Strong Start To 2022 Housing Market

Now that we are in April, with spring blooming all around us, it is fair to say the housing market is moving into a busy time of year. Of course, the housing market has been busy throughout 2022 so far.

At Williams of Petersfield, we know the local housing market well, and we stay in touch with what is happening nationally.

This ensures you get all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Mortgage searches are on the up

The 2022 property market got off to a flying start with mortgage search volumes by advisers increasing by close to 80%. This is according to information provided by the Legal & General Mortgage Club.

In comparison to the December 2021 figures, the January 2022 numbers rose by 91%. There was also a significant increase in searches on behalf of first-time landlords, which rose by 63%.

The information also suggests The Bank of Mum and Dad was a huge supporter for these buyers in January. Searches for people with gifted deposits increased by 88% in January 2022. There was an increase in the searches for landlords with gifted equity by 82%.

Challenges in the mortgage market

We know there are many financial challenges these days, and the January findings suggest a lot of people are looking to take better control of their finances:

  • There was an increase of 157% in searches for lenders willing to accept applicants with an unsatisfied default
  • There was an increase of 77% in searches for applicants with unsecured arrears
  • For applicants with missed mortgage payments, there was an increase in 90% of searches
  • There was a rise of 134% for applicants with a debt management plan
  • Searches for interest-only mortgages increased by 85%

Kevin Roberts, director, Legal & General Mortgage Club, comments: “There is still healthy demand in the mortgage market, but there are also signs that the cost-of-living squeeze is beginning to drive some borrowers to remortgage or find alternative mortgage solutions that help them better manage their finances. Advisers will have a critical role to play in helping many of these borrowers to secure a new fixed-rate mortgage or find a lender that is willing to support those with more complex circumstances. When advisers are dealing with these volumes, or with a case that doesn’t quite fit lender criteria, the role of technology cannot be overstated. Automating processes such as administrative tasks can give advisers back time to focus on helping borrowers secure the right mortgage for their needs. Our research tools continue to be an ally to intermediaries, and we remain committed to helping support brokers through new tech where we best can.”

Contact Williams of Petersfield for all your 2022 housing market needs

At Williams of Petersfield, we aim to support the Petersfield community as much as we can, and we know this is an extremely trying time. A lot of people are looking for support and guidance, and if you have any property or housing related questions, we are more than happy to assist you, so contact us today.

Petersfield Homes And Energy Efficiency

In winter, there is a lot to think about with respect to your home, but it is easy to see why so many people are interested in heating and energy.

At Williams of Petersfield, we are interested in the increasing focus on energy efficiency for homes, and we believe this is something that will become more prominent in the property market.

South East performing well with respect to energy efficiency

The South East of England ranked joint-second in the list of Median energy efficiency score for English regions and Wales, up to March 2021. This was with a score of 67, which was only bettered by London.

According to Government figures, “The median energy efficiency score for dwellings in England was 66 and 64 in Wales for all records up to March 2021, which is equivalent to band D.” This information was taken from the Government’s website:

What makes a property energy efficient?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) lists the most significant factors for a property’s energy efficiency are:

  • The age of the property
  • The type of fuel used in the property
  • The property type

It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that homes built since 2012 in England and Wales are likely to be far more energy efficient compared to older property.

These homes are commonly classed as having the highest energy efficiency rating, while just 12% of assessed homes which were built before 1900 in England hold this classification.

Only 42% of assessed property in England holds an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of at least a C. This means close to 60% of all assessed homes will fall below the expected standard, which is a huge concern for the lettings sector.

What do the experts say?

Propertymark’s policy and campaigns manager Timothy Douglas says: “The UK government must take these findings seriously and understand the huge challenge that many landlords face to upgrade property which introduces a real risk of many exiting the sector. To navigate this, they must provide funding and support based on much broader considerations.”

The ONS says: “Controlling for other factors, the age of a dwelling has the biggest impact on its energy efficiency, with newer homes much more likely than older homes to have an EPC rating of C or above. To understand the biggest influences on a home’s energy efficiency, we have used a logistic regression model to assess the impact of different characteristics in isolation (or controlling for other variables). The data used in this analysis only covers homes for which an EPC exists, and therefore doesn’t reflect the entire housing stock.”

The ONS also said; “Newer homes are the most likely to be energy efficient. Almost all dwellings in England and Wales built since 2012 have an EPC rating of C or above, and as such the odds of a house of this age having a high rating are extremely high compared with houses built earlier. Homes built before 1900 were the least likely to have a high efficiency rating.”

Contact Williams of Petersfield for all your 2022 housing market needs

At Williams of Petersfield, we aim to support the Petersfield community as much as we can, and we know this is an extremely trying time. A lot of people are looking for support and guidance, and if you have any property or housing related questions, we are more than happy to assist you, so contact us today.

Homes Are Selling Fast – How Many Viewings Do You Need?

The nature of buying and selling homes has changed of late. It is understandable that many people have been wary of visiting property for a viewing. Virtual viewings have changed the way buyers consider homes, and it might be that it is driving the fast-paced nature of the housing market.

At Williams of Petersfield, we know the market has shifted in recent times. We’ve seen this with our clients, and we’ve seen it with the latest studies.

Many prospective buyers cannot arrange viewings

U-See Homes asked buyers about failing to arrange a viewing before the home was sold, and these are the findings:

  • 51% of buyers said they experienced homes being sold before they made it to the viewing stage
  • 33% of respondents said this happened with at least one quarter of their scheduled viewing
  • 9% said they couldn’t view the property for around a quarter and half of their scheduled appointments
  • 9% said they couldn’t view the property on at least half of their scheduled appointments

It can be hard to arrange a second viewing

U-See Homes also asked buyers if they saw a property once but then didn’t manage to arrange a second viewing because the house was sold. These were the findings:

  • 38% of buyers said this was the case
  • 15% of respondents said it happened at least a quarter of the time before they arranged a second viewing
  • 48% of UK buyers said they would be happy to submit an offer after an initial viewing in person with a second viewing conducted virtually
  • 36% said a virtual tour would have helped them avoid unnecessary viewings
  • 16% of respondents said they would submit an offer on a property liked after a virtual viewing, and without having seen it in person

Simon Dempsey, head of marketing for U-See Homes, commented: “Homes are selling like hotcakes in the current market and if you’re lucky enough to reach the offers stage, the chances are you’ll have some tough competition from a number of other eager buyers. For over half of homebuyers, the initial task of getting a foot in the door is proving too large an obstacle and many are finding the properties they have scheduled to view are flying off the shelf before they’ve even had a chance to view them.”

Simon continued by saying; “Virtual viewings can be a vital resource in overcoming this current property market pitfall, allowing you to get a very good idea of a home before viewing, or as a follow up to an initial viewing to reconfirm your feelings. Doing so allows you to at least remove the need for an unnecessary additional viewing in person and if you do want to make an offer, it can mean getting in ahead of the rest.”

Simon concluded by saying; “Of course, while virtual viewings can streamline the process, you need to make it to that all-important physical viewing first which is also proving a tough ask. That said, 16% of buyers would be prepared to submit an offer without seeing the home in person first – and even we’re a little surprised by that.”

At Williams of Petersfield, we aim to support the Petersfield community as much as we can, and we know this is an extremely trying time. A lot of people are looking for support and guidance, and if you have any property or housing related questions, we are more than happy to assist you, so contact us today.

Petersfield Landlords: Is Your Home Fit For Human Habitation?

We know that Petersfield landlords have a lot to consider, but at Williams of Petersfield, we aim to provide as much support and guidance as we can. If you struggle to stay in touch with regulations, rely on us to keep you informed and up to date. There is a new Act coming into effect this month, and it is vital you are aware of how it may impact your business.

Be ready for further changes in the rental sector

All landlords in the country should be mindful of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act. This Act comes into effect on the 20th of March. Rental property is required to be fit for human habitation at the start of the tenancy and throughout the lease.

The Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Act applies to:

  • Tenancies shorter than seven years, taking effect on or after the 20th of March 2019
  • New assured, introductory and secure tenancies, taking effect on or after the 20th of March 2019
  • Fixed-term tenancies which renew from the 20th of March 2019

From 20th of March 2020, the Act applies for all periodic tenancies.

There are exemptions to the Act. If the tenant, or their possessions, have caused the problem, landlords are not required to resolve the issue. If a problem is down to an Act of God, the landlord is not responsible for the matter. If a landlord is unable to gain consent for improvement work, they will not be responsible for the problem. Also, if a tenant isn’t an individual, with examples of this including the tenant being a Housing Association or Local Authority, the landlord will not be responsible for improvements.

The Act applies to the rental dwelling and common areas where the landlord carried an interest.

The courts are responsible for determining if a property is fit for humans or not. The basis of the court’s findings will be made on Section 10 of the Tenant Act 1985.

Landlords should consider:

  • A lack of ventilation at the property
  • A lack of natural light in the rental property
  • Issues with hot and cold water
  • Difficulties in cooking food
  • Difficulties in washing up
  • Dampness
  • Unstable structure

Landlords could face a compensation order

When a house is deemed unfit for human habitation, and the landlord is to blame, the court can order necessary improvements at the rental home. The courts can also order the landlord to pay compensation to the tenant. The amount of compensation required will depend on many factors. The impact on the tenant, the length of time the tenant has endured a problem and the condition of the rental property are all factors that will influence any compensation.

Most landlords across the country, and in Petersfield, will not be affected by this new Act. However, with tenants having the right to sue landlords when a rental property is in poor condition, landlords must be aware of the new Act.

If you are a Petersfield landlord and you require assistance in letting property, contact Williams of Petersfield, and we will be more than happy to assist you.