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Flat pack homes, renters’ must-haves and Tinder-style renting

Here we take a quick look at the latest news from the UK property sector.

What do renters want when moving to a new area?

New data shows that nearly four out of five (79%) of Brits believe that good food delivery options are a high priority when choosing a new home.

While, previously, access to good schools and transport links, plus low crime rates, were high on renters’ “must-have” lists, the study highlights that a new trend has started – that of potential tenants downloading food delivery apps during property viewings.

Zoopla’s study highlighted that almost 75% of 16-29 year-olds surveyed regretted not looking at their food delivery options when viewing a property. 55% said they would make sure they do so next time.

House prices in London are falling, and rents soar

The latest UK House Price Index from the Land Registry shows that property prices in London are dropping with the price falling to £459,800 in February – a 3.8% year-on-year decrease.

Reporting on the data, Which? says that as house prices in the capital are dropping, the average monthly asking rent of £2,093 has soared by 8.2% year-on-year.

The reason for the rental increase is that fewer properties are coming on to the market, as regulatory changes have forced some landlords to quit the sector.

Which? expects the trend to continue with the upcoming tenant fees ban.

Swipe right for your dream pad

A new Tinder-style property rental platform has announced it is set to expand. The PerchPeek platform enables prospective tenants to ‘swipe’ in Tinder-style for rooms and homes. Since its launch in September last year, it has had 100,000 searches.

The service – which claims to save renters’ over 30 hours of search time – has more than 6,000 properties in both London and Guildford, with further expansion planned this year

Both letting agents and private landlords can have listings on the platform and only pay a fee when a tenancy results.

Tenants win back £15,000 rent money

Five tenants living in an HMO who had no complaints about their property or their landlord have been awarded £15,000 of their rent back.

PropertyIndustryEye reported that the five-bedroom property in Leeds “was clean, spacious and comfortable, and the monthly rent … was a reasonable £300 per person, bills included”.

Following a visit from a housing official, however, it was found that the landlord had not obtained an HMO licence – meaning that the property had been let unlawfully for eight months.

The housing officer told the tenants that while the council was pursuing legal action, they could also start a case and apply for a Rent Repayment Order.

The group stayed at the property until their tenancy ended and successfully applied for a full year’s rent back at the end of March.

Could flat-pack homes solve the housing crisis?

US bank Goldman Sachs has invested £75m in a London-based start-up that specialises in technology-led prefabricated homes.

They claim that the development of these housing modules will help solve the UK’s housing shortage.

Modular housing manufacturers TopHat was set up three years ago to design and manufacture homes in sections — or modules — that are then transported to development sites and put together.

Production of the housing modules started in 2018 and the first site to use its product is in Chatham, Kent, which is expected to open in the coming months.

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