Property market news – what does 2018 have to offer.

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This week’s Property News article is presented by The Property 

As property market news for the new year sheds light on what to expect in 2018, an unusually conservative assessment emerges from Halifax that demands attention.
UK lender Halifax published a pretty pessimistic outlook for UK house price growth, putting a dent in the stocks of housebuilders and an uncertainty as to what your house is worth. While this was not completely unexpected, it marks a worrying time for those with a stake in the property market, as the period of uncertainty for Great Britain after the Brexit referendum continues to bite away at people’s pockets, making getting an accurate house valuation all the more difficult.

A solemn foundation for property market news in 2018?

If this is your first visit to our site, know that the readings of the UK housing market we have come to expect from Halifax are usually rather more optimistic. But they have said that property prices over the last three months of 2017 rose by just 2.7%, compared to that same three-month period back in 2016. That’s a drop from the growth of 3.9% in November, and the 4.5% recorded in October. The latest reading fell short of forecasts significantly; analysts in the Reuters poll were predicting a growth of 3.3%, so growth has slowed noticeably. This is a trend that suggests the uncertainty after Brexit is damaging property values.

There is still uncertainty of what is going to happen now that Britain has voted to leave the EU. (Read more about Brexit from the Daily Express – click here) Uncertainty following Brexit also extends to the UK Property Market. Mark King Properties, (South Wales based property investor) explores this issue and the effect it may have on house prices in more detail, click here to read the article.

Reflecting on property values, prices actually fell by around 0.6% in December, which was the first downturn since June of 2016, according to Halifax. As property market news goes, this is not the way many would have hoped things would be going into 2018.

Analysing the figures, the managing director of Halifax Community Bank observed that the pattern of the housing market in 2017 was similar to that of the year before. There was a slow in the growth of house prices, even in the south-east, and a distinct flatness to all building activity, sales completed and approved mortgages for purchasing a house. He attributed this pattern to an observed squeeze on the real growth of earnings and the ongoing uncertainty about the future of the British economy.

What he did predict, however, is that house prices in 2018 will probably be supported by scarcity – few properties for sale, housebuilding at low levels, high rates of employment and low-interest rates that will promote the servicing of mortgages. The forecast stands at a predicted growth in house prices in the 0-3% range when we reach the end of 2018. So if you’re asking the question “What is my house worth?”, you may not need to fear a drastic plummet in prices in these uncertain times.

Currently, the average price of a UK house stands at £225,021, with prices in London typically topping the scale. Analyst Sam Tombs from Macroeconomics commented on the data released by Halifax showing house price growth slowed. He said that it shows how the recent rise in new mortgages has had a dampening effect on a property market that was already showing signs of price rises flagging. The Halifax index had been indicating a rise of 3.6% from June to November; a strength that had not been reflected by other indices. In Tombs’ opinion, a correction was well overdue.

Tombs went on to say that he expects the recent reforms made to the stamp duty rules for first-time buyers, as well as the ongoing shortage of existing homes being put on the market, should ensure a stabilisation of house prices in 2018. In other words, he doesn’t expect there to be an outright fall in the value of properties through 2018, despite the uncertainty of the Brexit negotiations.

With this property market news entering the public realm, it was no surprise to see that shares in housebuilders saw some of the biggest descents on the London stock market at the start of the second week of January 2018. Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey were the leaders in the sector lower, both going down by 1%. Closely following were Persimmon, who saw a fall of 0.9%.

As the year continues, we can only wait and see what property market news unfolds, but the outlook is a cautious one for anyone for people hoping to profit from the sector. These are uncertain times in Britain, and the property market is not immune to uncertainty.

 

There are signs that the slump is easing after prime London property going through a though year

The City of Westminster, Camden, and Kensington and Chelsea are capital’s three most expensive boroughs. According to a report from LSL Acadata published Monday, These three boroughs each saw sales jump by more than 20 percent in the third quarter.

This surge indicates that “momentum is returning” to prime central London after a year of tumbling property prices.

Acadata’s Peter Williams and John Tindale  said “Movement at the top end of the market helps to increase activity all the way down the housing chain,”

The report may also be a cause for optimism nationally. While November’s 0.9 percent annual gain in prices was the slowest since April 2012, and down from 6.3 percent a year ago, they increased from the previous month for the first time since March.The signs of improvement buck a trend of pessimistic reports on housing, particularly regarding London.

In the RICS survey, brokers flagged a range of reasons for the stagnation, including Brexit uncertainty, political instability and November’s interest-rate increase from the Bank of England.

Even in Acadata’s report, the picture isn’t entirely rosy. Prices in the Greater London area were down 3 percent from a year ago in October, with the City of Westminster leading losses with an 18.2 percent drop. London’s market also remains a drag on the UK.

The annual change in prices reported this month would have been 3.3 percent without the capital and the southeast.

 

UK properties rise by five percent in the last year and adds more value on average home

HM Land Registry New figures show a typical property sold for £225,956 in August, up from £215,143 in the same month in 2016.

Increases over the last 12 months have been largest in the north-west, where house prices have risen by 6.5 percent. This was followed by gains of 6.4 percent recorded in the East Midlands, East of England and the south-west.

“The strength and prosperous nature of the country’s property market has once again been shown in these new statistics.” Kevin Shaw, national sales director at Leaders, explained

“The fact every single region across the UK experienced an increase of at least 2.6 percent in house prices over the last year, shows the market’s resilience despite the uncertainty of Brexit and gives sellers and buyers great confidence to make their next move.

“A significant rise in house prices is good news not only for homeowners who now have more options open to them when it comes to either moving or releasing equity in their property but also for landlords whose rental return is topped up by substantial capital growth that is realised when selling.”

Yet he acknowledges the challenge this presents for first-time buyers.

“Rising house prices are not good news for everybody and can make getting on the ladder less affordable for some.

“This week’s Budget is the ideal opportunity for the government to show it is on the side of prospective first-time buyers by reducing or even abolishing stamp duty for this group,” Kevin said.

The data shows that while the average property is worth £225,956, first-time buyers actually pay an average of £190,792 while those who have previously owned a property typically spend £262,156.

Kevin adds: “Looking ahead to the next 12 months, the outlook for the property market remains extremely positive. With the exception of the prime central London sector, further rises in house prices are expected across the country.

“Demand for all types of homes remains high and supply in many areas is not great enough, so we anticipate a busy and booming market for some time to come.”

 

WHAT BREXIT MEANS FOR THE PROPERTY MARKET

19 June was an important day for the history and future of the UK, as that is when the Brexit negotiations are to commence. One question that has been buzzing among the property sector and its followers is, ‘How will Brexit affect the housing prices and property market in the UK?’, and that is more than understandable.

So we’ve curated a short list of things that we are currently seeing and that we at Property Property Property believe we’ll be seeing soon, within the market:

Negotiations

As mentioned above, negotiations have taken place from Monday 19 June 2017 for the after-effects of the Brexit vote. These negotiations between the UK and EU will determine the state of the economy, which will also then determine the outcome of the housing market. However, we also believe there will be talk on trading, which may also affect the number of houses and flats springing from the ground in places such as London.

Market Fluctuation

As many people are wary about the value of their home or purchasing a property post-Brexit as they’re not too confident in what the market will hold, and neither are we as we are yet to see any significant difference in the market. However, reports have shown that the number of house purchases since the Brexit vote has dipped and we believe we’ll continue to see fluctuations in the market for the next few months until the economy has been stabilised.

Speculations

There has been some speculation within the property industry on what Brexit will actually mean and how it’ll affect us. However, a survey of forecasts was taken by the Investment Property Forum in the latter part of 2016, have shown that the capitals value in commercial real estate is predicted/expected to fall by 3.6 percent in 2017. On the country to that, rents have been predicted to remain high.

Nevertheless, these are all speculations and predictions based on the small changes that may have occurred the weeks leading to the Brexit vote and the weeks’ post-Brexit vote. What we are most concerned about is the future of our property market.

So at Property Property Property, we’ll like to know what your comments and thoughts are on Brexit and how it may change out property market.

7 THINGS YOU SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR IN YOUR RETIREMENT HOME

At Property Property Property we cater to everyone, including our dear pensioners. So this post is dedicated and the start of more to come, that are highlighted specifically to pensioners or those seeking retirement.

We have curated and listed below our top 7 tips on things you should look for in your retirement home:

TIP #1: Ramp or home modification

Now we’re not suggesting that this is a most for everyone, but as most people who are seeking retirement homes for the purpose of living there for the rest of lives, we advise that this is something you look out for. As it is a known fact that strength decreases with age, so looking into securing a property with a ramp and already installed home modifications is a bonus as it will save you time and money in the future when having to maybe install these functions.

TIP #2: Low ceilings

Ideally, when you look for properties, your mind isn’t too focused on the size or height of the ceiling. But as you gracefully age, I believe it is something you should look for in your retirement home. As you’ll still want to be able to have reach of the lighting on your celling and something that doesn’t have an overwhelming effect, such as a high ceiling.

TIP #3: Lower units

Following on from having lower ceilings, you may also consider having lower units. Such as a lower kitchen cabinet, lower bathroom system; anything that doesn’t stress you or is more easily accessible for yourself as you age.

TIP #4: Community park or recreation center

At this age, you are either more free to explore the world or you’re freer to explore your community. We suggest looking for local facilities that encourage pensioner activities or anything that will keep you busy and stress-free in your older years.

TIP #5: Location

Location is a very important factor to consider when seeking a retirement home as you still want to be accessible and reachable to family, friends, and anyone who you are in contact with. But at the same time, aim to look for a more peaceful and scenic neighborhood so that you can enjoy your retirement with less noise pollution.

TIP #6: Maintenance

This leads back to point 3, we just want to reinforce the point that it’s better to look for a property that will require less maintenance work in the long-run. As you wouldn’t want to spend your retirement having to make continuous modifications and alterations to your new home in order to suit your health. Why not jump this step and consider this now.

TIP #7: Transport

And finally transportation. We advise anyone and everyone looking for a new space to look for a location with good transportation links, as this will give you more freedom to travel as this will be something that is easily accessible for you to visit friends or family.

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Also if you have any tips that you could recommend to us, share them in the comments and we’ll be highlighting them in our upcoming articles in the ‘Retirement and Pensioners’ series.

 

 

HOW TO PERSONALISE YOUR RENTED SPACE

Making a rented space your home is a very tricky task especially as it isn’t your actual home, it’s someone else’s and your just renting it. But never fear Property Property Property is here with some tips and tricks on how you can convert your rented space from being just a rented space to your home.

Seek Permission from Landlord

First of all, make sure you have the permission of your Landlord. If you’re fortunate to have a flexible Landlord who doesn’t mind you suggesting and getting some paintwork and upscaling done on the space, then take advantage of that! However, if you’re Landlord is stricter and doesn’t allow permanent changes (even though painting isn’t permanent), still seek their permission for any changes you may be making to their property.

Now let’s begin….

1. Walls

A majority of the time we want to change and customise our walls, because of walls. So we recommend that your use removable wallpapers that reflect your personality in your rented space, as this will bring to life your character and make you feel homier. Also consider doing a faux wall DIY project, an amazing alternative.

2. Sticking stuff

If you’re into gallery walls or just having paintings/quotes stuck up on your wall for inspiration but your Landlord doesn’t want you nailing stuff on his walls, then we’ve got your back! Consider getting some double-sided tape, blu tack or specific customised adhesive tapes as this will ensure that you can get your gallery wall, without the expensive of drilled walls and an angry Landlord.

3. Flexible furniture

This is one of the most important things you can do! Get flexible furniture as you could easily move it around. If you’re tired of the way your space is set up, with flexible modular furniture you can just opt and switch up the structure and layout of your room at any time.

4. Decorate, Decorate, Decorate

Property Property Property advice you’re to Decorate Decorate Decorate! Adding textiles that interest you or changing the lighting accessories; anything that wouldn’t make permanent changes to your rented space but reflects your personality, you need it!

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Also if you have any tips that you could recommend to us, share them in the comments and we’ll be highlighting them in our upcoming articles in the ‘Home Improvement’ series.

 

Prices for London Luxury homes predicted to stay flat until after Brexit…

According to Savills, Brexit uncertainty and tax changes weigh on the market. With central London luxury homes are forecast to fall 4% this year and will flatline for nearly two more years.

Sellers in London are being forced to lower their prices: the number of properties worth £1m or more where the asking price has been cut nearly doubled in the first half of 2017 from a year ago. With a 3.2% in the first nine months of this year, and are 15.2% below their peak three years ago. Savills is forecasting 20% growth in central London luxury house prices over the next five years, which is less than half the 52% long-term average seen between 1979 and 2014.

The City to lose about 20,000 jobs from its 350,000 workforces in coming years espects Savills, but believes London will remain a key global financial center and develop as one of the several European hubs for the growing tech sector. They also estimate there were 394,000 properties worth £1m or more across the UK in 2016, down 3.4% from the year before, although the number has more than doubled in the past decade. Almost two-thirds of those homes are in London and a further 21% in the south-east. In Kensington and Chelsea in west London, almost half of all privately owned homes exceed the £1m mark.

Looking beyond the price declines at the top of the market, bloated London property prices have been fuelling an exodus from the capital. The number of people in their 30s who are moving out to the commuter belt or further afield in search of more affordable homes rose 27% in the five years to the end of June 2016, according to official figures. 

Mortgage lending in August hit a one-and-a-half-year high, according to figures from UK Finance, the new trade body for the banking industry. Gross lending rose to £24.2bn, the highest since March 2016 when buy-to-let buyers rushed to complete before a hike on stamp duty, taking lending to £26.3bn. Before that, mortgage lending was last higher in April 2008.

 

This is set to be positive year for Aberdeen’s commercial market

The political landscape and predictions are widespread over how the snap general election could affect the markets. With Scotland dealing with the negative impact on property investment and market confidence amongst some investors and developers because of the prospect of a second independence referendum.

However, in Aberdeen, the atmosphere has largely driven by the fortunes of the oil and gas industry for the past two years, with the sector now showing largely positive signs. But not to say the wider political backdrop is of no concern, the UK’s vote to leave the EU immediately benefited Aberdeen’s oil and gas economy. The North Sea producers have profited from production costs being incurred in a depreciated sterling relative to a product sold in US dollars, as have local service companies pitching for business around the world conducted in a largely dollar-denominated market. With a growing confidence in the local air which is now impacting itself in our property market.

The office sector was a most impacted sector by the energy industries. The fortunes between 2013 and 2015 fluctuating and with the best quality space have maintained headline rents and interest from occupiers despite carrying a record level of voids. However, it must be said that much of the remaining stock has seen its day, being functionally or economically challenged or located on peripheral estates which have long been a unique feature of Aberdeen’s property supply.  

In comparison, Aberdeen’s industrial market has held up reasonably well. During 2016, take-up was in line with the 10-year average with rents generally remaining stable although the supply of second-hand stock has increased.

Investor appetite for Aberdeen is beginning to show signs of increasing. A North American investor, for example, acquired the Lloyd’s Register building in Prime Four Business Park for £41 million in February, pushing Q1 office investment levels to £49 million, more than the total volume recorded during 2016. Investors are seeking a ‘flight to quality’, looking for well let assets in the city, which may offer more attractive yields than elsewhere in the UK.

The good news is that office lettings in Q1 2017 were 181,000 sq ft (16,815 sq m), the highest quarterly take-up since Q3 2013. This clearly indicates that the local mood has moved up a gear, in part reflected by oil companies Total and Marathon committing to new leases and a number of large requirements circulating.

The further positive news comes with Hurricane Energy announcing a new find west of Shetland with estimated recoverable reserves of a billion barrels and small local independent Chrysoar announcing a $3 billion acquisition from Shell comprising 10 separate assets in the UK continental shelf with funding from US private equity firm EIG Partners.

The smart money is clearly backing a more positive future for Aberdeen and the property market is starting to reflect this.