Making a perfect home, house prices vs earnings, and property crowdfunding: Property news

A rundown of the latest property statistics

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The Independent Online

Price rises outpace earnings in more than a quarter of UK towns

Average house prices have increased by more than the average employee's net earnings in more than a quarter of local authority districts across the UK over the past two years, claims a ~ new report. 

According to Halifax, the number of areas where house prices are outpacing earnings has increased over the past year from 73 out of 384 a year ago to 108 out of 380 now. The overwhelming majority of these areas are in London, the South-east, and East of England (97 of the 108). Indeed, figures from the National Housing Federation show that the average London home now costs 16 times the average Londoner's salary.

Halifax estimates that the biggest gap between rising property values and earnings over the last two years was in Three Rivers in Hertfordshire, where house prices increased by an average of £147,990, exceeding average take-home pay by £97,992. Along similar lines, a separate study from Post Office Money suggests two out of five UK workers earned less than the average home in the last 12 months, which means a typical home's earnings now nearly match the starting salaries of a nurse, teacher, junior hospital doctor and police officer.

Stressed landlords

A third of landlords say they are stressed out from troublesome tenants due to the demands placed on them and their dependence on the rental money received. The poll by London Shared shows 40 per cent of landlords reported receiving their rental payments late – of these, a fifth have ended up defaulting on their own bills as a result. Of those who have had to serve notice, the main reasons cited were rent arrears (69 per cent), damages to the property (44 per cent) and inappropriate behaviour (24 per cent). Other reasons include subletting without consent (18 per cent) and using the property for illegal purposes (11 per cent). 

Choosing a room-mate

More than four out of 10 people would not flatshare with a single mum, a survey by EasyRoomate reveals. Single fathers are even less popular, with just a third of people happy for them to become a room-mate.

Property crowdfunding

A new report from the independent Social Market Foundation argues that property crowdfunding offers a way to help more people get on the housing ladder, especially those aged between 25 and 34. The authors say crowdfunding would make saving for a deposit easier as well as boosting the supply of new homes by providing equity funding to small and medium-sized housebuilders. 

Better information for renters 

MPs and peers believe tenants should be given clearer up-front information on the cost of utility bills before signing a tenancy agreement as well as about their right to change energy suppliers. The All Party Parliamentary Group for the private rented sector says that landlords, local authorities and energy companies need to co-ordinate their efforts better to identify vulnerable tenants who will benefit from energy efficiency. 

Perfect home

Homeowners spend more than £18,000 and four-and-a-half years working on their home before they consider it “perfect”. In the survey by Network Veka, only one in 10 people currently describe their home as “perfect” and just over half have a long to-do list of improvements they would like to make. Three-quarters believe they will never get their homes to a point where they are completely happy with them because of a lack of time, money and know-how.

Brexit house prices

An EU exit could see UK house prices drop by 5 per cent, according to A poll for the online estate agents also found that 55 per cent of people believe that leaving the EU would affect the value of their property (34 per cent think they would increase, 21 per cent that they would decrease).

Project costs

Nearly a third of homeowners and tradespeople say project cost issues are the biggest cause of their relationship breaking down. Around 35 per cent of tradespeople surveyed by Rated People say homeowners have unrealistic expectation of costs while nearly four in 10 homeowners believe tradesmen overcharge.

Flushed away

A study to identify the worst cities in the UK for flushing unsuitable items down their drains names Birmingham as the worst offender, followed by Edinburgh. According to the figures from drainage specialist Lanes Group (which has launched an online game on the theme), around three-quarters of the nation's 200,000 yearly sewer blockages are caused by fat, oils and grease being poured down drains.

Grand Designs

Grand Designs Live runs 30 April to 8 May this year at London Excel. The event, based on the Channel 4 series, showcases the latest trends and products in self-build, covering everything from kitchens to gardens, with more than 500 exhibitors.