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Property listings photos, Corporation Tax, The Shambles, property prices, noisy neighbours, inventories, and tenants’ pets

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An eager property market, a welcome release from the shackles of the past year’s lockdowns, together with the government’s attempts to repair past damage and stimulate economic recovery, have all contributed to a bumper bag of property news headlines this week.

Here are just some of the highlights.

Boost property listings by switching marketing photos

Any self-respecting property listing of the home you want to sell will, of course, be accompanied by a photo showing it off in its best light.

Now, the latest research by a software developer has revealed that if you regularly update that photo, your property can achieve up to 40% more online viewings, said Property Reporter this week.

By employing software that automatically updates the photo of your property (or doing so yourself), you can ensure that the image remains a great one – and great images can generate up to 93% more leads, with professionally taken photos prompting a quicker sale at a higher asking price.

Corporation Tax changes unlikely to worry landlords?

An article in Landlord Today argued that the majority of landlords are unlikely to be perturbed by the Chancellor’s recent announcement of a steep rise in Corporate Tax with effect from 2023.

It had been expected that the Budget on the 3rd of March would announce increases in Corporation Tax – in part, to help fund the economic recovery post-pandemic but also to lift it above its current all-time low. In the event, the rate of tax was held steady at just 19% with a planned increase to 25% in 2023.

But as Landlord Today points out, the increase affects only those landlords whose companies make profits of more than £50,000 a year – below that and the rate of Corporation Tax will remain at 19%. To earn more than £50,000 a year, it has been calculated that the landlord would need to own at least 10 buy to let properties, each worth an average £190,000 each, and supported by a 75% mortgage.

York’s The Shambles has highest ‘iconic street’ premium

Few street scenes are so celebrated and renowned as that of The Shambles in the centre of the City of York.

Indeed, if you want to buy one of the 14th or 15th-century properties along this narrow, medieval street, you will need to pay nearly 1,000% more for it than a property along any of the neighbouring streets. In terms of hard cash, that means paying some £3.12m for a property in The Shambles compared with the average £295,000 that would get you a perfectly reasonable property nearby.

That huge gap in prices is down to what researchers cited by Property Wire this week have dubbed an “iconic street” premium.

Prospective homebuyers believe property prices will rise says survey

An item on ITV News yesterday tapped the views of house hunters and asked whether they expected prices to rise during the next 12 months.

The survey revealed that 47% of prospective buyers expected average house prices to rise by up to 10% in the year ahead. This marks a significant trend in changing expectations since only 26% of those surveyed last November thought that prices would rise, while the proportion of similar-minded buyers last August was just 15%.

The change might be a reflection of buyers’ evident concerns about demand currently outstripping supply – around half of all those questioned said that they would be more inclined to buy if there were more homes available for sale.

London crowned worst city for noisy neighbours

Of all the cities in the UK, London wears the highly dubious crown of having the noisiest neighbours.

That is the conclusion reached by a story in the Express newspaper on Monday when it reported that noise complaints in the capital are made by 515 out of every 10,000 residents – a total of 158,958 complaints in the past 12 months. This is significantly above the national average, where councils in some of the biggest – and noisiest – city centres have recorded a whopping 268,125 complaints between them.

A sizable 41% of those Londoners surveyed admitted to making complaints about noisy neighbours. The biggest number of complaints were made in the London Borough of Westminster – but also listed in the noisiest areas of the capital and its surrounds were Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Barking and Dagenham and Hammersmith and Fulham.

Inventories and tenant pets

In our news roundup on the 3rd of February, we noted the moves made by the government to amend the model tenancy agreement in a way that encouraged landlords to allow tenants to keep pets.

It is perhaps in response to those freedoms that Landlord Today on the 8th of March has now issued a warning to landlords to be on the lookout for damage by pets when it comes to preparing inventories at the beginning and end of any tenancy.

One provider of inventory services has even spelt out some of the most common areas of damage caused by pets in let property – scratch marks and cat flaps fitted to doors, torn and frayed carpets where cats have clawed them (especially at the foot of the stairs), urine-stained carpets, and pet hairs on curtains and blinds.

A spokesman said: "As the demand for pet tenancies rises and the government aims to make it easier for renters to keep animals, agents and landlords need to have the measures in place to deal with the increased risk of property damage.  

"If managed effectively, allowing tenants to keep pets can encourage longer tenancies, increase demand for available properties and pave the way for higher average rents. However, if pet tenancies are mishandled, landlords may have to foot the bill for thousands of pounds of repairs, while agents’ chances of retaining management of a property could be jeopardised".