House price growth continues to slow

House price momentum in the UK continued to slow and new buyer demand tailed off in October, according to the latest RICS Residential Market Survey.

Nationally, new buyer demand slipped for the fourth consecutive month with London bearing the brunt of the decline, as 62% more surveyors reported a fall in new buyer demand across the capital. Meanwhile across the rest of the UK dipped to a net balance of -18%. Continue reading

Majority of tenants unmoved by Labour’s housing plans

Tenants in the UK have still to be convinced by the housing policies of the UK’s political parties, according to the latest research from the leading landlord association.

With just six months to go before next year’s General Election, six in ten (62pc) tenants say they are unsure whether any of the political parties will be able to tackle the UK’s housing crisis. Continue reading

New study shows public backing for more social housing

As the country’s housing shortage grows, the majority of British people would support more council and housing association homes being built in their local area, new research reveals.

Currently only half the number of homes needed to keep up with demand are being built every year and there is already a backlog of undersupply. As the shortage of affordable homes grows, the new research suggests that there is public support for building the homes that are needed. Continue reading

Eurolink Sunday Times Awards Special: Winners use Veco™ and pick up an iPad!

Eurolink, the leading estate agency software solutions provider, is offering all winners at the upcoming Sunday Times Estate Agency of the Year Awards a free trade-in of a Veco™ property software master licence and an iPad pre-loaded with the Veco™ Mobile web app as an incentive to switch from rival software systems*.

Winners of an award currently using any other property software technology are eligible for the trade-in if they move to Eurolink’ s Veco™ product within 6 months of the glittering awards ceremony being held on December 5th at the Lancaster Hotel, London. Continue reading

Home buyer demand strongest in Scotland

Demand for new homes in Scotland bucked the UK trend, according to the recent RICS Residential Market Survey, with a net balance of 52% more surveyors seeing a rise in new buyer demand.

While across the whole of the UK, the supply and demand picture in August was mixed, in Scotland price momentum and new buyer interest remained firm, with 41% more surveyors reporting a rise in property prices and new buyer demand remaining unchanged from July’s figures (52%). Continue reading

Homeownership is becoming an ‘exclusive members club’

Only the wealthiest of the next generation will be able to buy a home if current trends continue, warns the National Housing Federation, as a new report shows that first-time buyers now have to pay, in real terms, ten times the deposit needed in the early 1980s.

The Broken Market, Broken Dreams report reveals that first-time buyers today have to earn more, borrow more, stump up a larger deposit and rely more on family wealth than even a generation ago. Continue reading

First time buyers helped by parents with £23k each

UK parents give an average of £23,000 when helping their children with a deposit to get onto the property ladder, according to research from Shelter.

Highlighting the increasing strain on the Bank of Mum and Dad, the same poll also found that a fifth of parents helping their children onto the housing ladder had done so using savings set aside for retirement or elderly care. Continue reading

Energy companies hit rock bottom for customer service

New Which? research has found the Big Six energy suppliers are among the worst offenders when it comes to poor customer service, with Npower finishing bottom for the first time in an annual survey of the top 100 big brands.

Which! asked 3,621 UK consumers which companies are customer service champions and which brands just aren’t up to scratch. All of the Big Six energy companies languish in the bottom fifth of the table, with none of them scoring more than two stars for making customers feel valued.  Npower fares the worst with a customer score of just 57%, replacing Ryanair who came bottom of the table last year.  Second from the bottom is Scottish Power, with a customer rating of 58%, down from joint 62nd in 2013’s rankings.

The research also found that:

· First Direct came top of the table in our survey with a score of 87%. It achieved the full five stars for people feeling valued as a customer as well as its complaints resolution. It is joined in the top five by Lush (86%), John Lewis (83%), Lakeland (83%) and Waitrose (83%).

· Some of the big banks have a way to go to catch First Direct – Santander and NatWest were joint 70th with a score of 70%; Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Barclays/Barclaycard all finished joint 60th with a score of 71%.

· Automated phone systems were ranked as the top customer service gripe (43%) with being passed around (37%) and annoying ‘hold’ music (35%) the other top irritations.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director said:

“The Big Six energy companies have now hit rock bottom for customer service and, with record high levels of complaints, it is clear just how far they still have to go to put things right for their customers.

“Good companies know the value of customer service, so it’s disappointing that some of our biggest firms seem to have a lot to learn about keeping their customers happy. This survey should be a wake-up call for the companies with the lowest customer scores.”

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