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Rent Your Spare Room

With rents rising, Britons across the country could rake in a small fortune renting out their spare room. London is known as the priciest region in the UK, but elsewhere in the country room rents are increasing much quicker than they are in the capital, SpareRoom.co.uk exclusively revealed to This is Money. Excluding London, room rents across the UK have risen by 5.01 per cent in a year, compared to 1.63 per cent in the capital.

Brexit

A majority of people working in the property industry – nearly two-thirds – believe that leaving the EU would have a positive impact on the UK housing market.
Some 65% of agents and mortgage brokers are for Brexit.
The finding – by conveyancing giant My Home Move – is in stark contrast to warnings that the housing market will collapse if Britain votes to leave.
Ratings agency Fitch yesterday warned that house prices could crash by 25%.
The International Monetary Fund has also warned that property prices would go into reverse.
However, the My Home Move survey strongly suggests that agents will vote to leave the European Union.
The same survey does however say that the home moving public is much less decided with 53% unsure as to which way to vote.
These are among the findings ahead of My Home Move’s annual conference tomorrow.
The survey also found that most people working in the property industry (90%) believe that a lack of stock and high prices have become the new normal.
Interestingly, the 250 people polled preferred support for downsizers over help for first-time buyers.
A total of 61% wanted greater government help for downsizers, while just 21% wanted support for first-time buyers.
My Home Move chief executive Doug Crawford said: “The market has been suffering from a lack of stock and high house prices for several years, so we’re not surprised that those at the sharp end of the sector are frustrated by what has become the ‘new norm’.
“Recent Government changes to Stamp Duty, alongside schemes like Help to Buy, have kept the market going since the recession, but the findings from our survey would suggest that those closest to the market are seeking even more intervention to shake things up.
“Nearly two-thirds of the estate agents and brokers surveyed believe leaving the EU would be positive for the housing market; and 85% of home movers are seeking greater Government assistance for those trying to move up and down the housing ladder.
“However, despite the recent policy move to tax additional home buyers, as a way of encouraging more first-time buyers on to the market, there remains a level of scepticism that home ownership levels will rise above the current level by 2025, suggesting that without intervention market conditions would worsen and Generation Rent would become an even greater reality for many more people.”

Government considering making gazumping illegal

Ministers are reportedly considering a crackdown on buyers and sellers who pull out of a deal at the last minute, or who try to gazump or gazunder each other.
They are considering making house purchases legally binding much earlier in the process – for example, at the stage where an offer is accepted.
If either the buyer or seller pulled out afterwards, they would have to pay the other party’s costs.
In the March Budget the Government said: “We will publish a call for evidence on how to make the process better value for money and more consumer friendly.”
It now appears that the Government is gearing up to call for that evidence, through a consultation on speeding up and improving the home buying process.
A spokesperson has ruled out simply importing the Scottish system wholesale south of the border.
In Scotland, deals are binding once missives are exchanged, which rules out gazumping and gazundering.
Mark Hayward, managing director of the National Association of Estate Agents, told BBC Radio 5 Live that other alternatives could be having a pre-contract agreement or charging the buyer a deposit, but warned these were unlikely to be popular solutions.
He also warned that the Scottish system, where gazumping is banned, is by no means perfect.
He said: “The Scottish system is sometimes referred to as the ideal system, but if you speak to people in Scotland they may disagree. The onus is on the purchaser who has to have carried out all the checks before making an offer on the off-chance that it would get accepted.
“We perhaps need a hybrid system. In France you have a ten-day cooling-off period after an offer is accepted.”
Hayward added that the whole ‘100-year-old’ legal process of buying a property needed an overhaul.
Agent Chris Wood, of PDQ Property, agreed with this stance. He told EYE: “Gazumping is a problem but it is not the main problem
“The problem doesn’t happen as often as people think.
“What is needed is a review of the process so there are minimum statutory time periods that parties like solicitors and mortgage lenders have to respond in.
“Banning gazumping won’t solve the problem of delayed or failed property sales. Some would say that is just how the price is tested.”
He said it would also help if all councils were online so searches could be done more easily.

80% higher than the same month a year ago

A huge surge in residential property sales in England during March has been measured as 80% higher than the same month a year ago. Altogether, there were 141,310 transactions.
Meanwhile, average house prices are growing across every single reason, says the latest Homes and Communities Agency housing market bulletin.
The bulletin says that there was a total of 1,135,830 transactions in the year to the end of March, up 9.9% on the previous 12 months.
However, the total stock of property for sale remains historically low.
The number of homes in England as at last year is 704,000. This was up 3.1% on 2010, and takes account of an 8% drop in the number of council-owned homes in the same period.