Is your property weatherproof?

The weather in recent months has been unpredictable to say the least. In July, the mini heatwave, which saw temperatures in many parts of the county hit 32C, was shortly followed by torrential rail causing flash floods. UK flooding and extreme weather shows that our homes need to change to withstand climate change.

It was when the water started coursing through Covent Garden and Pudding Mill’s Docklands Light Railway Stations on July 25 that people began recording the somewhat biblical scenes on their phones – torrents of water tearing down steps and submerging ticket barriers.
In total, nine stations on the London Underground had to close due to flash flooding caused by heavy rain showers, homes were evacuated, and the London Fire Brigade said they had received over 1,000 calls.

Extreme weather – from flooding to unseasonably high temperatures – is the reality of climate change. Despite successive governments kicking both the crisis in housing and the climate emergency into the long grass for years, this is no longer a distant problem for future generations. It is here right now on the doorsteps of our homes and experts warn that those homes are fatally unfit for purpose.

According to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), the Government’s official advisors, one in five UK homes already overheats. Last year, summer heatwaves caused 2,556 deaths in England. In 2015, government ministers rejected CCC’s advice to implement new heat-proofing regulations for buildings. In 2017, the CCC warned that the number of people dying from heat could triple by 2040 if nothing is done to climate-proof housing.

The Environment Agency predicts that the UK will experience a 59 per cent increase in rainfall and a rise in summer temperatures by 7.4°C by 2050, which is likely to lead to more floods, heat and subsidence issues.  According to reports, in England alone, over 570,000 homes have been built since 2016 that will not withstand future high temperatures.


In June this year, the CCC condemned the Government’s inaction as “absolutely illogical”.

Yet the measures that need to be taken to ensure homes are future-proofed for climate change would also improve housing standards. Simpler measures include installing thick blinds, curtains, double glazing and insulation. More complex changes would cut to the heart of how we build homes in the first place: thoughtful design which maximises shade, airflow and proper ventilation, and incorporating sustainable drainage systems and water harvesting.

 Do you have a property which overheats, floods or is just uncomfortable in extreme temperatures? Such properties can often be difficult to sell.  WeBuyProperty considers all types of properties and will provide a no obligation valuation to purchase for cash.

If you would like to find out more, contact 0207 449 9797 or

Slow and steady wins the race

Last week the UK had so called ‘Freedom Day’ where all restrictions were ‘lifted’ and people were in theory allowed to return to living normal lives. However, with cases rising, travel restrictions changing on a daily basis and talk of further lockdowns by autumn, it’s easy to see why it doesn’t quite feel like we are ‘FREE’ just yet. But what about the property market – that doesn’t seem to be all doom and gloom?

I think the secret in the property market over the long term will be much like the restrictions. In areas where it is rushed (house prices shot up rapidly), things will have to be readjusted slightly at some point, but in areas where the rise was more modest, the fall will be less severe.

Let’s take London for example. The usually busy London housing market trailed behind the rest of the country in the stampede of activity over the last year, with the average time to complete on a home in the capital taking 57 days compared to the national average of 34 days. It’s a similar story with pricing, where crazy pandemic price tags have meant the average house price across the UK has risen 5.7 per cent but edged up just 0.5 per cent in the capital.


Over the course of the pandemic, prices in the more affordable outer boroughs of London soared as buyers’ swapped convenience for space, while the more central areas of the city recorded price falls.

This trend is now slowly and cautiously reversing in anticipation of offices reopening in the autumn. This month asking prices in Westminster rose five per cent to £1,437,811 – the highest jump of any district of London, followed by Kensington and Chelsea (up 2.4 per cent to £1,689,368). Camden and Islington also saw positive change.

The spike in activity over the last 12 months has most certainly created a “bubble” in some parts of the UK.  According to Rightmove, the average asking price of a property coming to market has hit a new record high for the fourth consecutive month, and it is now £21,389 higher – 6.7 per cent – than six months ago.  The new all-time high of £338,447 follows a June-to-July rise of 0.7 per cent – the largest monthly rise at this time of year since July 2007.


History tells us that such rapid house price growth simply isn’t sustainable. The only two areas which showed negative monthly growth in July were London and Yorkshire and Humber.

I think there will be a lot of investors wanting to cash in their gains over the next few months and use this time to readjust their portfolios and get rid of properties they no longer require.

If you would like a no obligation valuation on selling your property away from the open market for cash, WeBuyProperty can discuss your options, offer free advice and, if you decide to go ahead, we can transact in a matter of weeks.


Call 0207 449 9797 or Email:

Do you want to complete by Christmas? Yes, you read that right

While the process of selling a home has accelerated rapidly, the time to complete a transaction has only slowed down — with transactions now taking around 20 weeks. That means if you have an offer accepted or you accept an offer on your home today, you may be looking at completing around the first or second week of December! Crazy isn’t it?

The stamp duty holiday was introduced on properties up to £500,000 by Chancellor Rishi Sunak last July, intended to kickstart the market which was frozen during the first lockdown.  However, what the policy actually did was pour fuel on to the already heated property market, which had huge pent-up demand for larger properties following lockdown.

As we know, the original deadline of 31 March was then extended to give breathing space to those who risked missing the deadline. But what the move actually did was open the floodgates to a wave of new buyers.

So, there you have it – the perfect storm, which has put all those who work in the process of helping a property transaction complete under enormous pressure. We have heard stories of some lenders having telephone hold times of two hours, and some valuers not responding to post-valuation queries.  Conveyancing solicitors are struggling with the backlog which has built up as a result of high demand and there is a similar backlog in the workload of local authorities who can’t cope with the amount of property searches being requested.

According to online mortgage broker Mojo Mortgages, the influx of property transactions over the last year led to a postcode lottery over who would meet the stamp duty deadline.

The online broker found that Ashfield District Council in Nottinghamshire had the quickest turnaround time for searches at five working days.  However, homebuyers in Hackney will be waiting 180 working days to get a search returned.

Of course, now the first stamp duty deadline has passed, some of that has eased, but ultimately once people make the mental commitment to move, they don’t want to have to wait nearly half a year for that to happen! Also, the longer the progress takes, the more chance there is for sales to collapse as buyers see something else they prefer or change their mind.

There are a few things you can do to give yourself the best chance of a fast house sale:

  • Get together valid proof of earnings (such as your last three or four pay slips, or if self-employed, you will need end of year accounts for the last three years). You will need to provide these to your lender at point of application.
  • Ensure your chosen solicitor and agents are clear that you have a desire to move as quickly as possible and ensure they are reliable and well known for their communication and customer service.
  • Try to learn as much as possible about the people you are selling to. There are many people who enter the sales process who end up withdrawing due to various reasons – leaving the other party at a financial disadvantage. Try to find out their position and so you can establish how committed you think they are.
  • Remember, things don’t always go exactly to plan and circumstances can change, but you will get there in the end.

If you are in a position where you have just lost your buyer or where you need to move quickly and don’t have 20 weeks to wait, WeBuyProperty can provide you with a no-obligation valuation to buy your property for cash. We can transact in a matter of weeks leaving you with the freedom to move as soon as you like.


Enquire today by emailing or by calling 0207 449 9797

Are EPC ratings set to become the next property scandal?

Last week we spoke about buyers’ and renters’ ever-growing desire to live in sustainable properties, not least for their impact on the environment but also for their lower running costs. What we also mentioned is that those living in energy inefficient homes could soon find it harder to get a mortgage. Today, we are looking at a report published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), that has called on lenders to help improve energy performance of properties. The Government is planning to publish its response later this year.

BEIS said mortgage lenders could play a vital role in driving the energy performance improvements required to meet the UK’s 2050 net zero carbon emissions target.  In relation to lenders, the report stated, ‘they are uniquely placed to influence mortgagors at critical trigger points, such as home purchase, renovation or re-mortgage.
BEIS recommended that lenders consider energy efficiency as part of their mortgage assessment criteria, and review rules to encourage green mortgages.  In a nutshell, mortgage lenders may soon be required to track and annually disclose the average Energy Performance Certificate rating of the properties they lend against. The Government could then use this information to publish ‘lender league tables’ based on the average EPC ratings within their portfolios.

Lenders could also be set ambitious targets relating to energy performance and be required to factor these into their lending decisions. The move is intended to send a clear signal to borrowers about the importance of their homes’ energy performance.


According to the Climate Change Committee, there are currently about 29 million homes in the UK, of which 19 million have an EPC lower than C. That’s potentially 19 million homes that will need improvements to make them more energy efficient. Improvements may include things like fitting loft, under floor or cavity wall insulation; upgrading to double or triple glazed windows; draught proofing and hot water tank insulation. According to BEIS, the average energy running costs for a home with an EPC rating of C in England are around £300 cheaper than for a band D home, and £740 less than for a band E home. However, the average cost to achieve an EPC rating of C or above is estimated at £4000.

If lenders have to start declining loan applications in order to improve their average EPC ratings on a published league table, borrowers living in poorly-rated properties may find it difficult to sell their property or even remortgage.

In my opinion, much like the cladding scandal, it once again risks creating a new cohort of mortgage prisoners trapped in energy-inefficient homes and paying their lender’s higher standard variable rate because they are not able to remortgage.

Some lenders are already offering green mortgages which provide a lower rate for customers in energy-efficient homes – often those rated C and above. So, it is easy to see the direction of travel with this. It could seriously devalue properties, potentially creating negative equity for those with high loan-to-value mortgages.  It could also create problems for older borrowers who want to move in retirement, but who do not have the income to fund improvements to the efficiency standards of their property before selling.


If you are concerned about the energy efficiency of your property, and how it could impact its saleability now or in the future, WeBuyProperty will be happy to discuss this with you and give you a no obligation valuation for what it would be worth in the current market if you were to sell for cash.

Call: 0207 449 9797

The Green Revolution

The size and appearance of a garden has long been high on the list of features house-buyers look for when considering a new home. The pandemic has further supercharged people’s love affair with nature and their gardens, as they became a life-saver for many during the worst days of the Covid crisis.

But believe it or not, it’s not just gardens that are making buyers and tenants think ‘green’.  Many have become much more environmentally conscious over recent years, and developers and landlord investors are already adapting to demand for sustainable homes.  Solar panels, ground source heating and batteries are also starting to reach production economies of scale and become economically viable, leading to the emergence of exciting new possibilities.

A property’s eco-friendly elements, including solar panels and efficient boilers, are now front of mind. According to a new study conducted by E.ON Energy, 89% of prospective buyers want sustainable homes that are kind to the planet, with 49% explaining that spending more time at home during lockdown has encouraged them to consider an eco-home.

Research also found that 78% of respondents said they would use their savings from the stamp duty holiday to implement sustainable solutions in their new home. Some of the main reasons for this include wanting to lower the cost of energy bills and being more conscious about the environment.


Of course, as we wrote about back in January, this could soon be less of a choice and more of a requirement if the Government goes ahead with plans put forward by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).  The CCC recommended that all homes should have an Energy Performance Certificate rating of C or above by 2028 – this would mean two thirds of properties would be unsellable in just seven years from now!

 With this in mind and an ever-growing public desire to be living in a sustainable home, property investors need to be aware that properties with poor eco-credentials are likely to attract less interest from tenants and house hunters. What’s more, those living in energy inefficient homes could soon find it harder to get a mortgage, after a government report called on lenders to help improve energy performance. We’ll be talking more about this in next week’s blog.

If you are a landlord with an old property that is not very energy efficient, and you would rather re-shape your portfolio with more eco-friendly properties than spend money upgrading your existing properties, we will offer you a no-obligation valuation for cash with a guarantee that we can transact in a matter of weeks.

Call: 0207 449 9797


Phase 1 of Stamp Duty Holiday Ends – will the market suffer fall-through fever?

As the 30th of June marked the end of the full stamp duty holiday, which will now be tapered until the end of September in order to smooth the transition back to the original rates.


Since last July until today, buyers have paid no stamp duty on the first £500,000 of property purchases in England and Northern Ireland. From today until 30 September 2021, tapering will mean that buyers don’t have to pay any stamp duty on the first £250,000 in the purchase of a residential property. The nil rate band will return to the standard amount of £125,000 on October 1, 2021.

Whilst some movers feel elated that they have managed to move during this period of ‘no stamp duty’, what it has actually created is a false economy, since the average house price in most areas has risen far beyond any saving made as a result of the stamp duty holiday.

If the cut in stamp duty has done one thing, it has provided a case study in inflation theory.  That’s why, in my opinion, there is little point having a stamp duty ‘holiday’ which creates a time-limited effect but instead, the Chancellor should have made the cut permanent.

Of course, not everyone will have fallen victim to false economy. Some buyers will have agreed sales on homes already on the market – perhaps listed before the pandemic – and those who have decided to downsize will likely have fared well also.


So what will happen now? Will this overheated market settle down? According to the latest data by Rightmove, there are signs that things are cooling. The average asking price of property coming to market increased at a reduced rate of 0.8%, or £2,509, this month, although this is still the largest rise at this time of year since 2015.

Although prices are now at a record high in all regions in Britain, an all-time low in the number of available properties on agents’ books are starting to slow the market’s frenetic pace. The phasing out of the stamp duty holiday has diluted some of the urgency to move, yet buyer demand does remain strong.

It will be interesting to see the level of transactions that fall through over the next few weeks, where those who were relying on the stamp duty holiday fail to complete in time. There will be mortgage offers invalidated and a lot of very disappointed people. Even those that have budgeted for the eventuality that they may miss the deadline, do not have control over other buyers and sellers in the chain. Unfortunately, those that exchange on or before today [June 30], but complete after today’s deadline, will have missed the highest level of saving and will have to pay stamp duty on an additional £250,000.  Conveyancers, solicitors and removal companies have been working around the clock to close as many deals as possible.

According to data from property website Rightmove published on 15 June, there were 704,000 sales going through the conveyancing process in Britain. This is over 275,000 more than the previous record of 428,633 set in May 2017.

While the process of selling a home has accelerated rapidly, the time to complete a transaction has only slowed down — with transactions now taking around 20 weeks.

If your buyer has pulled out and you still want to complete before the next deadline on 30 September, WeBuyProperty can buy your home for cash and complete in a matter of weeks. We will provide a no obligation valuation and guide you through the whole process – you can also save on agent fees!

Feel free to contact us today on 0207 449 9797 or email

Hard to sell property types


After a bumper year for the property market which has seen prices and transaction levels soar, it is hard to imagine that any sellers are struggling in the current market when there is such as drought of stock.

However, even in the strongest of markets, not all properties are equal, meaning that some, for one reason or another, remain unsold longer than anticipated. Here is a look at some of those properties and the reasons behind their lack of desirability.


Remote houses

Whilst the pandemic has given many more people the freedom to live and work from anywhere, remote houses often have poor internet connection, lack of utilities or nearby amenities. Sometimes after purchasing, those that thought they would like the peace and quiet, find they cannot adapt to such an isolated lifestyle.

Oversized or over-improved homes

Describing something as over-improved may sound odd but it can be a common mistake made by homeowners. Most streets have a ceiling price of what people are prepared to pay for a property. If a house has been over-developed for the size of the plot, it can be very off putting for potential buyers who will also be aware that it could cause them an issue when they come to re-sell in future. If the average house on the street is £500,000, developing and spending vast amounts of money on the very best interior will not automatically land you with a house which command £800,000+.

Non-standard construction

Standard construction for residential property essentially means homes built from bricks and mortar or stone, with a slate or tiled roof. Non-standard houses are typically built from other materials that do not conform to the ‘standard’ definition. There is a greater commercial risk associated with these types of property when it comes to repairing, refurbishing or rebuilding costs. These homes may be susceptible to serious building problems or pose a greater fire risk, such as a timber frame property, and this can mean lenders are often more reluctant to lend, which subsequently makes selling such properties more challenging.

Short leases
Flats and maisonettes with 80 years or less left on the lease rapidly depreciate in value because it may be difficult to renew the lease, and the cost of a lease extension is so high. This makes short lease properties difficult to sell.

Properties in very poor state of repair

If a property is a particularly poor state of repair, let’s say uninhabitable, not only does it not appeal, but even to those that have vision of what it could be restored to, banks and building societies often won’t lend.  This means any buyer would need to be able to buy and foot the renovations with cash. This naturally makes the pool of potential investors pretty slim. Lenders are also reluctant to lend on properties which don’t have either a bathroom or kitchen, and sometimes central heating to.


The good news is that whilst some estate agents might be reluctant to take on more difficult properties, WeBuyProperty offers owners stuck in the ‘can’t sell’ trap a way out without having to take their property to auction. We will consider buying your property for cash, leaving you free to move on to a property that is right for you.

For a no obligation quote, please contact us on 0207 449 9797 or email

Landlords – is it time to sell up?

After 14 very long months, the ban on bailiff-led evictions came to an end (on 31 May), and the notice period that landlords need to give tenants has now been reduced from six to four months.While many have little sympathy for landlords, who are seen as the “rich” beneficiaries of the private rented sector, it is important to remember that many landlords’ finances, as well as tenants, have been severely strained during the pandemic.  Despite this, the government has expected private landlords the bear the cost when tenants could no longer pay rent, with little or no chance of recouping their losses.

For well-capitalised landlords with more than one property, the hit has perhaps been easier to take. But more than half of landlords in the UK are said to have just a single home for rent. For those smaller landlords who rely on rental income to pay for their retirement, for example, or who have mortgages, the consequences of this have been catastrophic and could well be the impetus to sell up for good.

According to a survey by the NRLA, one-third of landlords are now more likely to leave the market altogether or sell some of their properties…and let’s be honest, who could blame them?

Landlords have been treated as villains for far too long now, when in fact the vast majority are providing lovely homes with an excellent service that is supporting the growing demand for rental properties.


It is a short-sighted view to be pushing private landlords out of the market, which will ultimately result in higher rents for tenants. The alternative for those that can’t afford the already astronomical cost of renting will be to resort to the social housing sector, which successive governments have run down in size and funding.

House prices, whilst currently at record highs, are predicted to fall as the stamp duty holiday comes to an end. Landlords are already facing higher tax bills so now seems like the best time for many to sell up and get the best price they can for their properties.

Despite the eviction ban having ended, some landlords do not want to wait any longer to regain possession of their properties and are looking to sell with their tenants in situ. Whilst this can mean that landlords may take a slight hit financially, in the long run this is likely to be negligible owing to the current market conditions and avoiding eviction fees.

If you have a rental property or portfolio that you would like to sell quickly, WeBuyProperty can discuss your options, provide a no-obligation valuation/cash offer and, if you decide to go ahead, transact within a matter of weeks, without ever having the hassle of putting your property on the market.


For more information contact: 0207 449 9797 or

The Perils of Selling a Home with Japanese Knotweed

In this week’s blog, I would like to bring to your attention issues surrounding a species of plant known as Japanese knotweed.

It is highly invasive and destructive to properties due to its extensive above-ground canopy and underground roots. It spreads rapidly, grows in clumps and produces dense bamboo-like canes which can grow up to 7 ft tall. It has the ability to destroy walls, driveways, patios, and even underground drains and is extremely difficult to kill.  Therefore, its presence can have a devastating effect on residential property sales, reducing a property’s value and making it difficult to sell.

Sellers have a responsibility to check for Japanese knotweed, disclose the presence of the plant during pre-contract enquiries, and form a plan to remove it. Failure to report it or deliberately conceal Japanese Knotweed could lead to sellers being sued for misrepresentation and liable for compensation.

Similarly, estate agents have an obligation under consumer protection regulations to advise prospective buyers of any material facts that could affect their decision to buy, such as the presence of knotweed.

Although extreme cases are rare, you should be aware that the presence of Japanese knotweed on your land (or indeed land that adjoins it) can cause property sales to fall through. Many surveyors are now trained specifically to spot knotweed and bring it to the attention of interested parties, such as lenders, which can often result in a recommendation not to lend. Mortgage lenders typically abide by a rule of 7 metres – if the weed is within this distance of the property, they are unlikely to lend.

Getting rid of Japanese knotweed is not as simple as using your everyday weedkiller. Instead, it is recommended that property owners appoint professional contractors with access to a more powerful weedkiller.  Digging out Japanese knotweed also requires professional help, as disposing of it is classed as controlled waste under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This means the plant needs to be disposed of at licensed landfill sites.

Recent research from Environet found that approximately 5% of homes are currently affected, either directly or indirectly (neighbouring an affected property).  Bolton, Bristol and St Helens in Merseyside were identified as the top three worst affected locations in the UK. Others in the top ten include Cardiff, Blackburn, Llanelli, Swansea, Rotherham, Shepherd’s Bush and Nottingham.

If you think your property could be at risk of being affected by Japanese knotweed, we highly recommend you get it treated as a matter of urgency. If you know your property, or a neighbouring property, has it and this is affecting your ability to sell your property, feel free to contact WeBuyProperty. We can discuss the extend of the problem and offer you a no obligation valuation to buy your property for cash.


Phone number: 0207 449 9797

How to handle estate agents

As previously discussed, Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty holiday has certainly added fuel to pent-up demand among buyers and spurred many into action. The result of which is sky-high property prices, and a severe shortage of stock on the market.
As either a buyer or seller, moving can be stressful at the best of times.  But, in the currently overheated market, there is a sense of frenzied urgency, and many are feeling enormous pressure to make fast decisions.

If you have chosen to sell or buy a property through a traditional estate agent, you must remember this is one of the largest transactions you will ever make.   With this in mind, it may be helpful to be armed with a little knowledge about how the system works and what to say and what not to say to estate agents.
Estate agents essentially represent sellers – that is who they are getting their commission from. Therefore, as a buyer, agents are not only going to do their best to squeeze the very best price out of you, but in the current market they are going to want to know why you are the right/most reliable buyer amongst the pool of other buyers they have lined up considering the same property.


There is a really fine balance, particularly when buyers are asked to submit sealed bids, between putting in an offer that will ensure you secure the property and over-paying in a desperate attempt to ‘win’. While demand is high for many homes at present, never consider overpaying for a property because you think it will be your “forever” home. It is still just bricks and mortar and has a market value.
It is important to look beyond just price.  Sell yourself as a buyer on your ‘proceedability’ and ‘flexibility’. Being able to move faster and complete quicker than others could give you an advantage over other buyers.


One other issue in the current market is sellers are putting their houses on the market to achieve the top price and selling them straight away – but in many cases they haven’t found anywhere to move to yet. If you can get a mortgage agreed and be flexible about time frames, even be in a position where you have nothing to sell (i.e. you have already completed on yours) but have somewhere to stay, that can be a huge bonus for a seller, just as much as price. It means as soon as they find somewhere, they know you are ready to go.
Similarly, if you are a seller, don’t be too short-sighted by only considering the highest offer. Understand from your agent each of the prospective buyers’ personal circumstances. Have they sold? Do they have a mortgage agreed or are they cash buyers? Are they in a long and complicated chain which could increase the risk of them pulling out?Many estate agents offer other professional services, such as mortgage brokers, solicitors, surveyors etc. They will usually get a kick-back whenever they introduce a client to one of their associated services, which is why they will often try to upsell.

Whilst this can be a really great way to ensure a smooth transaction, especially when all parties are used to communicating on a regular basis, it is important to know that as a buyer or a seller, you are under absolutely no obligation to use an estate agents other professional services.


It is always a good idea to shop around for a deal before you commit to anything and make sure you are comfortable with the company you select. If you have absolutely no idea, speak to friends or colleagues who may have moved recently. Find out how much they paid and what kind of service they received. Were there any hold ups?


My final word on this, is that that the current market is like nothing we have seen for many many years. In some ways it is false, as nobody really seems to know what anything is really worth any more. If you have to move right now, be cautious. Make sure you are selling because you want to move, not just because you want to achieve top whack (you will also pay top price for whatever you go on to buy, so it is all relative).   If you are buying, be sure you can really afford it, even if interest rates were to rise…which in time they will.

Of course, if entering what has been described by Henry Pryor as a Bankers Drinks Party is not for you, and you would rather sell your home privately without the frenzied home-moving politics currently surrounding the market, perhaps consider giving WeBuyProperty a call.

We will offer you a no obligation quote, you won’t pay agent fees and we will transact within a matter of weeks – you neighbours need never know until the removal van pulls up!

To discuss in more detail or for any queries, please contact us by:
Phone: 0207 449 9797