The turn of the season marks an exciting time in the residential property industry – with new policies and regulations shaping progress on the sustainability and safety fronts, search term behaviour showing changing consumer sentiment, and increased competition between mortgage lenders showing a positive sign for first-time buyers.
Delve deeper behind the headline highlights, with Holmfirth estate agent Applegate Properties…
Landlords given three-year extension to meet EPC minimum
With landlords feeling pressures on many fronts, the Government’s proposed extended deadline to improve EPC ratings was a welcome one this month – particularly after trade body Propertymark and the NRLA suggested the previous 2025 target date was unworkable, and had lobbied the Government to push the date back.
It is hoped that the new three-year target of 2028 and incentivisation to make upgrades will give property owners the time they need to upgrade their infrastructure. Plus, considering landlords risk facing fines of up to £30,000 for non-compliance, the update aims to prevent professionals from being forced out of the rental sector too.
Search term research reveals evolving market sentiment
The gradual shift towards a buyer’s market, coupled with rising economic pressures, has resulted in a drastic shift in consumer sentiment – according to House Buyer Bureau’s research into Google search terms.
The term ‘property chain’ has seen the largest growth in interest score since the start of the year, rising by 51.4% since January. This is followed by ‘House quick sale’, ‘down valuation’, and ‘asking prices’ – up 44.6%, 39.6%, and 32.7%, respectively.
On the other hand, searches for ‘gazumping’ have seen the most significant decline, down a whopping 70.7% since the start of the year.
Rightmove house price index shows signs of healthier market
Despite economic headwinds, Rightmove’s latest house price index shows the market has performed well throughout the month of April – with cooling mortgage costs and more realistic property pricing paving the way for greater balance.
While first-time buyer homes have reached a record high of £224,963, we've seen greater competition from mortgage lenders edge down rates in recent weeks – meaning those who have managed to raise a deposit are in good stead to emerge onto the property ladder, with increased stock providing greater choice too.
Sweeping reforms set to improve building safety
Currently, it is estimated that only a third of all construction products in manufacture are covered by the National Regulator for Construction Products (CPR), leaving around 20,000 to 30,000 products unregulated.
Ordered in the wake of shocking evidence heard by the public inquiry into the 2017 Grenfell fire, the Government has this month produced a landmark review of the assessment regime for construction products such as cladding – recommending a major shake-up of the way approved bodies regulate products.
That’s all for April! Don’t forget to check back next month, to see what’s new in the residential property market.