PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: Halifax | REACH UK | NRLA

Andrew Stanton’s daily Property News Briefing in association with Estate Agent Networking.

Halifax says rise in house value is now slowing

House prices rose by less than 1% in October, according to building society Halifax’s index. This is a slow down in real terms, and there are of course many factors that could be at play:

  1. Seasonal variation: House prices often soften as we enter the Winter months.
  2. Interest Rates: Last Thursday we came close to the Bank of England raising the interest rate from 0.1%. The minutes of the meeting show a rise is eventually likely, and sooner rather than later.
  3. More home movers: Simply put, more people have moved home in 2021 already. It is estimated that 1.5 million may move by year-end. Typically there are 1.1-1.2 million completions a year, so it could be argued that the market was due to cool.
  4. SDLT Holiday: September drew the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday to a close, which had seen hundreds of thousands swerve the usual fees payable to the HMRC.

The CEO of the Halifax Russell Galley commented: “With the Bank of England expected to react to building inflation risks by raising rates as soon as next month, and further such rises predicted over the next 12 months, we do expect house-buying demand to cool in the months ahead as borrowing costs increase.”

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REACH UK’s first-ever cohort graduates

Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to be invited to the closing event of the first REACH UK program backed by Second Century Ventures, the commercial arm of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and also in cooperation with ARLA Propertymark.

What was remarkable was that this whole program, which started in February, had played out during the pandemic, meaning a lot of the program was often more video conferencing than face to face events.

The event itself kicked off with a great keynote speech by Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark,  who likened the cohort companies to infants growing up and being nurtured by the founders and REACH UK’s network. 

property news: REACH UK cohort

There then followed a polished final pitch for each company on the program, delivered to the assembled audience by the founders and co-founders:

Axel Hars – MYRAI

Philip Farrell  – Offr

Steve Rad – Property Inspect (InventoryBase) 

Tom Selva  – SmartPoint

Merilee Karr – UnderTheDoormat

Manoj Varsani – Hammock

Each outlined the problems they had defined and the solutions they provided, all in different verticals of the real estate ecosystem. What really came through was the comradery and closeness of the class, as they had experienced the same journey, which was headed up by leads Valentina Shegoyan & Natasha Terinova.

It was also great to hear that the NAR, the association of property practitioners who have been around for 130 years, firmly see that technology is here as the next generation of digital solutions to enhance and not replace all professionals in real estate, creating less friction and more profit. 

Tyler Thompson pointed out that in this digital age, value and growth must be linked to the creative vision of the founders, who have the support and resources of the REACH program, a true partnership that amounts to a win for all stakeholders involved.

Although this program is over, it was also made very clear that REACH UK would continue to nurture and support the seven original companies in the years to come as they blossom, get even greater market traction, and become household names and hopefully global brands.

The NRLA will have its annual meeting in November

On November 30th via Zoom, Ben Beadle, CEO of The National Residential Landlords Association will present its annual review. At the same time, the annual report and accounts will be unveiled. Given that the NRLA is in its infancy, it certainly has been in the media focus during the past 12 months.  

Ben Beadle has been a constant voice regarding the PRS and of course the interests of landlords and, in a balanced way, tenants who form the other side of the ecosystem. He has lobbied the government and kept a spotlight on the issues that the pandemic has created.

With a membership of over 90,000 members, it will be interesting to see both its financial shape and what it believes it has achieved during its inaugural year.

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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