A new website for owners and landlords to advertise their properties for sale or let has opened - but so far has a meagre five properties on its books.
Against the trend of recent web offerings, which have prided themselves as being estate agents operating online, MoveGroove appears particularly pleased that neither its service nor the individuals behind it have any experience at all in the sale of property.
“For anyone familiar with uploading a listing to eBay, MoveGroove is not much different. Simply classify your property type, select the number of bedrooms, add a few more details and you are ready to post your own description of the house along with some eye catching images” says company founder James Moore.
The site makes reference, in its terms and conditions section, to the need for properties being marketed to have a valid EPC but it does not make reference to specific consumer legislation surrounding the marketing of properties.
The site suggests that a first step for a would-be advertiser is to prepare a description of the property, a selling or rental price, and “a bit of information” on the property specifics and number of bedrooms.
The press release announcing the launch of the service places much emphasis on owners and landlords being able to use it free of charge, and the release and the site dedicate much space to comparing a free sale with hypothetical agency fees.
But towards the bottom of one screen on the site there is the reference: “At the moment MoveGroove is totally free to use...”
James Moore has told Estate Agent Today that he is “a home owner who thought there should be an easy way of selling without an agent”. He says once the site develops further there will be new features offered to users, starting with a For Sale sign which will be available for an unspecified fee.
The site has only just launched so is clearly in its earliest stages but when Estate Agent Today reviewed it overnight, it had only four properties to sell (three in Yorkshire and one in Lanarkshire) and just one Yorkshire property to let.
- estate agents
Agents and vendors beware - an interest rate rise may be coming this year.
This follows the revelation that two members of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted to raise interest rates earlier this month - the first time in three years that policymakers have done so.
Ian McCafferty and Martin Weale, the two MPC members in question, did not succeed in securing a majority when the vote took place on August 7 but this was the first time that the committee was split since July 2011.
Interest rates have been unchanged since March 2009 but minutes of this month’s MPC meeting suggest that both Weale and McCafferty felt rapidly falling unemployment made it more likely that salaries would pick up in the coming months - and a rate rise could stem inflationary pressure as a result.
The pair claimed that strong economic growth figures had been underpinned by what they called "stimulatory monetary policy" and that a rise of 0.25 per cent in the base rate would be helpful in curbing inflation.
Earlier this week - in response to unexpectedly strong figures on house price growth from the ONS, reflecting the transactions picture in June - some agents have urged the government and the Bank of England not to over-react and risk killing housing recovery.
David Newnes of LSL Property Services says “further interventions or borrowing caps could pull the rug out from under the market” and points out that the latest Office for National Statistics data actually shows seven regions in England and Wales with falling house prices in June.
Peter Williams, executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, says the split vote means “a rate rise is firmly on the cards.” He says that even before the minutes were released, one in three brokers expected a rate rise this year - higher than at any other time in 2014.
- Interest Rates
- housing market
Scottish property expert Matthew Gray is joining the board of the National Association of Estate Agents.
Gray is managing director of property services for Gilson Gray Property LLP, a legal firm offering estate agency services in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
He has over 20 years of experience in the Scottish residential property market, he has previously worked as an advisor for Strathclyde University helping to develop a national diploma in estate agency.
He has also won Best Medium Estate Agency of the Year at the National Estate Agency of the Year Awards in 2008 and the Residential and Letting Property Team of the Year at the Scottish Legal Awards in 2009.
NAEA president Simon Gerrard says Gray “has demonstrated his expertise of the market and his passion to contribute to the future of the NAEA.”
Meanwhile next month sees the launch of another round of NAEA TV adverts with a new consumer campaign.The association will be targeting areas across the UK, starting with the Midlands, north east and south west England.
There will be 48 spots planned in each area to run from September 1 over a two-week period.
- Matthew Gray
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