Strong recovery in UK housing market, says Nationwide

UK house prices rose by 5% in September compared with a year ago, the Nationwide says, as the property market saw post-lockdown demand continue.
 
The annual rate of growth is the highest for four years, according to figures based on the Nationwide’s lending data.
 
The building society said activity had “recovered strongly” since coronavirus restrictions on viewings were lifted. But job fears ahead mean many young people have put moving plans on hold.

 

Price rises across regions

The Nationwide said that UK house prices rose by 0.9% in September compared with August.
 
In the three months from July to the end of September, UK prices were up 1.7% compared with the previous quarter and the average home cost £226,129.
 
Prices rose on a quarterly basis in most areas of the UK, the building society said.
“The rebound reflects a number of factors. Pent-up demand is coming through, with decisions taken to move before lockdown now progressing,” said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist.
 
He said the temporary stamp duty holiday, which means no tax is levied on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland until the end of March, was “adding to momentum” by bringing purchases forward.
 
“Behavioural shifts may also be boosting activity as people reassess their housing needs and preferences as a result of life in lockdown,” Mr Gardner added.

 
However, the Nationwide has joined other commentators in warning of the medium-term impact of the pandemic on the housing market.
 
Lucy Pendleton, from independent estate agents James Pendleton said: “[House price growth] can’t continue forever, and it is very likely indeed that we won’t see a higher annual growth rate this year.”
The Nationwide’s Mr Gardner said younger people were much more likely to have put off plans than older people, reflecting concerns about job prospects, particularly as government wage support becomes less generous.
 
Potential first-time buyers have also found it difficult to secure a mortgage when they are unable to offer a large deposit, as lenders take a safety-first approach fearing defaults as finances are squeezed.

(https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54353406?fbclid=IwAR2qd2PSzP-COGhfp5JxTM-cPeOi1PnjMkJKkFZYMbLf2nPlJxof7dOFjuI)
(Seen  September 2020
)

 
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Major new Nottingham Homes housing estate on school field given green light

A significant new housing scheme on a former school playing field in Bestwood has been given the green light by planning bosses today. It means the 131-home scheme, brought forward by Nottingham City Homes, can now go ahead. It will be made up of 86 houses, 35 flats and 10 bungalows.

The land is located between Eastglade Road and Bala Drive East, while there will be two access points from Beckhampton Road.A range of bungalows, flats and houses are proposed for land that once served the old Padstow School, which was demolished after the school closed more than a decade ago. The “affordable rent” properties will also benefit from electric vehicle charge points. There will be 72 two-bed houses, 14 three bed, 35 one bed apartments, five one bed bungalows and five three bed wheelchair accessible bungalows.

Properties are a mix of one and two storey and the proposed nine blocks of apartments would all be three-storey in height.

Not all of the land on the former playing field site will be used for houses – some is being retained as open access public space. Detailed plans for the development were approved by Nottingham City Council’s planning committee unanimously today (Wednesday, August 19). However concerns were raised about the quality of the designs. Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis represents the Lenton and Wollaton East ward for Labour, and said: “I think one of the issues is that there is a lack of variation in the design.

“When you look at the way the buildings look it is very plain, I think they could add more decoration and more interest to the buildings, so I think they could do a bit more work.” Council planning officers assured Councillor Kotsonis that more architectural detail had been agreed since the CGIs were produced, to make the buildings look less ‘plain’.

Councillor Sally Longford, who also represents Lenton and Wollaton East ward for Labour, said: “I’m really pleased to see this development coming forward, I think it’s a real positive and and it’s good-quality desperately needed social housing in what looks like a very well-built estate. I’m also glad to see solar panels on the roofs.” Councillor Longford also raised worries about the location of the bins, but was told they would be placed in designated areas.

However some concerns were raised by residents living nearby, with a petition against the development gathering 19 signatures from nearby Beckhampton Road.

After the plans were put forward, Nick Murphy, chief executive at NCH, said: “There is a real need for new social housing in the city, our waiting list of Nottingham households seeking a council house is growing and we must work to create more homes for local people.

“There has been demand for homes in Bestwood and, if given planning permission, we will transform the old playing field into safe, warm and modern homes with good open space.

“The council has promised to build or buy 1,000 homes for social rent and these 131 homes, built on their behalf by NCH, will go towards reaching that target.”

 

(https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/local-news/major-new-nottingham-city-homes-4438705)
(Seen  August 2020
)

 

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Nottingham property developer to invest £25m in Bramcote housing development

 

A Nottingham property developer is set to invest £25million in a major new housing development, just four miles from its own headquarters in Chilwell.

Peter James Homes has submitted phase one plans to Broxtowe Borough Council for the site near the Hemlock Stone in Bramcote on Coventry Lane near Nottingham. The development is designed to provide 178 new houses in a variety of sizes, styles and pricing brackets.

Simon Gardiner, Managing Director of Peter James Homes, said: “The Bramcote development is a very rural greenfield site in a lovely setting. It’s part sheltered by mature trees and, with a buffer strip around the periphery, it’s quite isolated from other dwellings so it feels very private and self-contained.”

After eight years of preparatory work to achieve the award of residential allocation for the land, the 178-house development represents the largest project Peter James Homes has ever undertaken.

He said: “The Phase One plan has been created in close collaboration with the council in order to make sure it meets the growing need for new homes in the local region without disrupting the loveliness of the local landscapes.

“We’re looking to achieve that by using local people and local subcontractors, so in terms of its location, its planning, its construction and its benefits, it really is a Nottingham development for Nottingham people.”

The first of the new homes are expected to be available to buy between December 2021 and January 2022.

 

(https://www.eastmidlandsbusinesslink.co.uk/mag/property/nottingham-property-developer-to-invest-25m-in-bramcote-housing-development/)
(Seen July 2020
)

 

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Property prices increased by 2.3% between December and January, amounting to £6,785, Rightmove’s house price index has revealed.

There have been 1.3 million buyer enquiries since the election, up 15% compared to the same period a year ago.

Meanwhile there has been a 7.4% growth in number of sales agreed year-on-year

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “Although Rightmove looks at asking rather than selling prices, they provide an important indicator of market activity, not least because this survey has been around for such a long time.

“Asking prices can be notoriously unreliable but these confirm what we have been seeing on the ground for the last month or so.

“Sellers inevitably are a little bit more optimistic at this time of year but it remains to be seen, probably by the end of January/beginning of February, whether these higher prices, much of which is driven by shortage of stock, actually turn into agreed prices and transactions.”

James Anderson, operations director of property lender MT Finance, said: “Political uncertainty has, at times, brought the housing market to an almost complete standstill and while we are early into 2020, we are starting to see demand overcoming doubt.

“We hope the early movers – often professional investors who recognise that there are great deals out there – will be met by vendors who respond with the necessary supply as we move into spring.

“And in a more settled political climate where prices are starting to rise, we fully expect them to do so. Among those who see light at the end of the tunnel, optimism is high.”

 

(https://www.propertywire.com/news/landlords-regret-investing-in-buy-to-let)
(Seen January 2020
)

 

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Landlords regret investing in buy-to-let

Landlords regret investing in buy-to-let – Over half (53%) of landlords would not have purchased their properties in the first place had they known how regulated the Private Rented Sector would become, research from property development firm Accumulate Capital has found.

Over a third (37%) of property investors plan to sell at least one of their properties this year.

Of this group, three in five (61%) blamed increasing regulations and taxes while one in five (21%) pledged to instead focus on alternative property investment, like debt and development finance.

Paul Howells, chief executive of Accumulate Capital, said: “Property investors are clearly frustrated by how much red tape there now is within the private rental sector and buy-to-let market.

“Yes, there is a need for regulatory measures to protect the interests of all parties involved in the property market, but as our research shows, some landlords feel the current system is unfairly weighted against them.

 

“What we might see as a result, is investors selling properties and downsizing their portfolios.

“Indeed, a considerable number of investors are now looking to alternative real estate investment options instead, such as development finance – these provide ways to access bricks and mortar investment opportunities without the complications or costs of actually purchasing the asset.”

Reflecting on the challenges facing landlords, nearly three quarters (72%) believe current tax and regulation measures are unfairly weighted against landlords.

Meanwhile over two thirds (69%) reckon the costs of managing their property portfolio has risen considerably in the past five years.

 

(https://www.propertywire.com/news/landlords-regret-investing-in-buy-to-let)
(Seen January 2020
)

 

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House clearance in Mansfield

Letting Agents anticipate rent increases in 2020 –  The majority (84%) of letting agents think rent prices will rise next year, up from two thirds (65%) last year, ARLA Propertymark has predicted.

More than three fifths (61%) think demand will continue to increase, but almost seven in 10 (68%) reckon the number of landlords operating in the private rented sector will decline next year, as they are driven out by rising costs.

Indeed, two thirds (68%) expect landlords’ taxes to rise again.

David Cox, chief executive, ARLA Propertymark, said: “For far too long, successive governments of all political persuasions have passed significant amounts of complex legislation for landlords.

“As a result, much of this year has dampened landlords’ appetites to invest and expand their portfolios, with many consolidating their assets, or choosing to step away from the sector altogether.

 

“This has impacted tenants most, who have restricted supply and have been faced with less choice and paying higher rents.

“Looking ahead to 2020, we hope the government recognises the importance of increasing supply for tenants and uses it as an opportunity to make the market more attractive for landlords.

“This will encourage more landlords back into the market as well as ensure that tenants, including those who are most vulnerable, are not at a disadvantage in being able to find a suitable and affordable home to rent.”

 

(https://www.propertywire.com/news/agents-anticipate-rent-increases-in-2020)
(Seen December 2019
)

 

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House Move Buying a house

Buying a House Homeowners call for the government to ban gazumping

Looking to move home, buying a house can be stressful enough.

Four in five (80%) homebuyers would like the government to introduce laws preventing gazumping in England and Wales.

A third (31%) have experienced the phenomenon in the past decade, research commissioned by Market Financial Solutions has revealed.

Two in five (39%) had to pay fees to intermediaries despite not completing on a property purchase.

Paresh Raja, chief executive of MFS, said: “With demand for UK property constantly high, the process of buying a home has become incredibly competitive. As a result, a significant number of UK homebuyers are losing out on deals at the critical closing stages.

“Not only is gazumping a cause for frustration and disappointment, it also can incur significant costs to the prospective buyer.

“In the aftermath of the general election, let’s hope the elected government looks at measures to stamp out gazumping as a top priority.”

Two thirds (66%) feel it has become increasingly difficult to buy properties over recent years as a result of greater competition and a lack of housing supply.

Such is the competition these days, 43% would consider gazumping a rival buyer.

 

(Article extracts from www.propertywire.com 21st November 2019)

With Brexit delayed again and a general election announced the upheaval caused by uncertainty in the housing market is not set to go away just yet but new research shows how voting intentions have affected prices.

Leave voting areas have recorded higher average house price increases than Remain voting areas since the European Union referendum in June 2016, according to the research from online estate agent Housesimple.

The analysis of average house price changes in 324 local authority areas in England since the vote in June 2016, shows that 16 of the top 20 performing ones voted Leave. In Rutland prices increased by 26.27%, in Corby 24.8%), in Harborough 23.79%, in Blaby 21.68% and in the Forest of Dean by 21.47%.

Only four Remain voting areas made it into the top 20, including the Cotswolds with growth of 30.45%, Leicester up 21.57%, Rushcliffe up 19.62% and Stroud up 19.35%.

Meanwhile, average house prices in London and the South East have been hardest hit since the vote and 12 of the worst performing are in London, including the City of London with a fall of 11.86%, Westminster down 10.08% and Hammersmith and Fulham down 8.2%. In the commuter belt Bracknell Forest saw prices drop 6.63%, Elmbridge down 4.32% and Windsor and Maidenhead down by 0.66%.

‘It is important to remember that correlation does not always equal causality. Just voting Leave hasn’t made your house more valuable on its own. There are a range of reasons driving house prices in England,’ said Sam Mitchell, Housesimple chief executive officer.

‘The data points to an overall North/South divide. Brexit uncertainty does not appear to have affected the North to the extent that we may be seeing in the South. Other Important factors underpin these findings, including punitive stamp duty that has a lower impact on properties valued under £500,000 so there is less of a drag factor in the North,’ he explained.

‘We’re also seeing a longer term trend whereby house price growth in London and the South East that really took off in 2012 has been slowing to more sustainable levels since 2016, or even dropping in some London areas. At the same time properties in the North and the Midlands saw more modest growth post 2007, and cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Leicester and Leeds have robust local economies and increasing demand for housing which has helped to drive double digit price increases since the referendum,’ he pointed out.

‘The bottom line is that despite the fact Brexit uncertainty will now drag on into 2020, the market fundamentals, a long running supply and demand issue, historically low interest rates and growing income levels, remain in place,’ he added.

 

(Article extracts from www.propertywire.com 31st October 2019)

Buying a New House – Questions To Ask

Buying a new house can be a stressful time and quite overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve made a shortlist of questions to ask the seller:

1. How much interest has been shown in the house

When buying a brand new house there tends to be a higher demand, you may need to act quickly to ensure that you secure the plot. Try to find out how many have already viewed the house to find out if there is any other ‘competition’ with the house.

2. Is there a chain

If there is no chain, you would likely be able to move quickly, if you also are not in a chain or a first-time buyer you will also be a desirable buyer to the seller as the sale could be completed quickly. This can provide you with an advantage, be sure to use this during your ‘negotiations’

3. Included in the Sale?

New homes can often come with ‘extras’ to incentives you to buy the house. But also older home can come with items unwanted or offered by the seller. It’s wise to check just to clarify, are things like cookers, fridges and carpets, for example could be included in the sale (or offered at an additional price). It’s wise to clarify as you may be left with unwanted items that you then need to remove and dispose of.

4. What are your new neighbours like

Try to gain insight into your new neighbours. On new building developments, this may be a little more difficult.

5. Running Costs

These days people are a little more aware of home running costs and will usually have some insight or ask about the running costs of the home such as gas, heating, electricity, water (particularly if it’s a newer home with a water meter. Also things like Council Tax charges.

6. Your Garden

If your garden is important to you and you like to spend time in yours enjoying the open space, then you may wish to check how well the natural light enters your garden and whether it’s south-facing etc.

7. Home Improvements

Generally, when you move into your new home, you will often want to decorate to your own tastes, but what other work needs to be done. On older properties, you may have some ‘fixes’ or repairs to make. Or make improvements to energy efficiency, insulation, garden work etc.

8. Remedial Fixes

If their are any issues identified you can request the seller fixes these before the sale goes through (or reduces the price). In the case of new homes, there can sometimes be some minor repairs required after you move in due to settlement etc, or simple faults you identify after you move in, but ensure you report these within any given time limits.

So when you are buying your new home whether its a new build or older property, be sure to ask the questions you really need to know about the house, also remember to negotiate your buy price, don’t be too keen and offer to high to start with and remember to take into consideration other factors such as when you would be able to move in and that fits your expectations.

 

10 top tips for a stress-free move

Planning in advance and getting organised means less stress and more time to celebrate.

Moving to a new home is exciting – you get a fresh start, new opportunities and the chance to make your new place your own.

That doesn’t mean it can’t feel overwhelming at times. Luckily, there’s a way to avoid any unpleasantness. Start early, have a plan and do everything you can to make it easy on yourself.

Tip 1: Pick a removals firm early on

Depending on when you’re planning to move, you may find that it’s hard to book in a date. After all, most people try to move at the weekends, over school holidays or bank holidays, giving themselves extra time. Don’t get caught out – plan in advance.

Picking a removals team might seem easy compared to all the other choices you’ve been making, but it’s important to pick professionals. Your items are dependent on the company you choose, and to avoid damage to items or the property, or paying more than you expected, it’s important to do your research.

Look at reviews from previous customers, check what your removals quote includes, and ask if the firm are happy to do a valuation – this means someone will come round to your home to assess how much stuff you have, and make sure you have the right sized van and number of team members on the day of your move.

Tip 2: Making a list

It can feel like there’s too much to remember on the run up to your move – after all, real life carries on alongside your moving plans.

To avoid stress, make a list of everything you have to do, and consider your timeline. You may have only just had your offer accepted and be months away from completion. But that doesn’t mean you should wait until the week before your move to start preparing.

Tip 3: Declutter in advance

Clearing your home of any old, unwanted or unnecessary items before your move can save you time and stress, but it can also save you money!

By donating, recycling or throwing away things you don’t need, you’re cutting down on the amount of stuff you need to move. The less stuff you have, the fewer hours you need your removals team for.

The simple way to save money on your move is to avoid paying to transport things that you’re only going to throw away when you reach your new home.

Tip 4: Make a packing plan – and start early

Packing always takes longer than you think, which is why it’s better to start as soon as possible. When you’ve cleared away everything you no longer need, the best thing to start with is the rooms you use the least.
Packing up those rooms, and then using them to store any of the boxes will disrupt your life the least, and allow you to get as much done as possible.

When you’re labelling boxes, it’s easy to just summarise the content on the top, like ‘kitchen stuff’ but that may not help you when you need to prioritise unpacking!

Label the box with the room you intend it to go into in your new home, and bullet point a few of the items in there so you know what it includes. You’ll thank us when you don’t have to open fifteen boxes marked ‘kitchen’ to find the one with the plates in!

Try not to overpack you boxes! It’s tempting to fill them up but try to use small boxes for heavy items and big boxes for lighter ones. Otherwise you risk the box falling apart and hurting whoever is carrying it.

Tip 5: Think about what you can’t move

There are some things removals teams won’t transport. These include things like hazardous materials, plants with soil in, tins of paint or chemicals. Pots of pain can often be donated to charity, so don’t feel like everything has to go to waste.

If you can’t bear to leave your plants behind, you may want to take most of the soil out, pack the plant into the pot with plastic so it can’t move around, and transport it in your car.

Don’t forget to consider the safety of your removals team and yourself – not only with the heaviness of boxes but the things you’re moving. If you’re packing up garden equipment, be sure to clean it and package it safely. Large gardening equipment like lawnmowers or petrol-fuelled tools need to be emptied and clean before being transported. If you’re packing knives, wrap them carefully and note the contents on the box.

If in doubt, ask your removals team who will be able to tell you what they can take, and how it’s best to package it. They may even offer an extra service where they could package more difficult items for you.

Tip 6: Dealing with paperwork

Store all important documents, such as passports, house deeds, wills and insurance papers in one box or file to ensure easy access. This should then be placed somewhere where you will not lose it.

It may also be a good idea to create electronic copies of important documents by scanning and saving them onto a USB so you always have access to it.

When it comes to making sure you still get your post, you might want to set up the Royal Mail’s redirection service, which will forward post from your previous address to your new one. This gives you a little more time to go through all your providers, memberships and anything else and update your address at your leisure, without worrying about missing out on important post.

Tip 7: Organise utilities

It’s so easy to forget to take final meter readings, but it will make everything so much easier. You could even take photos on your phone so you don’t lose any notes you make. You can register with new broadband providers in advance, and don’t forget gas, electric and water.

If you’re not staying with the same provider in your new home, it’s worth calling to say the house has been sold and that account is finished, just in case your seller wasn’t as organised as you!

Organising this in advance means you can account for any final bills you’ll need to pay.

Also remember to put yourself on the electoral register at your new property, and update any relevant ID, like your driving licence.

Tip 8: Take time to clean

If you can manage to arrange some overlap in when you get the keys to your new home, and leaving your old one, it can make the world of difference to your stress levels. Getting into your new home a little earlier means you can fully assess it, and give it a good clean before you move your furniture in.

Be sure to keep your cleaning supplies separate before moving day so you don’t end up with them packed away!

Cleaning the house thoroughly before all of your boxes and furniture arrives means there’ll be no nasty surprises on moving day. It also means you can create a snagging list as you assess the property.

If you do have access a few days before your move, you could arrange for any deliveries to be made in advance. If you’re ordering new white goods, or need to measure for blinds, carpeting or anything else, take advantage of the empty space and get them booked in.

Tip 9: Pack a moving day survival kit

Before your moving day make sure you have packed a moving day survival kit of essentials. This will contain necessary items that will get you and your family through the day unscathed, such as toiletries, phone chargers, bottles of water, snacks and provisions for hot drinks.

It is important to have easy access to the supplies that will keep you well-fed and hydrated on this busy day, and that you have everything readily available so you can fall straight into bed at the end of it.

Tip 10: Go slowly

Moving day is a big deal – we know you’ll want to get everything done as soon as possible, but it can be exhausting. Have realistic expectations on how much you want to get done – it’s unlikely you’re going to unpack your entire house by the first night!

Be sure to keep your moving day survival kit to hand, make sure you’ve got cold beverages, everything you need for teas and coffees, and snacks to keep your energy up. Be sure to stop (properly stop!) for lunch and dinner so that you don’t wear yourself out.

It will take time to fully unpack and get your new home looking the way you want it, so don’t feel everything has to come together immediately. Take time to relax and unwind – enjoy a night in with a takeaway or go out with friends. Your life does not have to revolve around unpacking!

As long as you have your bed built and set up by the end of moving day, the rest is up to you!

Original Article: Really Moving website
(www.reallymoving.com/removals/guides/money-saving-tips-for-moving-house)
(Seen May 2019
)