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.

 

Manchester Property Prices Rising

Manchester has seen property values in the city have risen by 6.92 percent in the last 12 months, with the average home now worth around £162,000. However, across the whole of the UK, house prices rose by 5.14 pc in the year to July seeing the average move up to £226,185. According to the report, the total value of all homes in the UK is £3 trillion, with two-thirds of the total in the capital.

According to a new study, Manchester’s property market is the third most valuable in the country. Hometrack research found that houses in the city are worth a total of £133bn, behind London and Birmingham, which with housing markets worth £1.99 trillion and £152bn respectively.

Estate agent Ged McPartlin, from Ascend Properties, says news of Manchester’s housing boom comes as no surprise.He said: “The north is certainly booming as the latest Hometrack report has revealed that Manchester is the best city for growth – experiencing a strong increase in house prices.This, along with the total value of homes being worth a huge £133bn creates a truly thriving property market which is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.From an agent’s point of view, these figures truly reflect what we’re seeing in the marketplace.Buyers understand that the market is moving fast, competition is rife and it’s generally fastest fingers first. The demand has continued to push prices up and the lack of stock has created marketplace urgency.There’s also been an increase in landlords snapping properties up in the city, particularly throughout June, July and August, as the new university year creates a rush of tenants desperate to secure a decent property before the term starts.It’s been a very busy summer and the growth reported today clearly reflects this.”

The study also showed that mortgage debt in Manchester came to a total of £32bn, while housing equity – the difference between the home’s market value and the outstanding balance of mortgage payments – came to £100bn.

Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Hometrack, said: “House prices continue to rise on the back of sustained price inflation in large regional cities as unemployment falls and mortgage rates remain low.”

 

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.

 

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]

Interesting Properties for Sale in the UK

If you love property as much as we do, then you probably thoroughly enjoy having a look at homes of all shapes and sizes. It’s fun to fantasise about your dream home, and no matter what your taste, there’s bound to be a property out there that suits you in every aspect from the location to the colour of the walls. Often, of course, these homes are a little out of our reach financially!

In the spirit of this property rubbernecking, we’d like to share with our readers the Telegraph’s list of 15 unusual buildings currently on sale in Britain. Unfortunately, the majority of these homes are indeed out of the reach of most, with some prices in the millions. Worth mentioning, though, is the former Cornish seaside fort – situated right on the beach and complete with battlements – which has been converted into studio flats. One of these flats is on the market; a bargain at £162,000.

Of course, if you’re looking for something a little more conventional, you won’t be very interested in naval fortifications or converted factories. In that case, you’d do well to check out our property search feature. Just put in a postcode or town name and you’re away. You can even filter by purchase price or number of bedrooms.

For an even more flexible and interactive house hunting experience, try out our Pinpoint service. This feature allows you to draw the area you’d like to search on an interactive map, allowing you to expand or limit the search quickly and easily and allowing you to search multiple adjacent towns.

We can’t necessarily promise you properties that are quite as interesting as those listed by the Telegraph. What we can offer is a wide range of homes on the market from a wide range of estate agents in towns and cities all over the UK.

How to Find the Cheapest Homes to Rent

How to Find the Cheapest Homes to Rent

Rental propertyWith the current state of the economy, it’s no surprise that those who haven’t yet been able to get their feet on the first rung of the property ladder are struggling with high rents. Throughout the country, rental costs are increasing faster than wages, meaning that it can be difficult for potential tenants to find a home that they’re going to be happy in. Those who are looking for cheaper accommodation should bear the following in mind:

Compromise

We know it can be hard, when you begin searching for a new home with certain expectations, to adjust your predictions when you realise that you’re not going to be able to live in the kind of home you had wanted originally. With that said, it needn’t be a disaster. Several aspects of your ideal rental property are probably available for compromise. if you commute on the train, you probably don’t want to look too far from the railway station, but do you really need a separate living room? Or will a combination kitchen/living area suffice? Do you really need a garden? You get the idea.

Get a Housemate

For obvious reasons, this can dramatically reduce the amount of rent you have to pay. Finding a housemate will probably be very easy in highly-populated areas, especially given that many people will be in exactly the same position as you are. If you were already planning to live with someone, try to convince them of the need for a third person. And this doesn’t mean that you need to start looking for 3-bedroom properties – take a leaf out of a student’s book, and turn the living room into a bedroom. Suddenly, you’re splitting the rent on a two bedroom property between 3 people, and things start to look much more affordable.

Check the Market Often

From time to time, you will find very good deals on the rental market – only to find that someone else got there first. By checking frequently, you can increase your chances of finding a great home and booking the first viewing. PropertyPropertyProperty can even simplify this for you by setting up free property alerts. Just register with your email, or simply log in through Facebook, and we’ll be able to send you information on properties matching your specification as soon as they hit the market.

How to Make Sure That You Hear About the Best Properties

Staying Ahead with Property Alerts

In today’s competitive property market, it can be hard to get ahead. Despite the fact that there is a great amount of pressure on sellers, some of whom may be forced to sell for less than they might have expected, it is still very difficult for buyers to find the right property at the right time. This task is harder still for those looking to buy property for the first time, as they have even fewer homes to choose from and are competing with thousands of other potential homeowners with similar budgets.

For these reasons, it is essential to make sure that you are being kept abreast of developments in your local property market. You can do this just by checking the listings on a daily basis. However, this can get a bit irritating, especially if you already have a busy day and don’t want to spend a part of it trawling through properties that don’t interest you. Alternatively, you can make use of our convenient property alerts service. Just sign up with your email and we’ll let you know about the hot properties that match your preferences and which are hitting the market near you, as soon as they are listed. This way, you can be sure that you’re among the first to make inquiries about the home you love – and you’ll save a good amount of time and effort, too.

Thousands of Properties to Buy

Our properties are sourced from a network of trusted estate agents in every corner of the country, so you can be sure that you’ll find a great new home in your area. Whether you’re after student accommodation, a fashionable city centre flat, or a beautiful suburban semi for your growing family, Property Property Property can help you.

Reasons to Live in London: The Rolling Stones and London

Last week, in celebration of Spice Girls Week, we looked at some of the premiere music venues in London, and uncovered some unknown tidbits about their history. This week, the Rolling Stones, another iconic British group, hit London for two gigs as part of their 50th Anniversary tour. So today we’re going to dive in to their history as a band, looking at the venues, hotspots and property in London, which any Stones fan ought to know:

The Formation

A lesson to all of us about the wonders and possibilities of taking public transport, rather than drive ourselves around. Though technically in Kent, at Dartford train station, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards would meet each other by chance, having previously gone to the same school together. Jagger happened to be holding some records, so the subject of the conversation turned to music, leading to Richards joining Jagger’s band at the time, soon after. Just goes to show what can come about from a train journey.

The First Gig

On July 12th 1962, the Rolling Stones performed for the first time at the London Marquee Club, located then in Oxford Street (Westminster, London). The club would relocate to Soho during the 60s, where other great names would grace the stage, like The Who and David Bowie. Many progressive and groundbreaking genres saw their seeds sewn in that building; perhaps though, none as influential as the rhythm and blues-inspired “bad boy rock” of the Stones.

Where To Eat

Carnaby Street celebrates the Rolling Stones turning 50

If you’re in town for The Stones and you need somewhere to eat, there’s no more suitable place than former bassist Bill Wyman’s Sticky Fingers restaurant, located in the affluent Kensington area. If you’re a fan of your meat, this is the place for you, and is the ultimate haven for any fan of the band. Memorabilia adorns the walls; so while you dine, you can take in the history of the band. Incredibly instagrammable.

Where to Shop

Few bands would take over an entire street when they’re in town, but then the Stones are no ordinary band. Take a trip down to Carnaby Street to see the specially themed-decorations, as well a shop specifically selling merchandise for the band – a perfect opportunity to stock up for the fan you know. The area has a special resonance with the band, as this is where they practiced early on, all those decades ago. It’s just another reason to live in London; the city is brimming with culture right on your doorstep, and always popping out the next big things in music, film and art. Who knows how big that band playing in front of 10 people near you, will become?

 

 

Protecting Vacant Property

With a recent and controversial change in the law making squatting a criminal offence, the media has been awash with opinion pieces on the matter. Alongside all the polite debate and raging arguments, there has been a very public renewal of interest in the security of properties which are vacant, for however long and for whatever reason. Property Property Property are pleased to present the following guest post from the nice folks at Safe Site Securities, who have some advice about leaving your property vacant. Rent in London can take a chunk out of your monthly income; so you don’t want to be paying out to replace stolen objects or repair broken property.

When your property becomes vacant, it is paramount to ensure that you don’t get caught out when it comes to insurance. The majority of standard property insurance policies only continue to provide cover for a maximum of 30 days should the property become unoccupied, with the most generous policies only allowing up to 45 days.

Why is a Property Vacant?

Both residential and commercial property can become vacant for a number of reasons. It could simply be a time lapse between tenants for a landlord, or a death in the family may leave a property vacant whilst probate is administered and the property is left until prepared for re-sale, and sometimes property owners simply aren’t able to manage resulting in properties lying dormant. A job relocation could result in a property lying vacant whilst a buyer is sought, and many holiday homes are only occupied during certain times of the year. Both professional and amateur property developers regularly buy a renovation property at auction which may lie empty for many months before it is ready for occupation once more.

Why bother with Specialist Insurance?

The answer is simple – to protect your assets. Vacant properties are at constant risk from vandals, arsonists, thieves and decay. Whilst at first glance opting not to take out vacant property insurance may seem a risk worth taking, spend a few moments thinking about the consequences if something does go wrong.

Left unnoticed and not dealt with, prolonged water damage can ruin the fabric of a building. Whether the source is simply a blocked drain or missing roof tile water can quickly penetrate walls and joists potentially resulting in hefty repair bills.


Any obviously empty property offers a great temptation to both vandals and squatters. The damage caused by such criminals can be endless – from smashed doors and windows, to fires, theft of fixtures and fittings, graffiti and the build up of debris and detritus. The eviction of squatters can be both a lengthy and costly affair, and the bill from professional repairs and a thorough cleanse of a property really can run into thousands of pounds.

Conditions of Empty Property Insurance

Vacant Property Insurance comes with a host of conditions that must be adhered to for the cover to remain valid. Some of these can be considered common sense, such as ensuring adequate locks are fitted to all doors and windows. Other conditions are more extreme, such as the requirement to ensure the property is inspected on a regular basis for signs of damage, decay and developing problems, and any concerns are both recorded, reported and dealt with swiftly. There may be a requirement that surrounding land is kept maintained, as well as simple tasks such as ensuring a letter box is regularly cleared.

Call in the Specialists

If your property is to remain vacant for a long time period, it pays to call in the experts. Not only will this enable you to obtain the highest levels of vacant property insurance, it will ensure that your property is far more likely to remain safe and secure. Security specialists can not only advise on securing doors, windows and other access points effectively, they can carry out enhanced security measures such as installing steel security screens and mobile security alarms. If your empty property isn’t local to you, reputable security firms can be a god send, able to carry out professional property inspections both internally and externally weekly or bi-weekly as required by your insurance firm.

Whilst all this might seem a little extreme, in my mind it makes perfect sense. Property is money, why risk it?

Safe Site Facilities are empty property security experts, with extensive knowledge of the concerns and risks that property owners face with their uninhabited properties. SSF know that with a few simply deterrents and barriers, you could save many thousands of pounds in damages.