First-time buyers are priced out as number of flats sold in London tumbles

London’s flats have decreased in sales as the prices are out of reach for ordinary first-time buyers, according to new research.

According to figures from Home.co.uk, which analyses data from the Office for National Statistics and property portals, which the number of apartments sold in the capital fell by 47pc in July compared to 12 months previously.

The number of detached properties sold in London fell 5pc in 12 months to July this year, with sales of terraced houses down 8pc. This comes amid a general slowdown in the level of transactions across the country, and particularly in London.

According to the Land Registry, the average price of a flat in London increased by 3.9pc in the 12 months to July to £434,587. The price growth of flats is outstripping all other property types across the country, partly due to a lack of supply, being led by the rises in the capital.

With the slowdown in sales signals that affordability has been crunched and many first-time buyers, who would typically purchase these properties, are sitting on their hands and waiting for a correction in prices. 

While the Government’s Help to buy scheme has allowed many first-time buyers across the country to get on the property ladder with a 5pc deposit, the take-up in London has been far lower. The threshold of £600,000 means that many newbuild properties are too expensive to qualify and analysis by the BBC earlier in the year found that while Help to Buy is used to buy one in three new-build homes outside London, in the capital it is just one in 10.

Other natural buyers of these properties, buy-to-let landlords, have also been squeezed by changes to the tax regime and many are sitting out buying opportunities or selling up their portfolios.

Lucy Pendleton, the founder of estate agency James Pendleton, said: “Solid numbers of people are showing some reluctance at current prices and signaling to all the other market participants they can’t transact unless they come back down to earth.” 

A correction could soon be coming: data from Acadata and LSL property services found that prices in London have fallen the most since the financial crisis. Average property values have fallen 2.7pc in the year to September, the most since 2009.

 

New build vs. Second-hand homes in London: house price report reveals six-figure gap between new and resale flats

There’s a huge gulf between the average price of old and new-build flats in London. New builds can offer peace of mind while ex-councils flats are best for value so weigh up the pros and cons carefully before you buy.

Ex-council vs. new-build prices in every London borough

The six-figure price gulf between new and resale property, and between privately built and former council homes, is revealed in a new study focusing on London.

Research comparing the cost of one-bedroom flats in every borough shows pre-owned homes cost an average £542,715, while a new-build one-bedroom flat costs an average £679,671. That’s 22 percent — or almost £137,000 — more.

An ex-council one-bedroom flat is the best value of all at £396,317 on average, the Hamptons International study shows. This is more than £146,000 — or 31 percent — less than buying a privately built flat, and more than £283,000, or 52 percent, cheaper than a new-build flat.

New build is always the premium buy, for the peace of mind that comes with a modern, well-insulated home, often with such extras as communal gardens and sports facilities. In today’s tricky market some developers are offering good deals such as paying buyers’ stamp duty to stimulate sales, but the property will always come out more expensive with annual service charges on top.

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New — what £350,000 buys you: a flat at Leven Wharf, Poplar, with a terrace and city views but only one bedroom. For sale with My London Home (020 8012 5708)

Not long ago you could have said a new-build flat, bought off-plan, would make you a profit by the time you moved in. The direction of the current market is anybody’s guess because of stamp duty hikes and the fallout from the Brexit vote.

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Adrian Plant, director and head of new homes at estate agents Currell, says: “With the new build, you hope you know that for the first 10 years there will not be any major costs. You won’t need to pay for builders and plumbers, and many developments now come with a concierge to handle maintenance and sort out issues like arranging for parcel delivery or laundry, at a cost of service charges.”

Buyers of older homes pay less to purchase, but often then stump up for renovations and/or extensions. Of course, an older home may bring the bonus of period features such as cornicing, wide staircases, stained glass and Victorian tiled floors.

WITH GREAT VALUE COMES GREATER RISK

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Old — what £329,999 buys you: a second-floor ex-council flat with two double bedrooms in Clapton E5. Former council homes can be great value, but ask locals what life on the estate is like before you commit to buying

Ex-local authority homes are fantastic value but this is the riskiest sector to buy into. Generally, those built before the Sixties and Seventies are higher quality and larger than a more modern home. But on estates blighted by years of underinvestment, flats can be shabby, common areas depressing and getting a mortgage can be a pain.

However, Stephen Lovelady, sales manager at Foxtons’ Pimlico and Westminster branch, says ex-council homes on his patch are often well built, with good security and sometimes well managed. He says most lenders will offer mortgages on ex-local authority homes in central London, although some will not lend on buildings above six storeys, or of poor construction standards.

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Beyond Zone 1, broadly speaking, lenders are happy with ex-council homes in desirable areas and less keen on run-down locations. Buyers must research whether there are any major repairs planned for the block or estate because they, unlike the council tenants, will have to pay a share of the cost. Request a work plan from the local council which will give a five-year list of any projects plus an estimated cost. Your solicitor should investigate any major works when conveyancing your sale.

Communal halls, lifts and walkways are often grim. Bad management, crime, drugs and gangs of teenagers making life a misery are all possibilities on a big estate. A safer bet is a small, low-rise block that’s well integrated into local streets, although this might be more expensive than average.

So before you buy, contact the tenants and residents association to discuss any major problems, knock on doors and chat with residents, talk to the local paper, study police crime statistics and visit the flat during the day and at night.

 

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.

 

HOW TO ACCURATELY THEME/COLOUR MATCH YOUR HOME

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The task of decorating your new home can be quite daunting. If you’re like me and don’t have one specific theme or idea that you are going for then consider these points when decorating your space.

Group Inspirations/Ideas

The internet is a great tool when curating mood boards and also sourcing inspirations. Websites and applications such as Pinterest, We Heart It and Hometalk is great places for you to get ideas on how you want to decorate your living room to your bathroom.

List What You Like

Make a list of things you like. For instance, if you’re heavily into plants, then make a list of the different plants you like and the colours associated with them, that way you can select your colour scheme based on your likes.

Your Personal Style

In the times we live in, we currently have minimal restrictions on how we dress or what our personal styles are; so why not implement that into your home. If you’re into floral prints in your cardigans, skirts, tote bags or whatever, then you’ll more likely be drawn into having floral prints in your home.

Customise each room

Sometimes we really can’t choose one theme or one colour scheme for our home. But who said you have to stick to one theme? You don’t!

It may be an unconventional idea, but why not have various themes in your home, and they can all vary from room to room. After all, it is your home, so you have all the control on making it your comfortable place, and if it means having contrasting colours/themes on the top floor, then go for 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 ‘First Time Buyers’ series.

[Opening image sourced from Knight Partnership Cambridgeshire listing, check out the property now http://bit.ly/2jVWUjR]

7 THINGS YOU SHOULD BE DOING PRIOR TO MOVING INTO YOUR FIRST HOME

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As a first-time buyer, the responsibility can be quite daunting when moving yourself and your belongings into your new haven. Fortunately, for you, the buying process is made easier if you used the more traditional method, via Estate Agents. However, as soon as the keys are in your hands, the responsibility is yours!

So we’ve curated and listed below, our top 7 tips that we believe you should be doing prior to moving into your first home:

TIP #1: Change your address

There is nothing more annoying than having your utility bills, doctors’ appointments and random promotional letters being sent to your old address. Not only is it annoying for you to go back and forth to collect post or have your previous neighbours (family) have to update you on your letters that are flooding in, but it also means that your life is still registered at your old address.

So make sure you’ve updated your Driver’s License, Doctors, Water/Gas Providers or whoever it is that you’ve moved. I can tell you from experience it definitely saves you a LOT of hassle!

TIP #2: Change the locks

Now that the victory key has been placed in your palms, it’s time to throw it away and get a new one. No seriously get a new one!

Estate Agents, tradesmen, previous owners, neighbours, cats and dogs, whoever who may have had access to the house prior to you owning it will probably still have a spare key to your new home lying around. So for your sake and the sake of your sanity; have the absolute reassurance that no-one but you can get into your new home, look into getting new locks installed ASAP.

TIP #3: Spring clean the place

Whether you bought the property in Spring or not, give the place a good scrub. You might be lucky and have the previous homeowners clean up the place for you, but it’s still best to add your touch to the cleaning as you can definitely be certain that your new home is nice and clean, ready for you to decorate.

TIP #4: Don’t throw it away, paint it

If you happen to have a surprise chest of draws left in the masters’ bedroom and you don’t know what to do with it, definitely don’t throw it away!

You may not be excited about the colour or hardware of the leftover furniture, but upscaling and adding your own style to it can definitely reinforce that rewarding feeling of owning something as well as saving you money, but you can also brag to your friends about your handy work. So don’t throw it. Paint it. Style it. Repurpose it.

TIP #5: Get familiar with the community

Now, I’m not saying that you have to attend community meetings 6 weeks consecutively prior to your move or sign up to all the local clubs so that you can become familiar with everyone in the area and have Julie who lives across the road fill you in on the community gossip. I mean if you want to do that you can, and I’m sure Julie wouldn’t mind filling you in.

But rather, we suggest that you acquaint yourself with the local transportation, get a clearer understanding of the local shopping/market on offer and familiarise yourself with the key hotspots/locations around the town. It will save you a lot of mindless confusion and time. So you don’t necessarily have to research the communities’ historical records or look for a Julie.

TIP #6: Check the hardware around the house and mechanical equipment is serviced

Even though some Estate Agents offer those additional services and can recommend to you servicemen/traders to do the job before your move, it’s even more beneficial if you keep on top with the condition of the gas cooker or that the heating and cooling system are still running nicely and have had a good clean.

TIP #7: Throw a party!

Even though this tip applies more when your home has properly been furnished, it is one of our top recommendations.

Invite some friends over for a meal or a drink, not necessarily a party as you might have that one friend who after one or two drinks may decide to wreak havoc among your nicely decorated china display. A get-together is a good way to celebrate your achievement and also make your home homier.

So these are the main things we would recommend you budding first-time buyers consider doing when moving into your new place. Also, an additional checklist would come in handy (that’s a bonus tip), we’ll be providing you with one of your own checklists in the coming weeks!

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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 ‘First Time Buyers’ series.

[Opening image sourced from Martin&Co Chelsea listing, check out the property now http://bit.ly/2xuSeEK]

Abbeywood where house prices are way below the London average and price growth is strong at the Crossrail hotspot!

Abbey Wood SE2 postcode has grown by an impressive 76 per cent in the last five years, but the average remains a relatively modest £309,560.

Buyers have been pouring into Abbey Wood in anticipation of next year’s launch of Crossrail — the Elizabeth line — which will cut journey times to central London by almost half an hour.

While the area is not a thing of beauty and boasts few amenities, it has streets of good-value period terraces where a three-bedroom house would cost £375,000 to £425,000. You could get a slightly dated purpose-built two-bedroom flat in Abbey Wood for about £250,000.

The research by Bairstow Eves, using Countrywide data, evaluated average prices in every postcode in London. Then, concentrating on the cheapest 25 per cent of postcodes, it analysed their one-, two-, and five-year price growth to establish the areas where prices are on the strongest upswing.

Bellingham and Catford (SE6), an area well-placed to link to Crossrail services via neighbouring Forest Hill, has performed almost as strongly, with prices up 71 per cent in the same period, to an average £380,641.

For buyers on really slim budgets the bargain basement postcodes are Thamesmead, just north of Abbey Wood, where average prices stand at £252,747, up 60 per cent in five years, and Dagenham (RM10) where prices have grown 66 per cent to an average of £270,878. The once-desolate Thamesmead Estate is currently the focus of a £1.5 billion regeneration. Housing association Peabody was granted planning permission for the first phase of its transformation of the area late last year. There are also plans to link it to the London Overground.

Predictably, none of today’s leading areas are in Travel Zones 1, 2 or 3, where  nothing qualifies as affordable. More than one in three are perched on the outer fringes of London – MitchamDagenhamHarold WoodWellingSuttonNortholtWest Drayton, and Uxbridge. Their low prices combined with good transport links have been tempting an increasing flow of buyers priced out of more central locations, pushing their prices upward.

NORTH LONDON
Nowhere in fully priced west London makes the good-value grade, but representing north London are 
Tottenham (N17), where prices have mushroomed 67 per cent to an average £347,486 — and where billions of pounds worth of regeneration money is being spent on new homes and facilities — and its near neighbour Upper Edmonton (N18) where prices stand at £316,045, up 66 per cent.

The location of London’s cheapest neighbourhoods is a bellwether for change in the capital,” said David Fell, research analyst at Countrywide, who believes that as these regeneration schemes take root further growth is likely.

Over the last 20 years the most affordable neighbourhoods in London have been pushed steadily outwards and eastwards as swathes of the inner city reinvented themselves. Some of the cheapest corners of the capital in the Nineties turned into the boom towns of the Noughties, changing beyond recognition in the course of two decades.

It’s likely to be a similar story for some of today’s cheapest neighbourhoods in London. The arrival of Crossrail and the extension of the Overground will soon plug swathes of south and east London into the rest of the capital. The prospect of these new links is already bringing a wave of new development to some of the furthest-flung corners of the city. Within a decade it’s conceivable that the capital’s cheapest neighbourhood could pop up in west London for the first time.”

 

How to find the best tenants?

 

Avoid the less desirable tenants with Property Property Property’s specialist advice on how to find the best tenants. Take our advice and be a magnet for the best tenants to your property…

Rivalry to secure the best tenants is now brutal since the nationwide explosion in rental properties became obtainable. However if you do some good planning and forward-thinking, you will be able to secure the finest tenants each time.

So what is a good tenant you wonder? Well the perfect tenant would be someone who has a secure income, who is responsible with their budget, and someone who pays the rent on time every time.

A few other things landlords and agents consider to be a good tenant are people who can provide their own deposit, can move into the property within 2 weeks, has their own furniture, no pets, someone who does not spoke, and has a stable job. One more thing that is important to landlords and agents is finding a tenant who is looking to stay at the property for more than six months.

We at Property Property Property believe the best tenants will understand that the little jobs around the house or apartment are actually their own responsibility rather than the landlord or agent.

Are there any telltale signs that points out a bad tenant?

There are definitely are ways to spot the bad tenants. Some of the obvious ways to spot a bad tenant is if they mess you around when it comes to paying the deposit, or if they failed to tell you about any CCJs you discovered when doing the credit check.

Whilst it is important to lookout for telltale signs of a bad tenant, you should also never ‘judge a book by its cover’ and judge a person on first impressions.

A sure fire way to check whether someone is likely to be a bad tenant is their credit check, so we couldn’t stress any more how important doing a credit check on someone is.

How do you find the perfect tenant?

One of the best ways to find the best tenants is to use an agent as they have a lot of experience in weeding out the bad nuts, so to speak. If you only let once or twice a year, or if it’s your first time, you will not have the experience that agents have… it could save you money, stress and trouble in the long run.

It is so important to present your property in the best possible condition, as this will draw the attention of best tenants. Get the property professionally cleaned; make sure you have neutral colours throughout the property – think of it as someone’s blank canvas.

Don’t forget that once you have found your perfect tenant, you have to keep hold of them, so be sure to maintain the property to the standard the tenant came into it as.

A lasting tenant is a precious asset in this aggressive rental market so we do recommend that you keep on top of all the small jobs that will help the tenant to feel at home.

The most important rule is to make sure that you have a good relationship with your tenant, when they want to talk, take the time to talk to them and help with any problems.

How to spot a less desirable tenant 

  • Bad references from their previous landlords
  • Bad credit rating or CCJs
  • Only looking for a short-term let
  • Won’t meet up with the landlord in person
  • No guaranteed monthly income
  • Refuses to make their monthly payments by standing order
  • Unwilling to take responsibility for minor maintenance and the garden
  • General uneasy feeling about them

With all this in mind, if you are thinking of moving, or buying your first/next property, why not start the search here

R-Patz Seeks Property in London?

R-Patz Packs For London

Having recently split with long term partner Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson looks to be selling his glamorous Los Angeles mansion and heading back to London. With the temptation of a pint in his local pub and a Sunday roast, it seems the LA lifestyle wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. With Robert currently having no fixed abode, we look at some suitable living quarters which are available to rent in London where he can marvel in all things glitz and glamour whilst at the same time having the home comforts which were so greatly missed.

The City of Westminster

Most likely, Robert is looking to carry on living the life of a singleton and what better place to do so than in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair. At £4,500 per week, Robert could rent a four bedroom apartment situated in a luxurious mansion block with original features restored to give the sense of authenticity, not forgetting though, the state of the art CCTV surveillance to keep any fans at bay. With 24 hour access to a porter included, Robert can always send the porter to run any short errands that may occur during the early hours.

The Family Life

If Robert is looking to settle with a fellow Londoner, maybe a more family orientated home would be more appropriate. Ealing Green boasts a number of Grade II Queen Anne Town Villa’s at a very luxurious price of £1,038 per week. For this Robert can expect all mods cons situated over three stories, including a large garden to host an after show parties for celebrity fans.

Bachelor Pad

With so much property in London to choose from Robert may find it difficult to choose the right home. For the short term Mr Pattinson may want to escape the limelight and all the other trinkets the celebrity lifestyle has to offer. For this the ideal location would be Marylebone, London. For £950 per week, Robert could live the bachelor lifestyle in peace. £950 per week will ensure his flat has three bedrooms (for any unexpected visitors) and ample storage space to store any awards that may have gathered over the years.

Welcome to the Property Property Property Blog

Welcome to Property Property Property’s blog. We’ll be keeping you updated with the latest property news and views, some fantastic properties and a spotlight on some of our fantastic partner agents.

If you’re new to Property Property Property, make sure you check our our list of agents in your area. Whether it’s an East London Lettings company you’re looking for or a Hampshire sales office, we’ve got hundreds of agents listing their properties with us. Choose from thousands of different properties as soon as they come to the market, from country homes with acres of land to luxury apartments for rent in London.

Our blog will bring you news and information on all things property, from ways to decorate, tips for moving and hints for house hunting. We’re also keen to hear your stories about how you’ve found a great property through our site, so if you have news to share on your new home sweet home do get in contact with your story and some pictures!  Make sure your follow our posts and keep in touch with us via Facebook and Twitter too, or if you’re one of the many millions who have now joined Google+ and Pinterest, you can find us there too.

Happy House Hunting!