Monthly Archives: October 2015

Housing supply dries up

The latest UK Residential Market Survey, published earlier this month by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), showed that agreed house sales had risen at the fastest rate across the UK since May 2014.

Prices had also increased across all parts of the UK.

Happy days…or not? Well, perhaps not as supply isn’t keeping up with demand.


We first talked about this in our local press back in July on the back of news that house prices could rise by as much as 25% over the next five years. But this house price news was against a backdrop of the number of homes for sale being at its lowest level since records began in 1978.


The October RICS Survey indicates that house sales had picked up in September and this was supported by a ‘modest’ improvement in the availability of mortgage finance. Indeed, the Bank of England’s lending data shows mortgage approvals are at an eighteen month high and up 12% on a year ago.


This in itself has to be good news for the market as a whole.


But, the market will stagnate if new properties are not brought to the market.


The result is that the national house price indicator will continue to rise strongly and it is generally felt in the market that prices will continue to rise, certainly in to 2016.


For our part, the declining number of available properties is also a direct result of a shortage of housing in our country and the problems related to the lack of new building over the last twenty years. These factors are now coming home to roost.


John Halman is Managing Director of Gascoigne Halman and is the North West Regional Residential Spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Top tips on childproofing your home

Often we forget how dangerous our homes can be – especially for young children.

These tips are aimed at increasing your awareness should you have children yourself or small visitors coming to see you.

Here we take a walk through a typical home and suggest things you may wish to check on:



  • Bathrooms present a slip hazard, especially when floors are wet from splashing in the bath or sink. You can safeguard this area by using non-slip mats, in and out of the bath and shower areas. This will reduce the risk of any nasty falls.
  • Our bath and shower trays are typically laden with shower gels and shampoos. These should to be moved out of harm’s way.
  • Be particularly vigilant if you have razors of any type in the bathroom – these should be placed in a high cabinet or a lockable cupboard.


Another hazardous area is the kitchen with a number of dangers in close proximity

  • Make sure all knives, forks, scissors and all other sharp utensils are kept safely out of sight and out of reach. It is a good idea to install a childproof catch to prevent any accidental openings of drawers.
  • In the majority of household kitchens, the cupboard directly beneath the sink houses all manner of cleaning products, including bleach and harsh chemicals. These will need to be either moved to a higher place where they cannot be reached by young children, or a safety catch needs to be added.
  • Children are too young to realise potential dangers and will routinely explore their surroundings. When cooking, ensure all saucepan handles face inwards to prevent being pulled over. Also, there should be no stools or obstacles positioned near the oven as young children will tend to climb onto these.
  • If you still have a stair gate, use this to place in the doorway. This will enable the kitchen to be free from any little roaming explorers, whilst still being able to have contact with you. This will allow you to keep an eye on them whilst they are in the next room, and you can cook without the hazard of a small child at your feet.


It is a fact that young children will fall, often! A lot of the time, young children will be in the sitting room with adults. But this doesn’t mean that there are still no hazards present.

  • Any hard or sharp edges of furniture need to be removed or cushioned. A coffee table is a magnet for young children, as they can reach everything on there. They can pull themselves up as well, meaning that there is a greater risk of injury.



  • It is always worth investing in a good baby monitor for use when children are in there own room. These need to be placed next to the cot where it is out of reach from tiny hands.


If you are conscious of missing a key point, then get down on your hands and knees and view your rooms from a toddler’s eye level. This will open your eyes to any dangers you might have originally overlooked. Always ensure hallways, stairs and passages are well lit to avoid any accidents.

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