Recent UK property news has focused on the twists and turns of the housing market – which has seen inheritance become an ever-more important factor and, the emergence of certain price hotspots.
Meanwhile, all private sector landlords in Wales are reminded that they must complete essential Rent Smart Wales training within at least three months of their having obtained the required licence.
In the meantime, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has published an independent review of the government’s net-zero targets for completion by 2030.
Housing Market - Inheritance becoming ever more important
Inheritance is assuming a steadily more important factor in the housing market, reported Landlord Today on the 24th of January.
Once adjusted for inflation, says the report, the total value of inheritances that are handed down each year in the UK has been doubling every two decades since 1979. That value is expected to double again by 2040.
For the average household headed by someone born in the 1980s, it can expect to benefit from a lifetime inheritance of nearly £250,000 – the equivalent of 8 years of average earnings. For households headed by someone born in the 1960s, on the other hand, the value of the inheritance is estimated to be worth just four years of average earnings.
Those averages, of course, mask significant differences according to wealth, home ownership, and place of residence in the UK.
Deadline nears for landlords to complete essential Rent Smart Wales training
In a press release on the 18th of January, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) warned landlords in Wales about the timetable for training on the legislative changes introduced by Rent Smart Wales.
Since November 2015, all private sector landlords in Wales have been required to register for a licence under the Rent Smart Wales legislation. Recent changes mean that landlords who have been issued a licence after the 1st of December 2022 must complete a Rent Smart Wales training course within three months of receiving their licence.
The training courses – including those run by the NRLA – cover subjects such as the implementation of the Rent Smart scheme, tenancies, standards of human habitation, terminating tenancies, evictions as a retaliatory action, and abandoned tenancies.
A year of two halves in the 2022 housing market
While the year started with steadily rising average house prices, 2022 ended with those same prices falling back, according to figures kept by the online listings website Zoopla on the 20th of January. Over the year as a whole, there were decidedly mixed results.
Of the 30 million homes across the whole of the UK, for example, 27 million – 92% – enjoyed an increase in the value of their homes of an average £19,000.
As a result of the weaker market and falling property values towards the end of the year, however, an estimated 8.2 million homeowners suffered a fall in the value of their homes – losing an average of £4,400 during the second half of the year.
Even given the weakening of the housing market in some areas, however, some 14 million properties increased in value during the final quarter of 2022.
UK house price hotspots
Illustrating both the runaway increase in prices and the wide discrepancies from one area to another, a story in the Daily Mail on the 21st of January detailed five UK house price hotspots – where values had soared during the past 12 months – and contrasted these with alternatives nearby where prices have climbed far less significantly.
The paper contrasted the high prices of homes in Brighton with the more moderate values in Worthing; suggested Banbury instead of high-priced Oxford; Ely instead of Cambridge; Exmouth instead of Exeter; and Salford instead of Manchester.
RICS responds to UK Net-Zero Review
In an important review of the government’s net-zero targets, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), in a paper on the 20th of January, insists that the goals will not only help in the fight against global warming but also unlock considerable economic potential – estimated to be up to £1 trillion for British enterprise.
A number of those key aspirations will have an impact on its membership, says RICS. Namely:
- the requirement that with effect from 2033, all residential property sales must be for homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C or above;
- with effect from 2030, all commercial properties must have an EPC rating of B or above and that all new commercial buildings must be rated at least an EPC B by 2025;
- in England, the Future Homes Standard will be obligatory by 2025;
- the continued appropriateness of EPCs will be reviewed and a new Net-Zero Performance Certificate introduced; and
- further grants, “green lending”, and advice services will herald an expansion of EPC regulation and standards.
Many of the targets incorporated into the Net-Zero Review are those already recommended by RICS, says the report.