Generation rent: Flat prices jump by £50,000 and nine buyers are now chasing every property

Renters are giving up hope that they can ever find anywhere affordable to live... and are giving a thumbs down to 'time-wasting agents

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The Independent Online

Two thirds of renters are concerned that they will be unable to afford anywhere they want to live, suggests research from new online property rental community platform Movebubble.

Around three quarters of the 1,000 renters surveyed said they would never rent again using their current agent (90 per cent believe they are charged too much) and a fifth that agents had knowingly wasted their time by showing them properties that they could not afford. A similar figure said they were also pressured to put down a deposit.

Mansion tax

Mansion tax plans proposed by Labour have the potential to create more than £1.6bn in extra tax revenue per year, says a new report from Zoopla, but around 96 per cent would come from homeowners in London and the South East. After analysing all properties in the UK now valued at over £2m, Zoopla found that more than 108,000 households would be liable.

“The introduction of a ‘mansion tax’ would disproportionately penalise homeowners in London and the South East who are already responsible for the vast majority of property tax take in the UK,” said Lawrence Hall of Zoopla. “With more than 100,000 homes to be affected by this new levy, it is somewhat misleading to call it a ‘mansion tax’ when many three bed family homes in London and the South East would find themselves caught by it.”

Property funding retirement

One in 14 of people who have not yet retired say that they are planning to sell their home to fund their retirement, according to Barings, a jump of two per cent since last year. Overall, around 16 per cent of people say they are planning to rent or sell property to fund their retirement, the highest figure since 2009. “It is worrying that the number of people relying exclusively on their property to fund retirement has increased again,” said Rod Aldridge of UK Wholesale Distribution at Barings. “Property can, of course, form part of a diversified investment portfolio but this year’s research indicates that more people are investing in property as a retirement source and this could mean they are too concentrated in the asset class. ”

Price of flats up £50,000

The average price of a flat in the UK is now £208,169, according to a new report, up from £157,172 in 2004. The figures from Halifax show that the rise is more than double the 15 per cent jump for all residential properties over the same period. Detached homes (12 per cent) and bungalows (13 cent) have seen the smallest rises over the last decade. Meanwhile, the best performing kind of property in the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, West Midlands, East Midlands and East Anglia, has been terraced homes. Overall, semi-detached and terraced homes - which have made up nearly two thirds of all home sales this year - are the most popular types of property bought over the past ten years.

Nine buyers chasing every property

A report from estate agents haart suggests that there are now on average nine buyers chasing every new property registered for sale in the UK. “People now see the reality that interest rates will rise early next year but are keen to take advantage of current market conditions, “ said Paul Smith, CEO of haart. “Our message to people thinking about selling is that autumn is crunch time. Good mortgage deals are still plentiful but won’t last forever. Buyers do have increased choice right now but the strong competition that remains in the market will ensure that those selling now have the best chance at the best price.”

Premiums for homes near top schools?

The average value of a home within a mile of the top 50 best performing schools in England is just over 16 per cent higher than those in the nearby area, suggests a new report. According to research by Knight Frank, which focused on secondary schools that achieved the best A-level scores per student in the 2012/13 academic year, the highest premium was around Sevenoaks School, where sales prices in 2014 were 221 per cent higher than in the rest of the local authority, or a premium of £425,291. It was followed by St Clares, Oxford and Altrincham Grammar School for Boys. The report also highlights areas where homes close to top ranking schools ‘trade at a discount’ to the Local Authority average. On this basis, the ‘best value’ houses are found around Scarborough College, where prices within a mile are 41 per cent or £70,094, below the average.

The ‘Lidl’ effect...

Research by online estate agents Housesimple.co.uk suggests that average property prices in postcodes where there is a Lidl supermarket are on average 19 per cent higher than neighbouring postcodes without one of the chain’s budget outlets.

Property funding retirement

One in 14 of people who have not yet retired say that they are planning to sell their home to fund their retirement, according to Barings, a jump of two per cent since last year. Overall, around 16 per cent of people say they are planning to rent or sell property to fund their retirement, the highest figure since 2009. “It is worrying that the number of people relying exclusively on their property to fund retirement has increased again,” said Rod Aldridge, Head of UK Wholesale Distribution at Barings. “Property can, of course, form part of a diversified investment portfolio but this year’s research indicates that more people are investing in property as a retirement source and this could mean they are too concentrated in the asset class. Property prices can be volatile so relying on your home to provide all your income to fund retirement is risky.”

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