News Archive for 2018

First Time Buyer Stamp Duty Relief Massively Favours South of England

More than three quarters of first time buyers have benefited from the changes to Stamp Duty introduced in 2017, but the biggest savers were in the south of England, research shows. A study carried out by reallymoving.com has looked at first time buyer activity between November 2017, when the scheme was introduced, and November 2018.

First time buyers in London and the South East have achieved far greater savings than those in the Midlands ...

Help to Buy Scheme Debate Reignited After Surge

According to figures released over the weekend, 14,867 Help to Buy loans were taken out in the second quarter of this year. This brings the total loans up to 183,947 since the scheme started in 2013.

Between April and June, 82% of the loans taken out were for homes bought by first time buyers, with an average value of £239,000.

Since these figures have been released, the debate about Help to Buy has been reignited. Chancellor Phillip ...

Useful Tips to Help Prevent Condensation and Mould

As the cold weather rolls in, our daily routines can provide the ideal conditions for mould and condensation to spread within our homes. Below are some tips that can help you keep your home mould-free all winter.

When things start getting chilly, we often put our heating on, keeping the windows closed to make sure that warmth stays inside, and we start drying our clothes inside our homes. Unfortunately, it's this kind of ...

Young Buyers Find it More Difficult Than Ever to Purchase Properties

Even the cheapest local homes are beyond the reach of many young adults, according to a new report published by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS).

The report claims that, in 1996, over 90% of 25-34 year olds would have been able to purchase a home in their local area if they borrowed four and a half times their salary, provided they had a 10% deposit. That same four and a half ratio is what most lenders will now allow as their ...

Student Lets - What You Need To Know Before Investing

Student Lets

I was recently approached by some new landlords for my expert advice and opinion on student lets. I was please to offer my advice and was inspired to provide it here as well, as follows: 


That investors and landlords who want to maximise their profit should opt for HMO properties or student lets; this because is student ...

Face to Face contact still the preference by most customers

My number of years in the industry suggests that majority of customers still prefers face-to-face contact when they want to decide on which agent to market their property. With the face to face strategy you can explain and demonstrate the steps and marketing strategy which best suites the customer's property and the strategy you which to adopt in managing the client's expectations. With this in mind you are able to learn more about the ...

Top Move is Up For an ESTAs Award!

The ESTAs are one of the most recognised and coveted awards of the year for estate agencies throughout the country. Winning an ESTAs award signifies a dedicated commitment to customer service that is unmatched by all other agents in your region, a real stamp of excellence that no other award can really compare to.

But why are the ESTAs such a good representation of an agency's ethics and level of customer care? How are ...

Landlord fined for false gas safety certificate

A Gas safety engineer Muhammad Waseem was found guilty of falsifying a number of Gas certificates. Thames Magistrates Court and Snaresbrook Crown Court have heard that landlord Tariq Hussain, of Walthamstow, induced engineer Muhammad Waseem, of Manor Park, to falsify four gas safety certificates for four rental flats in a property in Chingford.

Waseem pleaded guilty to four charges under the Fraud Act at Thames Magistrates Court. He was ...

New HMO and Licencing Guidelines

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published new guidelines for the upcoming legislative changes for HMOs and selective licencing announced last month.

The guidance document details the new legislations, such as introducing a minimum bedroom size to tackle overcrowding and extending mandatory licensing to smaller HMO properties to bring greater balance to the landlord and tenant ...

Rent To Buy - Might This Be the Next Big Idea From the Government?

There is an ongoing arrangment for Conservative MP Gary Streeter to soon meet with Prime Minister Theresa May and urge her to promote the Rentplus rent to buy initiative as a way of combatting the housing crisis.

It was revealed that the meeting could involve a number of Tory MP who are anxious that Brexit is overshadowing the need to move on different proposals to improve housing provision, especially for younger voters.

Streeter is a ...

Britain's Housing Model is Changing

Britain might be moving towards a German housing style with a high proportion of the young population choosing to rent rather than buy.

Of the estimated 18.5 million renters in the UK, over two thirds (70% or 12.3 million adults) have no plans to purchase a property.

While price is a factor, many people are increasingly comfortable with the flexibility afforded by renting a property rather than jumping into home ownership.

61% ...

Cuts in asking prices reach six-year peak as market may be stalling

More stock and longer times on the market are combining to create a surge in asking price reductions according to a market monitor.

A website which analyses some 500,000 asking prices each month, excluding those properties priced above £1m - has issued a series of statistics to illustrate the current state of the market, which it describes as “threatening to stall”.

For example, there’s been a major increase in the number of homes on ...

Asking Prices at an All-Time High, But Sales Have Dipped

The latest data from Rightmove indicates that the average national asking price has reached another all-time high of £308,075 following a monthly rise of 0.8% (equivalent to £2,343).

The portal reports, however, that agreed sales so far this year are down 5.4% when compared to the same period in 2017.

Despite this, Rightmove is recording record visits but says that uncertainty and stretched affordability continue to dent the sentiment ...

Help To Buy Equity Loan Users Told to Beware of Falling House Prices

Consumer body Which? is warning that those who used the Help To Buy equity loan to purchase their homes could face trouble in the future thanks to the slowing housing market.

Under the Help to Buy scheme - open to people buying a new-build property for less than £600,000 - a buyer’s five per cent deposit is topped up by the government’s 20 per cent equity loan (rising to 40 per cent in London). Then a mortgage is taken out in the usual ...

Surprise Boost for Housing Market as Mortgage Volumes Soar

Property purchases for buyers requiring mortgages reached 50,000 in February, the highest level for the month since 2007.

The data, from mortgage lenders’ trade organisation UK Finance, also reveals that lending for first-time buyers, home movers and remortgagers increased in February this year compared to 2017, equating to £4bn in new lending.

There were 25,200 new first-time buyer mortgages completed in February 2018, up about 2.4 ...

First-Ever Mortgage With Digital Signature is Lodged at Land Registry

The first-ever ‘digital mortgage’ deed has been lodged at HM Land Registry, for a property at Rotherhithe in London.

Coventry Building Society and Enact Conveyancing filed the document which did not require a witness to watch as it was signed and did not require the home owner to write a conventional ink signature.

This new service involves a conveyancer creating a digital version of a mortgage deed, the borrower signing the deed ...

Asking Prices Hit Record Highs in Key Sectors, Says Rightmove

Average asking price of newly-marketed property have jumped 1.5 per cent - or over £4,500 - in the past month, says Rightmove.

The portal says the first time buyers and second-stepper sectors have hit all-time price highs of £189,840 and £272,031 respectively.

Overall, average asking prices also hit new record in four out of 11 regions as the market has been hit by a five per cent dip in supply compared to the same period a year ...

Boost for Housing Market With Surge in Number of First Time Buyers

The switchback of house price indices and other data on the state of the market has taken a turn for the better with news that there was a seven per cent surge in the number of first time buyers completing in January.

The data, just released by UK Finance, shows there were 24,500 new first time buyer mortgages completed in January 2018, seven per cent ahead of the same month last year.

The average first time buyer is 30 and has a ...

Big Chill Hits Housing Market With Unexpected Drop in Prices

House prices fell unexpectedly in February with the Nationwide Building Society reporting a drop of 0.3 per cent.

This ended some analysts’ expectations of a price rise following January’s 0.8 per cent increase.

Last month’s dip takes the annual rate of house price growth down to 2.2 per cent from 3.2 per cent a month ago.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, blames falling consumer confidence and the squeeze on household ...

Agents Welcome Latest Evidence of Robust Start to Sales in 2018

Agents have welcomed more data suggesting the 2018 market is enjoying a robust start.

Last week Rightmove reported a record number of visits in January; now HM Revenue & Customs has revealed that the residential transaction count for January was 102,610.

This shows a 1.3 per cent rise on December and is a negligible 0.1 per cent lower compared with the same month last year.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS ...

Ten-Year Fixed Rates On The Up As Early Interest Rate Rise Looms

Over the last few weeks, mortgage lenders have started to adjust their pricing in anticipation of a further interest rate rise by the Bank of England.

This is according to moneyfacts.co.uk, which says there is speculation the next interest rate rise will happen sooner than expected in 2018.

Research by the finance website shows that average rates on decade-long fixed mortgages are starting to creep up from record lows.

Yesterday, ...

So Much For a Slowing Market - House Prices Are Up More Than Expected

Despite a string of property pundits suggesting the market is slowing down, new figures from the Office for National Statistics show a gentle increase.

Prices increased 5.2 per cent in 2017 according to ONS data just released, a rise from the 5.0 per cent in the 12 months to the end of November.

The average UK house price was £227,000 in December 2017, up £1,000 from the previous month and £12,000 more than in December ...

Rightmove Claims 9% Rise in Visits But No Rush to Market From Vendors

Rightmove says its visits so far in January are running over 9% higher than the same period a year ago, with an average of over four million visits each day.

It adds that average asking prices are up 0.7% over the past month - a very similar figure to the 0.6% recorded in January 2017 and with an almost identical number of properties coming to the market.

However, it warns that buyers are still price-sensitive with the number of sales ...

108 Days - The Longest Average Time For A Home To Go Under Offer

A new league table showing how long it takes homes to sell on average in different postcodes across England and Wales suggests the slowest area is west London, where properties typically take 108 days to go under offer.

By contrast the fastest areas - Northampton, Coventry and Manchester - take a typical 36 days, while the whole-of-Britain average is 61 days.

The data comes from the consumer group HomeOwners Alliance which has compiled ...

The Cost of Moving? It's £9,580 on Average, Says New Research

Buyers spent £9.7 billion on moving house in 2017 with the average individual move costing £9,580 according to comparison website Compare My Move.

The average takes into account conveyancing, surveying and estate agent fees, stamp duty, removal costs and fixed fees such as an Energy Performance Certificate.

Unsurprisingly London is revealed as the most expensive region to move house, costing an average £28,714; the north east of ...

London-wide Annual House Prices Fall for First Time in Eight Years

Figures out this morning from the Nationwide show the first annual fall in London-wide house prices for eight years - and the capital was the poorest performing region of the UK in 2017 for the first time in 13 years.

Price falls for high-value properties in prime areas of the capital have become commonplace since the increase in stamp duty for homes selling at £937,000 or over in late 2014.

But the Nationwide says average prices ...