landlords and post fake adverts on classified ad sites and other free-to-list platforms, then attempt to convince potential tenants to transfer a holding deposit or up-front fee – (often over £1,000) to secure the property without ever having seen it in person. New YouGov research from shows that consumers are becoming more aware of the dangers and are now demanding better security checks on the platforms they use to search for property online. Read more on 24housing.

Tenant Complaints Rise

Official figures from the Housing Ombudsman showed it received 15,112 complaints and new enquiries, and closed 15,877. Although 81% of cases received being closed without the need for a formal investigation, the annual report revealed an 18% increase in cases that went forward to formal investigation, which are the most complex and difficult to resolve. The Housing Ombudsman’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2016-17, shows continuous improvement in the service with increased productivity and high levels of customer satisfaction. Download the report from the Housing Ombudsman website.

Landlords Don’t Understand What Tenants Want

Landlords in the UK are generally out of touch with what their tenants want with new research indicating a wide gulf between the two. Tenants are often clear on what they want and the research suggests they would be willing to pay for it. For example, almost one in four tenants said they would pay an average of £50 a month more if pets were allowed and the same amount extra for a guaranteed parking space with 17% saying it would be the most important thing they would pay for. The research also found that gardens, parking, and furnished properties were in demand by tenants. Read more on Property Wire.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Plan To Introduce Landlord Licence Gets The Green Light

Controversial plans which could see landlords in Nottingham have to sign up for licences has been officially approved by the council, and the matter has now been sent to the central government. The scheme aims to improve housing standards in the city’s private rented sector, and after extensive consultation with landlords and tenants, the proposals have changed considerably. The council's executive board voted unanimously to approve the revised selective licensing scheme. When the scheme was first announced, in February, the council said it was being proposed to raise standards, reduce anti-social behaviour, and tackle rogue landlords. Read more on the Nottingham Post website.

Social Rented Housing – Parliamentary Written Answer

Ms Karen Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will rank each English local authority by the change in the number of social housing units in each such local authority since (a) 1987, (b) 1997 and (c) 2007.

Alok Sharma: Between 1997 and 2010, the number of social rented homes fell by 420,000. Since 2010 the stock has increased by 76,000

Homelessness Prevention ‘Achievable’ Within The Next Parliament

Homelessness prevention could be ‘achievable’ for some of the most high-risk groups; care leavers, prison leavers and survivors of domestic abuse within the next Parliament, according to an All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ending Homelessness (APPGEH) report. The APPGEH is now urging the government to recognise the growing emergency of homelessness and establish a joined up, cross-government strategy to specifically tackle homelessness prevention among the identified groups. The report finds that with so many of these people already on the radar of police, local authorities, prisons and social services, it is ‘inexcusable’ that they should fall through the net, yet they continue to do so. Read more on 24housing.

Grenfell Council Gained £50m From Affordable Housing Deals

The council that ran the Grenfell Tower block struck deals worth nearly £50m last year to allow developers to avoid having to build affordable homes. Kensington and Chelsea's own analysis shows it has built a fraction of the social housing the borough needs. Developers can pay a fee if they can convince the council that affordable homes would make their plans unviable. The council said it struggled to build affordable homes in a crowded area. Read more on the BBC.

Councils Get Help To Meet Housing Targets

Councils are to get expert advice to help meet government housebuilding targets. Local authorities will get an adviser under a new scheme to enable their housing and planning teams to meet the pressures of reducing homelessness and build more homes. The LGA unveiled the Housing Advisers Programme for local authorities undertaking a specific project that delivers and plans for new homes, reduces homelessness, or helps councils generate savings or revenues. Under the scheme, councils can bid to get up to £14,000 to fund an external adviser to review and develop their plans. Read more on the LGA website.

Half A Million Social Homes Do Not Meet Basic Health And Safety Standards

More than half a million social homes in England fail to meet basic health and safety standards, an analysis of official government data has revealed. Just weeks after the Grenfell Tower fire raised serious questions about the state of housing in the UK, new statistics show that 525,000 social homes currently do not meet the national Decent Homes Standard – almost one in seven of all social homes in England. Of these, 244,000 properties are deemed to have a category one safety hazard – the highest category of risk — which includes potentially fatal hazards such as exposed wiring, overloaded electricity sockets, dangerous boilers, leaking roofs, vermin infestations or inadequate security. Read more on the Independent website.

Buy-To-Let Tax Changes The 'Next Pension Crisis'

The impact of recent changes to the way buy-to-let properties are taxed could create the next pension crisis as individuals are becoming over-reliant on property to fund their retirement years. Seventy seven per cent of landlords say they rely on their investment for their retirement and buy-to-let continues to be viewed as a safe way to save for later life. However, figures from the ONS estimate the average retired household spends £21,770 every year, which leaves a shortfall of more than £15,000 after taking the full basic state pension of £6,359.60 into account. In order to make up a £15,000 shortfall per year would require savings in the region of £300,000, which is why so many people have turned to property to provide for later life. Read more on the NLA website.

Seizure Of Empty Homes Falls To Record Low

Research reveals just nine seizure applications submitted in England last year compared with 200,145 long-term vacant homes. Bids by councils to seize empty homes are at record lows across England despite the housing crisis. The resulting figures reveal just nine seizure applications for long-term vacant homes in England in 2016. This is despite CLG data showing there were 200,145 long-term vacant properties across the country last year. The minimal use of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs) since 2016 comes despite 137 being granted, compared with 208 applications in total. Read more on 24housing.

Off-The-Peg Homes Bid To Ease UK Housing Crisis

Hundreds of 26 sq m modular homes built to order at factory near Leeds to be rented out at lower cost than flatsharing. The first production run from a vast new factory outside Leeds began this week – with timber delivered at one end, and just a week later a fully furnished one-bed flat popping out the other. Legal & General Homes is promising to build thousands of flats and houses a year at the revolutionary, and highly secretive, factory, and delivered around the country on the back of trucks. Is this the solution to the housing crisis – or a new age of soulless prefabs for rabbit hutch Britain? Read more on the Guardian website.

Regulator Strengthens Tenant Consultation Standard

The Homes and Communities Agency published the updated standard following the move to deregulate housing associations in April. The regulator requires housing providers to consult with tenants if they were considering changing their landlord or changing the management arrangements of their homes. Previously housing providers had to get the regulator’s consent before disposing of properties and as part of this process the regulator would check that an adequate tenant consultation had been carried out. However, this disposal consent was dropped in April as part of the government’s deregulatory package for the sector. Download the consultation outcome from the HCA website.

Number Of BTL Landlords Registering To Buy Property Is Down 30%

There has been a sharp decline in the number of buy-to-let property acquisitions, following the government’s decision to introduce the 3% stamp duty surcharge and phase out mortgage interest relief, fresh research shows. The latest data exposes the scale of the decline in buy-to-let property purchases by revealing that the number of buy-to-let investors registering to buy properties is down 30% year-on-year. And while there has been some recovery since the damaging introduction of a stamp duty surcharge last April, there is still a long way to go until the property market is back to full health. Read more on the Property Investor Today website.

Housing Market "In A Period Of Stagflation"

The UK property market has entered a period of stagflation where house price growth is consistently lower than the rate of inflation.  That’s the view of property website Home which says house price growth has been lower than inflation for six consecutive months. Its latest data, drawn from monitoring properties listed on the major portals, suggests that whilst the average asking price is now 3.3 per cent more than in July 2016, the Retail Price Index is rising faster - Home says it increased by 4.1 per cent in May and could now be approaching 4.5 per cent, making house prices fall in real terms by around 1.2 per cent. Read more on the Estate Agent Today website.

Survey Busts Myths Around PRS Housing

Tenants are more satisfied with private rented accommodation than those in the social rented sector, according to figures published today from the 2015/16 English Housing Survey. It shows that 82 per cent of private sector tenants are satisfied with their current accommodation, ahead of the 81per cent who said the same about the social sector. Rates of dissatisfaction were also higher in the social sector, with 13 per cent of tenants dissatisfied with their accommodation compared to just 10 per cent in the private rented sector. 67 per cent of private sector tenants said they were satisfied with their current tenure status. Download the survey from the GovUK website.