With the 12th of December now firmly in politicians’ minds you might expect the whole of the country to be caught up in general election fever.
In these strangest of times, however, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Life – and other news in all its various forms – continues as normal.
If you are a homeowner or landlord, of course, that means any news on the property front. So, to help you keep up to date, here are a few of the latest snippets.
What do homebuyers search for online?
With the many resources available these days, it’s little wonder that many prospective property buyers search the internet for properties in which they might be interested.
But what are the most common search terms used by buyers when trawling the web for that purpose? An article in Landlord Today on the 21st of November suggested a few answers.
It found that the following were the six most common search terms (ranked in this order):
- bungalow – reflecting the growing number of mainly older house-hunters who want single-storey accommodation;
- detached; and
- annexe – used by those who are looking for a multi-generational home or space for newly independent teenagers.
Homeowners call for a ban on gazumping
It’s the bane of any home buyer’s life – the risk of being gazumped. And now the overwhelming majority of buyers – four in every five – have had enough and are calling on the government to formally ban the practice.
An article in Property Reporter on the 21st of November revealed the strength of home buyers’ feelings and pointed out that nearly a third of all property buyers had been gazumped in the past 10 years. Plus, out of these, almost 40% had wasted money on professional fees even though their purchase had fallen through.
Despite that strength of feeling, however, such is the competition in the market that 43% of house-hunters admitted they would think about gazumping a rival bidder.
Gazumping appears to be peculiar to England and Wales. It doesn’t happen so often in Scotland.
Landlords losing confidence
Landlords are more pessimistic than ever about running a buy to let business.
Figures released by the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) on the 20th of November show a widening gap in just the past three months between those landlords looking to sell up and those planning to buy a property to let.
The RLA’s survey shows that more than 55% of landlords are less confident about the buy to let market in the third quarter of this year.
That declining confidence is underscored by the fact that 34% of landlords are looking to sell buy to let properties in the coming year (compared to just 22% two years previously), while only 13% are planning to buy at least one property (compared to 18% two years ago).
Subletting scams on the rise
It increases the risk of damage to your property, accelerates wear and tear, may contravene local authority licensing conditions, and may even invalidate your landlord’s insurance – but what can you do to prevent unauthorised or illegal subletting?
An article in Landlord News recently warns that illegal subletting is on the increase – especially with the growth of online accommodation-sharing platforms such as Airbnb.
But the article also suggests that regular inspections and visits to your let property may help to detect some of the more obvious signs – abnormal volumes of rubbish, for example, or the presence of individuals you have never named on the tenancy agreement.