Welcome to our firstĀ  Newsletter 2021!

Welcome to our firstĀ  Newsletter 2021!


Happy New Year to you all. I do hope that you are staying safe and protecting each other. Our greatest wish is that 2021 be the year that we can all go back to normal and see our friends and family socially. With the roll-out of so many vaccines, the chances are good. Despite the challenging start to 2021, here in the UK and around the world, we remain positive that 2021 can still be a great year. By keeping you informed in the property world, and our part of SE London, we hope that we can help you all make the best decisions to suit you. Changes have hit the housing market, thick and fast in the last couple of years and despite, covid, there appears to be no let-up. Have a read and see if anything grabs you. As always we are here at your disposal. #AskBeaumont



Leasehold Reform: What are the new changes?

The government has pledged to give leaseholders in England the right to extend their leases by 990 years and end their ground rent payments once and for all.

Click here to read Leasehold Reform: What are the new changes?.



Coronavirus eviction ban extended: what it means for renters and landlords

In the last 24 hours, all three nations have announced extensions to their bans on bailiffs taking possession of properties, meaning evictions won’t be permitted until 21 February (England) or the end of March (Scotland and Wales).

Click here to read Coronavirus eviction ban extended: what it means for renters and landlords.



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">The updated 'how to rent' guide for tenants and landlords</span>

As a landlord, there are a number of legal requirements to be complied with prior to letting out a property.

One of these is to provide a copy of the Government issued 'How to Rent' checklist to all tenants when entering into and renewing an assured shorthold tenancy, which is the most common type of contractual letting agreement.

The Government has recently released an updated How to Rent guide, which can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/
attachment_data/file/942503/6.6642_MHCLG_How_to_Rent_v5.pdf

The guide is designed to help tenants understand their rights and responsibilities under an assured shorthold tenancy both before the tenancy starts and during the term of the agreement.


What additions or changes have the government made to the guide?

There are some noticeable differences with the latest version, which now provides answers to tenants' frequently asked questions, including the level of deposit and its protection, necessary documentation and length of term.

Another important addition is the reference to a landlord's obligations regarding mandatory electrical testing, and a review of the permitted fees under the Tenant Fees Act, which was introduced in 2019.

The Government's latest guide also sets out the information that must be provided by a landlord to tenants, as well as a summary of what each party must and should do during the tenancy.

Importantly, it gives advice to tenants on what to do if things go wrong, whilst clearly setting out what should happen at the end of the tenancy.


Why is it so important landlords provide this guide to their tenants?

Landlords need to bear in mind that giving tenants the How to Rent guide is a legal requirement.

Without doing this, it hinders your ability to later serve a valid Section 21 notice and regain possession of your property, if required to do so.

This is due to the fact that the How to Rent guide is one of the statutory pre-conditions for serving a Section 21 notice.

We will always ensure on behalf of our landlord clients that their tenants are provided with a copy of this guide and that all other landlord requirements on the grant of an assured shorthold tenancy are complied with.

If you want any further information about the How to Rent guide or landlord and tenant requirements on the grant of an assured shorthold tenancy, please call our lettings team who will be happy to help.
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">Top tips for first-time buyers saving for a deposit</span>

Buying your first home is an extremely poignant event in anyone’s life and being able to put down a significant deposit is vital to stand you in good stead for your future repayments.
 
However, in light of the pandemic, we appreciate that it can seem more daunting than ever to imagine yourself taking that step towards homeownership.
 
As your trusted local estate agent, with lots of first-time buyer experience, we have complied these tips to support your saving goals this January.


Plan ahead

During your property purchasing journey, it is crucial to identify any additional funds that you may need along the moving process. 

Likewise, being aware of your monthly income and outgoings is extremely important in order to create a timescale for your saving journey.
 
 
Move back home

If your parents or family are not in a position to be able to support you financially with your property purchase, there are other ways they can help.
 
The vast majority of first-time buyers find it difficult to save for a deposit due to their monthly rental outgoings, so moving in with a friend or family member is a great option to reducing these costs.
 
Due to COVID, it is important that you check the most recent guidance before changing your living situation.
 

Downsize

If your current rent price per calendar month is slowing your deposit saving down, and you can’t move in with a family member or friend, then downsizing may help.
 
Looking for a property that is smaller could save you hundreds or even thousands over the span of your saving period.
 
Alternatively, moving out of a central location has the potential to save you a significant sum, and with remote working the new norm, you might find this option can be implemented without disrupting your lifestyle.


Check your direct debits

Especially at this time of year, many of us will take out various subscriptions without continuing to need them beyond the first month.
 
As such, it is important to go over your direct debits and ensure that you are still using all of the services you are paying for.
 
In 2019, Brits spent £4 billion on unused gym memberships – and with the average monthly fee being £35 per person – the cost really adds up.*
 
This also goes for streaming services and club memberships that you may no longer use.


Whether you have your deposit ready to go, or you’re looking to downsize to save some extra money, we’re here to help you every step of the way.



*Daily Mail
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">2020: A year where everything changed</span><br />

 
As we all make preparations for the year ahead, we've brought you a month-by-month recap of 2020's property market highs and lows.

January – this time last year, we started with an incredible boost to market activity, with the 'Boris bounce' leading to more new listings and sales being agreed following a period of political uncertainty and concern over Brexit in 2019.
 
February – by the second month, news of the pandemic made its way across Europe; even though very few of us could have predicted just how much of an impact it would have at this stage!
 
Meanwhile, the largest ever private real estate transaction took place, with IQ student accommodation being sold for £4.7bn.

March – with the pandemic set to massively impact companies, the government froze business rates for retail, leisure and hospitality tenants.
 
However, the inevitable happened towards the end of the month, as the entirety of the UK were plunged into a complete lockdown.

April – the property market came to a standstill as the sector was forced to close for the foreseeable future.
 
Firms across the country tried to battle the pandemic’s financial effect using the furlough schemes and support available.
 
As a country, we also started embracing the benefits of remote working, developing new skills and spending time on DIY projects around the house.
 
May – in May, the property market could finally return to some degree of normality.
 
This involved the sector reopening, including the resumption of sales and lettings activity to get the country safely moving again.
 
June – unfortunately, June saw the massive real estate company – Intu – enter into administration, putting many of the UK’s shopping centres at risk.
 
We also saw the alert level downgrade from four to three, after a steady decrease in cases.
 
For the property market, we saw a steady and healthy return of pre-pandemic activity; especially for the lettings market with a rental bounce.
 
July – a stamp duty holiday was announced, which would cut the rate to 0% for all properties under £500k until March 2021.
 
The Government also launched a new drive that promised the biggest planning overhaul in decades, including a revamp to permitted development rights.
 
We also saw an extraordinary fundraising effort for the NHS, with 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore raising over £33m, as well as receiving a knighthood from the Queen.

August – prime property showed a remarkable recovery, as it reports the biggest rise in deals compared to other areas since the end of the lockdown.
 
The eat-out-to-help-out scheme went live, providing the hospitality sector with a much-needed boost.

September – as the number of cases rapidly rose, the UK was warned that a second wave of the virus had arrived.
 
As a result of this, the Government imposed new restrictions on the nation.
 
Many were concerned that this would hamper property market recovery, which turned out not to be the case, as sales agreed and tenant enquiries went from strength-to-strength.

October – demand continued to rise, spurred on by the possibility of stamp duty savings.
 
Towards the end of October, Boris Johnson announced that England would be placed in another lockdown.
 
Thankfully, the property market would continue to operate throughout this period, so as to avoid the impact the first lockdown had on the sector.

November – the market remained resilient despite the second lockdown, with house prices increasing by 5.8%.
 
We also saw mortgage approvals reach new record-breaking heights, according to Rightmove, with similar figures seen in 2007.
 
At the end of the month, it was announced that regions in England would be placed in different tiers based on case totals.

December – the last month of 2020 started with great news, with a COVID-19 vaccine being rolled out to those who were most vulnerable first.
 
This news boosted the whole of the economy, including the property market, allowing people to finally start seeing life as back to normal in the future.


If you have any questions, or you are looking to buy or sell in 2021, get in touch with our team.
 
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">UK property market set to grow 4% in 2021</span>

As we come into the new year, the housing market is forecast to continue its positive state, according to Rightmove.
 
House prices are set to grow an average of four per cent, despite the stamp duty holiday ending soon.

The market has seen a great increase in demand since the first lockdown, with larger houses proving to be the most popular property type, which is largely attributed to a change in routine and the rapid adoption of remote working across the country.
 
In July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced a stamp duty holiday allowing houses purchased for under £500,000 to benefit from a tax break.
 
Although this scheme is due to end on March 31st, many people within the sector are calling for an extension, so that buyers and investors may continue to benefit from additional support and to speed up economic recovery.

Mortgage lender Halifax recently reported that over the last five months, the house price increase has reached its highest record since 2004. 
 
Seasonal trends suggest that January is a popular time for buyers and sellers. This year, that demand is off the charts, with homeowners rushing to reach completion and see stamp duty savings.
 
Rightmove expect the market to remain resilient despite the pandemic and Brexit.
 
They claim that the uncertainties of COVID-19 and Brexit have been around for long enough to not deter Brits from buying and selling.
 
If you’re looking to buy or sell, get in touch with our local market advisors for more information on what to expect in 2021.
 
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">Your guide to understanding your property's value</span>

If you are planning to sell or rent your property, then it’s important to get an accurate estimate of how much the property could be worth.

To give you an agent's perspective of what that involves, we've provided some of the key take-away points below.


Market value

Firstly, knowing how much your property is worth is more commonly known as its 'market value', which relates to the price a buyer is willing to pay when considering local and national market conditions.
 

What impacts the value of your property?

The value of your house can be determined by a variety of factors, such as any recent changes to the property or your neighbourhood.

Some of these factors may also include the size, location, amenities, condition and the asking price of similar houses nearby, so it's always beneficial to talk to a local agent with familiarity selling in your area.


The difference between market value and asking price

Valuing your house accurately is one of the most important parts of the process.
 
Bringing your home onto the market with an asking price that is too low could mean you receive offers below market value.

Whereas if the asking price is too high, you may not receive any offers at all, causing time delays and market stagnation as the ideal buyers are put off a home that falls outside of their price bracket.
 
So, whilst it can be tempting to instruct an agent based on who is offering the highest value, the risk of this is that you may need to gradually reduce your price anyway to reflect the property's actual market value.
 

How much could your house really be worth?

The best way to see how much your house is worth is through a combination of tried-and-tested
methods.
 
Over lockdown, it would be advisable to begin by referring to online house price calculators and valuation tools, as these will provide a guide based on Land Registry Data. 
 
However, it's important to bear in mind that for the most accurate and up-to-date valuation, you should organise time with an agent, as an in-person appraisal will guarantee any recent developments to your home are taken into consideration.


If you’re thinking about putting your property on the market, book a valuation with our team today.