Latest report shows work is the top reason for moving in the UK

Forget the obsession with London house prices, British people moving home are more than twice as likely to say they want to move to the country than get a taste of city life, new research has found.

At a time when it has been revealed that there are more sellers than buyers on the housing market at the moment, and with reports that London in particular has been hit hardest with higher house prices, the new research from the AA suggests there is more movement in the housing market than had previously been thought, with people bailing out of city life for a better quality of life in the country.

Whilst the under 25 age group was the exception, twice as likely to favour a move to the city at 18% compared to 9% moving to the country, this flips from the age of 35 when a move to the country is far more appealing at 13% versus 3% moving to the city.

This is also a time when people are less likely to move because of a job and more likely to move in order to be in a good school catchment area, nearer family and in a safer area with lower levels of crime, the report explains.

These factors become even more important with age. For the over 55 age group some 31% say a move to the country is the reason behind moving house, with just 1% wanting to move to the city.

With 8% of British adults planning to move house in the next six months, and with a budget of £320,726 to spend on their next home, AA Financial Services asked people planning to move home what the top reasons were behind their decision to move house.

Despite the nation’s apparent obsession with house prices, a mere 11% of people planning to move were doing so for purely financial reasons and as an opportune time to make money on property.

Overall, work was the top factor behind a house or flat move at 22% and was pivotal for the under 25s marking a start in their career where it rose to 42%. After this came a run of lifestyle factors such as moving to the country, having children, being closer to family and the desire to live in a cheaper area with lower levels of crime.

Implicit within the research findings, many people were looking to free up money through a house move. 15% of respondents said they wanted to move to a cheaper area and 13% were looking to downsize property in order to free up some capital. By implication, for many a move to country would probably also correlate with cheaper average house prices.

Overall 22% said they want to move for work or to be nearer their present work, 18% dislike where they live currently, and 18% want to move to the country, while 16% want to be closer to family, and 15% want to live in a cheaper area.

The research also found that 15% were moving due to a change in their relationship such as marriage or divorce, some 13% were downsizing to raise equity and 12% could no longer stand their neighbours. Some 12% also wanted to move due to having a bigger family while 11% wanted to live in an area with less crime.

Original source:Property Wire

First time buyer numbers reached an eight month high in the UK in July

The supply of properties available to buy in the UK increased in July, while demand from buyers fell, according to estate agents.

However, first time buyers were able to take advantage of the trend with the number of sales made to the group rising to an eight month high, according to the latest monthly analysis report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

In July, the number of properties available per estate agent branch increased for the third month in a row, rising from an average of 33 per branch in April, to 37 in May, 39 in June and 41 the previous month.

The report points out that year on year this is a 17% increase, as agents had just 35 properties available to market in July 2017.

Overall, the number of house hunters registered at estate agents fell for the second month running with 303 registered per branch in July, the lowest recorded since December 2017 when agents had 268 on their books.

But the NAEA pointed out that this is typical of July, as house hunters put their plans on hold while summer holiday season takes priority. For the last three years, demand has dipped in July compared to June.

Some 30% of all sales were to first time buyers in July, an increase of 1% from June and up 7% from July 2017 when just 23% of sales were made to the group.

‘What we saw in July was typical of the summer. House hunters put their plans on hold as the holiday season takes priority, and demand dips as a result,’ said Mark Hayward, NAEA chief executive.

‘We don’t usually see first time buyers taking advantage of this environment and pushing to agree sales while sellers are on the back foot. In September, buyers typically storm the market in a bid to complete sales in time for Christmas, so first time buyers should make the most of the slower market while they can,’ he added.

Original Source:Property Wire

Tenant demand increases in the UK as number of properties for rent falls

Demand from new tenants in the UK’s private rented sector is rising at a time when the number of homes available to rent is falling, the latest figures show.

The monthly data from the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) shows that the number of new prospective tenants registered per letting agent branch increased from 71 in June to 79 in July, the highest level seen in 2018 so far.

It hasn’t been this high since September 2017, when there were also 79 per branch and year on year, demand is up 13% as there were just 70 prospective tenants registered per letting agent in July 2017.

The supply of available properties moved in the opposite direction to demand, falling from 191 in June, to 184 last month and on an annual basis this figure is down 4% from 192 in July 2017.

The data also shows that the number of tenants experiencing rent hikes in July was 31%, down from 35% in the previous month and year on year this figure hasn’t changed.

According to David Cox, ARLA chief executive, buy to le investors are being pushed out of the market by increasing costs and continued regulatory change, and new landlords are being deterred from entering.

Last month, an average of four landlords took their properties off the market per branch, up from three this time last year and as supply falls, competition among tenants increases, which pushes up rent costs. Almost a third saw their rents rise last month, and although this figure was down from June, it’s still far too high,’ he said.

The figures indicate that the ‘war being waged on UK landlords by the Government’ is doing little to address the issues facing the private rental sector, according to Adam Male, director of lettings at Urban.

‘While numerous legislation amendments and implementations have looked to reduce the cost that the nation’s tenants are facing, penalising landlords in the buy to let sector has barely made a dent in the number of people facing a rent increase,’ he said.

‘What’s more, the continued decline of properties available in the sector due to an exodus of landlords, and the highest level of demand seen this year will further tilt the supply demand imbalance and inevitably see rents grow ever higher,’ he added.

Original Source:Property Wire

UK sees an Uplift in July new home registrations with NHBC

New figures from NHBC have revealed that more than 15,800 new homes were registered to be built in the UK in July, a 35% increase on the same month last year.

12,087 new homes were registered in the private sector in July 2018 (8,421 in 2017), with 3,782 registered in the affordable sector (3,362 in 2018).

For the rolling quarter, between May and July, 43,600 new homes were registered compared to 39,421 in 2017 – an increase of 11%. During this period there were 31,264 new homes registered in the private sector (28,056 in 2017: +11%) and 12,336 new homes registered in the affordable sector (11,365 in 2017: +9%).

Over this period, London experienced an 86% increase in registrations, partly due to an increase in the number of large housing association and private rental sector developments registered in the capital.

Commenting on the July figures, NHBC Chief Executive Steve Wood said:

“Following a slow start to the year due to the extreme weather, we have had promising new home figures in recent months with July seeing a real uplift. Over the last three months we have had growth in new home registrations in eight out of 12 UK regions, with London leading the way.

“NHBC continues to support UK builders in delivering high quality new homes for the benefit of consumers.”

Original Source: Property Reporter

Equity release for property purchase soars more than 50% in 2018

“The increase suggests that the attraction of property as a long-term investment endures. “

Retirement Advantage says it has seen a “striking increase” in the proportion of customers who are using equity release to buy a new property.

In the second quarter of this year, 10.3% of customers took out an equity release loan in order to fund a new property purchase. This compares to 6.6% who used equity release for this reason in 2017 – an increase of more than 50%.

In addition, 14.1% of customers used equity release to buy a car last quarter (compared to 9.9% in 2017). And nearly one in four (23.0%) did so to go on holiday.

Alice Watson, head of product and marketing at Retirement Advantage Equity Release, commented: “We’ve seen plenty of headlines suggesting the property market has slowed in recent months. Not for over-55s, it seems. For this cohort, our figures suggest they are increasingly keen to make property purchases.

“It is unlikely this is down to a wave of downsizing. We know from research we conducted earlier this year downsizing is not popular – only one in five older people say they’re prepared to consider it. Instead, the increase suggests that the attraction of property as a long-term investment endures. For over-55s keen to own new property, wealth tied up in their existing home can make a significant financial contribution.

“Using existing property wealth in this way also offers further evidence that equity release customers today are proactively using the products to make major financial decisions. This reinforces the rapid maturity across this booming sector.”

Original Source: Property Reporter

Bad neighbours can affect the sale of a property, new research suggests

Bad neighbours are not only stressful to live next to, they can also adversely affect the sale of a property with would-be buyers looking for tell-tale signs of potentially problematic neighbours, new research suggests.

Overall in Britain some 28% of people have fallen out with a neighbour, with the most common disputes relating to noise, pets and rubbish, according to the study from Gocompare.

The top grump is loud music, shouting and banging doors, which 40% claim is the cause of a fall out, followed by 25% over barking and pet fouling and 16% connected with rubbish or junk being left in the garden.

Some 4% fell out over a parking space, 13% due to overgrown trees and hedges, 11% over maintenance to a boundary fence or hedge, 10% over damage to property or a car and 10% also over a boundary dispute.

The research reveals how this might affect the sale of a home. It found that 48% of buyers would be put-off a house if the garden of a neighbouring property was littered with rubbish.

Some 43% said that they wouldn’t buy a property if the neighbouring address was in a dilapidated state and 37% wouldn’t buy a home next door to a property let to students.

On the bright side, the survey also found that many neighbours get along well and help each other out. Half of those surveyed said they would call their neighbour a friend, 51% have lent items to a neighbour and 42% have borrowed items.

‘Most people get along well with their neighbours, however, not all neighbours are easy to live next to. If you have an issue with a neighbour, the first thing you should do is to have a friendly chat with them, as they may be completely unaware of any upset they may be causing,’ said Ben Wilson, GoCompare’s home insurance spokesperson.

‘If you’re unable to resolve the matter amicably, depending on the cause of the dispute, there are a number of options available to you. Citizens Advice have a useful step by step guide on the action you can take, and your home insurance may provide valuable help as well,’ he explained.

‘What’s also worth noting, anyone looking to sell their property is legally required to disclose information about any disputes they’ve had with neighbours on the ‘Seller’s Property Information Form’ provided by their solicitor. Providing false or omitting information could lead to legal action taken against you by the buyers, so honesty is the best policy,’ he added.


Original Source:Property Wire

4.8 million considering the possibility of becoming a landlord in 2018

“With demand for rental properties showing no signs of slowing down, we’re delighted to be able to help landlords “

9% of UK adults have shown an interest in taking out a buy-to-let mortgage in 2018, meaning an extra 4.8 million people could become landlords in 2018, according to Sainsbury’s Bank research.

Of those taking out or considering a buy-to-let mortgage, over a third (35%) said a change in income had inspired them to do so, while 29% remain encouraged by the current opportunities to enter the market.

A quarter (25%) were considering a buy-to-let mortgage after receiving inheritance and many here may have found themselves “accidental landlords”. Yet the research indicates that two in three (64%) of UK adults don’t know what consumer buy-to-let mortgages are.

When it comes to purchasing a property, over half (51%) of potential landlords have considered buying a house, with 46% having considered purchasing new builds prior to this year. 46% have also considered purchasing a flat, with 44% having considered buying new build flats.

David Buxton, head of banking at Sainsbury’s Bank, said: “With demand for rental properties showing no signs of slowing down, we’re delighted to be able to help landlords by offering competitive mortgages and advice to help them best manage their investments.”

Original Source: Property Reporter

Nine essential Do It Yourself tasks for you to tackle this autumn

” It’s important that homes are maintained with the changing seasons, as a variety of fixes are reliant on the weather as homes are vulnerable to the outside elements.”

Roof Stores has compiled a checklist of the essential tasks homeowners should be tackling each season.

The firm says that as the summer turns to autumn, this is the best time to prep for the upcoming cooler weather of winter.

The main thing to take care of internally in the autumn is your loft insulation, making sure that it’s at least 270mm deep to comply with building regulations.

Externally, with Autumn comes the inevitable falling leaves which should be cleared frequently to ensure they don’t cause blockages to your drains. These months are also the best time to ensure your outside pipes and taps are properly insulated and switched off at the isolator valve to prevent issues caused by freezing temperatures.

Other essential house maintenance tips for autumn include:

• Check exterior walls for damage and address any faults to prevent water ingress over the colder months.
• Clear debris from wall junctions to prevent damp from appearing throughout autumn and winter.
• Check for any issues in foul drains by removing the inspection covers.
• Check draught-proofing around doors and windows but leave adequate ventilation elsewhere.
• Insulate interior taps in cold areas i.e. those in cupboards on external walls or in unheated rooms and outbuildings.

Roof Stores commented: “1/3 people in the UK are living with potentially dangerous faults in the home – often because they’re left to develop to the point homeowners can’t afford to fix them. To avoid costly repairs – it’s important that homes are maintained with the changing seasons, as a variety of fixes are reliant on the weather as homes are vulnerable to the outside elements. Many incidents could be avoided if they are checked as the climate changes.”

Original Source: Property Reporter

What could Brexit mean for the UK property market in general?

“There is likely to be a surge in demand for property as more people seek out safe and secure assets that are able to weather periods of economic and political change.”

With the Brexit deadline fast approaching, there has been a great deal of speculation as to what the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union will mean for the UK’s property and alternative finance markets.

Worth an estimated £5.9 trillion, the UK’s residential property sector makes up a major part of the country’s economy. And despite the lack of public information on how Brexit will be managed following the March 2019 deadline, the UK property market has proven resilient. Indeed, at the beginning of 2018, 53% of UK investors said they would rather invest in traditional asset classes such as property instead of newer asset classes, with 63% regarding property as a safe and secure asset in the current market.

While the direct outcome of Brexit on the property market is difficult to determine, post-Referendum trends offer a good indication to homebuyers, investors and developers on how the market is likely to react during this significant transition period.

The resilience of the property market post-Referendum

On 24 June 2016, it was announced that the UK would be leaving the EU. This announcement had a profound impact on markets around the world, as investors considered what Brexit entailed for the future growth of investments. The housing market was also affected. Economic tremors caused by the vote reduced transaction volumes for a short period of time, with house prices dipping as potential buyers became more hesitant about investing in property.

This sudden dip was short lived, with investor appetite for residential real estate remaining strong. An index released jointly by the Office for National Statistics and the Land Registry revealed an upward trend in the average UK house price cost just months after the vote – at £227,000, the average price in December 2017 was some £12,000 higher than in December 2016.

Although figures vary across the country, general trends in the housing market have looked promising ever since. Instead of a dramatic fall in housing prices, the national average has been steadily rising across the country. Average prices are still rising – but this is simply at a slower rate. Moreover, the rate of house price growth in the midlands and North East of England has been nothing short of impressive, with investors seeking residential and commercial investment opportunities.

Despite predictions that the property market would suffer in the wake of the referendum, investor confidence remains high. In fact, a study by Market Financial Solutions conducted at the beginning of 2018 showed that over half (53%) of investors are planning to direct their capital into traditional asset classes such as property this year. The climbing demand for property supports the long-held view that bricks-and-mortar are a safe and rewarding investment.

Difficulties faced in securing properties

Stagnant property chains have long been a cause of distress to both buyers and sellers of real estate. The problem is so great that that new laws to prevent gazumping was the most sought-after policy change by Britons – a nationally-representative survey by MFS found that 55% of people strongly supported the introduction of anti-gazumping measures.

Being stuck in a property chain – that is, being unable to purchase a new house without completing the sale of a current one – increases the risk of a property sale falling through. Given that the current housing supply has been outpaced by demand, stagnant property chains can have a huge effect on the overall growth of the market. The difficulty faced in securing properties is a nation-wide problem, and with Brexit on the horizon, there is likely to be a surge in demand for property as more people seek out safe and secure assets that are able to weather periods of economic and political change.

Changes in banking rules

In light of the recent rise in the base rate of interest – raised to 0.75% by the Bank of England – homeowners paying off a variable or tracker mortgage are now facing a heavier financial burden. While not a drastic increase, the change means that the interest rate is now the highest it has been in almost a decade – putting added strain on families and individuals facing mortgage repayments.

Trying to get a mortgage through traditional methods is also likely to become more difficult in the near future, with banks tightening their lending rules to prepare for potential economic shocks.

Already faced with stringent and time-consuming lending measures, this latest interest rise could make it even more difficult for people to successfully acquire a mortgage from a bank. To overcome these challenges, investors and prospective buyers have before them alternative routes of accessing finance.

The rise of alternative finance

The rise of alternative finance has been stimulated by the demand for quick, simple funding – which has become increasingly difficult to secure from traditional lenders. Alternatives such as bridging loans gives buyers and investors the flexibility needed to secure a property acquisition in a timely manner.

In a competitive market, flexibility is key when it comes to taking advantage of real estate opportunities. The UK’s eventual departure from the EU is likely to herald new opportunities for those looking to invest in the property market – making access to finance especially important.

Particularly given such a competitive market, the flexibility that alternative finance allows people to make decisions quickly and secure their dream home – and all without the added stress of dealing with restrictive regulations. And despite initial concern about the future of the UK property market post-Brexit, real estate nevertheless continues to be a promising investment.

Original Source: Property Reporter

Older British people want more bungalows, new survey finds

More than half of people aged 65 and over in the UK would consider moving to a bungalow but not enough are being built to meet demand, a new survey shows.

Overall 54% in this age group, equal to 6.6 million older people in the UK, would consider moving to a single storey house and 65% think more bungalows should be built exclusively for older people.

The research from McCarthy & Stone shows, however, that in the past 30 years the number of bungalows built each year has dropped from over 26,000 in 1986 to just 2,600 in 2017 an d around just two million bungalows have ever been built in the UK.

It also points out that a recent report from MPs called on councils and developers to consider the feasibility of building more bungalows. Planning rules have, however, limited their viability, favouring high density developments.

With strong demand in the market and the UK’s ageing demographic continuing unabated, McCarthy & Stone suggests there is a need to reconsider current planning legislation to help cater for demand and provide greater retirement housing choices.

As part of efforts to tackle the shortage, McCarthy & Stone currently has over 240 bungalows in its pipeline across 15 different schemes and reports strong interest from buyers.

‘There is an urgent need to build more suitable housing to meet the different needs of those in retirement, and bungalows must play a key role. Although they were a dying breed, bungalows are making a comeback and are hot property,’ said Clive Fenton, chief executive of McCarthy & Stone .

The firm also points out that well-designed bungalows are suited to later living given their step free access, their secure, private and manageable outside spaces and their easy adaptability.

McCarthy & Stone is calling for more planning support to help build a greater number of bungalows, including the allocation of bungalow-only sites in Local Plans. Specific site allocations can help to overcome issues around land price which have meant developers have to date favoured high density flats or houses.

McCarthy & Stone understand the Government will publish guidance on housing for older people in the Autumn, which it hopes will encourage more bungalows, and other types of retirement housing, to be built.

Original Source:Property Wire