PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: Help to Buy | Lets Bid | House of Lords | End of SDLT holiday

Daily bite-sized proptech and real estate news in partnership with Estate Agent Networking. Today, Stanton looks at Help to Buy, Lets Bid, House of Lords, and more.

We have flying cars but it still takes 28-weeks to sell a house

BBC News announced yesterday that “the hybrid car-aircraft, AirCar, is equipped with a BMW engine and runs on regular petrol-pump fuel.” Prof Stefan Klein, its creator, said it could fly about 1,000km and had clocked up 40 hours in the air so far.

So there we have it…a James Bond car that converts into a plane in two minutes, and yet, if you want to buy a home in the UK, typically it is a 28-week saga. The big question is why? The reach of technology doubles every year and in 1988 two million properties were sold and completed in just one year, before the days of cloud computing and the internet.

Now in 2021, to get 1.2 million properties completed has made the conveyancing, estate agency and lending sectors overheat – yet we can buy online at Amazon and have a cardboard box with a smile the very next day.

Maybe Amazon will get into the estate agency business.

Help to Buy scheme has helped over 300,000 buy a property since 2013

The government-backed and taxpayer-funded initiative to give buyers a 20% deposit (up to 40% in London) to get on to the property ladder has in its latest analysis helped on average 35,000 buyers a year to buy a new home.

Interestingly, 80% of buyers using the scheme are first time buyers, and the analysis also poses the question of whether this has fuelled the uptick in property prices, as it artificially enables buyers to buy homes they could not normally afford, and the big deposits allow buyers to get preferential mortgages due to the loan to value ratio.  

House of Lords Built Environment Committee needs your views on the future of housing

With a closing date of early September, Chair Baroness Neville-Rolfe will be looking into all aspects of what is wrong around housing in the UK. With a remit to look at new homes, regarding the buying and selling of property, the pain points, design and construction issues, such as the Grenfell and cladding issue.

This is a great opportunity for property professionals and proptech professionals to get their thoughts, strategies, and analysis in front of the government. Having been involved with these key meetings over the years where there are calls for evidence, it is great to see the government seizing the nettle. 

In an overview, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “To inform our work we want to hear from as broad a range of people as possible. If you have a view on housing … let us know what you think … Our inquiry will focus on what shapes the type of housing needed in the UK as well as a range of challenges to meeting that demand. We will then make our recommendations to Government.”

Lets Bid doubles its business development sales force to meet demand

Founded by Milton Rodosthenous, Lets Bid Property provides a number of tech solutions for estate agents looking to help the public in the search for their property. He reports that “Due to the fantastic uptake of our services, we have had to double our sales force to keep up with demand. A key winner with agents had been our probate property prospecting service, which pinpoints these properties before they come to the market. These are key buys for the public and, of course, agents love to have a way of sourcing probates which make up 10% of all housing sold each year.”

Agents needing information can visit Lets Bid Property.

Last day of SDLT holiday – will the housing market grind to a halt?

Today is the last day for any property that is not exchanged to do so, completing on the same day if the buyers in the transaction chain want to take advantage of the SDLT tax break holiday.

More to the point there will be numerous transactions that will be targeting today as their moving date having already exchanged as they could not get removals for last Friday.

So, what now?

Will buyer sentiment dry up? Will everyone go on holiday on 19th July and leave the property market holding its breath until mid-September, the traditional second wave in the yearly housing market cycle?

Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.

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