This Week in Property: The Latest News (22nd October 2021)

Take a look at what our CEO Gill Fielding has to say about this week’s property news…

Buy now – and pay now!

I’ve written before about the perils of the buy now and pay later culture and how damaging it can be and I’ve specifically mentioned Klarna who have become big in the sector. BUT they have now gone public with a buy now and pay now option. Who knew! It turns out you can pay for stuff you buy when you actually buy it. Hmmm. I suspect that Klarna have launched this ‘special’ service because the Treasury are about to crackdown on the buy now and pay later industry and services because too many people are getting into debt they can’t handle. I have to acknowledge that at least Klarna are listening to the poor people who get into debt over their heads. Klarna said the “pay now” option and other changes it was making would give customers more clarity and control.

It also said it would perform more thorough checks on how much users could afford to borrow, and use clearer language during the checkout process to ensure customers understood they were taking on debt. Well done them and I hope other business in this sector follow their lead – and if they don’t the Treasury will soon put a stop to it.

Amazon up the ante

I wrote some time ago about how the business giant Amazon were offering £1k as a recruitment bonus in some areas of the UK and now it turns out they’ve increased that potential bonus to £3k for certain roles in certain parts of the country. So if you’re lucky enough to live near Exeter the bonus is £3k but only £1.5k in Peterborough. Amazon believe they need an additional 20,000 staff for the Christmas rush this year. WOW. It just shows quite how much the job market has changed and how desperate employers are getting for staff. If you’re lucky enough to be unemployed currently there are plenty of opportunities – but I wonder if you waited a little more whether the signing on bonus might go up even more in the near future. It might be worth holding out for a bit – and what a weird thing to consider! The jobs market has gone crazy and we know that we have well over a million job vacancies so all the power is with the people!

Property perfection!

I always say that the property market doesn’t move as one – and it doesn’t. Even if there’s massive rises in one area there will be less of a rise in another – or in another type of property. Not all property types in all areas ever rise or fall at the same rate. UNTIL NOW! According to Rightmove there was a complete clean sweep of property rises across every type of property and every region this month and that’s the first time that’s happened since 2007 apparently. Now of course I suspect there’s a unique property tucked away somewhere that isn’t rising but it just goes to show how strong the property market is currently that it’s even exceeding my expectations! It is very, very unusual that this situation happens and all property prices rise as one – but if that’s where we are then fantastic. I doubt it will happen again next month or beyond of course because it is such an unusual circumstance but isn’t it wonderful that it has happened. It just shows how special the UK property market is and I’m delighted to be invested in it – especially today!

The numbers don’t add up

There’s been a big announcement this week about subsidies of £5k for low carbon heat pumps to replace old gas boilers. And I have to say it’s a fantastic initiative and I’m fully in agreement with any governmental drive to help the environment but I do wish someone would run the numbers before they make these announcements because the numbers just don’t add up. In looking at the detail I discover there is going to be £450m allocated to this over 3 years. That’s only 90,000 lots of £5k and only 90,000 low carbon heat pumps. So what do the rest of us do? We have about 28 million households in the UK and so this 90,000 is such a small drip in the ocean and won’t get anywhere near close to the governments initiative to have 600,000 heat pumps by 2028. So initially I was very excited at this news but the more I found out the more depressed I became. The government do the same with housing. They claim they want to build 300,000 new homes and then they allocate funds that would only build a few thousand homes at best and I know why they do it – it’s so that they can say they are actually doing something but I do wish someone would check these announcements for sanity and logic before they’re issued otherwise we just get immune to them and take no notice and that’s a shame when something good could happen.

Are we becoming homeless?

I’ve started to get so worried about where people are going to live that I’ve made up the bed in the spare room. I read today that the number of properties available to sell has fallen across every are in the UK in the last 3 months. In some areas it’s becoming disastrous and according to Knight Frank there were 13 new buyers for every UK property listed for sale in September. We’ve all heard the stories of people offering many thousands over the asking price even before they’ve seen the property. And in the past we’ve all had the option of renting whilst we wait to buy but not any more as the rental market is just as bad with too many potential tenants chasing too few properties. Tenants are having to pay months of rent in advance just to get their offer to the top of an agents or landlords look list. The grass route issue is that we don’t have enough properties in the UK for the number of people we have but the current situation is worse than I’ve ever experienced and I’m seriously worried about where people are going to live. The government have to stop paying lip service to this issue and do something – and quick – otherwise I’m going to have to open my shed to lodgers.

Who’s in the WhatsApp group?

I laughed today when I saw a headline on the internet that said ‘everyone in my family WhatsApp group is a virologist’ and of course it was written by – a virologist. And that’s what happens. If our parents and siblings are virologists then the likelihood is then we will be too and it just proves that we hang out with people who are like us and do what we do. But there is an alternative view to this. Let’s say you want to be a virologist but aren’t currently – if you hang out with virologists and do what they do then your journey to achieving that success is easier. The same is true with money. You are apparently most likely to earn the average of the 5 people you connect with most – so if you want to earn more then connect with people who earn more and logically as your income grows then you connect with richer people and so on. Now that doesn’t mean you need to ditch your best friend from school but consider what groups you join and who you hang out with – be strategic with it and it just might make a huge difference to your outcomes and your wealth.

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