Speed of mortgage process is slowing down
2013 has also seen the average time for a customer to receive a mortgage offer slow down, according to figures from financial services technology solutions provider Avelo. Its latest survey shows that 22% of lenders take longer than 30 days to produce a mortgage offer on average, compared to just 11% a year ago. On the other hand, 13% of lenders typically produce an offer in less than 5 days, compared to 18 in 2012.
Henry Woodcock, Principal Mortgage Consultant at Avelo said: “So far, 2013 has been the best year for lenders since 2008. Not only is the mortgage market growing, but the largest lenders have been able to take advantage of their investment in high street branches to tap into growing buyer demand.”
New homes in Northants
Barratt Homes Northampton are launching two new sites in Northamptonshire this month, in Rushden and Brixworth. Around 400 jobs will be created in helping to build and sell the new homes.
73 two, three and four bedroom homes will be built on the land acquired in Rushden and the first residents could move into the new homes next year. The new development in Brixworth will be made up of 150 two, three, four and five bedroom homes. First homes are expected to be ready by February 2014. These new developments are two of 10 new projects that the Northampton-based homebuilder plans to start work on over the next 12 months.
The group this week reported pre-tax profits of £104.8m, up from £100m last year.
Supply and demand
New figures from Hamptons International show house sales in August were up by a third compared with last year, with the number of new applicants registering to buy up by a quarter. Marc Goldberg, Head of Residential Sales at Hamptons International, said: “The market conditions are ideal for those looking to sell and the best we have seen for several years. There is an abundance of motivated buyers and fewer properties available which is allowing us to sell our properties swiftly and at high prices.”
However, Hamptons also report that the rate of growth of new instructions has been slower than buyer registrations for some time and the gap has been widening since the spring. In August instructions to sell were down by 14% compared with last year. In London there are 18% fewer properties available for sale compared to last year.
“It’s not just a lack of supply of new homes that threatens a stable housing market. Without sellers of existing homes coming to market too, a smooth recovery is at risk, despite brighter economic conditions and improving mortgage credit conditions, said Fionnuala Earley, Research Director, Hamptons International.
Poor housing costs letting agent £47,000
A letting agent who rented out a damp, dangerous and dilapidated property in Hounslow has received a hefty fine following a successful council prosecution.
Officers inspecting the property found seven tenants living at the property, in five separate bedrooms, which included the front and rear living rooms. They also discovered a significant number of defects relating to excess cold, damp and mould, electrical hazards, problems with sanitation and drainage, security, fire safety, structural hazards and hygiene. A boiler that had been turned off by the manufacturer due to its unsafe installation had been switched back on.
It was also discovered that the property was a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and required a licence to be let out to tenants.
Cllr Steve Curran, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration at the council said: “The fact the fine for failing to have an HMO licence is one of the largest in the country shows the seriousness of the offences. I’m pleased magistrates have thrown the book at this criminal letting agent, as the conditions the tenants were living in were, frankly, appalling. They took more than £24,000 in rent from these tenants and left them to live in squalor.”
The offences, fines and costs awarded were:
* Managing an unlicensed HMO: £15,000 fine
* Supplying false information: £5,000 fine
* 3 offences relating to management of the property: £22,500 fine
* Compensation to tenants: £600
* Victim surcharge: £120
· Council’s legal costs: £4,320
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