Rat and Mouse

No doubt Kate’s watching the gossip mags with interest, following this rumour that the glamorous Princess Madeleine of Sweden might be on the verge of house-hunting in London following her recent move from New York. 

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The penultimate ONS report for 2014 shows price rises slowing outside the peak locations of London and the south east. Excluding those areas annual inflation was down to 7.1%. The London number remained high, at 15.3%. 

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Tue
13
Jan

It’s talk of rent controls that apparently sparked this off, and the numbers are interesting. Using Government data, the claims are that private sector rent rises have been consistently lower than rent rises in the social sector and markedly less than inflation. For some actually figures, go here.

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Mon
12
Jan

The tax man’s big btl/CGT haul [Daily Telegraph]
Tory constituency house prices rise 8X faster than Labour ones [FT]
London crime… mapped [Daily Telegraph]
The latest estate agent comparison site [Estate Agent Today]

The Rat and Mouse - it’s about your house 

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Fri
09
Jan

Property market concerns hit shares [Daily Telegraph]
NeedaProperty latest casualty of portal wars [Property Industry Eye] 
Advice for would-be tenants [Homes & Property]
Landlords fear late payments more than property damage [Property Wire]
Ex-Manchester City star turns estate agent [Estate Agent Today]

The Rat and Mouse - it’s about your house 

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Thu
08
Jan

Copper mining tycoon has reportedly just paid £46m for a Chesham Place duplex, pushing the deal through in time to save £2.2m in extra stamp duty following the new rules. Bargain. The property’s a Candy & Candy design and the selling agent was said to be Becky Fatemi at Rokstone. What’s particularly interesting about the deal - apart from the extraordinary sale price - is the amount of information available. Deals at this level are normally conducted via a company, and remain fairly anonymous.

At the other end of the market, Sophie Hobson over at London Loves Business is trying - and failing - to find a London (and she means London) home available for sole ownership (w/o cash-buyer-only or age restrictions) available for under £100,000. More here.

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Wed
07
Jan

Confusion is forgivable considering the mixed and sometimes contradictory messages coming out of the MPC over the last 12 months. Andrew Oxlade’s summary of where we are today, in the Telegraph, is a good read for anybody looking for a bit of perspective.

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Tue
06
Jan

The big question? Is there any danger this cult parody of Redrow’s One Commercial Street promo film might appeal more to its target audience than the original?

Redrow Psycho from anothersam on Vimeo.

More background here.

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HBOS data shows the number of sales to first-time buyers at its highest in 2014 since 2007, rising 22% on the year. Accompanying comment points to the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, plus improving employment and economic prospects and continuing low interest rates. Affordability improved, too, with lower average proportions of disposable income servicing mortgages.

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Mon
05
Jan

It’s called “Houser”, and it promises this:

20150105houser

“Real estate agents”… the owner doesn’t sound local. He’s not. He’s Rocky Mirza, a Canadian entrepreneur with a business background that includes online sports betting software and a strange, commercialised connection engine.

Houser promises to crawl existing listings, including private ads, to achieve a complete snapshot of the market, but agents who actually sign up will get more prominent listings and those who (ahem) pay will get more prominent listings still. This isn’t a new idea, but it will live or die on the quality of the search experience… competing with websites that have put a lot of thought, effort and industry-leading innovation into the philosophy of search. It also comes at a time when the Rightmove hegemony is on the verge of a high-profile challenge from within the industry. More here.

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Fri
02
Jan

20150102mountpleasant

A good read on the Guardian website today… Dave Hill’s summation of a major London development project and an intervention by the mayor. A sad tale of an opportunity wasted. Read it here.

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Wed
31
Dec

Back on Friday. Hope everybody has a memorable night, and 2015 is all about the health and happiness. - B x

20141231future

Damn, it comes around quickly. Here’s a refresher on what they were saying last year:

20141231predictions

That was the year the Rat made Capital Economics seem bullish. As regular readers know, we don’t call time based on lending, so it’ll still be a few weeks before we draw a line under 2014 and name a winner.

Now look at this year’s list. If a wider spread in the predictions is a sign of significant uncertainty then there’s some serious head-scratching going on as we enter an election year wondering what a potential Labour government has in store and the effects of a mansion tax on the London market, pondering whether a London bubble’s on the point of bursting, what the new stamp duty rules will mean in the medium term and shaking our heads at Mark Carney and the MPC’s wildly conflicting, confusing and unhelpful messages about the future of interest rates. 

Office for Budget Responsibilty  ↑7.4%
Assetz ↑7%
Henry Pryor ↑5%
IHS Global Insight ↑5%
Strutt & Parker ↑5%
Hatched.co.uk ↑4-5%
Hamptons ↑4%
JLL (formerly Jones Lang Lasalle) ↑4%
Halifax ↑3-5%
Knight Frank ↑3.5%
The Rat and Mouse ↑3%
RICS ↑3% 
Savills ↑2% 
Hometrack ↑2% 

Centre for Economics and Business Research ↓0.8%

I’m publishing now even though I’m still waiting for the odd prediction to arrive. If you feel I’ve missed somebody out (if I’ve missed you out), message me on Twitter @theratandmouse and I’ll make additions. 

See you later, - B

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Tue
30
Dec

The Nationwide index shows annual house price growth down to 7.2% from 8.5% in November, after a rise of just 0.2% on the month. Accompanying comment suggests the analysts weren’t expecting this (and mentions employment and wage gains combined with low interest rates), but there are statistical anomalies that go some way to explaining the figures, most importantly a marked pick up in December 2013. Drilling down, London’s ending the year 17.8% up on December 2013. At the other end of the scale, Wales and the north of England have done the worst, with price up just 3.8% in north west England, 1.5% in Yorkshire/The Humber and 1.4% in Wales. 

Land Registry figures are also published today, but they relate to November. They do, however, already confirm the picture painted by Nationwide… a slowing toward the end of the year (an overall fall in prices of 0.1% October to November) a 7.1% average annual increase and poor performance in Wales. 

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Wed
24
Dec

This is the kind of thing you can do if you’re worth £200m. It’s a 19th Century mews house in south Kensington, and it has the misfortune of backing onto Chris Rokos’ three-story home. Despite some planning controversy, it’s being “converted”, to house his cars and gym. Pictures here.

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Tue
23
Dec

Should MP be “naming/shaming” agents, with no right of reply? [Property Industry Eye]
Unpopular Westminster [Daily Telegraph]
Mansion Tax on Ed Balls’ “fasttrack” list [Independent]
Fun with the Rightmove house price “trendometer” [Rightmove]

The Rat and Mouse - it’s about your house 

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