Over a third back property as the best bet for retirement

Property best bet for retirement

The UK’s love affair with property as an investment option shows no sign of wavering despite recent changes in tax rules affecting landlords who could face losing thousands of pounds in profit.

According to a recent survey carried out by Perrys Chartered Accountants, 35% of the UK are most confident in property compared to any other investment, including pensions and ISAs.

The survey of 1,000 people, which was conducted by Perrys Chartered Accountants to raise awareness of the importance of planning for the future, also revealed that 8% are relying on the equity from their property as their main source of income for retirement.

Research carried out by Halifax last year revealed that the UK’s housing wealth had passed the £6tn mark for the first time, with the majority of the property wealth in London and the South East. It is estimated that the average net equity worth – the difference between the value of a home and the outstanding mortage – is £247,233.

With around £25,000 per annum needed at retirement to maintain a similar lifestyle this means equity from a single property could provide up to 10 years of income. However, this does not factor in other costs for releasing the equity, such as estate agency and legal fees or any stamp duty charges, which could stretch into the thousands. And with an average life expectancy of 81 in the UK, relying on property equity from a first home could mean there is a possible income shortfall of at least 6 years.

Stewart Pope, CEO at Perrys Chartered Accountants, is urging people to plan ahead and think about the possibility of changing circumstances. He explains that the increasing costs of residential care (over £29,000 per year on average) should also be taken into account and not just hopes to keep an existing lifestyle.

He says: “Whilst maintaining your current lifestyle will always be the first consideration, it is also important to be aware of the other possibilities that life can throw at you, such as ageing relatives, long-term illness, or the chance you might need residential care in the future.”

The recent introduction of auto-enrolment for employee pensions is hoping to address some of the issues we face as an ageing nation. However, only a quarter of those aged between 35 and 54 felt confident in pensions as a future investment with 40% saying that putting their money into property would be their first choice. But the Government’s latest changes to tax regulations and the significant increase in the stamp duty charges paid on second homes are making property investment a more difficult and expensive prospect for many.

Stewart concluded: “It is worth taking a look at your existing assets to see how you could maximise potential for the future. With the right advice and some effective tax planning you could find that this makes a long term difference to the shape of your financial future.”

Original Source: Property Reporter

Apartment price rises outpacing other property types

New data from Halifax has shown that the average cost of an apartment in the UK has risen by £1,251 per month over the past five years, increasing in value by £75,074 over the period.

The data revealed that although apartments make up just 15% of all home sales, their relevance to urban labour markets is increasingly important. Halifax found that there was an increase of 48% in apartment values between 2013 and 2018, compared with an increase of just 42% for terraced houses and 27% for detached homes.

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest, says: “The sustained level of demand for apartments in regional city centres has shown solid credentials, even in the wake of the Brexit referendum. With dynamic local economies and solid labour markets, regional cities are an enticing prospect for those looking to make capital gains, whether as owner-occupiers or investors. In fact, the majority of investors we work with now come to us with a regional city firmly in mind – London has lost its shine as a residential investment prospect as the UK’s other cities are producing better returns.”

Halifax’s latest House Price Index shows a monthly rise in home values of 1.5% during May, following a brief wobble in April. The lender flags up the labour market’s performance, along with low interest rates, as two of the reasons behind this.

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax: “The continuing strength of the labour market is supporting house prices. In the three months to March the number of full-time employees increased by 202,000, the biggest rise in three years. We are also seeing pay growth edging up and consumer price inflation falling, and as a result the squeeze on real earnings has started to ease. With interest rates still very low we see mortgage affordability at very manageable levels providing a further underpinning to prices.”

With the UK population expected to pass 70 million by mid-2029, and urbanisation increasing steadily (from 80.2% in 2006 to 82.84% in 2016, according to Statista), demand for city centre apartments looks likely to remain strong over the years ahead. And with apartment prices increasing at a faster rate than any other kind of accommodation, they are sure to remain the property of choice for investors looking to make the most of their money.

Original Source: Property Reporter

Where are the top property hotspots of the 21st century?

Average house prices across the UK have seen varying degrees of increases over the last 18 years. It’s fair to say that some areas have certainly outperformed others. But which areas have performed the best?

According to research carried out by online estate agents HouseSimple.com. Southend-on-Sea is the unheralded winner of the UK’s top property hotspot in the 21st Century (excluding London Boroughs).

Average property prices have boomed 287.1% in the Essex coastal town since the turn of the century. Home to the longest leisure pier in the world, Southend-on-Sea property prices have risen faster than in any town or city outside the Capital, since January 2000, according to Land Registry figures.

And Southend-on-Sea is not the only town in the East of England that has seen phenomenal price rises. Four-out-of-five of the biggest price growth areas outside London since January 2000, have been in the East. Cambridge (279.2%), Luton (276.7%) and Basildon (274.7%) have all seen average property prices increase by more than 270%.

If you include London boroughs in the research, Waltham Forest in East London, is the top performing area in the UK for property price growth, with average house prices rising 364.9% since January 2000. However, HouseSimple wanted to look at how house prices had fared across the rest of the country, as London is often viewed as a stand-alone property market, not reflective of the UK as a whole.

HouseSimple.com identified 19 UK towns and cities that have seen average price growth of at least 250% since January 2000. Only two of those towns – Salford and Sale – are in the north of England, and both are in Greater Manchester.



Avg house prices (£)

 –  Jan 2000

Avg house prices (£)

 –  Current

% Price increase







South West




















East Midlands





North West





South East





East Midlands





North West





South East





East Midlands





South West




Milton Keynes

South East















South East





South East





West Midlands





The Capital is the clear winner when it comes to gains made on property, with the eight biggest house price growth areas since January 2000 all London boroughs. They have all seen average property prices rise more than 300% since the start of the Millennium.

The two strongest property markets, Waltham Forest and Hackney, are in East London and were both Olympic boroughs. Waltham Forest and Hackney have seen prices rise 364.9% and 339% respectively over the past 18 years.

Sam Mitchell, CEO of online estate agents HouseSimple.com, comments: “While London is the clear winner when it comes to house price growth since the turn of the century, prices have boomed in many areas outside the Capital as these figures attest. What’s more impressive is that in the middle of this 18-year period, we experienced one of the worst recessions this country has ever seen. It shows the resilience of the UK property market.

During this period, London property prices stabilised thanks to an inflow of foreign investment, and then started to rise again 18 months after the height of the Credit Crunch. However, that wasn’t the case across large swathes of the country, where the recovery process was far more protracted.

Today, the property price growth picture is entirely different. As London’s property market shows signs of running out of steam, we are seeing strong growth in the north of England. Eighteen years from now, the UK’s property hotspot landscape could well look entirely different.”

Original Source: Property Reporter

Where do properties currently sell the fastest in the UK?

Where in the uk are properties selling the fastest

Buying or selling a property can be a slow process. Long bargaining periods, middle agents, and for some, even finding a suitable home in the first place can all mean that from start to end, buying or selling a property can take months.

If you were hoping for a faster turnaround, you have to know the market – and Compare the Market has produced a guide with that in mind.

Detailing the locations with the fastest moving property locations in the UK, it takes into account the number of days on the market and how many years current owners have lived in their properties, as well as other helpful information such as estate agents in the area and the number of properties available.

Top Slot Hot Spots

Regardless of whether you’re the buyer or the seller, you want to know if that property will move quickly and keep your stress low. Have a look at the best options for getting it done below:

1. Canterbury – Canterbury is one of the most popular tourist cities in the UK, thanks to its history and beauty. But it’s also a great place to live, so the fact that properties sell on average in 28 days, the lowest in the country, is vital info for potential inhabitants.

2. Bristol – A more urban type of living than Canterbury, Bristol is a great option for those looking to stay in a busy city, and with properties only owned by their current owners for 2.5 years on average, new buyers need to move quickly to lock a place down.

3. Southampton – Southampton properties go in a blink, being only on the market for an average of 40 days. Current residents have lived there for 7.2 years on average, too – meaning the properties can stay locked away for a bit. Keep alert!

4. Manchester – Like London, Manchester is one of the UK’s biggest business and living areas, but unlike the capital, 26th, Manchester properties are likely to come around quickly – with the shortest average time inhabited by their current owners, at only 2.2 years.

5. Nottingham – Nottingham is popular with both students and workers, due to its Russell Group university and a powerful local economy. Like
Manchester, current owners haven’t lived there long, 2.8 years on average, so there’s a good chance of fast turnover.
Slow London Living

Despite being the UK’s most populous city and the capital – as well as a popular place to live – it can actually be tough trying to sell a place. Apart from the high costs, London struggles with getting attention from estate agents, with only 41 per 100,000 people, one of the lowest in the UK.

Even more telling is how long properties stay on the market – an average of 89 days, faster only than a handful of cities, including Cardiff and Hull.
Get Moving!

Buying or selling, the data says you need to get going with your property – have a look at the rest of the locations where you’ll find a fast turnaround on the Compare The Market guide here.

Original Source: Property Reporter

Top tips to help you negotiate with housing costs

“Prices can often seem as though they’re set in stone, so it’s understandable there’s a sense we’re being ‘rude’ when asking for a better deal”

Research from MoneySuperMarket has found that 41% of Brits are shying away from haggling over costs – from the asking price of a house to every day bills such as broadband, mobile phones and gym subscriptions.

The main reasons cited for not negotiating are those traditionally associated with the British temperament, with 44% stating they are too embarrassed to haggle and 21% believing it to be rude or cheeky. The study also reveals that Brits are happy to settle for the original price offered, with 25% not believing they already have a good deal. A further 25% admit they just don’t have the skills or know-how to push for a better deal.

Incredibly, just a fifth (20%) of property owners challenged the asking price of a house – one of life’s most expensive financial decisions – with even fewer trying to bring down phone contracts (18%) and builder’s fees (10%). This is despite the fact that Brits believe that if they haggled over costs for certain products or services, they could bring the price down by an average of 15%.

Londoners are the most likely to let their ‘British reserve’ get in the way of a better deal, with 53% of those living in the capital too embarrassed to negotiate, followed by those in Northern Ireland (52%), West Midlands (50%), Wales (46%) and South West (42%). At the other end of the scale, those in the South East of England are most likely to push their luck and see what they can shave off the price – with 69% willing to negotiate compared to the UK average of 60%.

When asked how much they expected to negotiate off the cost, 11% of Brits believe they could save a healthy 20% off the original cost. Almost 30% of those surveyed also expected to save at least 10%.

To support the findings, MoneySuperMarket has enlisted the help of seasoned negotiator and former Apprentice winner Joseph Valente to suggest a few ways Brits can relax their stiff upper lip and haggle like a pro:

1. The first rule in negotiation is always to know what you are prepared to give and what you expect to receive. Not having a clear view of what you’re going to offer and what you want from the deal could contribute to the embarrassment that stops many Brits from stepping up to negotiations.

2. Never give everything away: usually, a deal is comprised of money, time and quality. You must choose carefully which one can be sacrificed in order to make the deal work.

3. Make sure you establish the best outcome versus the least you’re prepared to receive. It’s often in our British nature to feel we’re being ‘rude’ if we go in with our dream offer – but starting off with the best outcome, and taking it from there, is an effective way of negotiating. Don’t go too far though as you risk annoying the person you’re making the deal with, or even losing the deal altogether!

4. Using soft power, such as a guarantee on things you know you can deliver on, will influence the negotiations your way and help you to achieve what you want. Just ensure you’re realistic, and don’t overpromise.

5. Use your British reserve in your favour! Stay polite, impassive, and firm with your offer – and stand your ground. Remember, no deal is much better than a bad deal, so have the confidence to walk away if you find yourself compromising on too many things.

Sally Francis-Miles, money expert at MoneySuperMarket said: “Classic British reserve means as a nation we tend not to wear our hearts on our sleeves or display lots of emotion on a daily basis. However, it can also mean we’re not the best at haggling and ultimately getting a better deal.

Prices can often seem as though they’re set in stone, so it’s understandable there’s a sense we’re being ‘rude’ when asking for a better deal. However, we know that negotiating often lands you a much better offer, whether it be slashing the cost of your mobile bill or broadband, getting a free extended warranty when you buy a new TV, or even knocking thousands off the cost of a new home.

In situations where you can’t negotiate the cost, such as insurance policies and energy bills, you can still bring down the costs down through switching to a better deal.”

Joseph Valente, entrepreneur and winner of The Apprentice 2015, comments: “The reality shown by the MoneySuperMarket report is that nearly half of Brits don’t even attempt to negotiate – which is a costly way of conducting your daily business.

Yet the art of negotiating isn’t reserved for extroverts – anybody can learn how to conduct themselves to get the best cost possible, and when people do haggle, they often end up with 15 per cent off the final price.

This is a huge sum when it comes to big life purchases, such as buying a house – and if you get into the habit of regularly questioning the cost of everyday items, you’ll also start to see a real difference in your expenditure over the year.”

Original Source: Property Reporter

Report shows annual house price growth rises for first time in a year

The latest report from LSL has shown that the UK housing market remained resilient during May. A very slight rise in the annual house price rate (from 2.1% to 2.2%) put an end to 11 months of falls.

According to the data, the positive performance in May means the market has narrowly avoided a full year of slowing house price growth. On a monthly basis, prices were flat with no change on April.

The average house price in England and Wales is recorded at £305,654, up more than £6,000 on a year ago, when prices remained below the symbolic £300,000 mark. Transactions are down on the levels of last year, however, by 6% in the first five months compared to 2017.

Despite the lack of movement in prices, there is one big change in the market this month: London and the South East are no longer a brake on the market. Taking into account these two regions, there was a 2.2% annual price growth – taking them out of the equation, the growth rate is lower – at 2.1 %. It reverses the trend of most of last year.

This is partly due to a change in methodology, which better captures sales of new build properties. These tend to cost more than existing homes and have a particularly strong impact on the average price in London. The change also reflects a recovery in the capital which has strengthened after months of declines – even if transaction levels remain substantially lower than last year. London is showing average annual growth higher than five regions in the UK (including the South East) and equal to the West Midlands (2.9%), putting it mid-table in England and Wales in terms of growth.

This also means that every region in the UK now shows positive annual price growth for the last 12 months.

Oliver Blake, Managing Director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents said: “Whilst the market may seem subdued, we should welcome the fact that every region in the UK is still growing and that the London market seems to be shaking off its malaise.”

The revised figures in London, taking into account new build properties, show annual growth of 2.9%, the lowest since March 2012. Prices also fell on a monthly basis, down 0.3%, taking the average house price in the capital to £636,947.

A number of London boroughs are recording big falls over the 12 months to April 2018. They include the City of London (down 24.9%, albeit on a small number of sales), Southwark, down 19.1% (largely as a result of high value properties sold the year before); and Wandsworth, down 13.1%. Growth has been more modest, with only Kensington and Chelsea, the most expensive borough, recording double-digit growth, up 10.4% to £2.17 million. The next highest increase over the year was Lambeth, where prices increased 5.8%.

Overall, 24 London boroughs have seen prices fall over the year, and just nine have seen them rise: four in the top third of the market; four in the bottom third; and just one in the mid-priced boroughs.

The impact of new builds on the market in London is clear when analysing the prices paid for new builds against existing properties in 2017. This was particularly pronounced for flats, where new build flats sold at an average premium of almost a third (32.3%). They also made up a substantial proportion of sales of all flats, accounting for more than a quarter (26.4%), whereas new builds accounted for just 2.4% of sales of detached properties.

In the regions, Wales continues to top the tables for annual price growth, with prices up 5.2% over the year. In Monmouthshire prices have risen 13.9%, with a new peak average price of £291,344; likewise in the Vale of Glamorgan prices are up 11.6% to £269,609. The two are the most expensive areas in Wales, with prices well above the Welsh average of £184,348. Cardiff, which ranks third, also saw strong growth, up 9.5%.

Much of this is still down to the introduction of the new Land Transaction Tax introduced in April. Since the growth calculations are based on three-month averages, they include sales in March 2018 by buyers rushing to beat the added cost for higher priced properties. Some cheaper areas have also seen good growth, though – notably Carmarthenshire, with prices up 12.6% to £163,633. Wales has also, however, seen price falls. In fact, of the 33 areas to see prices drop over the last year, outside London, eight are in Wales.

That still means that 75 of England and Wales’ unitary authorities continued to see annual growth, however, as did all nine regions, in addition to London. After Wales, it’s the North East that’s the star performer, with prices up 4.5%, bolstered by strong performances in Northumberland (up 9.0%) and Tyne and Wear, up 6.1% and another of the 14 areas to record a new peak average price in the month.

Another strong performer was the East Midlands, with prices up 2.6% annually. It is also the only region to see annual price increases in all its unitary authority areas, led by Rutland, up 9.3%, Northamptonshire (4.1%) and Leicestershire (up 3.4% to a new peak of £244,633).

At the other end of the scale, growth is weaker in Yorks & Humber, at 1.2% annually, and, particularly, in the South East, where prices are up just 0.6%. The latter is home to Windsor and Maidenhead, the highest priced authority outside London and also the one to see the biggest annual fall in prices: down 11.3%. Even in the South East there are bright spots, though, with the Isle of Wight, Medway and Oxfordshire all setting new peak average prices in April.

Peter Williams, Chairman of Acadata and John Tindale, Acadata housing analyst, comment: “After eleven months of falling – or stagnant – rates of annual house price growth, there is the first sign of an upturn in May with the glimmer of an increase in the rate, albeit by the narrowest of margins. The average annual rate of increase now stands at 2.2%, a rise of 0.1% on April when including London and the South East. However, even this almost insignificant rise disappears when we exclude these two regions. This is the first time in 10 months in which the rate of inflation is higher when including London and the South East, rather than without these two areas.

As we discuss below, our analysis now takes the impact of new build sales fully into account, but this does not explain this slight uptick – the London market has strengthened after months of decline. Average annual house price growth peaked in February 2016 – at 9.0% – including London and the South East, or at 6.7% without, just prior to the introduction of the 3% surcharge on second homes and buy-to-let properties.
Subsequently, the rate of price growth has been falling, and at a near constant rate since September 2017.”

Original Source: Property Reporter

Where are the best places to rent out your property in the UK?

Where in the Uk

The UK’s property sector is a state of evolution with Millenials who are known for their need of freedom and limited desire to own financial assets such as homes, are dominating the renting market.

It’s clear that younger generations are more open to renting a house than buying. Even older members of the population are going for this option rather than buying a property.

GoCompare has researched the best areas for renting out a house and ranked them by average property price and rental yields, population under 35, number of properties available, number of letting/maintenance agencies, number of new housing developments, properties currently available for rent and rental price growth.

Average Property Price

If we decide between renting or buying a house, money is one of the main aspects to consider. The actual prices of properties will determinate if renting out is worth it. Have a look at some of the highest property prices in the country:

• Stoke-on-Trent is in least expensive area to buy property with an average property price of £106k, making it the city the best place to buy a property and rent it afterwards. Landlords in this area will have the best potential to make good profits.

• Oxford is one of the most expensive cities to buy a property with a price of £411k. Even though the city has one of the highest property prices, it might be good to consider renting out your property. The city is known for its university and the huge amount of students moving there looking for a place to leave while they start their university life is quite significant.

• London is in first position with the highest price rent, at an average of £484k. The gentrification of areas and the facilities people have to move, plus the growing offer of jobs in the capital have made of London the most expensive city to buy a house, therefore renting out is it an option that needs to be consider really carefully.

Rental Price Growth

If you are considering renting out your house, another key aspect you need to consider is how fast the local rental price is growing, so you can predict how much you will be able to raise the rent of your house in the next few years.

• Manchester takes the leading position on the ranking with a growth of a 5.76%. If you have doubts about putting your house in the property sector, this high growth rate might go some way towards assuaging those fears.

• The second position on the ranking with 5.30% growth is Leicester, a worthwhile location for a would-be letter.

• Cardiff can be found in the third position with a growth of 5%., becoming one of the top cities in the whole country, where taking advantage of buy-to-let can offer you the best returns.

Average Yield

The average yield of a property determines the profit you will obtain for renting it out – and its rise or fall will establish how much of a return the owner gets.

• Manchester holds the top position. The average yield there is 5.55%, putting the city in a great position for property owners.

• Sunderland takes the second position for yield with 5.37% – its best quality in terms of renting opportunities.

• Liverpool is a hotspot for owners, occupying the third place with an average yield of 5.05%, and fourth position overall.

Original Source: Property Reporter

First signs of stability returning to property market

The latest analysis of the UK housing market by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has revealed that new instructions have moved out of negative territory for the first time in over two years.

RICS suggests that its data represents signs that the market is “tentatively showing some signs of stability coming through on the supply side.”

However, the institution was keen to point out that this was insufficient to shift overall market sentiment as activity remained more or less flat and sales data indicating that the market is “unlikely to gain impetus, at least in the near term”.

The figures revealed no change in house prices over the month, following a marginal decline in April, but regional variations continue across the UK. The capital saw further price falls and it remains the only region where prices are expected to decline on a twelve month basis.

At the same time, downward pressure on prices was reported across the wider South East and after nearly three years of solid price growth, momentum appears to have slipped across the South West with the price balance in negative territory for the second month in a row.

By way of contrast, house prices continue to rise firmly in the Midlands, the North West, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Across the UK, buyer demand continues to decline but to a lesser extent that at the beginning of the year.

Six out of the twelve regions covered in the survey saw an increase in new buyer enquiries over the month, again highlighting the mix bag of result across the UK.

Meanwhile, agreed sales held broadly steady for the second successive month and recorded the least negative reading for fourteen months. However the regional breakdown suggests that sales are rising firmly in just four regions whilst sales trends are either flat or negative across the rest of the UK.

Looking ahead, respondents expect little change in transactions over the coming months, at least at the national level, although the twelve-month outlook is marginally more positive. Contributors in Scotland and Northern Ireland returned the strongest sales outlook over both the three and twelve-month horizon. Elsewhere, although still positive, sales growth is expected to be only modest.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, commented: “This month’s findings point towards a slightly more encouraging reading than previous months, although this is tempered by reports of prices cooling, not just in London and the South East as they have been for some time, but now across the previously buoyant South West as well.

On the other hand, surveyors are reporting that more sellers listed their properties in May, which is a positive sign and will help to correct the current stagnation in areas where buyers are struggling to find what they are looking for due to lack of choice.

Quite possibly, a lot of vendors have held off marketing their homes over the last few months waiting for ‘the right time’, particularly given ongoing political uncertainty, but interest rates holding in May rather than the predicted increase together with gardens finally looking better following a few weeks of balmy weather, would suggest that those listing in May have now decided to just get on with it.

Other members comment on increased transaction times, which is again symptomatic of a lack of buyer choice as those who are able to find a seller are then struggling to find something to purchase themselves.

All in all then, it’s probably realistic to say that the market is still resilient but lacking momentum, however a set of encouraging economic data together with a breakthrough on Brexit negotiations could soon change that. Otherwise, it’s probably the case that we’ll see ‘more of the same’ across the summer.”

Original Source: Property Reporter

First time buyer approvals up in May according to latest figures

The latest data and analysis from e.surv has shown that 66,479 mortgages were approved in May – a rise of 6.4% against the previous month. First-time buyers significantly increased their share from 20.2% to 22.4% of the market.

e.surv reported that, as ever, there is a wide variation between the regions of the UK, with some areas seeing higher proportions of small deposit borrowers than others.

For the second month running, Northern Ireland saw the biggest proportion of loans go to small deposit borrowers, with 35.7% of all loans went to this part of the market. The region was one of only four to have a greater proportion of small deposit buyers than their large deposit counterparts, ahead of Yorkshire, the North West and the Midlands.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, had this to say: “There was strong growth in the mortgage market in May, with approvals rising significantly compared to April.

Mortgages are at the forefront of the national conversation, with many people assessing their options and looking to fix in this rising interest rate environment. While the base rate may have stayed at 0.5% in May, speculation continues about the next increase, which appears to be coming sooner rather than later.”

Original Source: Property Reporter