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Get on with HIPs

23.11.07 HIPs reaction predictable ? now let?s get on with it Two things were predictable about the announcement introducing HIPs for all residential property transactions. The first was that the announcement would come and the second was that lots of people in the industry would complain about it instead of get on with it. And it?s the latter action they should be taking. Home information packs will be applicable to all residential...


Boris Johnson to NHBC
21.11.07 London?s housing Boris Johnson?s speech to the NHBC annual lunch

We meet at a critical moment in our capital?s history. We are going through a period of expansion.  Faster that anything we have seen in the last 40 years and if that growth is to be successfully managed, we need you to build houses that will still be loved and respected in 100 years.  We need buildings of distinction and grace of the right size a...


Assetz on capital gains
12.10.07 Chancellor?s faux pas Stuart Law, chief executive of Assetz, comments on the huge tax cut for buy-to-let investors, announced in the Chancellor?s pre-budget report this week: ?The announcement regarding capital gains tax, made by the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, in his pre-budget report this week has been greeted with enthusiasm from buy-to-let investors, who will benefit from up to a 55 per cent reduction in capital gains tax....
Build more
14.09.07

Comments on the suggestion made by government spokesperson Richard McCarthy at the RESI 07 conference that property professionals are not building enough homes  

TomNicholson, managing director Linden Homes Chiltern: ?While I won?t disagree that we are not building enough homes, this criticism cannot be directed at developers. We are continually restricted at planning level, with applications often taking ...


Housing reform
Brown must change the system Housing reform was the centrepiece of the legislative programme unveiled by Gordon Brown and should be welcomed. But his promise for a 20 per cent increase in the country?s housebuilding will require a major change in government policy if it is to succeed. The traditional barriers to planning of viability, infrastructure and undersupply of resources will need to be addressed if Brown is to achieve ambitious targets. ...
Challenge to zero carbon
NHBC challenges zero carbon agenda NHBC, the warranty and insurance provider for new homes in the UK, has submitted a challenging response to the government?s ?Building a Greener Future: Zero Carbon Development? consultation. As a key player in the drive to achieve `zero carbon` NHBC has embraced sustainability as part of its `raising standards` agenda and is committed to developing guidance and support to help the house-building industry rise t...
Regulation overwhelming
02.03.07 Regulate finance not house builders Regulation of the house building industry is becoming so overwhelming that it threatens efficiency, output and prices, says Professor Dr Michael Benfield, visiting professor of civil & construction engineering, University of Wales. With building, planning and a range of other regulatory measures all set to increase as government redoubles its efforts to meet its climate change objectives, ...
BURA on Communities England
17.01.07 BURA on Communities England The British Urban Regeneration Association (BURA) has welcomed the announcement of the merger of English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation into Communities England.  BURA?s chief executive, Jon Ladd, said:  ?This merger provides the opportunity to create a delivery body truly focussed on regeneration and the creation of sustainable communities.  The merger should utilise both organisations? core st...
CAVEAT
21.12.06 Home information packs: Spin or flimflam, maybe both? So AHIPP, the trade association for home information pack providers say their six town ?early roll out? (originally called  a dry run, if I remember right) is going great guns do they?  If this is truly the case, why are they so coy over providing answers to my very reasonable enquiries about progress then? Some weeks ago I put a number of questions to their PR company following ...
Employer of choice
Employer of choice Imagine having the flexibility to balance your home and work life, together with great career development opportunities and access to an on-site massage service to help relieve the stresses of modern living. Dream job? Either that or you are an employee at Northern Counties Housing Association (NCHA), winner of the ?Employer of Choice? title in this year?s ?Neighbourhood Awards? sponsored by the National Housing Federation an...
RICS home truths
07.09.06 Home truths Professional advice reduces costly mistakes in home improvements Money spent on home improvements does not automatically increase the value of a property, say chartered surveyors.  In fact, in some cases, unsympathetic extensions and building works can devalue a property or make it more difficult to sell.   Home owners should make sure they are well informed before they call in the builders. I...
CIH to Labour Party
25.09.06 Labour Party conference fringe event ? all party parliamentary group for homelessness and housing need Speech by Merron Simpson, head of policy at the Chartered Institute of Housing Theme: What cost, low cost housing It is true, that fewer people are able to afford to buy a home now than say, 20 years ago. Kate Barker calculated this to be 37 per cent in 2002 compared to 46 per cent in the late 80s. A...
HMO Lobby
Silo Thinking Misses Boat Two recent government publications reveal a crying need for joined-up thinking in approaches to housing problems in general - and to those of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in particular. The Department for Communities & Local Government?s (DCLG) housing research summary 228 Dealing with ?Problem? Private Rented Housing was published on 26 July 2006.  For probably the first time, the government h...
Rental bewilderment
Bewilderment over rental issues The need to understand the implementation of much of the new legislation covering the private rented sector is exacerbated by frequently contradictory and inaccurate information from local authorities, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA). This year is an unusually busy and complex year for legislation and regulation. It has already seen the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HH...
Choose agent carefully
Risk expert warns buy to let landlords to choose an agent carefully Although thousands of students are about to hit the streets in search of accommodation, many landlords will see their dreams of a steady rental income shattered due to the actions of some third-rate letting agents. Those landlords who don?t use agents need to take special care in choosing their tenants or they, too, can lose a lot of money. The warnings come fr...
Odd behaviour
IT SHOULDN?T HAPPEN TO A LANDLORD As their ?Montrose Properties? agency in Didsbury marks 25 years in rented property management Jenny and Rob Wildblood look back over a personal list of Top Ten ?lapses? by landlords and tenants

Heard the one about the student who put a housebrick in the washing machine? He wanted to stonewash his jeans? and then wondered why the machine broke down. But it was no laughing matter when the landlord...


Homelessness and learning

Fighting homelessness through learning A poor skill-set is just one of the reasons why people can become, and stay, homeless.  National homelessness charity Crisis? forthcoming conference, the Innovations Fair, will explore how learning and skills c...


Buy to Let
HOW TO BUY-TO-LET With property investment still proving to be one of the most popular and trusted forms of investment in the UK today, the Buy-to-Let market is booming, but according to mortgage expert Bill Sunner of Landlords Only, the UK landlord mortgage specialists, there are golden rules for wannabe landlords to follow. Everyone is getting into Buy-to-Lets at the moment, but many of these people do not fully appreciate that by Buying to Le...
Home Buyers Deceived

Home buyers deceived by show homes

It is common practice for house builders to use show homes to sell off-plan properties, but it is essential that home owners are aware that these can be misleading.  A significant number of owners of properties we inspect are disappointed their home is pale reflection of the show homes that they are shown. This is not only in terms of the number of snagging defects, but in areas such as the specification, landscaping ...


Beware Agents

Beware agents who flatter to deceive

The strong market that ended 2005 and started this year has continued but it has brought with it the re-emergence of an old problem, that of over valuation of properties by some estate agents.

The problem is the practice of flattery to deceive that does nobody any good because it misleads consumers and, ultimately, misleads the agents who do it. The idea behind an over valuation is that it achieves an instruction f...


Small Households Buy To Let
03.02.06 Small Households to drive the need for Buy to Let A bleak outlook for British housing need was forecast in a joint presentation to the Association of Residential Letting Agents? annual conference by a leading mortgage lender and a major property services group, active in social housing. John Heron, Managing Director of specialist buy to let lender Paragon Mortgages, told delegates that already a high proportion of non-homeowners felt...

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