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Anyone who has bought or sold a property in recent years will know that conveyancing and awaiting search results feel like they take an age to progress to a point where a solicitor is happy to say they are ready to exchange contracts.
The aim: to make house moving faster, simpler and less stressful. Specifically, it wants to assess ways of avoiding, or possibly banning, gazumping.
Documentation released by the government says, “We are aware that the conveyancing process is a source of frustration for many buyers and sellers. Around 40 per cent of buyers and sellers [in a survey of 2,000 buyers and sellers commissioned by the government] felt that the exchange of contracts was delayed and where a delay occurred, they were likely to blame the conveyancer for the other party. When asked about how the home buying and selling service could be improved, around a third of buyers and sellers wanted a faster service from conveyancers. This is recognised by conveyancing sector and they are already planning to put in place a number of improvements.”
The government raised the scope for more technical innovation in speeding up the delivery of local government searches, and scope for more competition between conveyancers in general.
“We are aware that there are some firms which offer an online conveyancing service and that there are a number of initiatives already being pursued in both the private and public sectors which could help to facilitate e-conveyancing. To provide a firm foundation for a digital revolution in conveyancing, the government will continue to work with HM Land Registry to explore how data on property, such as leases, restrictions, covenants and easements, can be made available more easily. The government believes that this will improve the transparency of the purchase process and allow the private sector to create innovative ways to use this information”
You can read the full guidance by clicking here
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House prices have continued to rise however Land Registry data shows that the number of property sales have plummeted since the EU referendum
This has resulted in pockets of the UK property to experience mini house price booms due to a fall in available stock levels amidst general uncertainty following the Brexit vote.
Prices in London were up by the least annually at 2.6% and down 1% on a monthly basis to £484,362.
House prices are rising yet Land Registry offers an official snapshot of transactions in the 12 months since the Brexit vote and reveals a different story.
In June 2017 [lastest figures available] the number of property transactions completed in the UK decreased by 6.7% year-on-year to 85,528 sales, the Land Registry said.
Much of this decline was due to an 11% drop in England to 66,082 sales, with the rest of the UK experiencing increases.
Further analysis of the Land Registry data shows sales volumes have fallen across all English regions during those 12 months, with London victim to the steepest decline in the 12 months to June 2017, falling 20% to 6,768.
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The UK’s #1 property portal, Rightmove has reported further signs of a slowdown, with new sales agreed falling across most of the country.
In contrast, there was a rise in property supply this October compared with the same month in previous years.
Rightmove said that in a “more challenging environment”, sales agreed numbers were down last month in nine regions compared with September 2016.
Despite this, sales agreed during the nine months to this September were 1.1% ahead of where they were a year ago.
In addition, major regional fluctuations added to the mix.
In London, sales agreed over the last month were down 9% on a year ago and in the south they were down by 7.9%.
In the northern region, sales agreed activity was down by 3%.
Rightmove also said that new to market sellers are asking higher prices in eight out of the ten regions.
New asking prices jumped an average of 1.1%.
The average asking price of a property new to the market between September 10 to October 7 stood at £313,435, up from the previous figure of £310,003. The annual rise in asking prices increased 1.4%.
Rightmove having recorded an increase in asking prices in October every year since it started back in 2001, saying that it was normal to see price hikes at this time of year.
During September to October, Rightmove reported 104,519 new properties listed, up 3.1% from the same time last year.
September to October 2016, there were 101,423 new listings and 98,247 in 2015.
The average time for a property to go “under offer” is 63 days, and the average stock per branch, including properties under offer, is 60.
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LSL & Acadata estimate the total number of transactions in September 2017 in England and Wales at 63,000, down 20% on September 2016.
They also reported that annual house price growth also slowed, with the average house prices at £297,287, down just 0.1% on the previous month with annual house price inflation standing at 1.3%.
However, leading the charge on the slowdown was London and the south-east.
Remove London and SE from the equation and annual house price growth was +3.3%.
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You might be wondering, what with all the bumpf in the national press about interest rates, Brexit, the economy in general, the North-South divide - just how much have house prices really changed over the last 10 years, adjusting for inflation.
Thanks to the BBC data team and the Open Data Institute (ODI) in Leeds, they analysed more than eight million residential property transactions in England and Wales from the Land Registry from 2007 to July 2017, excluding mortgaged buy-to-let properties and reposessions.
In Theydon Bois, Epping the average house price is now £748,465, up a whopping 32% since 2007.
Want to check our the area that you live in?
Read the full articles on the BBC News website; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41582755