Proptech & Property News in Brief: TwentyCi, Boris Johnson & Brownfield Sites (07/10)

In today’s news, Andrew Stanton looks at TwentyCi data around home moving and Boris Johnson’s questionable comments on housing at the Conservative Party Conference.

Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Estate Agent Networking.


Suprise! TwentyCi data shows moving home is still a long process

TwentyCi, which accurately deals with a huge number of datasets around the property vertical, has revealed data that will underpin what many home movers already know; buying a property takes ages.

The housing market in 2021 was supercharged by the stamp duty holiday, pushing many buyers to complete as soon as possible due to cut off dates at the end of June and the end of September. Many believed this would translate into moving home taking less time, but the data shows this not to be the case.

Ian Lancaster, CEO of TwentyCi, said: “For home moves that took place in September, the median time to complete across the whole of the United Kingdom was 123 days or 17.6 weeks. This compares with 13.4 weeks in 2019. If I instructed an estate agent on 1st October 2021 and I’m ranked as average, I will be moving in on 20th February 2022.”

“For home moves that took place in September, the median time to complete across the whole of the United Kingdom was 123 days or 17.6 weeks. This compares with 13.4 weeks in 2019. If I instructed an estate agent on 1st October 2021 and I’m ranked as average, I will be moving in on 20th February 2022.”

Ian Lancaster, CEO of TwentyCi

So, it takes almost four months to move, which is why between 25-32% of sales fall through, depending on the type of housing market we have at that time, as well as the quotidian frustrations, life changes, and factors on the properties which are often linked in a chain kick in. 

At present, the amount of sales falling through is low as there is a scarcity of property. Very few pull out of buying a property due to buyer’s remorse. It appears to be a far more complex reason or a combination of less significant reasons.

Given that the transfer of title and gaining mortgage finance is still more analogue than digital, as we tick towards 2030 the pressure will come from the digital natives that four months to move is not acceptable.

After all, you could build a house in that time from scratch.

Source: Regeneris

Boris Johnson puts homeownership front and centre again 

The closing speech from Boris the Entertainer at the Conservative Party Conference 2021 was interspersed with jokes and revelry, but also a number of questionable facts when it came to housing.

In some ways, there was an echo of Margaret Thatcher, with homeownership as a right being championed. 

As PM Boris Johnson put it: “To share the dream of homeownership…there is no happiness like taking a set of keys and knowing the place is yours.”

He also stated that the Conservative government had overseen the largest volume of new home building in the last thirty years. Yet we know that hard data shows the building of new property has flatlined.    

According to NHBC, which provides for 80% of the certification for new builds, it issues about 140,000 a year, which means in total 175,000 new homes are being built, despite the rhetoric of the PM.

And this has been a constant rate for a year, with a 2% to 4% uptick annually. So with a growing population and 42% of people living in a household of one, there is simply not enough housing out there for people to buy. And the target of 300,000 homes being built annually, which was not in his speech but has been often quoted of late, will take a miracle to pull off.

Interestingly, when talking about building and infrastructure, Boris opined that parts of the country would enjoy rewilding programmes, so the otter and beaver could repopulate. So no building on the green belt areas.

His answer to where the new housing would go was that there will be “beautiful homes on brownfield sites.” He received applause for this. But brownfield sites are often developed land that is no longer in use. Oh, and it may be potentially contaminated.

So Boris has another big idea. In order to keep the electorate happy, let’s build on contaminated land which may be harmful to life. If it’s good enough for disused petrol stations, it’s good enough for our people!

Maybe it is time that Boris put away his joke book and slogans, and looked into some of the detail that he is outlining, because the cost of remediation of brownfield sites can be high too if the ground is contaminated, and developers have to weigh up the mindset of buyers.

It is far easier to sell a new home on what was once a field rather than what was once a lorry park and has been derelict for twenty years. 


Andrew Stanton is the founder of Proptech-PR and Proptech-X. He grows proptech companies using his influence from decades of industry experience and is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations.

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