Property Sales

  • Housing Report - May 2018

    Posted in Property Sales on Jun 28, 2018

    Housing market prepares for summer slow-down.

    Key findings:

    • The number of homeowners selling up increased in May, as sellers tried to secure offers before the annual summer slow-down.
    • Demand from house hunters also rose, as buyers sought to get their offers accepted.
    • The number of sales agreed per branch stayed the same.

    Supply of properties:

    • The number of properties available to buy increased by 12 per cent in May, as sellers anticipated a summer slow-down and raced to get offers secured.
    • There were 37 homes available per branch in May, compared to 33 in April .
    • During the summer months, the market is typically quieter, as buyers and sellers head abroad in search of sun. In line with this, supply has increased every May since 2015 .
    • Year on year, the number of sellers marketing their properties is down from 40 in May 2017, and looking at a ten-year comparison, it’s down 62 per cent from 97 in May 2008.

    Number of properties available to buy per branch over a ten-year period.

    Demand for housing:

    • Demand from prospective buyers increased from 337 in April, to 351 in May, as house hunters set out to have offers accepted before their summer holidays
    • Year on year, there hasn’t been much movement as May 2017 saw 350 house hunters registered per branch, but looking at a two-year comparison, demand has increased hugely. In May 2016 there were 304 buyers registered per branch, marking a 15 per cent increase over the last two years.

    Sales to first-time buyers and sales per branch:

    • For the fourth month running, the number of sales agreed stood at eight per branch, and for the second month in a row, 24 per cent of these were made to FTBs
    • Year on year, the number of sales agreed is down from 10 in May 2017, while the percentage of those which were made to FTBs is also down from 26 per cent last year.

    Mark Hayward, Chief Executive of the National Association of Estate Agents said: “We see this every year. House hunters desperate to get their offer accepted, and sellers on a mission to find suitable buyers, flock the market in May. They’re hoping to get everything tied up so they can enjoy their summer holidays without worrying about viewings. But those willing to be more flexible might do well to hold off until the market’s quieter in July and August. Not everyone heads abroad over the summer, with lots of people opting for winter sun instead, so while the market is undoubtedly quieter, competition is a little less intense, which might better suit some buyers and sellers.”

    The above information has been gathered by Life-Style Property Services from the Housing Market Report produced by the NAEA Propertymark.

  • Spring Budget 2017

    Posted in Property Sales on Mar 10, 2017

    Calls for relief on stamp duty charges that would boost movement in the property market were ignored in Chancellor Philip Hammond's Spring Budget this week.

    Despite the Government's own admission in last month's Housing White Paper that the property market was "broken", tax thresholds will remain at the levels introduced in 2014.

    Currently, home buyers are liable for the tax when purchasing a residential property or a plot of land costing more than £125,000, or £40,000 for a second home.

    Nick Leeming, chairman of estate agent Jackson-Stops & Staff, says: “Homeowners are left feeling disheartened and frustrated once again today, as Philip Hammond neglects to address the stamp duty elephant in the room.

    "Despite evidence showing the housing market has slowed since the stamp duty reform of December 2014, and the more recent three per cent second home surcharge, the Government is sticking to its guns and refusing to give the nation a break."

    Currently, stamp duty is charged in bands, with zero per cent on the first £125,000 of the purchase price, two per cent between £125,001 and £250,000, five per cent from £250,001 to £925,000, 10 per cent from £925,000 to £1.5 million, and 12 per cent above that.

    These thresholds are set to remain in place at least until November, when the Chancellor will unveil a combined Budget and Autumn Statement

    UK house price growth will be cut by almost half by 2018, according to predictions from the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR).

    The OBR has released its predictions for house price growth along with chancellor Philip Hammond's first (and last) Budget today, and it seems house price rises will be tempered over the next five years, dropping from an annual inflation of 7.6 per cent in 2016 to just four per cent in 2018.

    Then, in 2019, growth will edge upwards to 4.4 per cent, reaching 4.6 per cent in 2021.

    The house price trend is set to follow on from a squeeze in disposable incomes; the OBR has forecast zero growth in disposable incomes this year.

    Commentators have argued that Hammond should have done more to get young people on the housing ladder; many were hoping for cuts to stamp duty land tax.

    The above information has been gathered by Life-Style Property Services from several sources.

  • Are you thinking of selling your property?

    Posted in Property Sales on Dec 06, 2016

    This is a genuine, no gimmicks, offer that will save you £££'s!

    Throughout December 2016, we are offering a special fixed fee that guarantees to save you money!

    This is how it works...

    Our normal, standard fee is 1% + V.A.T., so...

    If you have a property valued at around £200,000, you will save nearly £1,000!

    If you have a property valued around £300,000, you save approximately £1,500!

    And if you have a property worth £500,000, you save a massive £2,500+!

    This offer is open to all properties, in all areas, of any shape or size.

    Simply, we want to be ready for January 2017, and to be ready, we need flats, houses, bungalows, all types of property on our books, ready to sell.

    This is where you can help and we can help you save a lot of money. Demand for property is great right now and we don't expect that to change next year!

    For a FREE, no obligation valuation call us on (01454) 615050 or e-mail us on sales@lifestyleproperty.co.uk to see just how much you will save.

  • Bank Of England cuts interest rates to 0.25%

    Posted in Property Sales on Aug 05, 2016

    The following information has been gathered by Life-Style Property Services from several sources.

    Following Britain's decision to leave the EU, the British public have been unsure of how the decision will affect us financially, politically and economically.

    In July 2016 the Monetary Policy Committee voted in favour of holding the bank rate at 0.5%. The bank rate is set by the Bank of England and determines the price which banks and building societies buy and sell money at. Rates had been at 0.5% for the last 7 years but today the Bank of England has cut interest rates to 0.25% in an effort to to stimulate the UK economy, including a scheme to force banks to pass on the low interest rate to households and businesses. Governor Mark Carney said there was scope to cut the interest rate further if the economy further deteriorates.

    Traditionally, a cut in rates meant a reduction in people’s monthly mortgage repayments and people on tracker mortgages, where repayments vary with the base rate, will benefit from the interest rate cut. However, the number of people on tracker mortgages has declined over the years with people opting for fixed rate deals to lock in low rates for a few years in anticipation of an interest rate rise rather than a cut.

    Mortgage rates are already low and there is a chance that they may go lower although some believe they will not. So if you are looking to buy a new home, why wait? The base rate cut could save you money but if you leave it too long you could miss out on securing a deal on a property.

    Please contact us if you would like to speak to one of our fully qualified, independent mortgage advisors about available deals that could suit your situation.

  • Brexit - is it all doom and gloom?

    Posted in Property Sales on Jul 06, 2016

    Here are a few quotes that are currently around from various sources reflecting the more positive side of the EU exit:

    “As soon as Brexit was confirmed last week, the cost to banks of funding fixed deals started to fall,” says Paul Thomas in the Daily Mail. “This is measured by so-called swap rates. In the wake of last Thursday’s referendum, swap rates fell by as much as one-third. These falls should soon be passed on to borrowers in the form of lower interest rates.”

    It’s also important to remember that people always need somewhere to live. “In the long-term, being in or out of Europe simply does not reverse the fundamental driver of the mainstream housing market, namely that there are too many people chasing too few homes,” says Dan Gandesha, founder and CEO of Property Partner, i=on Huffington Post.

    “There are no signs of the British property market ‘falling off the face of the earth’ as some had feared it might if the UK voted to leave,” reports Hazel Sheffield in The Independent.

    Jeremy Leaf, a former chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and north London estate agent, said the “Brexit bombshell” came when prices were already slowing, especially in London, following the increase in stamp duty at the beginning of April. This perception of an existing slowdown meant the market was “more resilient than we might have expected”, he said. There was “a determination on the part of most customers to get back as close to normality as possible”.

    Britain's housing market has steadied after some deal cancellations immediately after the country voted to leave the European Union, housebuilder Persimmon (PSN.L) said on Tuesday. Chief Executive Jeff Fairburn said it was too early to judge the impact of the June 23 "Brexit" decision, but his company's focus on lower priced deals involving first time buyers and first-time movers made it well placed to cope with any turmoil. "There is some uncertainty among people about what's happened and that's natural, but we've not seen that translate to any significant change in our trading," he told Reuters.

    Quotes from The Guardian and Evening Standard say, the consensus is that there is a good chance that prices will soften but that the ground is unlikely to fall from beneath the market, so should you go ahead with your purchase? Experts seem to suggest this depends on the nature of the deal. If you're an investment buyer looking to buy a second home to rent, for example, it might be worth holding fire. Similarly, if you have a small deposit of five per cent, it might also be worth letting the dust settle a little. However if you have a decent amount saved up and are looking to buy a home to live in for a number of years, it's probably worth going ahead, says Virginia Wallis in the Guardian. She adds if you are "buying a long-term home to live in", short-term price movements should prove "fairly irrelevant". Ray Boulger, a mortgage adviser and property market commentator, says much the same in the London Evening Standard. 'I'd advise people who have been looking for a property for a long time and finally found one they want to just go for it," he says.

    Our thoughts mirror the general thoughts of the country, that it is way too early to predict how the market will react. As a nation we need to keep an eye on the situation over the next 24 months and act accordingly. But as you can see, maybe it's not all doom and gloom.

  • Can the new Lifetime ISA help first time buyers?

    Posted in Property Sales on Apr 13, 2016

    From April 2017 any adult aged between 18 and 40 will be able to open a new Lifetime ISA account. You can save up to £4,000 a year and receive a 25% bonus from the Government on this money on any savings before your 50th birthday. The money saved in this account can be withdrawn to help buy your first home or saved until you are over 60 for retirement income.

    These savings and bonus can be used towards a deposit of a first home worth up to £450,000 across the country. Couples, who are both first time buyers, can open an account each and both receive the benefit as the account is limited to one per person rather than one per home.

    Savings from the previous Help to Buy ISA can be transferred into the Lifetime ISA account in 2017 or you can continue saving in both accounts separately but you can only use the bonus from one account to buy a house.

    Alternatively the Lifetime ISA can be saved for retirement, you can take out all the savings, tax exempt, after your 60th birthday.

    You can withdraw the money at any time before your 60th birthday but will lose the Goverment bonus and any interest on this. You will also have to pay a 5% charge.