Welcome to Edition #12 of our Weekly Property Roundup, where we’ve done the hard work sifting through the week’s most relevant news so you as a landlord, tenant or investor can be confident you’re up to date with everything you need to know in the property world.
This week’s Top 4
Facebook enters the UK property market
This week, Facebook entered the UK property market by placing listings on Facebook Marketplace. The goal of Marketplace is to connect people through commerce, and more than 800 million people visit each month to buy and sell.
These property listings being are supplied both OnTheMarket and Zoopla, and they are emphasising the exposure that their agents will get through Facebook.
Property searchers will be able to filter by property type, price and number of bedrooms, and it is believed enquires and viewings can be done through Facebook pages.
Thomas Ashdown of Edinburgh based Citylets said his firm is, like Rightmove, not participating.
Ashdown suggested it is all about a power battle and Facebook having listings of this scale carries king-maker responsibilities.
He said: “One should scrutinise the long-term business objectives of any potential partner to understand precisely whom it is one would make king and ask if it is in the long-term best interests of agents.
He added: “The deed is done, Facebook is now here in rentals.”
Research claims nothing will stop the growth in renting
Research conducted by Hamilton International claim that recent policy changes by the government will do nothing to stop the growth of renting.
Despite many landlords buying fewer homes, or selling more properties than they have bought, there are still many other routes into providing new lettings.
Hamilton also forecast the sector to continue growing and reach six million households by 2025. By 2022, 20.5% of households will be renting in Great Britain, which is 19.4% more than today.
SNP pledge £7 billion for building projects
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has outlined plans to invest £7 billion into a major building project.The Scottish government will look towards rebuilding schools and hospitals, as well as housebuilding and this will be funded through a combination of borrowing and private sector contribution.
The Scottish First Minister also went on to outline plans to further investment in affordable housing, and “ensure that more than 50,000 affordable homes are delivered, including at least 35,000 for social rent, over this parliament”.
Sturgeon also announced plans for a non-domestic rates bill to implement the remaining recommendations from the Barclay Review on business rates.
English government scrap three-year tenancy plan
Reports indicate that the government have scrapped their plans to introduce mandatory three-year tenancies in England.
The motivation behind the plan was to offer private tenants greater security, however the risks with the three-year tenancies far outweigh the possible benefits, and concerns were raised that it would deter people from investing in the BTL sector.
The opinions of those in the industry have been mixed regarding the proposed change, however a recent study from MakeUrMove showed that tenants prefer flexibility and freedom.