Property news roundup: DIY competence gap opening up between generations

Plus single landlords, house prices, shed of the year and over-50s live-in landlords

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The Independent Online

More than one in three under 35s admit that they ‘call dad’ before trying to fix a problem themselves, according to

Seven in ten of adults under 35 said they would need to call in assistance to turn off their water supply in an emergency, compared to only a fifth of over 55s while three quarters of under 35s can’t bleed a radiator or change a fuse.

The older age group were also more likely to shop around for quotes, were less likely to be ripped off by a rogue tradesman and have a better understanding of the language that workmen use; less than a third of under 35s know what a stopcock is, compared to more than 80 per cent of over 55s.

Last year alone, Halifax Home Insurance recorded over 32,000 accidental damage claims, many of which were DIY-related such as spilling paint or drilling through pipes. In total the insurer paid out over £11m for accidental damage. Last May saw almost £1m in accidental damage claims, partly due to botched bank holiday home ‘improvement’ jobs. 

Its latest report shows that five per cent of homeowners suffered damage to their homes as a result of DIY going wrong.

House prices expected to rise faster across the UK than in London

Strutt & Parker’s latest three monthly property report predicts that house prices across the UK will rise by 7.5 per cent in 2014, compared to 6.5 per cent in Prime Central London. It also expects price rises across the country of 5.5 per cent in 2015.

Entry deadline for Shed of the Year extended

The annual Shed of the Year competition has extended the entry deadline to 26 May. Part of the process will be filmed as part of a three-part television series starring Amazing Spaces George Clarke. You can enter the competition at

Sharp rise in number of over 50s live-in landlords

The number of UK over 50s taking in lodgers and becoming ‘live-in landlords’ has risen by 41% in a two-year period, according to new data from the UK’s biggest flat and house share site

Matt Hutchinson, director of, says: "There’s far less stigma around taking in lodgers amongst the older generation, many of whom grew up in the post-war years when lodging was widespread."

Single landlords

Around 93 per cent of UK landlords own just a single rental property, according to analysis of Countrywide Residential Lettings and that 0.7 per cent of landlords have portfolios of more than five properties.