Categories
Lettings Group 1

Gen Z renters seek sustainable properties

What you think Generation Z want from a rental property and what they would actually like may surprise landlords hoping to target students, recent graduates and young professionals.

While Generation Z have a reputation for living their lives voraciously – and rather superficially – via social media, their property wishes are far more considered and cautious. A new survey of more than 2,500 people aged between 16-25, featured in an article published by PBSA News, set out to establish what was important to them in a rented home. 

Flashy luxuries took a back seat to more sustainable aspects, illustrating that Generation Z is far more prudent and eco-conscious than landlords may believe. The headline statistic showed that 80% of Generation Z said it was important that their home had sustainability credentials – a figure that rose to 86% among the international Generation Z community based in the UK. In fact, only 6% of participants said sustainability features would not be important when deciding on their accommodation. 

When it came to specifics, those taking part in the survey had a clear idea on how their home should be energy efficient. Good insulation to cut down on energy bills was important to 67% of respondents, while 35% said they would like to see solar panels installed. 

Smart technology that can help save the environment and money was most important to 16 to 18 year-olds, with 57% of this age group expressing a willingness to pay more for smart tech as opposed to a concierge (35%), gaming room (39%), cinema room (46%), pub or bar (41%) or communal dining room (37%).

Landlords should also take heed of some other interesting findings – especially those looking to make new property investments. Becoming more self-sufficient was a surprising desire, with 22% of young people saying they want outdoor space to grow their own produce. And for landlords offering furnished properties, it’s worth noting that 73% of those surveyed would be comfortable living somewhere with second-hand or upcycled furniture.

The new findings follow a set of similar survey results released earlier in 2022. When questioning younger generations, E.ON found the majority (83%) of Generation Z and Millennials (the latter who are aged between 28-41) would be more inclined to speak to their landlord about installing a heat pump, than those in Generation X (those aged between 42-56). E.ON’s survey also revealed 8 in 10 from Generation Z would reject properties that didn’t meet minimum energy efficiency ratings, compared to only 6 in 10 Generation X who would do the same.   

With tightening EPC standards set to be phased in from 2025, landlords should be preparing now in order to market more sustainable, legally-compliant properties in the future. For landlords who are early-adopters, a more energy efficient buy-to-let will appeal to a growing group of sustainably minded Generation Z tenants. If you would like advice on improving the energy efficiency of your portfolio, please get in touch.

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Lettings Group 2

Gen Z and your rental property

Tenants are tenants, right? Well, that’s not strictly true. You may know we’re all assigned groups according to our birth year and there’s one group that has particular property search traits, and that’s Generation Z – people born between 1997 to 2012.

Why is Gen Z an important audience for landlords?

Simply put, there are millions of people in Generation Z – or Gen Z for short – and they are highly likely to need rental accommodation as this age bracket encompasses undergraduates, those leaving university and young professionals. 

This group is vast, with Statista’s most recent figures revealing there were more than 12,698 million people in the UK classed as Gen Z in 2020. Understanding what Gen Z tenants are looking for is therefore vital for landlords hoping to tap into this supply of rental income.

Gen Z pay a lot of rent

In 2020, Simply Business found that Gen Z paid 15% of all rent in 2019, which equated to payments totalling £9.2 billion. This can be compared to a rental share of just 1% back in 2014. Fast forward to 2022, and Gen Z tenants are forecast to pay £11.7 billion in rent this year – around 20% of the country’s total bill. 

They look for rental properties more frequently

An article published by Property Reporter claimed 25% of Gen Z and Millennials (those aged between 28-41) have moved home 10 or more times since they left their family nest. A further 25% expected to move at least another five times before they found their ‘forever’ home.

Gen Z are prioritising eco aspects

New research by E.ON has revealed that 77% of Gen Z say a home with energy solutions, such as a heat pump or electric vehicle charger installed, is a priority when looking to rent or buy a new home. This is the same percentage of Gen Z’s for whom outdoor space is important, showing how priorities among the younger generation have shifted.

E.ON’s results were echoed by the findings of another eco survey, which featured in an article published by PBSA News. It discovered 80% of Gen Z said a home’s sustainability credentials were important to them. Respondents said good insulation that would reduce their energy bills was important (67%), while 35% supported the installation of solar panels.

They will pay more for an energy efficient rental

The E.ON research also found 81% of people aged between 16-41 (Gen Z and Millennials) would be happy to pay more for a property if it meant it had a heat pump, solar panels or an electric vehicle charger. Young renters placed importance on these aspects as they want to reduce the amount they paid for gas and electricity (35%) and help the planet (20%). 

Gen Z will question a property’s green credentials

Of those taking part in the E.ON survey, 82% thought it was important for renters to ask letting agents more questions so they can understand the energy efficiency of a property when house hunting.

They place emphasis on three eco features 

Gen Z are super keen on heat pumps, with 78% believing they are an important sustainable energy solution to have installed on a property within the next five years. Solar panels (77%) and electric vehicle chargers (62%) were also a priority among tenants.

If you’re keen to keep on the right side of Gen Z renters, talk to us about making energy efficient changes and setting the rent to reflect the eco-advantages of your property.

Categories
Market Reports Group 2

August’s property market analysis

From ‘boil to simmer’ is how house price growth has been described by one property portal, who published its latest House Price Index in July. Rightmove’s newest report chose to focus on the rate at which house prices are now rising, rather than by how much.

House prices continue to edge up

The point of note is that values are still increasing. The average price of a property coming to market now stands at £369,968 – up 0.4% in July (equivalent to £1,354) and similar to the 0.3% price increase seen in June 2022. To put the 0.4% rise into context, however, house prices rose 2.1% in April 2021 at the peak of stamp duty holiday and ‘race for space’.

The continuation of house price rises is best illustrated when comparing Rightmove’s 2019 figures with those from 2022. Although the number of new sellers coming to market now is up 13% compared to 2021, the number of available properties to buy is still 40% down on 2019. In addition, buyer demand has increased by 26% when comparing today’s level to that in June 2019.  

It is this comparison that has led Rightmove to revise its 2022 house price forecast to say prices will have risen in Great Britain by 7% this year – up from 5% – with the supply and demand imbalance underpinning marginal house price rises, even in economically uncertain times. 

95% of homeowners see values rise

Ongoing house price rises will ensure that Zoopla’s newly-released, post-pandemic figures will also need revising. The portal found that 95% of homeowners have seen the value of their house rise since March 2020, with £50,000 added to almost 9.4 million homes. With the UK’s average property seeing a 15% rise in value since the pandemic, the overall value of UK homes has nudged just over the £10 trillion mark for the first time ever.

New tenancies costing more than ever

In the lettings sector, a persistent lack of available rental properties and growing demand is also behind yet another month of rent rises. Rightmove’s Rental Trends Tracker for Q2 of 2022 revealed UK tenants are now paying an average of £1,126 per month to rent a property. In the last three months alone, asking rents have increased 3.5% – the second highest jump in 10 years. 

In light of sustained demand and the slow pace at which new rentals are coming to market, the property portal has also revised its rent rise forecast. Rightmove now predicts rental value growth of 8% to be achieved by the end of 2022 – up from 5% – which presents an interesting proposition for would-be and existing landlords.

If you would like to know how the pandemic and current price rises have affected your home’s value, contact us today. We’d be happy to provide a free, no-obligation valuation with a view to selling or renting out.

Categories
Market Reports Group 1

Latest: August property market report

July provided the experts at Zoopla with the perfect opportunity to evaluate how the last two years have affected the UK property market. Its headline statistic – pandemic housing boom creates 270,000 property millionaires – won’t apply to the majority of homeowners but the rest of its analysis will.

The portal found a third of UK homes increased in value by more than £50,000 during the pandemic, with homeowners seeing an average of £48 a day added to their property’s value since February 2020. In fact, £1.3 trillion was added to the property market during the pandemic. 

Transaction levels are returning to normal

Newly released figures show that the property frenzy is, however, largely over and a more normal rhythm is returning to the UK market. A report by HM Land Registry released at the end of July featured a provisional figure revealing how many property sales were completed in June 2022 – an estimated 96,290 transactions 

While some experts have been quick to contrast June 2022’s transaction level with that seen in 2021 – when over 200,000 completions were recorded – it’s worth remembering that last year saw the stamp duty holiday create a falsely inflated market. In fact, transaction levels of around 100,000 per month have been historically recorded in 7 of the last 10 June months.

Going green to get selling

Energy efficiency within the home remained a hot topic in July, with responses to a new survey by The Mortgage Advice Bureau revealing why homeowners want to make eco improvements. With fuel bills soaring, it came as no surprise that 23% of those questioned wanted to make changes to cut household bills, while 17% said they wanted to improve their EPC rating. 

Homeowners have, however, twigged that making their property as eco-efficient as possible can boost the dwelling’s desirability among buyers. The survey found 21% want to make green home improvements to increase the value of their property, with 13% saying a more energy efficient home would increase the saleability of their home.

When asked what energy efficient improvements they would like or intend to make, nearly one in six (16%) said they would install double or triple glazed windows, while one in seven (14%) said energy efficient fittings were top of their list. Other popular additions and alterations included draught proofing, insulation and solar panels.

Record rents continue

Data from two respected sources concur that rental values have hit a new high this summer. The latest analytics from Rightmove revealed UK rents have risen by 13.9% in the last year, with an average per calendar month price of £1,126 as of July. 

HomeLet’s most recent rental value analysis, published in July and reflecting June 2022, reflects the above. It shows the average rental price for a new tenancy in the UK was £1,103 per calendar month, up by 1.1% when compared to May 2022.

If you would like to know how the current property market conditions would affect the sale or letting of a property you own, please contact us today.

Categories
Sales Group 1

Painting the front of your house: is it worth it?

How your home looks from the outside can determine how successful your sale is. After all, an exterior photo is what estate agents commonly use as the lead image when publishing an online listing, and it’s the first part of a property buyers see when they arrive for a viewing.

We use the expression ‘first impressions count’ for good reason and potential buyers faced with an exterior that’s cracked, flaking and grubby will make quick assumptions about your property.

Although repainting your home’s exterior isn’t a quick DIY job, it could be one of the best investments of your time if you’re planning to sell soon. Here we answer the most commonly asked questions about painting the front of a property.

Will a freshly painted exterior add value to my property?

You’ll often hear about ‘kerb appeal’ when selling a home and how your home looks from the outside certainly affects its value. A survey by Dulux Weathershield found UK homeowners who gave the exterior of their property a new coat of paint increased its perceived value by 25%. The paint manufacturer also found 93% of buyers are more likely to attend a viewing if the house’s exterior is well maintained.

Should I also paint my front door?

If it’s looking a little shabby, a fresh coat of paint on your front door should be high on your list of pre-selling priorities. Research has found the right choice of paint colour can also add value to your home. Opting for blue can increase a home’s value by as much as £4,000, while a freshly painted white front door can add around £3,400. Front doors painted red, black and green are other colours that can add value but a brown front door can shave hundreds of pounds off a home’s selling price.

Is there an ideal time of year to paint my property’s exterior?

Professional decorators recommend you attempt exterior painting during the months of April and September as the weather is usually drier and warmer, which allows the paint to cure more quickly. Check the forecast and choose a run of days when rain isn’t forecast.

Do I need planning permission to paint the front of my property?

Most homeowners can paint the exterior of their property without getting any special approvals but there are a few instances when planning permission may be required. Consult with your local council’s planning department if you live in a listed building, or if the property is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or conservation area. Requiring planning won’t stop you from painting the outside of your home but the planners/conservation experts may stipulate the colours you can choose from and the type of paint that is used.

Is there a special type of paint I should use?

As the exterior of your property is exposed to the elements and the surface you are painting over is different to plastered internal walls, you will need a special type of paint. Look out for masonry paint designed specifically for exterior surfaces. If you are painting your front door, choose your paint based on the door’s composition – wood or uPVC – as you may need a primer before the topcoat. Always prepare the exterior surface before painting – you may find this guide from DIY Doctor useful. 

If you are getting ready to sell a property and would like advice concerning other ways to improve presentation and add value, contact our team today.

Categories
Sales Group 2

Brush up your home’s exterior with a fresh coat of paint

Selling your property? It’s time to break out the paintbrush, as decorating the outside of your home will not only improve its viewing appeal and make it look more attractive in photos, it’s likely to add value too. 

Find out if there are any restrictions

Knowing where to start will ensure that a job as involved as painting your exterior is a success. Before you rush to your local DIY store, you’ll need to establish whether you can actually undertake the work. There may be restrictions on the colour you can apply and the type of paint you can use if your house is listed, or lies within a conservation area or in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Keep your neighbours onside

Even if there are no formal restrictions, your choice of colour – or even pattern – can have serious ramifications. You may have read about a £15 million London property that was painted red and white. Although the owner was served with a planning order requiring her to repaint the exterior white, a High Court ruled that the candy stripes could stay. Sadly, the owner fell out with her neighbours over the bold paint choice, and she regretted the sum of money spent on the legal fight to keep her stripes. 

Add as much as 25% to your home’s value

As well as causing neighbourly disputes (which must be disclosed when selling a property) an ill thought-out or neglected property exterior can harm your home’s value. A freshly painted exterior can increase a home’s perceived value by as much as 25%, claim Dulux Weathershield, while 93% of buyers are more likely to attend a viewing if the house’s exterior is well maintained.

Even your choice of front door colour can impact how much your home might sell for. A brown front door isn’t favoured and may decrease your home’s value by as much as £700, while painting your front door blue, green, white, red or black can add up to £4,000 in value. 

Be careful with your choice of colour

When choosing a colour to paint your exterior, take your inspiration from the most attractive homes in your neighbourhood. You may choose to fall in line with pretty pastel hues if they characterise your street scene, while matching with your immediate neighbours will keep things uniform and neat. Although white paint will make your exterior feel crisp and clean, it can look dirty very quickly – especially if your home is on a high-traffic road. Classic cream is a good option and it will stay fresher for longer but be cautious when using grey as it can cast a prison-like gloom over your exterior.  

Perfection starts with preparation 

Painting your home’s exterior isn’t as simple as applying a new coat on top of what’s already there, so prepare in advance if you want your new paint job to last. The mantra at Dulux is ‘clean, fix and prime’ and its Decorating Centre guide to getting the perfect exterior paint finish is a must read before you pick up a paintbrush. 

Lessen the impact of outdated exteriors

If you have inherited an exterior treatment that’s fallen out of fashion, there is good news. You can paint over 1970s stone cladding and 1980s pebble dashing but you may have to opt for professional spray paint coverage in order to get the best finish due to the texture. Although pro-decorators will always recommend stripping off any exterior treatments and re-rendering for a flawless outcome, it’s an expensive process and a coat of paint can be effective ahead of a property sale.

Don’t forget, always opt for specific exterior masonry paint that’s designed to withstand UK weather, choose a window of fine, dry weather to complete your painting project and inform neighbours of your plans, especially if you have to put ladders or protective coverings on their property.

If you’re wondering whether that lovely shade of lilac would look good on your exterior, or you’re pondering whether to paint over any original brickwork, call us for our professional opinion.

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Lettings Group 1

Is now the time to become a limited company landlord?

Being a landlord is about running a profitable investment, but for some, it is becoming harder to protect margins and generate a meaningful income. Now is a good time to examine your landlord status  – is it best to be a private operator or a limited company?

Before we delve into the recent trend for limited company landlord status, let’s set the record straight about property investment. Of 700 landlords questioned by BVA BDRC for Paragon Bank, 47% of property investors who owned between 1 and 5 rental homes planned to buy a further buy-to-let property or properties over the next 12 months, confident that rental demand will continue to grow in the UK.

With investors remaining active, thoughts turn to gaining a financial edge in a sector that seeks to strategically tax the private landlord. The same Paragon Bank research found the number of buy-to-let landlords planning to purchase properties through a limited company structure has increased every year for the past three years. 

It appears the desire is specifically growing in 2022. Of those questioned by Paragon, 50% of landlords in the first quarter of the year intended to buy as a limited company. This figure had risen to 62% in the second quarter. Portfolio landlords are most likely to follow the limited company path, with 78% of landlords who own six or more properties planning to use this set up for their next purchases.

So why are an increasing number of landlords turning their back on private landlord status? Many are using limited companies as a way of reducing costs and improving profit margins. It isn’t for everyone, however, and landlords need to undertake thorough research specific to their individual circumstances before any switch is made.

The biggest advantage to operating as a limited company lies in the rate at which profits are taxed. While private landlords pay income tax on their rental profits, limited company landlords pay corporation tax. Currently, the basic rate of income tax is 20%, the higher rate is 40% and the additional rate is 45%. Conversely, corporation tax currently stands at 19%. 

It’s worth remembering that corporation tax rates can go up as well as down and any increase may wipe out a tax advantage. In fact, there are scheduled hikes to corporation tax planned for 1st April 2023. Limited company landlords earning more than £50,000 from their property investments will be taxed anywhere between 20% and 25%, although a change in Conservative leadership and a possible snap General Election may delay or alter this planned raise.  

Another advantage of operating as a limited company makes itself known when it comes to completing tax returns. New property tax rules phased in between 2017 and 2020 saw private landlords lose the ability to deduct mortgage interest payments from their income. This left many landlords with a more expensive tax bill, and it has also pushed some landlords into a higher tax bracket. Landlords operating as a limited company, however, remain able to offset the full interest amount against their profits, as the interest is deemed a deductible expense. 

There are other advantages to becoming a limited company landlord. Many prefer the simpler taxation applied when property investment assets are sold – a limited company landlord doesn’t have to pay capital gains tax but they will have to pay corporation tax, which is felt by many to be a simpler payment. 

There’s also less personal exposure when buy-to-lets are held within a limited company, as all personal assets are separate. In addition, there are a number of ways to pay yourself an income when operating as a limited company – many of which allow for a more tax-efficient existence. 

Before you join the increasing number of limited company landlords, familiarise yourself with your own circumstances. If you are a basic rate taxpayer, only own one buy-to-let property or don’t have time for an increased level of business administration, you may benefit from staying as a private landlord. 

Becoming a limited company property investor should only be done in tandem with independent taxation, financial and property advice. Contact us if you would like to speak with an impartial expert.

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Lettings Group 2

Private landlord v. limited company: the pros and cons

Being a private landlord has been the norm in buy-to-let for many years but detrimental changes to property taxation since 2017 have led to an increasing number of landlords starting their own companies as a tax-efficient investment vehicle.

In fact, a survey commissioned by Paragon Bank found 50% of landlords questioned in Q1 of 2022 intended to purchase a buy-to-let as a limited company – a figure that rose to 62% in Q2 of this year. When it came to specifics, 78% of portfolio landlords – those who own more than six properties – are most likely to form a limited company to make their next purchase. 

If you’re tempted to make the change from private landlord to a limited company – or are wondering what set-up to adopt as you start your property investment journey – here are some points to weigh up:-

Pros and cons of a limited company landlord

Pros

  • You can offset mortgage interest against the tax bill
  • Pays corporation tax, currently at 19% and lower than income tax
  • No capital gains tax to pay when an investment property is sold
  • Tax bills can be lower for higher and additional rate tax payers
  • Personal assets, such as a family home and car, are kept separate
  •  Different tax-efficient ways of receiving property income

Cons

  • Time required to set up, register and run a company compliantly
  • Corporation tax is due on financial gains earned from a property sale
  • Not entitled to use any capital gains tax-free allowance when paying corporation tax on profit 
  • Accounts and tax returns are likely to be more complex, requiring a paid-for accountant
  • Not always beneficial for basic-rate tax payers and single-property landlords
  • Possibility of higher mortgage rates and more costly arrangement fees when borrowing using a limited company mortgage 

Pros and cons of being a private landlord

Pros

  • Completes a standard self-assessment tax return, which is simple and can be self-managed for free
  •  Can purchase an investment property using a standard buy-to-let mortgage
  • Personal details are not released into public domains
  • No need to submit articles of association

Cons

  • No longer able to offset mortgage interest against the tax bill
  • Currently pays income tax, which is either 20%, 40% or 45% of profit
  • Personal assets can be compromised should the landlord get into financial difficulty
  • Will not benefit from any reduction in corporation tax
  • Rental income may prompt the payment of Class 2 National Insurance

Switching properties to limited company

Existing private landlords can transfer the properties they own to a limited company but the process is complex and expensive. Effectively, the owner has to sell the properties as a private landlord and their new company has to buy them. This process involves paying out twice, as the landlord must pay capital gains tax on the sale, while the company has to pay stamp duty – including the 3% surcharge – upon completion. Landlords considering this switch will need astute financial advice as to whether the limited company benefits will outweigh the double tax bill.

What does a change in Conservative leadership mean for landlords?

This is an interesting point. As it stands, landlords with properties in a limited company earning more than £50,000 will face a higher tax bill from 1st April 2023. From this date corporation tax will rise from 19% to between 20% and 25%, depending on a landlord’s personal circumstances.

Liz Truss – one of two candidates vying for the Conservative leadership position – has said she will scrap the planned corporation tax rise if she is elected. Rishi Sunak, the other remaining candidate, has had to be coy about his tax pledges. Sunak instigated the planned corporation tax rise, so vowing to cancel this hike would go against his own policies. He has, however, pledged to ‘get the tax burden down’ once he’s got a ‘grip on inflation’.

If you’re toying with the idea of becoming a limited company landlord, we strongly suggest you speak with an independent tax adviser as well as a financial expert.

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Lettings Group 1 Sales Group 1

What do Government changes mean for your property plans?

If you follow politics, you’ll know it’s a case of ‘all change’ at the Conservative party. While the headline news is the resignation of our Prime Minister and the voting-in of a new leader, there was a reshuffling within the lower ranks that may have an effect on the property market. 

Those waiting for news on the second phase of leasehold reforms may be waiting longer than anticipated. As a reminder, the Government pledged it would make it easier and cheaper for people to extend their leases with zero ground rent for 990 years.

Only as recently as 13th June 2022 did Lord Greenhalgh, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ (DLUHC) representative in the House of Lords, confirm that the Government was committed to making further leasehold changes in this Parliament (by 2024).

Lord Greenhalgh resigned not long after, casting doubt on how quickly part two of the reforms will be actioned. This was the first in a trio of property department changes. Housing Minister Stuart Andrew submitted his resignation soon after Lord Greenhalgh, while Michael Gove – the head of the DLUHC – was sacked by Boris Johnson in quick succession.  

The latter is of interest for those waiting for the Renters’ Reform Bill to be enacted as law. This reform – together with the accompanying Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper – was the brainchild of outgoing Gove, with the document fully endorsed by Johnson.

Industry experts are already speculating whether the change of guard – Greg Clark as the new DLUHC leader and Marcus Jones as the new housing minister – will further delay new lettings laws, as it’s unproven whether the fresh appointments share the same rental views as Johnson and Gove. 

One thing that Gove and Clark have agreed on is a resolution to end the UK’s cladding crisis. Clark’s first public pledge was to lock major housebuilders into remediating and funding work to rid high rise buildings of unsafe cladding. Clark has also pledged to rebuild relationships with housebuilders to increase the supply of new homes – a move welcomed by developers across the country.

Once the new-look Conservative party has settled, it’s quite possible that a General Election will happen sooner than 2024. A snap election would see incumbent and shadow MPs make vote-winning pledges, so we’ll be watching for eye-catching announcements on stamp duty and property tax.

If you would like to discuss how incoming reforms may affect your property plans, contact us today. 

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Lettings Group 2 Sales Group 2

4 things a new-look Conservative party might mean for property

The Prime Minister’s resignation, a high-profile sacking and a raft of new appointments have given the ruling Conservative party a brand new look. 

New faces in the Government’s housing departments come at a critical time for the property industry, with a number of new rules, regulations and laws waiting to come into force. The sacking of Michael Gove was the start of a completely different MP line-up, with the outgoing Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) replaced by Greg Clark. 

In addition, Marcus Jones has been installed as the new Housing Minister after the resignation of Stuart Andrew, while Lord Greenhalgh, the representative responsible for overseeing the DLUHC’s business in the House of Lords, also handed in his notice.

While the ministerial changes are part of a wider bid to freshen up the Conservative party ahead of a possible snap general election, there could be imminent changes to the way we buy, sell, rent and invest in property as a result. Here are four watchpoints for the property market:-

  1. The Renters’ Reform Bill may be delayed: the property industry is rumbling with rumours of a delay to the much-hyped Renters’ Reform Bill. With Gove, the initiative’s creator, now out of the picture and Parliament’s summer recess pending, any new laws and regulations may be reconsidered or implemented at a later date. We’ll monitor the situation and relay any updates as soon as they happen.
  2. Cladding is Greg Clark’s priority: in his first media address since his appointment as the DLUHC head, Clark confirmed expediting a solution to the UK’s cladding crisis was the top of his agenda. He has given major housebuilders a four-week deadline to sign up to remediation work contracts, giving hope to property owners whose cladding has been deemed unsafe. Where other new property laws sit on his agenda remains to be seen.
  3. Uncertainty over part II of leasehold reforms: while part one of the Government’s leasehold reforms are in place – with newly-created leases now free of ground rent – doubt has been cast over how quickly part two will come into effect. While Lord Greenhalgh reconfirmed that reforms to make it cheaper and easier for existing leases to be extended to 990 years with zero ground rent would happen, his exit puts a question mark on how quickly phase two of the reforms will be introduced.
  4. The number of new homes built should rise: there is good news for fans of new build homes – and for all home movers who’d like to see a more fluid property market with more stock. Clark has declared a resetting of the Government’s relationship with housebuilders so they are more free to build more properties. Encouragingly, conversations with the House Builders’ Federation are already underway.

For now, the property market continues as normal. Please contact us if you are ready to sell or let your property.

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Sales Group 2

How does your garden grow… in value?

Gardens and balconies have never been in more demand so if you have one of these aspects and are thinking of selling, you’ll already have the upper hand and should be able to command a higher sale price. 

TV star and property expert Phil Spencer has been quoted as saying a well-kept garden can boost a home’s value by as much as 20%, while installers Bespoke Frameless Glass claim a balcony can add as much as 12% to a property’s price. Even the orientation of your outside space matters, with a south facing garden adding over £6,000 in value.

While you can’t usually change the type of outside space you have – or which way your garden faces – you can control the elements that are within. Roofing Megastore identified which garden features add the most value to a property so movers can make shrewd outdoor changes before the ‘for sale’ sign goes up.

Top 10 garden features that add value

  1.     Conservatory                                      +£8,449
  2.     Home office garden room                +£7,261
  3.     Gym/studio room in the garden      +£7,124
  4.     Orangery                                             +£6,595
  5.     Outdoor kitchen                                 +£6,385
  6.     Outdoor entertaining/dining area  +£6,164
  7.     Hot tub                                                +£5,809
  8.     New paved patio                                +£5,752
  9.     New decking area                              +£5,638
  10.     Garden bar                                         +£5,624

If you want to make smaller changes to your garden but you’d still like to improve your home’s value, why not choose one of these? A built-in pizza oven; a built-in outdoor BBQ; a children’s treehouse; a greenhouse, and mature plants, trees and flowers can increase a property’s worth by more than £5,000. 

The experts have even identified which plants will make buyers part with more pounds. When GetAgent asked gardener Craig Wilson from Gardener’s Dream for his top three value-adding plants, hydrangeas, peonies and eucalyptus were singled out as money-making species.  

10 garden mistakes that can devalue your property

Roofing Megastore also collated data on the garden aspects that can knock thousands of pounds off a home’s value. If you want to attract the highest offers, sellers should avoid, fix or eradicate the following: 

  1.     A mouldy or dirty conservatory roof
  2.     Damaged garden walls
  3.     A lack of a lawn
  4.     Broken guttering
  5.     Cracked or damaged patio
  6.     Invasive or damaging plants
  7.     Old or mouldy decking
  8.     Damaged decking
  9.     Rubbish or debris in the garden
  10.     Broken fences

Each of the above could wipe more than £5,000 off your home’s selling price, so if any of these apply, put them on your maintenance list ahead of a sale.

If you have a garden or balcony and are looking to sell this summer, ensure you keep your outdoor space neat, weed-free and ready to show at a moment’s notice. Ensure garden furniture is set out attractively, keep lawns mowed, and tidy away toys before photographs are taken and ahead of viewings. If you’d like more detailed moving advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Categories
Sales Group 1

Add value with these garden additions

The topic of adding value to a property is something extensively covered in the press but not every suggestion you read about is practical, affordable or enjoyable. What if, however, there were a number of ways to add value with items you may already be thinking about buying or installing this summer?  

Look no further than your garden. It won’t have escaped your notice that outside space on its own is one of the best ‘added value’ aspects of property, with a well-kept garden widely believed to add between 10% and 20% to a home’s value. 

A recent piece of research by Roofing Megastore set out to identify the garden facets that added the most value to a property. While some of the most substantial and permanent garden improvements see the biggest returns (adding a conservatory, a home office garden room, a gym/studio or an orangery will result in the most value, all increasing a property’s price by at least £6,500), there are a number of more modest and on-trend additions with surprising returns.

If you’re determined to make the most of your garden this summer before going on the market, you may like to consider this year’s al fresco must-have – the outdoor kitchen. Having a dedicated place to cook outside can add £6,385 to your home’s value and if you look up ‘outdoor kitchen hacks’ online, you’ll find some budget-friendly tips, tricks and DIY solutions. 

Also bringing joy this summer and adding value at the same time is the hot tub (+£5,752); a garden bar (+£5,624); a built-in pizza oven (+£5,135) and a built-in outdoor BBQ (+£5,135). The research also found a new paved patio, a new decking area, a children’s treehouse, a greenhouse, and mature plants, trees and flowers all added more than £5,000 in value. 

On the last point, even your choice of plants can create an uplift to your property’s price. GetAgent teamed up with gardener Craig Wilson from Gardener’s Dream to identify what plants add the most pounds. If you’re potting up tubs or sprucing up borders, Wilson says hydrangeas, peonies and eucalyptus will add value.  

When it comes to devaluing property, there’s one plant that will dent the price and that’s Japanese Knotweed. It’s an invasive species not sold in garden centres but it can spread from neighbouring gardens, sidings and embankments.

If you think you have Japanese Knotweed, you’ll need to call in a registered expert to confirm its presence and treat the plant before you go on the market. If you don’t and Japanese Knotweed is identified in your survey report, a buyer may find it problematic to get a mortgage on your property.

Gardens really do hold great appeal, so sellers should pay attention to lawns, beds, borders and furniture. If you’d like advice about how to present your garden ahead of a sale, please get in touch.

Categories
Market Reports Group 1

Latest: July property market report

June is over and where did that month go? The mid-point of 2022 is pivotal in the property calendar – with six months of trading behind us. All eyes are on the market’s momentum and whether demand is being maintained. 

Our first indication on how brisk trade is comes from analysis by a comparison site. GetAgent found 1 in 10 homes were selling within 2 weeks of launching to market. In areas where there was a shortage of properties for sale, this figure was 1 in 5 properties.

Government figures confirm price surge

While many house price indexes reflect activity in the previous month, there is one version that is published with a delay. The Government’s own house price index from its Land Registry department reflects the price paid for a property at the time of completion. It is, therefore, widely regarded as the most accurate of the indexes.

Double digit price growth

The Government’s latest data reflects property completions until the end of April. It shows house prices in the UK has risen by 12.4% in the year to date. This was up from a rise of 9.7% in March, illustrating how price appreciation has gained pace. The data also put the price of an average UK home at £281,161.

While this retrospective analysis formalises the red-hot property market experienced in 2022, future movers will be more concerned with what’s happening now. Rightmove’s real time data gives an indication of the current state of play. The portal says the average price of a property coming to market has hit a new high.

The revised average price of £368,614 marks the fifth consecutive record of the year. The devil is in the detail, however. Prices have risen a modest 0.3% in the last month, showing that while there is still room for appreciation, the rate of growth is slowing. 

This comes as no surprise, as market conditions are following a familiar pattern. We expect a slight cooling of the market when the Bank of England raises the interest rate. In June, the rate increased by 0.25 percentage points to 1.25%. Concurrently, we are entering into the peak summer months when activity begins to moderate.

These factors, however, are not dampening the appetite of buyers and sellers. Rightmove’s analysis also found demand for properties remains strong. In fact, demand is more than double (+113%) the pre-pandemic five-year average seen in May. By the end of the year, the portal forecasts house price growth will rest at around 5%.

Another rise in rental values

The rental market continues to mirror the sales one. Figures from May 2022 are the most recent to date, with HomeLet’s index showing the average rental price for a new tenancy in the UK is now £1,103 per calendar month. This is a rise of 1.1% when compared to values in April.

While the month-on-month rise is moderate, a true reflection of how the rental market has changed can be gained from annual figures. HomeLet reported that rents rose 10.6% between May 2021 and May 2022, with every UK region seeing annual growth above 5%.

White Paper sets out new lettings laws

Although sales and rental values are of immediate interest, June was also a month to look ahead. The Renters’ Reform Bill finally yielded its associated White Paper. Entitled Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper, this document lays down how lettings law will change in the coming months.

Confirmed is a ban on Section 21 evictions; the end of fixed-term tenancies in favour of periodic ones; a fairer approach to tenants with pets, children and a benefits-based income; a new Decent Homes Standard; a new private renters’ ombudsman to resolve disputes, and rental rises that are capped to once a year. 

If you would like to know more about your local property market, please get in touch.

Categories
Market Reports Group 2

July’s property market analysis

If you thought summer was a slow time in property, you need to refresh your thinking. The month of June yielded many talking points; crystallising what a tremendous six months we’ve just experienced, shedding light on the current market and giving an indication of what lies ahead.

Here we discuss house prices, rental values and major changes to lettings. There’s also a new UK average house price and a new Bank of England base rate. If you want to know how any of the points affect your property plans, please get in touch.

The most accurate data revealed

June saw a glut of house price and rental value data, reflecting activity in the last few months. The latest UK HPI – the Government’s own house price index compiled using Land Registry data – makes for interesting reading. It’s an important property marker as it uses the price paid on completion for accuracy.

Real time snapshots

The most recent UK HPI is for April 2022. It revealed UK house prices had risen by 12.4% between April 2021 and April 2022. In April alone, house prices had risen 1.1%, with the average UK home now valued at £281,161. 

In England, detached homes had seen the biggest year-on-year value rise (14.2%), followed by semi-detached properties (13.2%) and terraced dwellings (11.4%). Flats and maisonettes had risen in value by 7%.

In lettings, an accurate snapshot comes from a set of May figures. The UK’s average monthly rent remains above £1,000 per calendar month (pcm), according to HomeLet’s most recent statistics. Tenants were asked to pay £1,103 pcm in May – 1.1% more than in April.

For the record, the largest monthly rent increase noted in May was 1.6%. As a result, the average rent rose 10.6% between May 2021 and May 2022. There was annual uplift of at least 5% in every UK region, with the biggest annual hike registered at 15.7%. 

1 in 10 homes selling within 2 weeks

When it comes to speed of sales, GetAgent found 11% of homes are sold, subject to contract, within 14 days of launching. In some areas, 1 in 5 homes are selling within two weeks. It says this reflects a persistent lack of stock.  

Rightmove provides another source of real-time data. It analysed the asking price of new listings to see if values were rising. The price of a property for sale rose +£1,113 in June when compared to May, with a new average of £368,614. This is the fifth consecutive record of the year, with demand for properties 6% higher now than at the same point last year. 

More homes for sale coming to market

For buyers concerned by a lack of choice, Rightmove’s figures suggest the tide is turning. It says the number of properties for sale is up 7% when compared to the same time in 2021. The portal also suggests house price growth is on track to be 5% by the end of 2022.

The future of lettings laid out 

We finally know how the private rental sector will change, thanks to the publication of the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper. In the future, fixed-term tenancies will be phased out, to be replaced by period tenancies, and Section 21 evictions will be outlawed. It will also be easier for tenants with pets and children to find a rental, and there will be a fairer deal for those in receipt of benefits.

New introductions also include a Decent Homes Standard; a private renters’ ombudsman; a new online hub for landlords and a cap on how frequently landlords can raise the rent – pegged back to once annually.  

If you would like to know more about your local property market, please get in touch.

Categories
Lettings Group 2

Landlords: 6 thing landlords need to know about the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper

Landlords and tenants will soon see changes to how tenancies are run, thanks to incoming legislation changes enforced by the Government. Letting agents across the country are digesting the contents of the new Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper

Our role is to support landlords in implementing what’s new, ensuring their buy-to-lets are legally compliant at all times. Ahead of the White Paper contents becoming law, we summarise the key points that need considering now:-

1. Changes to tenancy types & evictions 

The Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper confirms the intention to scrap Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions. Landlords will need a reason from a set list in order to end a tenancy lawfully, rather than simply tell tenants to leave with no reason. It is thought that regaining a property for the landlord to live in or sell on will be one of the acceptable reasons soon to be defined in law.

There are, however, addendums to this incoming reform. There will be improvements to the eviction process, in favour of the landlord, where the tenant is frequently involved in anti-social behaviour or is in rent arrears. On the flipside, it will be easier for renters to walk away from a tenancy agreement as fixed term tenancies will be banned. In their place, all tenancy agreements will be issued on a periodic basis, leaving tenants freer to leave a property when they wish.

2. Discrimination against some rental groups will end

Landlords have been able to exclude some groups from renting their property but this will come to an end. The White Paper will forbid landlords from making blanket bans on renters with children and tenants who receive benefits. All tenants, however, will still have to meet the landlord’s pre-set criteria and pass the referencing process.

In addition, all tenants will be able to request a pet move in with them, which the landlord must think about and cannot unreasonably refuse. To make this an easier law for landlords to embrace, the landlord can insist that the tenant has specific pet insurance.

3. Rent rises will be capped to once a year

Rent rises are unavoidable but to make it fairer for tenants, the notice period landlords give renters will double. In addition, the frequency at which rent rises can be applied will be capped to once a year. It is thought landlords wishing to increase the rent will have to use a Section 13 notice to do so or insert a rent review clause into the period agreement.

4. Living conditions will be standardised

The Government’s concerns over health and safety in private rented properties will be addressed by a new Decent Homes Standard. This already operates in the social housing sector but it will apply to all privately rented homes for the first time as part of the reforms. The Decent Homes Standard will run alongside the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, and the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.

 5. A new private renters’ ombudsman will be set up

Calls for specific housing courts have been dismissed at this stage but a new private renters’ ombudsman will be created instead. The aim will be for an impartial body to resolve disputes between tenants and landlords, without the need to go to court. Issues, such as disagreeing over deposit deductions and rent rises, will be settled without high-level judicial involvement. 

6. A new advice & information portal will be launched

With hundreds of rules, regulations and now new laws for landlords to comply with, the Government will create a single online portal for landlords, listing every compliance item, together with useful property set-up and management advice. It is not known as yet whether it will be mandatory for landlords to register with the portal.

 We are working to advise our landlords on how the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper will affect current tenancies and future buy-to-lets. You can contact us for tailored lettings advice and to discuss any aspect of the rental reforms.

Categories
Lettings Group 1

Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper: your questions answered

After years of delays and deliberations, the Renters’ Reform Bill has finally been crystalised in its associated White Paper. Titled the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper: a new deal for renting, the contents will soon become law and shape the way lettings is run. We’ve pre-empted the most common questions landlords may ask, and provided our answers.

Q. Why is this White Paper so important?
A. White papers are policy documents produced by the Government that set out their proposals for future legislation. What is contained in the Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper will soon become law, representing the biggest change to buy-to-let since the Housing Act 2004.

Q. Are Section 21 evictions being banned?
A. Yes. The White Paper confirms that Section 21 evictions – also known as ‘no fault’ evictions – will be abolished. Previously, landlords didn’t have to give a reason for ending a tenancy when they used a Section 21. In the future, there will be a very limited number of reasons why a landlord can ask tenants to leave.

Q. Will it be harder to regain my buy-to-let property?
A. Although Section 21s will end, the Government is going to make it easier for landlords to regain their property if their tenants are repeatedly involved in anti-social behaviour and/or those who are in serious rent arrears. It’s also thought that landlords will be able to give notice should they want to sell the property or move back in themselves, although details on this part of the legislation await confirmation.

Q. Is it true that I’ll have to accept renters with children, those on benefits and pets?
A. Not always. Although the White Paper says there will be a blanket ban on refusing to rent to families with children, for those tenants in receipt of benefits and those with domestic animals, there will be exceptions and each tenancy will be treated on an individual basis, taking affordability into account. The new measures do suggest, however, that landlords will be able to insist tenants with pets take out mandatory pet insurance as part of the qualifying criteria.

Q. How can I raise the rent in the future?
A. The new White Paper states that rent rises can only happen once, annually, and if this is the landlord’s intention, all rent rises will have to go through the statutory Section 13 process. Landlords will also have to give tenants much longer notice if they plan to increase the rent.

Q. Am I going to have to improve standards in my buy-to-let?
A. Possibly. The new White Paper states the Decent Homes Standard that already applies to social housing will also apply to privately rented properties. There are minimum living standards to meet but most landlords are already complying with these, thanks to the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, and the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.

Q. Will there be a new way for disputes to be resolved?
A. Yes, as the Government will set up a private renters’ ombudsman to avoid disputes going to court. The ombudsman would step in to mediate if a tenant disagreed with a rent rise, decided to challenge a refusal to keep a pet or wanted a rent refund as a result of substandard living conditions.

Q. Will there be a ‘rogue landlord’ register?
A. Not as such. A new online portal is to be launched, heralding a one place where all a landlord’s legal buy-to-let obligations, together with lettings advice, is set out. It’s unclear at the moment whether registering for the portal will be compulsory and if it is, it will create a landlord’s register by default.

Q. Are there any changes to deposits?
A. There are no changes to the tenancy deposit system outlined in this White Paper. It was thought there could be a shift towards lifetime deposits but there is nothing in the White Paper to suggest this will become law soon, although the idea is still in development.

Q. And what’s changing in terms of tenancies?
A. Fixed term tenancies will become a thing of the past, with all tenants moving over to periodic tenancies. Tenants will be able to exit their agreement more easily and when they want, with some notice, rather than wait for a fixed timeframe to end.

The Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper appears in full on the Government’s website but if you’d like any clarification, do call our lettings team.

Categories
Lifestyle Group 1

The spare room reinvented

If you were lucky enough to have a spare bedroom in 2020, there is a high chance that you shoved the bed to one side (or got rid of it altogether) to make way for a home office.  In fact, ​​a report from Zoopla suggests that some nine million bedrooms were lost during the pandemic to other uses.

While repurposing a spare room for professional purposes was a necessity that can now be reversed, with workers being recalled to the office, a new study has revealed we’re not quite ready to reinstate the bed.

Recent research by Hillarys set out to establish how our revised home habits have changed our approach to space. Its survey of  2,200 homeowners found 43% of UK properties no longer have a spare room for guests following the pandemic. New uses for a spare rooms include a kid’s playroom (41%), a gaming room (27%), a second living room/quiet room (26%), extra storage, such as a walk-in wardrobe (12%) and a home gym (8%).

When pressed on whether they would convert the space back to a spare room, only 21% of those taking part in Hillary’s survey admitted they might or have already, with the rest (79%) keeping the rooms as they currently are.

The big spare room debate

If you’re thinking of selling your property in the future, you might like to know that one property expert warns that hobby rooms may be detrimental to a sale. Gregory Smith at PriceYourJob says rooms that have been given a highly-personalised purpose – such as a gym – may actually put purchasers off as they may not see the space as beneficial to them.

It’s also worth remembering that the marketing value of a property is usually linked to how many bedrooms it has, so a spare bedroom conversion that’s very hard to reverse needs careful consideration. 

And what about spare rooms that are just that….spare? One property platform analysed data to confirm just how much underused space is worth. Boomin’ found that each spare room in the current UK market is valued at £42,000. It poses the question whether more property owners could downsize, cashing in on the current size of their property, to buy something with fewer – but well used – bedrooms.

Before you reinvent your spare bedroom into a self-care space, a yoga studio or a home cinema, ask us how this may affect the future prospects of your property. Our team is available to offer home moving advice and a property valuation.

Categories
Lifestyle Group 2

Self-care crosses over into the home

Self-care’ is a concept that’s gained momentum in the last two years, especially as we look to rebalance our lives after the pandemic. Although what may immediately spring to mind is a walk in the countryside or an hour-long aromatherapy massage, the self-care trend has crossed over into our homes.

A new study has shown how self-care is shaping where we live. Not On The High Street recently questioned Brits on the matter of what it calls ‘self spaces’ – rooms devoted to self-care, hobbies or leisure activities. 

The study found people in 2022 wanted to enjoy more ‘me time’ (68%), maintain a better work/life balance (58%) and spend more time on hobbies (66%). As a result, many were thinking about creating a room in their home dedicated to their passions and more holistic past-times. In fact, research revealed over a third of us have already designated a space where we can practice a form of self-care – not surprising when 7 in 10 people said they felt most relaxed while at home.

This rising interior trend is already having an effect on the property market. Almost half (48%) of those taking part in the research said a self-care room would be a priority when looking for their next home.  

To quantify just how important self-care has become, Not On The High Street asked people what was most essential within the home. It found some Brits felt a self-care room was more important than a new kitchen (38%), a new en-suite bathroom (39%), a new living room (37%) or a new garden (37%).

According to the online retailer, our top 10 self-care spaces are: 

  1.     Reading corner (16%)
  2.     Gym (16%)
  3.     Walk in wardrobe (14%)
  4.     Cinema room (14%)
  5.     ‘Man cave’ (14%)
  6.     Music room (13%)
  7.     Arts and crafts studio (12%)
  8.     Gaming room (12 %)
  9.     Study room (11%)
  10.     Mini library (10%)

Stay flexible when it comes to self-care

Interior trends come and go, so before you rush out to reconfigure your property or install permanent pieces of gym equipment, think about how versatile the room could be, especially when it comes to selling or renting out your property in the future.

Retaining flexibility can be achieved by using freestanding furniture that isn’t screwed or nailed down; using screens to divide rooms on a temporary basis; opting for multi-purpose furniture, such as a snooker table that converts into a dining table, and keeping the décor neutral.

Easy self-care ideas to introduce

Adding an element of self-care to your day doesn’t have to involve a dedicated room. Why not try one of these small-scale ideas instead? 

  • Encourage a spa-like ambience in your bathroom: clear away empty toiletry bottles, buy a fresh set of fluffy towels and light candles instead of turning on a harsh overhead light.
  • Find bedroom bliss: banish the TV from the bedroom and instead, play a soothing soundtrack of music you may hear when going for a massage.
  • Create a reading corner: just add a comfy chair, a side table for your coffee, a freestanding lamp and a pile of classic novels.
  •  Install a window seat: if you have a window with a view, think about installing a window seat as there’s something meditative about simply watching the world go by.
  • Make a mindfulness zone: clear clutter and minimise distractions to create a place to practice mindfulness or meditation.

If you are searching for a new home and a self-care space is on your ‘most wanted’ list, talk to us about available properties.

Categories
Sales Group 1

5 things buyers DON’T want to discover about your home

Whether the property market is running hot or cooling down with the seasonal shift, buyers will always have a vision of what they want their next home to be – and your property for sale might be full of off-putting aspects. 

A new study by Tapi has identified the top five home-related turn-offs, together with five aspects that make people feel positive about a property. 

  1.     A property that needs a lot of work doing to it

While some buyers have their heart set on a ‘doer-upper’ that can be ripped apart, stripped back and rebuilt to their own liking, almost half (45%) of those questioned said a home that needed too much work was a non-starter. What many purchasers are looking for is a home they can move into and enjoy from day one, without booking a plumber, electrician or builder.

  1.     A property in need of complete redecoration

Buyers are not fond of homes where the standard of decoration is of an acquired taste or of a tatty standard. In fact, 22% of those taking part in the study said the need to completely redecorate would put them off a property. If your rooms are painted in vibrant shades or the walls covered in crayon scribbles, a trip to a DIY store may be required. 

  1.     An old kitchen

While some kitchen cabinet, tile and worktop combinations can stand the test of time, 28% of buyers would discount a property if it had an old kitchen that needed replacing. As well as a dislike of dated doors, damaged surfaces and greasy tiles, 12% of people taking part in the same survey said they were looking for modern appliances.

  1.     Too much noise

Sometimes it’s not what’s in your property that will put off potential buyers but what’s outside. Lots of external noise was a negative for 43% of those taking part in the study. While there’s not much you can do about living under a flight path, next to a railway line or beneath a heavy-footed family fond of shuffling furniture, you can investigate a number of ambient improvements, such as triple glazing, soundproofing, more absorbent floorings and using trees as a noise buffer.

  1.     Unsightly surroundings in eye view of the property

An attractive view is very important to some buyers, with 36% saying an eyesore visible from the property would prompt them to discount it. If the offending sight is within the seller’s boundary – such as an overgrown garden or a skip on the driveway – they have the power to change the view quite easily. If it’s a sight outside of their control, it may be possible to obscure the view with screening, plants, fencing or partial frosting to windows.

5 things buyers DO want to discover

The same Tapi survey identified property aspects that buyers did want to see when viewing a property.

  1.     private outdoor space (52%)
  2.     a new kitchen (51%)
  3.     a new bathroom (42%)
  4.     freshly painted walls (20%) 
  5.     neutral colours (19%)

With this knowledge, sellers can upgrade their property before it goes on the market, with a few tweaks giving it wider appeal. When it comes to more ambitious improvements, consult with us as to whether the cost of a new kitchen or bathroom will be recouped when selling. We can also discuss pricing your property to take external factors – such as noise and visual distractions – into account.

Categories
Sales Group 2

Property positives & negatives: what puts buyers off?

For many, selling up represents a decision to leave a property that the owner has invested time and money into making it a home. Others, however, may have fallen out of love with where they live, letting it get a little ‘rough around the edges.’ 

Like or loathe your current home, it’s not the opinion of the seller that counts. As soon as that ‘for sale’ sign is up, all that matters is what buyers think about the property and how much they’re willing to pay to make it theirs.

 New research from Tapi was commissioned to establish the top five negatives that put potential purchasers off. It’s a study that has been carried out numerous times by different people but after the last two years and many people making lifestyle changes, it’s good to get a fresh perspective on what may scupper a property sale.

The research found a home that needed a lot of work doing to it was the most off-putting aspect, with 45% of those taking part in the research saying they’d pass on a property if it needed too much modernising or maintenance.

On a similar theme, 22% of participants commented that they’d discount a property that needed complete redecoration, while 28% would be deterred if the home had an old kitchen that needed replacing.

The other two aspects in the top five property negatives really fall outside of the seller’s control. Purchasers value their peace and quiet, with 43% of respondents saying they’d snub a property if there was a lot of external noise pollution. Completing the list was unsightly surroundings in eye view of the property – a negative cited by 36% of people.

Rather than dwelling exclusively on the adverse, the study also asked what people found most attractive when looking for a new home. Unsurprisingly, more than half of Brits (52%) said private outdoor space was the most important factor when searching for a new home.

Just behind a garden or a balcony was a new kitchen, with 51% saying this was a top consideration when looking for a property to buy. Another feature that finds favour with home movers is a new bathroom, with 42% of respondents saying this was very important to them. Other property plus points included freshly painted walls (20%), new flooring (15%), modern appliances (12%) and neutral colours (19%).

Before you rush out to buy a new kitchen or rip out your bathroom, talk to us about the financial investment needed to make improvements versus the actual value and appeal it will add to your property. Sometimes the simplest (and cheapest) alterations, such as tidying the garden and repainting throughout in white, can make all the difference. Contact us for free advice and a property valuation.