Households facing serious rent arrears fall by a third

Tenants struggling with late rent have made significant progress in the last twelve months, according to the latest Tenant Arrears Tracker from LPA receivers Templeton LPA.

As of the first quarter of 2014, the number of tenants in severe arrears – those more than two months behind on their rent – stands at 68,000, down from 105,000 in the same period last year. Continue reading

Low stock and rising demand push Scottish prices higher

A lack of supply of prime properties in Scotland is boosting competition between buyers, and has contributed to a 1.1% rise in prime house prices during the first quarter of 2014.

On an annual basis in the year to March 2014, prices rose by 2.8%. This is the largest annual gain in prices in six years according to Knight Frank. Continue reading

OFT fines three estate agents a total of £246,665

Three estate agents based in London, Northamptonshire and Cardiff have been fined a total of £246,665 by the OFT, for failing to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

The Regulations are designed to prevent businesses from being used for money laundering or terrorist financing purposes and require regulated businesses to, for example, apply risk sensitive policies and procedures on the verification of customer identity, record keeping, training staff and reporting suspicious activity to the National Crime Agency. Continue reading

New website to deliver reconnection support to homeless

A website set up to provide guidance to British organisations helping destitute rough sleepers to return home has been updated and expanded to feature key information on homeless services across the European Union.

The Routes Home website, developed by homelessness charity Thames Reach, now includes information about homeless services in France, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Portugal, Spain, Holland and Greece. The navigational structure has also been improved to make it easier for people to use the site. Continue reading

Help to Buy responsible for 1 in 3 NE new homes sales

Countrywide plc has found that significant regional variations exist in how and where the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme is having the greatest impact.

Over the past nine months, almost 1 in 3 (28%) of new houses built in the North East sold via Help to Buy Equity Loan compared to just 1 in 10 (9%) new houses built in London, according to research in Countrywide plc’s Countrywide Quarterly Market Review – Q1 2014. Continue reading