Today's Property Market News 

Today's Property Market News 


Important.
Do not forget 'Pancake Day'.  Get your ingredient's in.


<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">What do tenants really want during the pandemic?</span>

The latest data from Zoopla has revealed the most common search terms from tenants between July and September 2020, with the findings showing a shift in attitudes as more people look for places they consider to be 'pandemic proof'.
 
Last year saw large disruption to our daily lives following the introduction of new tier systems and multiple lockdowns, forcing people to spend more time indoors and re-evaluate their list of property non-negotiables.
 

Garden

Zoopla found that being able to have a garden was on the top of the list as the most desirable feature to have in a rental home.
 
Not only has this been popular across the lettings market, but a recent study also revealed that the price of homes with gardens has hit a four-year high.
 

Parking and a garage

In close second was enough garage space, with the main purposes being for parking over extended lockdown periods and for an additional room to convert into a home office or gym zone.
 

Balcony

Balconies were another feature that ranked highly for tenants, specifically in London, where gardens are not always an option.
 

Pet-friendly

Rental properties that are pet-friendly ranked in fifth, as the word ‘pet’ was one of the most used keywords.
 
Whilst as few as 7% of landlords advertise their homes as being suitable for household pets, this could change in the near future, as a new agreement has been introduced that prohibits landlords from automatically banning pets.


Last year saw a 20% increase in demand compared to the year before, with a variety of factors contributing to this growth.
 
If you want further information on how to make your rental property more attractive to tenants, or you'd like help finding your next rental, then please contact our team.

 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">Half of tenants worried about their housing situation</span>

It's recently been found that 50% of UK tenants have expressed anxiety about their housing situation, with the most common concerns including unemployment and rent increases.
 
Whilst research from Aldermore Bank suggests that 41% are worried about their financial security.

In a time where a home is more important than ever, the impact of the pandemic is taking its toll on our mental as well as physical wellbeing, which is where we need to communicate with one another more than ever.

Encouragingly, 74% of tenants have spoken about the positive support their landlords have given them during these times.
 
Listening to their tenants’ concerns is an important part of being a landlord and it’s clear that many are fulfilling this role.
 
What help is available?
 
If landlords are struggling financially or they've seen a dip in their rental income, they can explore such avenues as a mortgage payment break with their lender, if it is deemed as necessary.

A quarter of those renting have decided to look for a property to buy and are actively saving for a deposit on a home, but the majority have had to delay or postpone their plans due to the current climate.
 
Whether it's to buy or rent elsewhere, many tenants are considering moving due to their current accommodation not having the facilities they’d like.
 
The main features that tenants desire include: a bigger kitchen (32%), more living space (27%) and a more energy-efficient home (25%).


If you’re looking for a different home to rent or are interested in buying, get in touch with our team. 
 
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">How to decorate your rented home without making permanent changes</span>

When decorating a rented property, there are many things you must bear in mind when making any dramatic changes, including getting the landlord’s permission.

However, there are plenty of ways to add personality to the property without risking your deposit, including:
 

Layering up

Creating layers in a room is a great way to allow a home to feel lived in.
 
By simply adding soft furnishings like cushions, blankets, curtains and rugs, you could make your rental feel a lot more like home.
 
If you’re unsure where to start, find a major furnishing that catches your eye – such as a nice rug – and build from there using similar fabrics and colours.
 

Investing in indoor plants

Houseplants are a great way to brighten up a room.
 
These are often inexpensive and require minimal to no effort.
 
Even if you lack a green thumb, there are plenty of options such as using artificial plants that will require far less work to maintain!
 

Letting loose on lighting

If your rooms are lacking in natural light, opting for a well-positioned lamp can flood the area with some much needed brightness.
 
Light fixtures can be practical and stylish, with many energy-saving options available, such as LEDs to brighten your home and reduce the impact on your wallet and energy consumption.
 
With many types of lighting available, it’s important you spend some time comparing to find the right “glow” for your home.
 

Hanging artwork without the need for nails

Having a home filled with personal photos on the walls is a great way to set the right atmosphere in your rental.
 
By using damage-free picture hanging strips, which can be found in most DIY stores, you can avoid losing your deposit due to holes in the paintwork.


Making the most out of your space

Most of us wish we had more space in our house to fill with our personal belongings, so why not create it by investing in multifunctional furniture for your rooms?
 
Not only are these practical but many options are also stylish, meaning you don’t have to compromise on the aesthetics of your home.
 
From the garden to the bedroom, there are many ways to save space and open up a room to have more purpose, such as creating a home office environment.


For any advice on the services we offer for landlords and tenants, get in touch today. 
 
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">Latest eviction ban “more balanced” than past examples</span>

Just after we started 2021, Housing Secretary – Robert Jenrick – announced an extension on the ban preventing tenants from being evicted.
 
This meant that – apart from the most serious of cases – no evictions would be carried out until at least 21st February.

In the previous bans, the substantial rent arrears exemption only applied when there were nine months of arrears before 23rd March 2020.
 
Many landlords have been suffering severe hardship by rent arrear levels significantly below that figure, which prompted a change to the arrears threshold to six months, making it more balanced for landlords and tenants.

Bailiffs that are enforcing the few evictions permitted to be carried out are being told to take caution and proceed in accordance with the regulations – if they can do so safely.

There is also a question mark over how a bailiff should deal with a situation where a tenant is self-isolating.
 
The presumption from many bailiffs is that the eviction could not be carried out for their own safety.

Not all landlords and representatives welcomed the extension.
 
However, Housing Solicitor – George Cohen – seems to think more landlords will begin to accept the change, due to the regulations being “more balanced”.
 
With the six-month notice period also reaching its conclusion at the end of March, many within the sector are now wondering what measures will be introduced by the government for landlords and tenants.
 
If you have any concerns about your living situation or property investments, we urge you to speak with our team today for more information.
 
 
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">Tips to speed up your home move</span>

As the stamp duty holiday reaches its deadline, a huge number of sales are being agreed.
 
This means that the time taken from having your offer accepted to being given the keys could take longer than usual.

There are some elements during a home move that are out of your hands. That said, if you're prepared and communicative, you can certainly have an influence on the overall process and reduce any additional delays.


Respond in a timely manner

This might be an obvious tip, but it’s not uncommon for buyers or sellers to take their time when responding to something simple.
 
When you receive documents to fill out, it’s important that you don’t dwell on the task for too long.
 
It can be tempting to leave paperwork to the last possible minute, but if possible, you should set aside time within a couple of days of receiving them.
 

Be flexible

Right now, there are many things that could force you to compromise and deviate from the initial plan.
 
For example, if you’re scheduled to move in the next two weeks, but the buyer would like this to be earlier, are you able to compromise?
 
It might be worth considering outlining your limitations from the beginning so everyone can plan accordingly and avoid any surprises later on.
 

Organise your questions beforehand

If you need to make an urgent call regarding your home move, write down all the questions you might need to ask before you pick up the phone.
 
This will allow you to get the answers you need in just one call, instead of having to go back multiple times as and when you think of new queries or concerns.


Ask away when choosing your solicitor

Whether you've been recommended a solicitor or you've found one for yourself, it's always a good idea to call them before making your choice, as you need to determine if they're the right fit for you and your property.
 
If you’re unsure about what you could ask, use some of the following questions:

- What should I expect from the process?

- How will I know when tasks are completed?

- How will you communicate with me?

- Are there any delays that might come up that you’re aware of?


If you’re looking to move home, browse our latest properties or speak to us today. 
 
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">How the pandemic impacted the housing market</span>

It would be somewhat of an understatement to say that the pandemic led to confusion and uncertainty for businesses last year.
 
The property market went through a lot in 2020, with huge repercussions on the way in which people now buy, sell, let and rent.

Not only did the various stages of buying and selling change, but we saw a massive U-turn in the way that the population thought about their homes, with Santander releasing data in September on record numbers of homeowners applying for loans to increase space and renovate.
 
More buyers were searching for bigger properties, including for larger family homes and increased outdoor space.
 
Something else that changed over the last 12 months – according to Editor of Luxury Daily, Alam Khan – is the way that affluent buyers are approaching the market; not only in how it will look but where they want it to be.

Prior to the pandemic, many high-powered business owners and working professionals would choose to live in their primary residence closer to the office.
 
However, many people have found remote working easier than anticipated, with companies able to save money and likely to close their physical premises completely.

It is safe to say that – overall – the pandemic has impacted the property market for the better.
 
Are you looking to move this year to better suit your working situation or lifestyle?
 
Browse our properties or speak to our local team for a valuation of your home. 
 
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">Help-to-buy extension has been confirmed</span>

The deadline for the current help-to-buy scheme is set to be extended by a further month – taking it to the end of March – in order to take into account delays to the sector caused by the pandemic.
 
Aimed at first-time buyers, it was during July 2020 that the practical completion deadline was initially extended from the end of December to February 28th this year.
 
This came down to matters regarding COVID-19 and how the current climate has drastically affected the property market as a whole, whereby the government were asked to rethink the date in order to benefit those looking to step onto the property ladder and move into a new build home.

At this point in time, practical completion can be done up until March 31st, however, that stands as the final deadline for legal completion.
 
The only exemption is where Homes England has previously granted extension to legal completion regarding those homes reserved before June 30th 2020, and who now have until 31st May.

Statistics that were officially published last year indicate that 278,639 new homes were bought on a help-to-buy scheme between April 2013 and June 2020.*

 
If you require further guidance or support, please don't hesitate to contact a member of our team today.
 

*GOV.UK
 
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">House-buying behaviour continues to be shaped by working from home</span>

With the number of vaccine jabs administered in the UK now over 10 million, we can start to imagine a future beyond the pandemic, but it's expected that the 'new norms' many of us have adopted will have lasting effects in our day-to-day lives. 
 
Working from home has gone from being an infrequent luxury to a very real reality – whether we've wanted it that way or not.

Jobs advertising remote working tripled since November 2019, going up from 26,600 to 80,700 listings in November 2020.*

With remote working now an expected part of life, the desire for a home office has skyrocketed, leading to interesting levels of activity on the market for larger properties.
 
COVID-19 has impacted the behaviour of homebuyers, as well as the priorities of employers and businesses, who now recognise that proximity to the office is no longer a prerequisite for their team members, allowing for greater flexibility on where people choose to live.
 
In a recent 'Home Moving Trends' survey, 35% of participants cited an office space as being more important since the emergence of the pandemic.**
 
The survey also showed that broadband was high up on homebuyers’ agendas, with 37% wanting enhanced Internet speed when searching for a new home.

If you're no longer restricted to a property based near your work premises, we'd like to help you.

Browse our latest properties or talk to our team about your home-buying criteria. 
 
 
*New Street Consulting Group
**Conducted by the Property Academy on a national level