The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has accused price comparison site ComparetheMarket of keeping the cost of home insurance premiums artificially high by using so-called “most favoured nation” clauses with insurers to stop them advertising more cheaply elsewhere. The finding could result in a fine of up to 10% of global group turnover for the company’s owner, the financial services group BGL.

BBC News Financial Times, Page: 16 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 16 Daily Mail, Page: 14 The Sun, Page: 34 The Guardian, Page: 45

Posted 03/11/2018

Research by comparison website My Big Move has revealed that the average cost of selling your current home, buying a new one and moving in 2018, is £9,810. It revealed that estate agent fees make up the bulk of the cost, at an average of £5,076, followed by stamp duty on a new property, which costs an average £2,012.

The Daily Telegraph

Posted 26/10/2018

 

HMRC has won an appeal to charge £61,383 in capital gains tax on a property that had not been built. The Upper Tribunal decided HMRC was right to apply the tax to Desmond Higgins, who paid a reservation deposit on an off-plan property in 2004 which was not finished until 2010. He sold the property in 2012 and was assessed by HMRC as owing capital gains tax of £61,383 for the tax year 2011-2012 – assessed including the period leading up to 2010, when the property had not yet been built. Higgins appealed to the First Tier Tribunal, arguing that the period of his ownership was coterminous with the period when the apartment was his main residence so that he was entitled to main residence relief on the whole of the capital gain accruing to him on the disposal on 2012.

FT Adviser Economia

Posted 04/10/2018

Research from financial services provider One Family suggests around 45,000 property purchases have been delayed with first-time buyers confused over the Help to Buy ISA and the fact that a 25% bonus on savings cannot be used towards the deposit as it is paid after the purchase is completed. One Family surveyed 800 homeowners who had bought using the Help to Buy ISA and found 15% had not been able to use the money in the account in the way they had expected.

The Times The Daily Telegraph

Posted 26/09/2018

The Law Commission has unveiled reforms to strengthen the rights of leaseholders seeking to buy their freehold or extend their lease, potentially saving them time and money. However, some homeowners who have been hit by ruinous leasehold charges and unfair demands say the proposals do not go far enough. Sir Peter Bottomley, the co-chairman of the parliamentary group on leasehold reform, said: “The Law Commission’s proposals are a move in the right direction, but are not the whole answer. More should be done to stamp out unfair terms in leases, such ones that allow freeholders to recoup a debt from leaseholders and load all the costs on to their service charge.”

Financial Times, Money, Page: 4 The Times, Page: 57

Posted 22/09/2018

 

Under plans being announced today by the Law Commission the minimum period a leaseholder must wait before buying a freehold, currently two years, will be scrapped and leaseholders will be able to extend for longer, as many times as they wanted and more cheaply.

The Times, Page: 6

Posted 20/09/2018

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has argued a housing tax overhaul, including ending stamp duty on certain properties, could rebalance the market and “reignite activity”. It said the Government should look at what changes are needed to create a more vibrant property sector with a full-scale review of the stamp duty system.

I, Page: 43 Yorkshire Post, Page: 9

Posted 19/09/2018

Landlords affected by the government’s new “house in multiple occupation” (HMO) rules must apply to their local authority for a licence by October 1 or face unlimited fines and possible criminal prosecution. The Residential Landlords Association said the change would result in 177,000 more landlords needing an HMO licence, for homes in which at least two households share facilities – such as a kitchen or bathroom.

The Daily Telegraph

Posted 18/09/2018

 

The Independent’s Ben Chapman reports on how criminals are targeting university towns to buy property and launder money because local agents are often less alert to laundering risks and the market is relatively stable. Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, says thousands of estate agents operate without proper oversight. Analysis of Companies’ House records by Moore Stephens found there were 25,560 estate agent businesses in July last year, yet only 11,318 are registered with HMRC for anti-money laundering purposes.

The Independent, Page: 14

Posted 16/09/2018

According to a new survey, two-thirds of leasehold homeowners feel they were mis-sold the properties they are living in. NAEA Propertymark surveyed more than 1,000 people in new leasehold houses, and found 94% said they regretted their purchase. The survey revealed that 65% used the solicitor their house builder recommended – and 15% of those say they weren’t told they weren’t buying the freehold. Nearly half didn’t know they were only buying the lease until it was too late, and 57% didn’t understand what being a ‘leaseholder’ meant until they had completed the transaction.

Daily Mail

Posted 14/09/2018