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News Report Page 15 of 25
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News reports located on this page = 3.

Are bungalows nearing extinction due to developer profit priorities?

NEW research from over 50's property specialists, Quickmove Properties, reveals that bungalow construction has dropped to account for just 1.2% of all new build completions, creating a void in the market that modern luxury bungalow style park homes are vying to fill.

Quickmove Properties has looked at the changing rate of bungalow construction between 2000 and 2020, the current market share of bungalows vs all dwelling stock, and the price of new build bungalows compared to new park homes.

The latest available data (2021) shows that there are around 1.8 million bungalows in England, accounting for just 7.6% of the nation's dwelling stock.

What's more, construction of new build bungalows is on a steep decline. In 2000, bungalows accounted for an estimated 6.9% of all new build completions. By 2020, however, the completion of just 1,833 new bungalows meant that this market share had dropped to just 1.2%, despite continued demand, particularly from downsizers who currently account for a third of all moves.

With so few bungalows being built, many buyers who want single storey homes without having to modernise or pay a premium are instead turning their attention to the luxury new park home sector. A modern new park home offers the lifestyle of a new-build bungalow, with high-end features, located on a peaceful and safe, rural, semi urban or coastal development.

Despite offering an almost identical footprint, park homes are markedly more affordable than traditional bricks and mortar bungalows.

The average price of a bungalow in England is £338,769. Meanwhile the average park home is -36% more affordable at £215,493.

This price difference is at its greatest in the North West where the average new park home is -48% more affordable than a new-build bungalow, followed by the East of England (-39%), Yorkshire and the Humber (-39%), South East (-38%) and South West (-37%).

Sales Director at Quickmove Properties, Mark O'Dwyer, commented:- "You'd be forgiven for thinking that bungalows have simply gone out of fashion and that's why so few are now being built. But that's not the case. In reality, demand for bungalows remains high, but developers don't see them as profitable enough to deliver in decent numbers. They can, for example, make much more money by building multi-level dwellings or blocks of flats, so that's where their focus largely lies. For those wishing to downsize to easy, single-storey living with the autonomy and privacy of a standalone property, modern park homes fill the void that bungalows have left behind. And due to state of the art building techniques in UK manufacturing facilities, modern park homes are more affordable to buy with high specifications, premium features, and durability. On top of that, residential parks for over 50's provide a tight knit and secure community of like minded people at similar stages in their lives, a neighbourly and friendly atmosphere that sadly is harder to find these days in brick housing estates."

What are your thoughts on this?

Letter to the Editor:- "Pet Loss"

"WHILE Christmas is a wonderful time for many, for some it can evoke painful memories and grief over a lost member of the family, including our pets. The Blue Cross Pet Loss Support service is available every single day of the year by phone, email or webchat to offer help to anyone experiencing the pain of losing a beloved pet. This National Grief Awareness Week (2- 8 December), our charity is calling out to animal lovers to sign up to train as volunteer for. Pet Loss Support, helping those struggling with the devastation of pet loss to come to terms with the death or parting of a much loved pet. To find out more about becoming a volunteer, or to make a donation to ensure homeless pets have a happy, healthy Christmas visit:- BlueCross.Org.UK." Diane James, Head of Pet Loss Support

Historic leasehold reforms give more rights, powers and protections to homeowners

MILLIONS of homeowners in England and Wales will be given greater rights, powers, and protections over their homes as part of the most significant reforms to the leasehold system for a generation.

A key part of the Government's Long Term Plan for Housing, the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill, will make it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy their freehold, increase standard lease extension terms to 990 years for houses and flats, and provide greater transparency over service charges. The Bill will also rebalance the legal costs regime and remove barriers for leaseholders to challenge their landlords' unreasonable charges at Tribunal.

The new powers will also help more leaseholders take over the management of their property if they wish to, instead of being stuck with the freeholder's management choice, and we will make this process cheaper for leaseholders.

The Government will also bring forward further reforms which will extend access to redress schemes and make it easier and cheaper to get the information needed to sell a leasehold home.

Ahead of the Bill's introduction, the Housing Secretary, Michael Gove said:- "People work hard to own a home. But for far too long too many have been denied the full benefits of ownership through the unfair and outdated leasehold system. That's why liberating leaseholders forms a vital part of the Government's Long-Term Plan for Housing. So today marks a landmark moment for millions of leaseholders across the country, as we unveil laws to deliver significant new rights and protections, slash unfair costs and crack down on exploitation."

The Bill addresses 1 of the longest term challenges that the country faces; fairness in the housing market. The measures in the Bill will put the country on the right path for the future by addressing the historic imbalances between leaseholder and freeholder to give homeowners a fairer deal, greater protections, and more rights.

The Bill will strengthen existing, and introduce new, consumer rights for homeowners by:-

  • Making it cheaper and easier for people to extend their lease or buy their freehold so leaseholders pay less to have more security in their home. 

  • Increasing the standard lease extension term to 990 years for houses and flats (up from 50 years in houses and 90 years in flats), so leaseholders can enjoy secure ownership without the hassle and expense of future lease extensions.

  • Giving leaseholders greater transparency over their service charges by making freeholders or managing agents issue bills in a standardised format that can be more easily scrutinised and challenged.

  • Making it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to take over management of their building, allowing them to appoint the managing agent of their choice.

  • Making it cheaper for leaseholders to exercise their enfranchisement rights as they will no longer have to pay their freeholder's costs when making a claim.

  • Extending access to redress schemes for leaseholders to challenge poor practice. The Government will require freeholders, who manage their building directly, to belong to a redress scheme so leaseholders can challenge them if needed; managing agents are already required to belong to a scheme.

  • Making buying or selling a leasehold property quicker and easier by setting a maximum time and fee that for home buying and selling information.

  • Granting homeowners on private and mixed tenure estates comprehensive rights of redress, so they receive more information about what charges they pay, and the ability to challenge how reasonable they are.

The Government will also give greater rights to those in mixed-use blocks of flats. Currently leaseholders in these buildings are barred from taking over the management of the site or buying its freehold if more than 25% of its floor space is commercial; such as shops or offices on the ground floor. The Government will now increase the floor space limit to 50%, so that more leaseholders can access the Right to Manage or the right to a collective enfranchisement.

It will also level up the rights of residents of freehold estates by granting freehold homeowners on private and mixed tenure estates the same rights of redress as leaseholders and equivalent rights to transparency over their estate charges.

The Bill will also rebalance the housing system for leaseholders by:-

  • Scrapping the presumption that leaseholders pay their freeholders' legal costs when challenging poor practice that currently acts as a deterrent when leaseholders want to challenge their service charges.

  • Banning opaque and excessive buildings insurance commissions for freeholders and managing agents, replacing these with transparent and fair handling fees.

  • Banning the sale of new leasehold houses so that, other than in exceptional circumstances, every new house in England and Wales will be freehold from the outset.

  • Removing the requirement for a new leaseholder to have owned their house or flat for 2 years before they can extend their lease or buy their freehold.

The Bill brought to Parliament today forms part of the Government's long term plan for housing and delivers the Government's manifesto commitments on leasehold reform. As announced in the King's Speech, the Government will introduce some measures at 1st reading and others as amendments as the Bill makes its way through Parliament to deliver on the full range of commitments set out above. These will include measures to amend the Building Safety Act 2022 to make it easier to ensure that those who caused building-safety defects in enfranchised buildings are made to pay, and that the leaseholder protections are not unfairly weighted against those who own properties jointly.

The Government is also already consulting on options to cap ground rents for existing leases that will protect leaseholders from facing unregulated ground rents for no service in return. The consultation closes on 21st December and the Government will respond shortly afterwards.

Let us know your thoughts on this news topic... Email our Newsroom at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com or send us a message on:- Mastodon, Facebook, or Twitter.

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