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Facebook and Twitter vs estate agents and TV property experts

Alex Johnson

hut1 300x209 Facebook and Twitter vs estate agents and TV property expertsA quarter of househunters now focus their efforts on social networks rather than via estate agents, according to a new study of 2,500 adults by Hygena.

According to its figures, more than two thirds of househunters also turn to friends and family for advice on where to move to, compared to 45% who trust the opinion of estate agents. Interestingly, only 8% say they are influenced by property shows on TV, half the number who say a decent local pub is a must. Other results include:

* 5% will only choose to buy or rent a property if they think it will appeal to the opposite sex
* 55% said good neighbours were an essential deciding factor
* 30% said the ‘wrong’ postcode would put them off making an offer

The study coincides with the launch of George Lamb’s guide for Hygena aimed especially at male househunters.

Shepherds’ huts
Shepherds’ huts are enjoying something of a renaissance as people search for a special extra room or garden office in their back garden. A new book by Dave Morris – Shepherds’ Huts & Living Vans, published by Amberley – would make a marvellous Christmas present for anybody interested in their history and current surge of popularity. Tomorrow, as part of the book’s launch, Dave will be at the Castle Garden Centre, Sherborne, Dorset, with one of the country’s leading shepherd’s hut makers, Plankbridge.

Buy-to-let in 2014?
We’re right in the middle of property prediction season now. The latest to offer their thoughts are online tenant and landlord service Rentify whose CEO George Spencer says that the rise in the number of landlords in 2013 should result in more rental property becoming available in 2014.

“This in turn will curb some rent rises,” he says. “We expect rents to plateau more in 2014 in line with inflation figures, although London is truly establishing itself as a micro-market, with its own rules. In London, demand for rented housing is outstripping supply and rental pricing is on an upwards trajectory. This will force more tenants to seriously consider buying as opposed to renting.

“The outlook for buy-to-let is healthy, with strong yields continuing, but landlords should not see it as a get rich quick scheme. Instead, they should invest for the long term and think about looking after their existing tenants, rather than hiking rates at every opportunity. More regulation, with the prospect of letting agent licensing, the government mooting the need for landlords to vet tenants for immigration status, and calls for property rental and price controls will keep landlords on their toes in 2014.”

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