Does this saga ever end?
We've had the rip-off rent charges and now this.
Homeowners are discovering they paid Barratts almost twice for their freehold reversion than their neighbours.
Barratts are at pains to point out that the price is set by institutional investors at the same you buy the freehold.
Clearly given the recent negative press over rent charges it is hardly surprising that the market has tanked. If you happen to buy your freehold now you are likely therefore to get a good deal.
Unlucky for those who bought their freeholds earlier however.
The Government is clearly itching to intervene here and they are now mooting outlawing leases for houses altogether.
If they do, and the nice earner of selling rent charges is at an end, developers will look to recoup profits elsewhere I suspect.
A spokesperson for Barratt Manchester said: 'The price we charge is the price that the freehold reversions are valued at in the open market by institutional investors who purchase them on a large scale. We use that price when we sell freeholds to customers who want to buy their own freehold. 'The market for freehold reversions has changed quite considerably over the last year, and the prices being paid by institutional investors have changed, so customers have been able to purchase their freeholds at a lower rate which reflects the market as it is stands now. 'The price set by institutional investors is often expressed as a multiple of ground rent.'