Here is a round-up of some of the latest UK property news stories …
NRLA: Growing the PRS would boost Government coffers by £10bn
An assessment conducted by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) recently predicted that Treasury revenues could be increased by £10 billion if the government pursued policies designed to increase the stock of housing in the private rented sector (PRS).
The current shortage of homes for rent is illustrated by the fact that 11 hopeful tenants apply for every vacancy, says the NRLA.
If the government scrapped the additional 3% stamp duty tax that landlords have to pay on every property investment, it would make for 900,000 more homes for rent in the PRS. That, in turn, would increase incomes and corporation tax takings by the Treasury – bringing in more than an extra £10 billion each year.
House prices begin 2024 on a more upbeat note
After a year of only faltering performance, average house prices in the UK registered a 0.7% increase in the first month of 2024 (it’s best since the same time last year), according to the index maintained by the Nationwide building society. That takes the annual fall in average prices during the past 12 months to just 0.2%.
The modest increase in the performance of the housing market suggests that homebuyers are finding purchases more affordable, says the building society’s Chief Economist.
Even so, the struggle to save a sufficient deposit remains a significant burden – making any significant upsurge in the market unlikely.
Where are the 10 happiest places to live in Great Britain?
For those fortunate enough to be able to make a move, however, the online listings website Rightmove recently published its annual Happy at Home Index – a register of those places in the UK that its residents have voted the “happiest”.
Rated the top three happiest places to live were Richmond upon Thames in outer London, Winchester in Hampshire, and Monmouth in South Wales.
Earning their stripes in the remaining top ten were:
- the commuter town of Wokingham to the south west of London – in fourth place;
- Cirencester in Southwest England;
- Skipton in Yorkshire;
- Hemel Hempstead in outer London;
- Kensington and Chelsea in inner London;
- St Ives in Cornwall; and
- Hexham in Northeast England.
Rightmove: February is the best month to list a home
If you are looking to put a property up for sale, it helps to know the best month in which to make that listing. According to a story in The Standard newspaper on the 25th of January, February is the best month.
Homes listed in February are taking an average of just 51 days to attract a buyer, says the newspaper – a day more quickly than those first advertised in the month of March. What is more, nearly two out of every three homes (66.4%) advertised in February succeed in securing a purchase. That compares with 66.3% of those listed in March.
The newspaper also suggested that activity in the housing market is also picking up somewhat, with an 8% increase in the number of prospective buyers contacting estate agents compared with the number doing so in February last year. At the same time, there has been an 11% increase in the number of homes listed for sale.