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Bungalows all the rage, the greening of tradesmen, anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, and pimp your London home

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Want to know what’s hitting the headlines of UK property news? Just read on. You’ll find a real mixed bag of topics spanning the interests of both homeowners, renters, and even the tradesmen who look after our homes.

Bungalow sales soar as older couples downsize

Bungalows are all the rage amongst today’s buyers who are scrabbling for homes with bigger gardens and opportunities to extend as older owners who have decided to downsize.

The burgeoning market for bungalows is highlighted in a story published by the Mail Online on the 18th of April citing figures from online listings website Zoopla which suggest that demand for this style of home has shot up by 60% so far in 2022.

While bungalows have conventionally been around 5% cheaper than standard houses, the upsurge in demand is fuelling an increase in prices. The newspaper story mentioned several recent buyers who have effectively paid a premium in order to secure the purchase of a bungalow in place of the house in which they previously lived.

Huge leap in demand for rental properties

In a story on the last week, Landlord Today revealed a massive leap in demand for rental property. This continues the record activity in the rental market achieved at the end of 2021 when demand reached its highest since 2011.

Figures for the first three months of this year suggest that demand for rental property has grown steadily throughout the course of successive Covid lockdowns and beyond.

In a recent survey, 62% of landlords said they found increased demand during the first quarter of this year – practically double the proportion who reported such a demand this time last year and four times the level reported at the start of 2020, when only 16% of landlords believed demand was growing.

Among those landlords reporting an increase in demand, 34% described it as “significant” while 28% described the increase as “slight”. Reports of either significant or slight falls in demand were reported by just 3% of landlords – the lowest recorded.

Study reveals 63% of tradespeople are going greener in 2022

It seems that many tradesmen are going greener in response to a surge in demand amongst their customers for so-called “eco-improvements” to their homes, said Property Investor Today on the 20th of April.

As tradesmen respond to the uptick in demand for building works such as the installation of heat pumps and electric vehicle (EV) charging points – not to mention the ongoing demand for roof insulation – so they are making a point of learning the necessary new skills and becoming greener in their own business methods and practices.

Eight out of ten tradesmen forecast even greater demand for eco-friendly home improvements in the year ahead while more than four in ten homeowners also said they would give preference to environmentally friendly tradesmen when appointing a contractor.

A third of property professionals say they’re not AML compliant 

A third of professionals at work in the booming property sector confess that they are not anti-money laundering (AML) compliant, according to an article in Estate Agent Today on the 21st of April.

Citing a recent survey of property professionals, the article revealed that more than one in three of them doubted whether their current working practices enabled them to comply with HM Customs & Revenue (HMRC) rules on anti-money laundering.

Few of the property professionals professed to giving AML compliance a very high priority in their work – with 23% instead explaining that meeting their own personal business targets was more important, a further 14% saying that seizing opportunities to earn more was a more important goal, and 26% of those surveyed saying that both these objectives took priority over AML compliance.  

London property: The one thing that can add £50k to the price of your home and £350 a month to your rent

If you own property in London, there is one surprising feature that could add as much as £50,000 to the market value of your home or an extra £350 to £400 a month to the rent you collect on a buy to let property.

That money-making feature has nothing to do with the property itself, insists a story in My London on the 20th of April, but the simple attraction of a dedicated cycle lane on the road outside the home.

Surveys conducted throughout London’s 32 boroughs showed that a valuable premium is added to an owner-occupied or rented home simply by virtue of it being alongside one of the six principal “cycle superhighways” that crisscross the capital.