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PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: Yourkeys | Dispute Service | New Homes Target

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

New Yourkeys integration pre-qualifies buyers

SPF Private Clients Limited has now integrated with Yourkeys, a Zoopla company, accelerating the process of exchange by digitally transforming the analogue processes.

This alliance will mean that prospective buyers can be financially sliced and diced prior to moving on and looking to reserve or purchase a new home or property. 

Ric Dawson, the co-founder of Yourkeys, is quick to point out that the company’s vision is to “…create greater transparency for all stakeholders through the entire purchase and conveyancing progress, including for brokers.”

It is interesting to see that Zoopla has not just purchased Yourkeys, but it is now adding pieces and developing the value of the offering further, just at the tipping point where consumers are demanding speed and clarity.

The tech-savvy Generation-Z and those even younger than that expect a property journey that can be seen on a platform by all parties involved, a real win for everyone, especially for the user experience. 

Tenancy deposit disputes drop during covid

According to the latest statistical briefing from the Dispute Service, deposit disputes occurred for just 0.7% of tenancies in England and Wales during 2020/21, likely due to the pandemic.

The report, which is published every year, presents data from a range of factual sources including Freedom of Information (FOI) data and statistics collated internally at the Dispute Service including tenure, the average value of tenancy deposits, the leading cause of disputes, and more.

The report also reveals statistics internally monitored by Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), TDSNI and SafeDeposits Scotland, as well as insights into the wider private rented sector (PRS) in England & Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

The report, written by the Dispute Service Chief Executive Steve Harriott, reveals other insights into the broader PRS. It shows that the private rented sector has continued to outgrow the social renting sector, and that total deposits in England and Wales in the PRS have increased to 4.2 million in March 2021. This equates to a value of £4.3 million in deposits held for private tenancies in 2021.

Cleaning continues to be the prominent reason for disputes and accounted for 49% in England & Wales, 42% in Northern Ireland and 70% in Scotland during the 2020/21 period.

Steve Harriott said: “Our annual Statistical Briefing reveals interesting industry trends in the private rented sector and highlights the impact of Covid-19 in all regions of the UK. Transparent, factual data has never been more important, and this report is just one way we play our part in instilling trust in the private rented sector.” 

The report will provide interesting reading for property professionals, landlords and letting agents operating in private lettings. The Statistical Briefing can now be downloaded for free: Statistical Briefing 2020-21

Jenrick’s 300,000 new homes built annually is unlikely

Despite the number of new homes built, never reaching the quota that the government always promises, it is heartening to read the following post on the GOV.UK portal. In a nutshell, it says that the build rate of new homes to 300,000 per year is on target. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.  

“Part of the largest single investment in affordable housing in a decade, the Affordable Homes Programme funding will deliver around 119,000 homes, including 57,000 for ownership, 29,600 for social rent and 6,250 affordable rural homes…

“Around half of the new homes from this £8.6 billion funding will be available for affordable home ownership, helping even more young people and families to get a foot on the housing ladder. This follows other government schemes to help first-time buyers into homeownership including First Homes, offering new homes at a 30% discount on the open market value, and the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme, which helps first-time buyers secure a mortgage with just a 5% deposit.

“The funding will also deliver nearly 30,000 homes for Social Rent, which are typically 50% to 60% of market prices, providing secure, affordable housing to people who need it most…Today’s funding allocations marks an important step towards the government’s mission to deliver up to 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick went on to say:  ”Creating more opportunities for home ownership is central to this government. This £9 billion funding is a landmark moment for our Affordable Homes Programme and will ensure good quality housing for all as we build back better after the pandemic.

This huge funding package will make the ambition of owning a home a reality for families by making it realistic and affordable.”

CEO of Homes England Peter Denton said:  ”Not only does today’s announcement give our new Strategic Partners the funding, flexibility, and confidence they need to build much needed affordable homes across the country, it also establishes a large network of organisations looking to share their skills and capabilities to expand the affordable housing sector and transform communities.”

For the period of 1972 to 2019, according to NHBC – who cover 80% of new homes built – the average amount of new homes registered annually is 155,000. So, add 20% and the average build rate is only 172,222 a year. This is 127,778 fewer new homes annually than the Housing Secretary claims will be built.

So that 300,000new homes built rate, starting in 40 months, is again another piece of Whitehall nonsense. Add in the skill shortage and raw material shortage, by 2025 the best build rate might be closer to 187,000 in that year. Time will tell if this is all just bluster.

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Andrew Stanton CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. 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 having met 1,000 Proptech founders, critiqued 400 decks and had 130 Proptechs as clients. With an audience of 100K followers & readers, he is best known as being a 'Proptech Realestate Influencer' both shaping and reporting on the digital transformation of the industry.

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