The housing market is “pretty much flatlining” amid political uncertainty, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ said in its report for July. Some 69% of property professionals said that sales prices were coming in below asking prices for homes marketed at more than £1m. Meanwhile for properties on the market for up to £500,000, 59% of surveyors reported that sales prices were at least level with asking prices. A net balance of 9% of surveyors reported house prices falling rather than increasing. Separate data from Halifax showed that average house prices were “treading water” in July, slipping 0.2% month on month. The average price of a home in the UK now stands at £236,000.
A government-backed holding company has been accused of trapping families in homes funded by risky loans by blocking their attempts to sell their property to pay off debts. Borrowers in negative equity, who have interest-only mortgages and high-interest equity release deals, have been called upon by the UK Asset Resolution (UKAR) — set up by the Treasury — to settle their debts. However, UKAR has been refusing to negotiate settlements, according to the Sunday Times. Consumers told the paper that UKAR has almost non-existent customer service, takes weeks to answer questions and communicates only by letter. A product of the credit crunch, UKAR was set up by the Treasury in 2010 to look after mortgages from Bradford & Bingley and its subsidiary Mortgage Express, and Northern Rock.
The Sunday Times, Page: 11
Research shows that 39% of landlords want the government to introduce a fast-track housing tribunal if the Section 21 “no-fault” eviction process is scrapped. Paragon’s PRS Trends Report also revealed that almost a quarter of respondents (24%) called for a shorter court process for evictions, and some 15% would like a guaranteed way to cover their costs, while 7% wanted to be able to submit evidence online.