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.”

 

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.”

 

What first-time buyers need to know

There is always a first time for everything, and that even includes buying a house. According to recent reports in the Telegraph, the average age of a first-time buyer is around 30.  More and more young people are being forced to rent for long periods of time.  What was once a temporary source of accommodation is fast becoming a long-term solution.

So, for those first-time buyers out there who are about to step foot onto the property ladder, a little advice and ‘need-to-know’ can go a long way.  It can be a daunting time for anyone, let alone someone who is investing their life’s savings into a property for the first time.

Here are just a few things that first-time buyers need to know:

How are your finances?

Do you have good credit history? Do you keep on top of all your purchases and spending?  Now is the best time to really look at what you are spending and where your money is going.  Moving house is not cheap.  There are solicitors fees, stamp duty fees and of course, you will want to have money to buy new furniture too.  All those added extras that are on top of your deposit.

Getting a mortgage is tricky these days.  It has probably never been so tough to get a mortgage as it is now.  So make sure you are one step ahead of the game.  Get your finances in order, pay off any outstanding debts that could go against you and make sure you are on the electoral register.  Yes, even being on the electoral register will stand you in good stead.

Don’t stretch yourself too far

That three bedroom family home with the beautiful garden will always be appealing.  But if it is way out of your price range then it is best not to stretch yourself too far. Know your limits and work within these.  Speak to a mortgage advisor who will be able to help you understand how much you can realistically afford.  Remember, you still need to eat and live once you move into your new home.

Get the right mortgage

Getting a mortgage means shopping around.  An independent financial advisor will probably be your best bet.  They are independent because they are not tied to a bank or building society.  So this means that they have access to the best deals.  This is a chance for you to be really open and honest about your finances and to get the best mortgage rate you can.

Use Property Property Property

By using a portal such as Property Property Property you will be able to find the right home for you.  You can search by postcode or place name and search within a price bracket that suits.  Here you will find plenty of information, pictures and details on the properties you plan to view.  You can even email them to a friend or partner to let them know what you have been looking at.

At the end of the day, it is all about finding the right property at the right price for you.  And, as a first-time buyer you need to take as much advice as you possibly can.

10 top tips for increasing your estate agent monthly turnover

In a busy industry such as estate agency it is vital that you are ahead of your competition. And with so much competition out there you really need to be doing all you can to increase your monthly turnover.

Vendors are pretty clued up these days, and they know what they should be seeing and looking for in an estate agent.  In order to secure more property, to get more on the books and to thus increase your monthly turnover, we have a few top tips to get you going.

1.  Research

One of the most important things you can do is to be constantly researching. Ensure that all your employees know the area that they are working in, the schools, bus links, in-depth details of your properties.  The ‘need to know’ information.  This really shows your prospective purchasers and vendors that you care about their needs and not just their money.

2.  Presentation

Estate agency is also about looking good. Not just being smart yourself, but that your offices give the right impression. You don’t have to have the most expensive building to make the most of it. But first impressions count, so when people walk through your doors what do they see?

3.  Speculate to accumulate

Sometimes in life we have to spend a bit to get something back in return.  Are you leaflet dropping in your local area? How are people hearing about you? Make sure you have smart brochures for people to take away. Packed full of literature about buying, selling and letting. It shows that you are keen to inform your prospective clients and vendors as much as you can.

4.  Sign up to portals

There are many portals out there.  But choosing one that won’t break the bank is key.  Here at Property Property Property we are constantly adapting and tailoring our service to suit you.  We won’t cost you a pretty penny so you can help to reduce your overheads. With 20% of the market share in just a year we are fast becoming the go-to portal to share your properties with. In fact, with our new TV campaign and our soon-to-be launched radio campaign we will be popping up all over the place, just like your boards!

5.  Reduce your overheads

This brings us to our next point; reduce your overheads. Start to look at the areas where you spend money, advertising, print, petrol, rent. And begin to consider cheaper and alternative options.  You may be spending money on advertising in areas that you no longer need. Much offline press is not as important these days for estate agents.  But advertising online and in portals such as Property Property Property is a great way to reduce your costs.

6. The heart of the customer

Get to the heart of your customer.  What are their needs? Don’t just show them the most expensive property. If they are looking for a two bed house then don’t show them a three bed house. If they have children, ask them their ages and show them properties in catchment area to good schools.

7. Knowing your area

If you have new estate agents working for you, maybe people who don’t know the area so well, show them around.  Take them on the unknown roads, show them where the best local pubs and shops are and where the best schools are. Give them copies of the local newspapers and get them to really get to grips with their location.  This will ensure that you have fantastic staff that have great knowledge.

8. Honesty

Honesty is always best policy, and never more so than in estate agency.  An honest estate agency is one that people will use time and time again.  If someone buys an investment property with you and they have a good experience, then they will most likely require your letting services too.

9. Get out there

How are you getting your name out there?  What methods are you using? Look at advertising online, displaying your properties in local papers and local lifestyle magazines. Where are your boards? Are there areas where you have less boards than others? Start to really look at how your brand is perceived and how you can expand your reach.

10. Online

This leads nicely to our final point. Get online. Everyone is online these days and so your estate agency should be no different.  Use online portals like Property Property Property, which will link directly to your website.  Get on Facebook and Twitter and start to interact with those house hunting, in the market for selling and of course, the student market.  Don’t miss a trick!

Overall, by putting these 10 tips into practice you will help to reduce your monthly costs and to expand your reach.  You will also grow your estate agency into a business that is well-known and much loved in your local area.

The most costly properties in the UK

We choose 5 of the priciest properties on the market at present.

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The majority of us can merely dream of buying one of the UK’s most high-priced properties. But you may be astonished by how much – and how little – you in fact get for your millions in different parts of the country.

Here’s our guide to a number of of the most expensive properties in the UK that are for sale at the moment, counting the most costly home in the UK.

To attain a fine geological reach, we’ve looked for the priciest home in every area of the UK, rather than the priciest homes out-and-out (which are apt to be in London and the south).

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On sale for £11 million, Quenby Hall near Leicester was built in the 13th century and is perhaps the best High Jacobean country house in Leicestershire.

Within, you’ll find 11 bedrooms, a morning room, a library, a 17th-century parlour and a grand oak stairway.

The land offers plenty of time-honoured enjoyment in the variety of hunting, shooting and fishing on its 1,135 acres of land. Tally-ho!

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Windsor Court, a £25 million manor house in Surrey, is the most high-priced home presently on sale in the South East.

At 37,000 square feet, it is one of the largest properties on our list.

The home is neighbouring to Windsor Great Park, home to the most impressive polo club in the world and where members of the royal family are from time to time seen out and about. If your response to that is “jolly good!” you ought to feel right at home.

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Got a spare £12 million? Then why not buy this 90-acre estate in the heart of Premier League footballer kingdom: Alderley Edge in Macclesfield.

You’ll be reassured to discover there are three garages to house your variety of lavishness sports cars and a stable yard to exercise your horses in.

As well as five bedrooms and a huge entertaining room, there’s a morning room, a dining room, a reading room, a sitting room, a drawing room, a study, a kitchen and a utility room. Don’t go missing.

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This six-bedroom Victorian mansion on the coast of Derwentwater in the Lake District comes with detached servants’ houses and two little islands in the lake – all for a meagre £6.5 million.

It occupies a really magnificent place right by Derwentwater’s western shore and has a personal lake front of about 550 yards.

Some time ago the summer house of Beatrix Potter, the Lingholm estate has a population of red squirrels and was the muse for The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin.

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This five-bedroom apartment in One Hyde Park in London is the most expensive property now on sale in the UK, with an enormous £68million asking price.

The apartment boasts unbelievable views of Hyde Park and occupies a whole storey (in excess of 9,000 square feet) of the structure, which is supposed to be the world’s most expensive development.

Regrettably, you’ll have to share the private swimming pool with the other residents, such as the Ukraine’s richest man, a couple of sheikhs and Russian billionaires, and Kylie Minogue.

Who are we kidding? You should be so lucky.

Harrogate tops list of where Brits are happiest to reside

According to a new study done by a property portal website, Harrogate came up top of the list of the happiest places to live in the UK.

The survey asked a sequence of questions to approximately 38,000 locals varying from how they felt about their area, the way of life, facilities, how secure they feel, how house-proud they are, and more. The information found that Lincoln is the most house-proud whilst people of Hereford feel the safest concerning where they reside. Swansea and Aberdeen top the highest places to live in Wales and Scotland respectively.

Like a lot of other countries, the UK is fanatical about property with well-liked shows such as Escape to the Country and DIY SOS. A house is a home and each person’s fortress. Turning a house into a home is something that we all go through, from buying that ideal cosily settee to building that 2-storey extension, from getting acquainted with the neighbors to joining the neighboring Street Watchers. We do all these things to be able to feel comfortable, secure and content in our homes.

Harrogate ironically didn’t top any of the individual categories that we mentioned before, but they won the name of the happiest place to live because their overall rankings of the individual categories reached a better average than others. “Average asking prices in Harrogate are up 5.6% year-on-year,” said Shipside, “outperforming the national average of 1.2% and North Yorkshire average of 0.4%, indicating that there is demand to live in the UK’s happiest place.”Stockport took the number two spot.

Behind the top two happiest places to live, the rest of the top 10 happiest towns and cities (in descending order) are Ipswich, Exeter, St Albans, Kingston-upon-Thames, Bath, Worcester, Bromley and Truro. The study also suggests that the North of England is more contented than the South.

Due to many factors such as inadequate space, satisfaction, security and friendliness, nine of the bottom ten locations for happiness are in Greater London with the most least happiest place being Dudley, But you’ll still find some amazing homes and people here.

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