Home insurance fibs: Property news update

Plus, inheritance plans, latest rent figures, and how to live in Shangri La

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The Independent Online

Around one in five UK householders has been economical with the truth when applying for home insurance, according to figures from Gocompare.com home insurance.

More than half of th3 2,000 people polled said they feel insurers charge too much and so they can afford a fib or two. More than one in ten said they had not told the whole truth about the types of locks on their doors and windows, and a similar figure were not actually in an active Neighbourhood Watch area. Five per cent lied about smoking.

However, only four per cent admitted to exaggerating a home insurance claim or lying about the cost of the contents that were lost or stolen.

"Far from saving you money, telling a few fibs when getting a quote could come back to bite you should you need to make a claim and may even lead to your policy being cancelled or invalidated," said Ben Wilson, Gocompare.com's home insurance spokesman.

Using an inheritance

New research from Investec Wealth & Investment shows that a third of adults expect to receive an inheritance. Nearly half plan to use it to pay off their mortgage, while one in five will use it to invest in property.

Live in Shangri La

The most popular property in Wales on Zoopla this month is this three bedroom 'art deco' style, detached house called Shangri La in Bryn Road, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood NP12. On with Brinsons for £300,000, the Grade II listed home also has a roof terrace and large gardens, although it does need extensive renovation work.

Evictions by private landlords 

The number of people made homeless because they were evicted by their private landlord has more than doubled in the last five years, says housing charity Shelter.

Its analysis of new government figures show that in the last year, 13,990 households were accepted as homeless by their council after their landlord ended their private rented tenancy. This compares to 5,650 five years ago. Private rental evictions  now represent nearly a third of all homelessness cases in England.

"With so many of us already on a financial knife-edge, all it takes is one thing like a sudden rent rise to tip a family into a spiral that ends in homelessness," said Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter. "Politicians have to give back hope to all those crying out for a stable home, by building the genuinely affordable homes that we desperately need."

National rents rise...

UK average rents are growing at over four times the rate of wages, according to new figures from Sequence, the network which includes Barnard Marcus and William H Brown.

Its latest report suggests that demand for rental property across the UK has jumped by 17 per cent year on year at the same time as supply has dropped 20 per cent. Sequence now estimates that there are seven tenants chasing every rental property.

"While there is a natural ceiling for rents, this is lifting as demand increases and the age and thus income of the average tenant also grows," said Stephen Nation, Head of Lettings for Sequence. "The new generation of renters are willing and able to pay more for their rental property.

... and Scottish rents are at an all-time peak 

The average Scottish rent is now £537 per month, up 2.7 per cent over the last year, according to Your Move which says the Scottish independence referendum contributed to the recent rise in rents to a new record high.

"While the independence debate has been raging, many households have been battening down the hatches and waiting to see which way the wind blows before buying property," said Gordon Fowlis, regional managing director of Your Move. "This has boosted demand in the private rental sector, which has acted as a safe harbour and stop-gap on the journey to homeownership."

Glasgow & Clyde experienced the fastest annual increase, with average monthly rents up 5.5 per cent to £575, followed by 3.8 per cent annual growth in Edinburgh & the Lothians (average £602)

The proportion of late rent rose slightly from 6.2 per cent in July to 6.5 per cent in August.