PRESS ROUND-UPThe cost of moving means more people are choosing a forever home, rather than stepping several times up the ladder to get there. Jeremy Leaf told The Times: ‘Ideally, we would have homes with moveable walls and gardens that can be adjusted to suit family, mobility and other circumstances at different ages and stages. The ability to add rooms by rear, side or loft extensions is important as the cost of moving up to the next level proves increasingly prohibitive.’
Annual house prices hit an eight-month low of 0.2 per cent in September, according to Nationwide. Jeremy Leaf, principal of Jeremy Leaf & Co, told This is Money: ‘What these figures tell us is that there hasn’t been much change in the market. On the ground, we have seen more serious buyers and sellers determined to find some middle ground and particularly for longer-term purchases such as larger flats and family houses where short-term uncertainties seem to be less relevant.'
Online mortgage broker Habito has launched a tool that allows first-time buyers to make a cash offer on a property. Jeremy Leaf told Your Money: ’The estate agent wants to try and establish the most serious buyer. If there is even the remotest chance of an offer falling through then it could have serious financial repercussions for the seller if they miss out on an offer from a prospective purchaser who is in a stronger position.’ He added: ‘Whether we would accept an offer from a prospective buyer who is awaiting for their mortgage to be approved depends on what they are waiting for.'
London house prices fell 1.4 per cent in August, according to the Office for National Statistics. Jeremy Leaf told City AM that these figures show a small recovery in the housing market: ’Sadly, this is nothing to get too excited about because the market remains relatively flat although of course the resilience is welcome,’ he said.
Commenting on the latest RICS housing survey, Jeremy Leaf told The Express: ‘Many buyers and sellers are sitting on their hands. Discretionary, speculative buyers have become an endangered species which helps to explain lack of the usual autumn ‘bounce’. Saturday’s vote [on Brexit] may only reinforce the uncertainty unless the position is clarified quickly - but we’e been there before.’ He added in The Mirror: ‘We’ve been in a price sensitive, needs-driven market for a while now where most people only move when they have to, and only if they can see real value.'