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Gazumping and gazundering could be outlawed as the Department for Communities and Local Government launches a consultation on the issue in an attempt to make buying and selling houses ‘cheaper, faster and less stressful’. Jeremy Leaf told The Sunday Express: ‘Gazundering and gazumping are symptoms of a broken system, not the causes. The Government needs to look at the delays that make the process take so long – conveyancing, contracts and searches. If people are willing to move quickly they should be able to, giving less time for others to change their minds.’
Shares in housebuilders rose after Theresa May pledged to plough a further £10billion into the Help to Buy scheme. Jeremy Leaf, principal of Jeremy Leaf & Co, told The Daily Mail that Help to Buy was known by developers as ‘Help to Sell’: ‘There is no doubt that some have taken advantage of the system to inflate prices. Too much emphasis on the demand side and not enough on the supply will only push up prices further and make property even more expensive for those who we are trying to help the most.’
Halifax reveals that house prices in the three months to September were 4 per cent higher than the same quarter a year ago. Jeremy Leaf told Moneywise: ‘Once again, the market has proved its resilience and confounded the doom mongers. Not that there is too much to get excited about with these figures which confirm what we have seen at the coalface recently – that prices are holding up reasonably well where vendors are realistic, partly in response to a continuing shortage of stock.’
One in five high street estate agents are at risk of going out of business amid a growth in online companies, according to accountancy firm Moore Stephens. However, Jeremy Leaf told The Mirror: ‘High-street agents tend to check the financial background of prospective purchasers as well as details of their viewing history before arranging appointments – and invariably carry out accompanied viewings. They generally ask questions of buyers that vendors find uncomfortable – such as what they earn and what type of mortgage is required as well as carrying out money laundering checks.’
Anyone considering an extension needs to plan carefully beforehand and not just consider the layout of the new space but how the transition from the original part of the house to the new extension will work. Jeremy Leaf told Real Homes: ‘An extension can give you a stunning new space that’s used regularly, while existing adjacent rooms are suddenly relegated to being underused. It’s important that you work out how existing parts of the house will be utilised.’