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Housing market cools, property supply shortage, Devon’s holiday homeowners, kitchen colours, and cannabis farm discovered

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This week we look at the latest property news including a cooling house market, a property supply shortage and other property related headlines …

House price growth slows as housing market cools

Homebuyers are now contending with less generous tax breaks on Stamp Duty, but the laws of high demand and faltering supply ensure that, although the rate of increase has slowed, house prices are still 7.6%% higher than at this time last year.

Reporting on the latest state of the housing market, the BBC revealed on the 6th of August that the average price of a home in the UK now stands at £261,221.

The surge in house prices slowed a little during July. The 7.6% increase over 2020’s prices compared with an 8.7% increase that was registered the previous month.

Increases in property prices have varied quite widely in different parts of the UK – with those in Wales, for example, recording average increases of 13.8% whereas those in London have been limited to just 2.5% over the past 12 months.

Property shortage - which English regions need more rental properties?

The disparity between high demand and scarce supply may have been welcome news for those selling homes but it has created problems for prospective tenants searching for accommodation to rent in some parts of the country, reported Property Investor Today this week.

The article identifies opportunities for buy to let investors in those parts of the country where there is a high demand for private rented accommodation but where it is currently in short supply.

It cites as an example, the south west of England where there are an estimated 520,000 homes in the private rented sector, yet only 7,802 (1.5%) are currently vacant and available to rent. In the north west of England, that proportion is only 2.2% of accommodation in the private rented sector; the north east 2.4%; and Yorkshire and the Humber 2.5%.

Second-home owners in Devon holiday hotspots could have to pay business rates

A story on ITV News on the 8th of August highlighted the difficulties for local people to buy or rent homes in their own area because of the high proportion of second or holiday home ownership.

It gives the example of house prices in and around the town of Salcombe where as many as 65% of all homes are now estimated to be owned as second or holiday homes and where the average price of a house has, therefore, risen to £750,000 – well beyond the reach of locally-employed people.

The situation has become such that some local residents and business owners are calling for councils in Devon to charge business rates to the owners of second homes – so that they are making a financial contribution to local communities.

Most popular kitchen colour for a ‘happy home’ revealed

White is the colour to go for when choosing your fitted kitchen units if you want a happy home, according to a story published in the Express newspaper on the 6th of August.

The newspaper cited research done by kitchen unit retailers Magnet which suggests that the most popular colour for fitted units is white and that one in six households felt their happiest in a kitchen of that colour – adding that a happy kitchen also makes for a happy home.

Those surveyed found that white kitchens gave the appearance of cleanliness and freshness and helped to open up the available space to make it seem bigger than it actually is.

White is a sufficiently natural and neutral colour to appeal to the broadest range of potential homebuyers and tenants argued the story, suggesting that this was the almost timeless choice of colour that would not only bring the most joy but also encourage an optimum financial return on your investment whether you are selling or letting the home.

Landlord's distress after cannabis farm discovered at his property

Some landlords are, sadly, still caught out by unscrupulous tenants who turn the let property into an illegal cannabis farm. The distress this caused to one such landlord was highlighted in a story carried by Bradford’s Telegraph and Argus newspaper on the 9th of August.

The 43-year-old landlord was especially horrified not only by the damage and chaos caused by tenants who turned his property into a huge cannabis farm but also because the house had once been the self-built family home and store of many happy memories that now lay in ruins.

The illegal activities of his tenants have been reported to the police who are in the process of dismantling the cannabis farm – leaving in its wake an estimated £25,000 of damage and the landlord’s worries that the finger of suspicion might inevitably be pointed at him as the owner of the property.