This week we have some news related to market volatility caused by COVID-19, a couple of innovative new PropTech businesses, and property tools for rental calculation and viewing UK-wide house price data.
#1 Open Rent provides a rental calculator that uses its database of properties that are rented through the platform
The Open Rent rent calculator helps estimate rental values for BTL properties in the UK. It provides an initial value based on location and number of bedroom/bathrooms, and can give greater precision if you provide extra information such as condition, listing locations and square footage.
#2 Property Heatmap UK provides a detailed heat-map of average UK property prices down to postcode-level
Property Heatmap UK provides a heat-map visualisation of average UK property values per postcode. These are blended together so that you can look at patterns at a national, county, city, district or street level. This tool can be very useful if you are investing in an area that you do not know very well. It can help reveal potential trends too, as on a postcode level, the tool provides data about how average house price has changed over time, and the brackets that properties fall into within that area.
#3 Landlord groups are warning the housing market strategy in the latest Budget will cause higher rents due to a critical lack of supply
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and the National Landlords Association (NLA) are convinced the latest Budget has failed tenants. They claim that recent BTL restrictions have resulted in a critical shortage of rental accommodation, leading to higher rents.
Both associations, soon to merge to become the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), issued the warning after last week’s Budget statement. They had each recommended that the Government take action to support the private rented sector (PRS) but, apparently, to no avail.
In a statement, they said that the Government was weakening its efforts to increase home ownership by turning its guns on the PRS, and that by restricting supply and thereby making renting more expensive, it is the tenants who are the worst affected.
#4 Nearly 50% of UK Proptech firms are set for ‘survival mode’ over the next three months according to research by UK PropTech Association
In a survey of its members on the impact of Covid-19 on their businesses, the UKPA found that 43% of proptech companies are planning for survival over the next quarter, 25% are preparing for stagnation, 6.3% fear closure and a quarter remain bullish and expect growth.
#5 Skwire uses AI to analyse supply and demand of rental stock to suggest high-yield properties and added-value opportunities
In terms of specific innovations coming to the fore, artificial intelligence is playing an increasingly pivotal role by gradually changing the way investments are sought and made. Data science helps improve investment decisions on a very granular level. Understanding supply and demand on a hyper-local level allows investors to pick assets with the right attributes. Down to whether a balcony or garden, parking space or a third bedroom will produce the higher premium in a particular location.
Skwire began proving this model with a small portfolio of high-yield properties across the UK built from standing stock for HNW investors. We source best-in-class opportunities using our proprietary sophisticated self-learning AI, trained on more than 150 million data points. This is Coupled with tech-enabled underwriting and property management. It enables us to build diversified high-yield portfolios at scale relevant to both UHNW and institutional investors. We are currently fundraising for our next fund to cater to institutional investors.
#6 Skrap, an on-demand skip and construction hire mobile app has today announced it has raised £1.2m in seed funding
Skrap, which delivers skip and construction hire related services on-demand by ordering via a mobile app has today announced that it has raised £1.2m in seed funding to accelerate growth across major cities.
The fundraise was led by Vanneck Investments, with participation from a host of entrepreneurs and angels investors like Charles Songhurst, Eamon Jubbawy (Onfido), Anil Stocker (MarketFinance), Paul Huntingdon (ARM), Adrian Beecroft, Dennis Stevenson, Peter Brodnicki (MAB), Jay Radia (Yieldify, Reachdesk), and James Hind (Carwow).
Skrap was founded with a vision of allowing SME Builders to order any construction hire service at the click of a button.
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