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Breakups drive home moves and sellers are more upset about leaving their property than their partner

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Research by home buying platform, Yes Homebuyers, has revealed the driving factors behind those having to move home and which hurts the most, breaking up with our partner or our property.

Although it may be Valentine’s Day, not everyone is feeling the love within the UK property market. Yes Homebuyers asked home sellers what the main reason was for their move and found that divorce or a relationship ending was the driving factor for 23% of people.

While the end of a relationship has always been one of the main factors behind home moves, Covid has likely caused this to increase. It’s believed that searches for divorce guidance have increased by 25% due to Covid, with actual enquiries also spiking by 122%.

Relocating for other personal reasons was the cause of a home move for 21% of those asked.

More space had spurred a move for 19% who were upsizing, while 11% were relocating for work.

11% were also moving for financial reasons, while just 6% stated it was because they were downsizing to a smaller home and 2% moved due to marriage.

With breakups accounting for such a large proportion of home moves, Yes Homebuyers also asked UK home sellers what they would describe as more upsetting, having to leave the home they loved or having to break things off with their partner.

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It would seem our love for bricks and mortar is stronger than we might think, with 57% of people stating that having to leave the home they loved was more upsetting than the end of their relationship with their partner.

It’s not all doom and gloom in the UK property market this Valentine’s Day though. The good news is that despite the various reasons for moving house, just 25% of UK home sellers have been forced to move from a house they would have preferred to stay in.

Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented:

“There are a number of key life events that cause us to move home and unfortunately, divorce is one of them. We’ve seen a number of reports around a spike in divorce proceedings and breakups due to the additional stress placed on relationships during lockdown. So it’s no surprise that it ranks as the driving factor for home moves at present with Covid causing restrictions in other areas of life such as marriage and relocating for work.

For some, a breakup will mean a double whammy of leaving their partner and a home they love, but luckily the number of us forced to leave a property we would prefer to stay in remains rather low.

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However, it says a lot about us as a nation of bricks and mortar lovers when having to leave a home is more upsetting than leaving the person we shared it with.”

Survey of 1,077 UK home sellers carried out by Find Out Now (4th February 2021).

What was the main reason you had to move?
AnswerRespondents
Divorce or relationship ending23%
Relocating for personal reasons (Having a baby etc)21%
Upsizing19%
Relocating for work11%
Financial reasons11%
Downsizing6%
Marriage2%
Prefer not to say6%
Which would you describe as more upsetting?
AnswerRespondents
Having to leave a property you loved57%
Having to break up with a previous partner43%
Have you had to sell a property you loved and would have preferred to stay in?
AnswerRespondents
No75%
Yes25%

(Lead image: Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels.com)


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Construction

Housebuilder reports “exceptional demand” as Aberavon development launched

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“Exceptional demand” has been reported as the first homes at a new development on Aberavon seafront were released for sale.

All appointments were fully booked on Saturday as Persimmon Homes West Wales opened the doors to the sales office.

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Two homes were purchased at the Awel Afan development and a further 10 reserved on the Early Bird scheme over a busy weekend.

A total of 137 homes are being built on the former Afan Lido Leisure Centre site on Princess Margaret Way.

Sharon Bouhali, Sales Director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “We’re pleased to have launched our Awel Afan site.

“The demand has been exceptional. Right from the moment we acquired the site and announced the plans, we have seen a phenomenal amount of interest from a wide range of people wanting to live in his amazing location.

“The housing market remains buoyant in West Wales but, even so, the buzz around Awel Afan is almost unprecedented.”

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Opened by the Queen in the 1970s, the Afan Lido was destroyed in a fire in 2009 and the site has been unused since.

Persimmon say the development will bring a massive boost to the local economy through the construction industry and its multiplier effect. According to figures from the House Builders Federation, for every £1 spent on housing, £3 goes back into the economy.

The national house builder says that each home built also creates 1.5 full-time direct jobs – and at least twice that number in the supply chain.

The development will be made up of two, three and four-bedroom houses, as well as a range of two-bedroom flats.

Homes currently on sale include the popular two-bedroom terraced Alnwick with its modern open plan kitchen/diner and the four-bedroom detached Hornsea with ensuite and integral garage.

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Persimmon Homes recently supported Afan Lido Girls FC with a game-changing grant of £20,000 through its Building Futures campaign.

(Lead image: Persimmon Homes)

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Construction

Time to raise the bar on Wales’ housing standards says Minister

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Welsh Government Minister Julie James has announced the upcoming launch of a consultation on proposed new social housing quality standard for Wales.

The Minister said the Welsh Housing Quality Standard 2023 (WHQS 2023) would ‘build on the excellent achievements of its predecessor’ – the standard introduced in 2002.

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Since then, the Welsh Government has worked with social landlord delivery partners to invest billions of pounds to significantly improve and maintain the quality of social homes across Wales.

As a result, by the end of 2020, 99 per cent of social housing in Wales met the original WHQS – a standard which is more demanding than in the other home nations.

Speaking in the Senedd, the Minister said: “Reflecting on the levels of achievement of the current standard, I am sure members will agree that, after 20 years, the standard is due to be reviewed, especially to acknowledge the considerable changes to how people live, work and feel about their homes.

“The world has moved on apace in the last 20 years and our expectation of our homes has moved on too.

“The proposed standard aims to be bold but ultimately achievable. We aim with our consultation to ensure that the voice of the sector is taken into account in finalising these standards and getting them right.

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“Setting standards is not an easy business at the best of times. It is even more challenging setting standards relating to the decarbonisation of homes – which is a developing area where we are learning what works best on an ongoing basis.

“The £220m committed over this term of government to the Optimised Retrofit Programme, our whole house, pragmatic, approach to decarbonising existing homes will help.

“It will provide some of the answers to how we effectively and efficiently reduce carbon emissions from homes in line with our Net Zero Wales plan.

“However, in the face of the climate change emergency we cannot stand still, and we must continue to push progress and set standards to address decarbonisation through a variety of measures in existing social housing.”

More than 900 tenants have been involved in the development of the new standard and technical elements have been supported by experts who have looked at what else is happening across the UK and the rest of the world.

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The Minister added: “I make no apology for proposing what some will see as a bold approach, I am determined the standards bar should be raised again.

“Meeting our Net Zero Wales targets requires us to make determined progress and I believe these standards are fit to take us forward in that regard.

“Our social housing tenants deserve these standards to be the best we can make them.

“My firm hope is that these standards will not only be brought to bear for social housing, but that in the future other tenures may consider how they too might meet and exceed these expectations.”

The proposed WHQS 2023 standards will be published for consultation from Wednesday May 11 and will be open for stakeholders to respond to for 12 weeks.

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Construction

Skills shortages and material costs continue to impact Welsh construction activity

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Construction market activity continues to rise in Wales despite rising material costs and ongoing skill shortages, latest data from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggests. However, the sector doesn’t expect to make a profit this year.

The Q1 2022 RICS UK Construction and Infrastructure Monitor shows greater than +40% of respondents in Wales reporting a rise in workloads in the quarter, up marginally from +37% in Q4 2021.

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The report says that infrastructure projects, alongside activity related to the development of public and private sector housing shows the strongest workload growth – with private housing up +48% and public housing up +54%.

Despite the growth in current workloads, the impact of global supply shortages, rising costs and a lack of skilled workers are impacting on activity.

When it comes to labour, 66% of survey respondents said that they were experiencing a shortage of quantity surveyors, whilst 67% reported shortages in other construction professionals and 65% pointed to a lack of labourers.

Despite the current challenges, respondents still remain relatively optimistic for the coming year ahead regarding workloads. However, they expect profit margins to be severely impacted by rising costs. Over a third (+36%) of respondents expect workloads to rise in the next 12 months. However, expectations for profit margins are now firmly negative with a net balance of –25%.

Aled Davies of VINCI Construction UK Limited in Cardiff said that material prices are increasing exponentially.

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Peter Jenkins of Willis Construction Limited in Cardiff said that the impact of the war in Ukraine is being felt in fuel and material costs as well as their availability.

RICS Chief Economist, Simon Rubinsohn, commented: “The good news in the latest report is that the industry remains positive about the outlook for activity and that the generally upbeat mood can be seen not just in regard of infrastructure and housing development but also in the commercial sector.

“However, it is clear that the sector faces significant challenges which have been reflected in recent official data showing a sharp rise in vacancies across the construction industry. RICS numbers demonstrate these shortages are pretty much across the board including quantity surveyors and project managers as well as both skilled trades and more general labour.

“This, combined with problems around accessing building materials in the current environment, is exerting significant upward pressure on construction costs at the present time.”

(Lead image: Tima Miroshnichenko / Pexels.com)

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