Rat and Mouse
Mon
26
Jan

20150126otm

It’s believed to currently represent roughly a quarter of the market, which isn’t bad for a launch, earning (at current rates) £14m annually. And how’s it working? Well. It displays results with extraordinary speed, and the grid layout is refreshing.

20150126otm2

Nothing hugely innovative or flash… but robustness, speed and clarity shouldn’t be underestimated. Go here.

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Fri
23
Jan

20150123emoov

Congratulations to award-winning online agents eMoov, now backed by a further £1.5m investment courtesy of Episode 1 (a previous investor in Zoopla). We know what “disruptive” means in relation to this market, but are the online agents really shifting properties? eMoov claims to have sold more than 3,500 homes since it was launched less than five years ago. Start counting in 2011 and that works out at around 70 sales a month. 

Fri
23
Jan

They’re Bexley (£975), Barking & Dagenham (£948) and Havering (£925), where the cost of commuting adds a further £1,800 a year, immediately wiping out any advantage. The figures come courtesy of Hamptons International, and are headlined by the current annual rent inflation of 6.4% in the capital. More here

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Thu
22
Jan

A study by TrustMark (a find-a-tradesman scheme) shows 91% of potential buyers would reduce an offer and 54% would avoid making an offer at all faced with examples of shoddy DIY. Electrical amateurishness, and particularly exposed wiring, were - sensibly - the biggest concerns. 

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Wed
21
Jan

It’s something of an experiment, a pop-up store, open until the end of January, for Harrods Estates properties, in the Harrods department store. So… think expensive, prime London homes, plus a few new apartments in the Stratford City regeneration. The real selling point? The store’s using the Oculus headset - a 3D, immersive, headset-operated gaming platform - to conduct virtual tours. Interesting. What we want to know? If you decide you like your £20m Herbert Crescent home, can you refuse to take the headset off and claim squatters’ rights? More here.

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Tue
20
Jan

According to Rightmove, they’re up 0.9% on the month, with gains focussed on inner London (up 2.3%). (In fact, in “outer London”, asking prices slipped half a percent.) Asking prices in both areas are, however, a whisker off 13% higher than this time last year. 

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Mon
19
Jan

As portals jockey for position before the imminent launch of Agents Mutual’s Rightmove/Zoopla-threat Onthemarket, Rightmove has grasped the nettle in a most unexpected way with this strange template letter for agents to send to clients. Onthemarket, you’ll remember, comes with a one-other-portal-only clause. Rightmove’s seemingly generous letter is being read by some as a free opportunity to promote itself and as others as a way to extinguish its more realistic threat (Zoopla). It’s probably both. 

Meanwhile, remember Houser? It promised to be disruptive, and so far it’s achieved that. According to this, agents are queuing up to have their listings removed. Houser - which could perhaps learn a lesson about diplomacy from Rightmove - has apparently responded by accusing agents who don’t want their listings automatically crawled of not caring about their customers. The UK property market is particular, eccentric and built on a long history. If entrepreneurs don’t understand the culture, they risk coming a cropper, no matter how skilled they are in IT. More here.

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Fri
16
Jan

Agency named and shamed for paying less than minimum wage [Property Industry Eye]
RICS predicts 2% to 5% fall in London house prices this year [Daily Telegraph]
Savills’ prime London rental market survey [Savills]
Ten short films about housing in London… online now [Londonist]

The Rat and Mouse - it’s about your house

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Thu
15
Jan

20150115heatmap

Go here for an interesting heat map, using deposit protection scheme data to show just where the UK’s offshore landlords are based. (France heads up the list, followed by Australia and the US.)

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20150115ad

The ad relates to Greenwich’s Abbey Wood development, by Development Securities, and targets investors in Hong Kong. According to a spokesperson for the project, buy-to-let investors are sensitive to service charge repercussions for development with social housing, but the wider project does fulfil its affordable housing obligations. More here.

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Wed
14
Jan

But not both, according to Cambridge University scientists, who have split the city up matching psychological traits to geographical location. The richer the area, the more successful the residents, the less “agreeable” the people who live there, say the psychologists, who clearly take a fairly cynical view of the world of work. So don’t expect much courtesy in Westminster or Central London; if you value openness to new experiences try Islington or Kings Cross; enjoy the company of happy extroverts in Wandsworth. More here.

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No doubt Kate’s watching the gossip mags with interest, following this rumour that the glamorous Princess Madeleine of Sweden might be on the verge of house-hunting in London following her recent move from New York. 

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The penultimate ONS report for 2014 shows price rises slowing outside the peak locations of London and the south east. Excluding those areas annual inflation was down to 7.1%. The London number remained high, at 15.3%. 

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Tue
13
Jan

It’s talk of rent controls that apparently sparked this off, and the numbers are interesting. Using Government data, the claims are that private sector rent rises have been consistently lower than rent rises in the social sector and markedly less than inflation. For some actually figures, go here.

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Mon
12
Jan

The tax man’s big btl/CGT haul [Daily Telegraph]
Tory constituency house prices rise 8X faster than Labour ones [FT]
London crime… mapped [Daily Telegraph]
The latest estate agent comparison site [Estate Agent Today]

The Rat and Mouse - it’s about your house 

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Fri
09
Jan

Property market concerns hit shares [Daily Telegraph]
NeedaProperty latest casualty of portal wars [Property Industry Eye] 
Advice for would-be tenants [Homes & Property]
Landlords fear late payments more than property damage [Property Wire]
Ex-Manchester City star turns estate agent [Estate Agent Today]

The Rat and Mouse - it’s about your house 

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