Government concerned by estate agent 'double charges'

The Government has told ITV News it is "concerned" about the emerging practice of what it calls "double charging" by estate agents.

Latest ITV News reports

Govt 'concerned' about estate agents 'double charging'

by - Consumer Editor

The Government has told ITV News it is "concerned" about the "emerging practice" of what it calls "double charging" by estate agents.

This is where the buyer is asked to pay a fee - which can be many thousands of pounds. A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesperson said:

The Consumer Minister is aware of the emerging practice of double charging by estate agents and is concerned about its potential impact on the market.

Jenny Willott met with Christopher Hamer, Chief Executive of The Property Ombudsman, and Lewis Shand, Chief Executive of Ombudsman Services: Property, earlier this week to discuss the issue.

Both schemes have committed to closely monitoring complaints relating to double charging.

– Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesperson

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Barratt warns BoE against limiting mortgage availability

The chief executive of Britain's largest house builder has urged the Bank of England not to restrict lending because it would hit "young people who are trying to get onto the housing ladder".

Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt Developments, told ITV News he was concerned that limiting mortgage availability would force young people back into rented accommodation.

His comments came after interest rates were today kept at 0.5% despite growing calls for the Bank of England to act after housing prices jumped 9% in the last year.

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Most Brits prefer green space to affordable housing

Over half of the British public would not be willing to sacrifice existing green spaces in their area for affordable homes, our poll has found.

In the ITV News/ComRes poll of 2,034 Brits, most said they would not be willing to have more affordable housing built in their local area if it meant building on local green spaces.

And 48% of those polled said that they would not be willing to have more affordable housing built in their local area, if it affected the view from their window.

More: Public disagree with building new houses on green belt

Empty houses 'should be confiscated' say Britons

Windows and houses are boarded up along a terraced street. Credit: PA Images

Half of Britons agree that the government should have powers to confiscate property from owners who leave it empty, our survey with ComRes also found.

Of the 2.034 people interviewed in the survey by ITV News and ComRes, 49% of those polled agreed with the principle that the government should have more powers to confiscate empty property.

In particular, 47% thought that any landowners who leave buildings empty for more than 3 years should have the land automatically confiscated by the Government and turned into housing.

Rising house prices 'bad for the country as a whole'

File photo dated 27/01/14 of For Sale signs. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The majority of the public believe that the rise in house prices is bad for the country, a new ITV News/ComRes poll has found.

ComRes interviewed 2,034 British adults in an online poll in May. 59% of those asked felt that rising house prices are bad for the country as a whole, with only 26% saying that they saw the rise as positive.

60% of those with homes said that rising prices were good for them.

It was a different story for renters, however, with 68% of those who rent their home saying that the rises are bad for them personally.

Public disagree with building new houses on green belt

Green belt land near Cambridgeshire. Credit: ITV News

Just over half of Britons disagree that that more homes should be built on green belt land, even if it meant lower house prices, according to a poll.

In the survey of 2,034 British adults by ITV News and ComRes, 56% disagreed that more houses should be built on the green belt, even if it meant lower house prices.

More: Most Brits prefer green space to affordable housing

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