Home reservations agreements could bring an end to gazumping and gazundering in England’s property market.
The Government is to trial the legally binding agreements across England early next year.
The move aims to make property transactions more secure and stop the current third of all sales that fall through every year.
Right now any property sale in England hangs on a knife edge until contracts are exchanged, which could be weeks after an offer has been accepted.
That leaves both sides vulnerable to the other pulling out altogether, the buyer attempting to cut the price (gazundering) or the seller accepting a higher offer (gazumping).
In Scotland, neither gazumping nor gazundering are common because an offer, verbal or in writing, is binding on both sides once accepted.
Introducing home reservation agreements in England and Wales would have a similar effect in reducing the number of sales that fall through because one party pulls out.
It would also bring the sale of most property into line with the way new-builds are now sold. Developers insist on a reservation agreement and deposit that protects them when a buyer changes their mind.
Both buyer and seller would commit to the sale by signing the home reservation agreement and placing the deposit in an escrow account held by their conveyancing solicitors.
If one side pulls out and the other considers their reasons for doing so to be unreasonable, they could lose their deposit.
Home sellers in London have had some good news with new house price data showing the first year-on-year price growth in the capital since 2017.
Rightmove’s monthly house price index has revealed several reasons to be cheerful for those looking to sell up in London.
The price of property coming on to the market is up by 1.3 percent on the same month a year ago, the first time since August 2017 there has been an annual rise.
With the summer months usually seeing a flattening of asking prices, this marks a positive change for those keen to secure a sale before the autumn.
Meanwhile, the number of sales agreed in London is also up by 5.2 percent on the same period a year ago.
Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Some potential buyers have sat back and watched the price of property coming to the market in the capital falling year-on-year for the last couple of years, giving many of them little incentive to do anything but sit on the sidelines.
“It’s always hard to spot the bottom of a market, especially in a massive place like London with its myriad of local markets.
“However, new seller asking prices are now 1.3 percent higher than at this time last year, and if that trend continues, buyers might decide to stop sitting it out before prices rise further.
“That could happen if we have more certainty on our Brexit outcome, and this annual price rise may be an indicator of more market activity to come.”
Chris Osmond, sales director at London-based Johns&Co, told Rightmove that his company has registered more buyers in the first seven months of 2019 than in the whole of 2018, suggesting that those keen to move are no longer inhibited by the prospect of Brexit.
He added: “It’s not surprising; it’s been three years since the vote and Brexit fatigue has kicked in.
“After all, life goes on and you can only put plans on hold for so long.
“We’ve also seen the number of vendors wanting to cash in on long-held investments increase, and there are plenty of canny investors on the periphery looking for good deals, so overall we expect the summer season surge to linger on into autumn.”
Stop your hunt for Easter eggs this weekend and start your hunt for high-quality conveyancing services at Capital Conveyancing.
We’re open right across the bank holiday weekend and can answer any queries you have about sale or purchase conveyancing and provide you with a no-obligation quote for no-completion, no-fee conveyancing.
Capital Conveyancing’s Easter weekend opening hours are:
Best do your sums properly if you plan to move home this year. New research has revealed that buyers will have to find almost £4,000 to pay all the bills associated with moving.
That total covers the cost of conveyancing services, instructing a building survey and other costs of moving, including hiring a removal firm.
Online lender MYJAR quizzed 2,000 people who have moved home in the last 10 years.
Their research showed that buyers now pay on average £230,776 for a home across the UK, but on top of that they will pay out £3,823.88 on additional costs.
More than a third (40 percent) said they were not prepared for that extra expense, while a third ended up borrowing money to settle their bills.
The biggest expense was legal fees, on average more than £1,600. Buying new furniture and furnishings was the next biggest outlay.
Those taking part in the survey were asked for their money-saving moving tips with a third (30 percent) suggesting doing your own removal as the best way of keeping cash in your pocket.
Tom Newwould of MYJAR said: “Every pound adds up, resulting in what is clearly an unanticipated extra amount for homeowners to pay, showing perhaps a lack of knowledge around the true cost of moving.
“Not every buyer will find this extra cost easy to fund so it’s important to plan ahead and ensure you’re not left in a difficult position moneywise. Finances always need careful consideration and planning.”
Don’t be caught out by unexpected expenses. At Capital Conveyancing, we offer low-cost, high-quality conveyancing services with no hidden extras or unexpected fees tucked away.
Working with an expert property panel, we can get your house purchase or sale underway in minutes with a no-obligation quote. And with our no-completion, no-fee guarantee, you won’t lose a penny if for any reason your transaction fails to complete.
Call the Capital Conveyancing team now on 0207 406 5880 or get an instant online conveyancing quote now.
London housing associations are to receive an extra £200 million from the city’s mayor to ensure they can still subsidise new affordable homes in the capital.
The extra funding is to be used to offset the impact of any uncertainty caused by Brexit.
Mayor Sadiq Khan is offering the finance to housing associations across London but has called on the Government to protect those providers from any negative impact of the UK’s departure from the European Union.
Housing associations use the money they bring in from selling affordable homes to finance those they rent at social or intermediate rent levels.
However, a slowdown in London’s property market, partly prompted by the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, means some bodies are not making as much money from sales as they had anticipated, meaning they have less to invest in producing new properties.
With little or no income from central government, that scenario is putting pressure on the finances of many housing associations.
The mayor’s deal means associations will be able to take some of the properties they cannot currently sell off the market and switch them to rental properties. With guaranteed rental income, they are then in a position to cement their future construction plans.
Mr Khan said: “At City Hall, we are building record numbers of new social rented and other genuinely affordable homes. That’s why it is right we push our funding to its very limit to keep housing associations building more affordable housing through the ongoing uncertainty.
“Whatever happens with Brexit, Ministers must at the very least match my support and ensure we can keep building the homes Londoners need over the coming years.”
London’s future is sky-high. A new survey has revealed that a record 76 new skyscrapers will be completed in 2019 alone, reshaping the capital’s skyline.
The London Tall Buildings Survey says this year will see three times as many buildings of 20 storeys or more erected than last year.
The highest concentration will be in Tower Hamlets, which includes the famed East End districts of Mile End, Whitechapel and Bethnal Green. There 18 new tall buildings will now stand where rows of terraced brick homes once did.
In Lambeth, 11 tall buildings are expected to be completed by developers in 2019, while the boroughs of Camden, Barnet and Hounslow will see their first-ever skycrapers open for business this year.
The survey findings are compiled annually by New London Architecture and GL Hearn. The number of skyscrapers hit a record high of 541 in 2018. The latest survey reveals that there are 121 tall buildings currently being constructed across the capital with 76 expected to be ready for use by the end of the year.
Stuart Baillie, head of planning in London and the south-east for GL Hearn, said: “The projected completion of 76 tall buildings during 2019 is quite staggering compared to previous years’ completions being less than 30 per annum.”
The festive season is upon us, but at Homeward Legal, we know the hunt for a new home or the urge to sell your property doesn’t wane with the holidays!
So we’re open over the holidays, meaning you can kickstart your conveyancing and ensure your sale or purchase is underway.
Here are our opening hours over the next two weeks:
Friday, December 21, 9 am until 6pm
Saturday, December 22, 10 am until 4pm
Sunday, December 23-Wednesday, December 26, closed
Thursday, December 27, 10 am until 4pm
Friday, December 28, 10 am until 4pm
Saturday, December 29, 10 am until 4pm
Sunday, December 30, 10 am until 4pm
Monday, December 31, 10 am until 4pm
Tuesday, January 1, closed
Wednesday, January 2, normal hours resume.
We wish all Capital Conveyancing clients, old and new, the compliments of the season.
Commonhold should become the easy alternative to leasehold ownership property in England and Wales, says the Law Commission.
As part of its review of leasehold, the Law Commission wants to simplify the way in which shared property owners, including flats, terraces and townhouses, can turn their development into commonhold tenure.
There are around 4.2 million leasehold properties in England alone, the majority of which are flats or apartments.
Under leasehold, the property owner must pay a lease for the land on which their home stands. That lease must be extended or renewed to ensure the property remains mortgageable, while the leaseholder must pay annual ground rent and maintenance charges to the landlord or freeholder.
Under commonhold, the property owner will own their home outright. They will form part of a limited company with the other owners in their development, which will raise the finance to maintain and insure the whole development.
That gives homeowners the security of knowing their home remains their own no matter what, while giving them control over costs.
At Capital Conveyancing, we work with a nationwide panel of expert conveyancing solicitors who can deal with your leasehold extension or your conversion to commonhold.
Professor Nick Hopkins, the law commissioner leading the review of leasehold, launched a public consultation on the move to simplify commonhold.
He said: “Commonhold provides a once in a generation opportunity to rethink how we own property in England and Wales and offers homeowners an alternative system to leasehold.
“It involves a culture change, moving away from an ‘us and them’ mindset towards ‘us and ourselves’.
“We want to hear what people think of our proposals so we can be sure the commonhold system will work for homeowners and the wider property sector.”
The consultation runs until March 10, allowing interested parties to have their say on leasehold and commonhold.
Law firms in England and Wales are to publish their pricing structure for services such as conveyancing and probate from next month.
New rules imposed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority will give prospective clients more information on what services are likely to cost as well as an idea of how long their case should take to process from start to finish.
At Capital Conveyancing, we pride ourselves on always providing price transparency, guaranteeing our clients that there will be no hidden extras or unexpected costs when they instruct a conveyancing solicitor through us.
Our high standard of customer service is now being taken up by the SRA and will apply to law firms across England and Wales who are regulated by the SRA – at Capital Conveyancing, we only work with SRA-regulated solicitors.
The new rules will mean law firms must publish pricing for specific services on their website or make that information easily accessible to potential clients where they don’t have a website.
They must also provide a projected timescale for work so clients know how long the legal work is expected to take. Details of the qualifications of the legal staff working on cases will also be published, along with information on how to make a complaint.
Each law firm will also carry a digital badge on their website to confirm they are regulated by the SRA.
Paul Philip, chief executive of the SRA, said: “Publishing information on price, services and protections will not only benefit the public but will also help those who deliver these services win business and connect with their customers.
“We are providing guidance and support for firms to assist with meeting the new requirements and making the most of the opportunities they bring.”