Official data shows the number of new Government-funded houses built for social rent each year has fallen by 97% since the Conservatives took office in 2010. In the year 2010-11, more than 36,700 new socially rented homes were built in England, but by 2016-17 the figure had fallen to 1,102. Over the same period the total number of affordable homes built with Government money fell from 55,909 to 27,792. The Chartered Institute of Housing has warned that the current fall in the number of social homes is set to continue, and predicted that, by 2020, nearly 250,000 social homes will have been lost in just eight years.

The Independent, Page: 6

Posted 21/06/2017



The Conservatives say Labour’s plan to reduce the IHT threshold from £850,000 to £650,000 will mean an extra 1.2m homes could be liable for the tax. The Tory proposal to raise the threshold to £1m by 2021 would mean 725,000 homes are liable, but this would rise to almost 2m by 2021 under Labour. Meanwhile, research by Savills estate agency has shown that Labour’s IHT rises will hit more than 48,000 London homes owned by the over-65s.

Daily Mail, Page: 1-2   Evening Standard, Page: 6-7





The Bristol-based charity Alternative Housing has topped a list of the UK’s most-prosecuted landlords compiled by the Guardian. It has been convicted of housing offences six times over the past two years, after letting properties with problems including overflowing raw sewage. The Guardian’s list, compiled following freedom of information requests to councils in England and Wales, shows that 651 landlords were convicted of housing offences between January 2015 and December 2016. They were fined a total of just £3m – an average of about £4,600 per conviction.

The Guardian, Page: 13

Posted 06/05/2017


Nationwide says it will refuse to lend money for new-build leasehold properties with “onerous terms,” saying it will cap the amount developers can charge and will stipulate a minimum lease term of 125 years for flats and 250 years for houses. The lender said that when valuing a property, the “maximum acceptable” starting ground rent will be limited to 0.1% of the property’s value. It has called for ground rent to climb with inflation and will refuse to lend on properties where the rate doubles every five, ten or 15 years.

Daily Mail, Page: 24

Posted 05/05/2017


A Conservative district councillor who made alterations to her 14th century house in Hellingly, East Sussex, without planning permission has been taken to court. Barby Dashwood-Morris – who has been forced to resign as the chair of Wealden District Council’s planning committee – has admitted six of 22 counts of executing the demolition or alteration of a building affecting its listed character at Brighton Magistrates’ Court. Her renovations were even featured in Sarah Beeney’s Channel 4 show Double Your House for Half the Money in 2013.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 9   The Times, Page: 17   Daily Mail, Page: 35   Daily Express, Page: 25   Daily Mirror, Page: 19  

Posted 02/05/2017




Taylor Wimpey has set aside £130m and apologised to home buyers after criticism for leaving customers with onerous leasehold deals. The contracts meant that ground rents doubled every 10 years. Taylor Wimpey said it was in negotiations with the majority of freehold owners to change the contracts, and would “pursue other avenues” to help other customers.

BBC News   The Daily Telegraph   Independent i, Page: 51   Financial Times, Page: 20    The Guardian, Page: 16   Daily Mail, Page: 8

Posted 28/04/2017



Mortgage lending is in “neutral gear”, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which said there has been a shift towards first time buyers as the buy to let market cools off. Gross mortgage lending increased 19% month-on-month in March, to £21.4bn, significantly less than the amount borrowed in the same month last year, when borrowing hit £26.3bn.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 4    The Times, Page: 42

Posted 21/04/2017




The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (Rics) latest monthly survey shows that property stock levels are at a new record low. On average, branches now have only 43 unsold properties. The report also showed new home buyer enquiries remaining flat for a third successive month and surveyors cutting their sales growth forecasts. However, the lack of supply is supporting house prices, with 22% more respondents seeing a rise in March than a fall.

The Independent, Page: 11   The Times, Page: 48   The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 8

 Posted 13/04/2017


The average values of semi-detached properties have climbed 20.9% during the past five years, reaching £240,000 from £199,000, according to a report by Savills. The report also reveals there are some parts of the country where the average price of a semi-detached home is more than £1m.

Daily Mail

Posted 11/04/2017




The Telegraph’s Sam Brodbeck says a landmark Financial Ombudsman Service ruling over “mortgage prisoners” could open the floodgates of complaints against lenders. A decision over a complaint against Lloyds Banking Group says a customer should have been offered a new rate. The ombudsmen said the bank must pay the difference between what the customer had been paying and the lower rate he should have been on.

The Sunday Telegraph, Business and Money, Page: 11

Posted 09/04/2017