Latest News

Buy-to-let mortgages stable despite overall market slowing

13 November 2019

Latest data has revealed an overall slowdown in mortgages despite the stability in the buy-to-let market with an expected further growth of 1 per cent in the next quarter. Read More...

Council of Dragons to advise Government on proptech

11 November 2019

Housing Minister Esther McVey has unveiled a new expert advisory council dedicated to the digital transformation of the property sector. The new Proptech dragons will advise ministers on how to support and grow the sector further, making it easier and cheaper to plan, build and buy new homes. Read More...

Internal communications lapse led to huge fine for estate agent

07 November 2019

Agents are encouraged to review their internal communications procedures, after a prominent Reading estate agent was fined for failing to disclose that a flat was cladded with Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) until minutes after the sale was completed. Read More...

New Homes Ombudsman announcement

Monday 14 October 2019

In today’s Queen’s Speech, it was announced that ministers will introduce a raft of new measures including the introduction of a New Homes Ombudsman.

The proposed New Homes Ombudsman would necessitate developers of new build houses to join a scheme similar to what is required of estate and lettings agents to ensure consumers have the same level of access to redress.

A MHCLG spokesperson confirmed that the ombudsman would be separate from the regulator and would be a “watchdog that champions homebuyers, protects their interests and holds developers to account”.

Propertymark’s views and responses

In August 2019, NAEA Propertymark responded to the UK Government’s Redress for Purchasers of New Build Homes and the New Homes Ombudsman: A Technical Consultation where we stated that we believed that developers who build and sell homes on the open sales market, self-builders and developers who convert and sell properties should all be required to belong to a New Homes Ombudsman.

Consultation response

NAEA Propertymark also put forward proposals for an ombudsman scheme for purchasers of new build homes and for all new house builders sign up to the Consumer Code for Home Builders in our research, Leasehold: A Life Sentence.

We outlined our concerns and put our proposals forward to the House of Commons Housing Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry into leasehold reform and the government’s call for evidence into improving the home buying and selling process.

Currently, consumers who buy a new home directly from a developer have no access to redress and housebuilders’ sales staff do not fall under the 1979 Estate Agent’s Act.

Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark comments on the building safety standards legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech: “We are very supportive of the creation of a New Homes Ombudsman. The irony of buying a shiny brand new home and finding yourself dealing with a number of snagging issues, with no easy path of redress, is not lost on consumers. There should be a statutory requirement to belong to a New Homes Ombudsman and the remit should be UK wide. Property developers should be charged per unit, ensuring that the access is free for customers.”