The summer has arrived so your property market news

The summer has arrived so your property market news

Summer is here.
Roll on the 21st. 

There has been news recently that the market is up 10% in some sectors. In parts of the market, this appears to be true, but some people are still staying away from flats.  But with lockdown ending and City firms asking people to return to work, we think the draw of a Green and open commuter belt like ours, will be winning people back rather soon.

<span style="font-family: Georgia; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold;"><strong>Cities are making a comeback with buyers and tenants</strong></span>

For most of 2020, demand for rural properties outweighed demand for city properties.
Since the start of 2021, we've seen that interest reverse once more, with urban living now taking the lead.

Click here to read <span style="font-family: Georgia; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold;"><strong>Cities are making a comeback with buyers and tenants</strong></span>.

<span style="font-family: Georgia; font-weight: bold; font-size: 16px;">Five in-demand factors buyers are now looking for</span>

Working and spending more time at home has caused significant changes to people’s property needs.
More than a quarter of the UK’s renters and homeowners (26%) have found that their property needs have changed since the outbreak of COVID-19.*
What are the key changes likely to stay on the priority list now restrictions are easing?
Lockdown has caused a general desire for more space, meaning that many of us are seeking homes near public gardens or green areas.
Unsurprisingly, the demand for gardens has also increased by 74% worldwide, with UK buyers making it a top property feature to look out for.
Accessible Wi-Fi
Zoom and facetime have become the key to keeping in touch with loved ones, as well as playing an important role in remote working practices.
This means that having fast internet is essential for those looking to buy.
Natural lighting
Being confined to our homes throughout lockdown has given people a craving to create open, natural spaces inside.
Velux windows have increased in popularity due to the natural light and improved air quality they provide, whilst high ceilings also give a sense of greater space, and have seen higher search volumes of 15% over the pandemic.*
Home gyms
Lockdown has encouraged people to become more active in their spare time by taking up running and cycling where gyms have otherwise been forced to close.
Whilst sporting and leisure facilities have now opened up again, there's still a hesitancy from some previous members about when it is safe to return, making a home gym a staple feature of any home to attract attention from buyers.
Having beautiful views is a big selling point, with balconies also increasingly more desirable now.
If you've been holding off on your next move, we'd like to extend our support. Contact us today.

<span style="font-family: Georgia; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold;"><span class="TextRun SCXW11966340 BCX0" lang="EN-US" style="font-weight: bold;" xml:lang="EN-US" data-contrast="auto">What's changed to safeguard homeowners and renters?</span></span>

New laws have been put in place to place to protect homeowners, landlords and tenants. Here's a breakdown of what has changed.
1. Ground rent ban
Ground rent is money tenants pay their landlord to occupy the land a lease property is built on. You don’t have to pay any ground rent unless the landlord has formally asked for it.
Due to loopholes in some new build lease contracts, landlords can increase ground rent without offering any benefit to the tenants.
One of the new laws being put in place means ground rent charges are to be banned on new builds.
Tenants may still have to pay a small fixed amount of ground rent, but this fixed rate would not increase at any point during their lease.
2. Eviction notice periods reduced to four months
During the pandemic, notice periods were extended to six months as an emergency measure to safeguard tenants unable to keep up with rental payments.
This has been reduced to four months as the government look to balance support for renters and landlords.
For serious cases involving anti-social behaviour or a build-up of high rent arrears, this timeframe will be lower.
Because 45% of private landlords own just one property, they are extremely vulnerable to rent arrears, especially when they rely on tenants’ payments to pay their own bills.
3. More rights for pet owners
Previously, it was seen as the default option that rental properties did not allow pets. Updates to the modal tenancy agreement mean that this is no longer the case.
Consent for pets will be assumed and landlords will have to object to a written pet request within 28 days. To reject the tenant's pet request, a valid reason must be given.
This may include property size or surrounding issues, such as the property being in a block of flats.
4. Mandatory electrical checks for tenants
Mandatory electrical checks ensure that the property is safe for tenants to live in.
These inspections must be carried out every five years by law.
Once carried out, the electrical installation condition report will highlight any urgent work needed to ensure the property is safe.
Landlords who don’t carry out any repairs highlighted in the report will face a fine of up to £30,000.
5. Lifetime deposit
Ministers are considering introducing deposit passports to make renting easier.
This would mean renters could 'passport' deposits electronically, instead of having to pay a deposit for their next property while waiting for a refund from their former landlord. 
Passporting would allow a direct transfer of funds from the previous landlord to the new one on the day of the move.
The previous landlord would still be able to claim part of the deposit for any damages, if necessary.
For more information or guidance, contact our team.

<span style="font-weight: bold; font-size: 16px; font-family: Georgia;">How to avoid mortgage red flags as a prospective homeowner</span>

Taking your first step onto the property ladder can seem daunting. There are a number of unfamiliar hurdles and legal requirements on the way to homeownership, but with the right support network, it can be efficient and pain-free.
According to recent data, around 35% of first-time buyers have experienced mortgage rejection, with certain brokers and lenders detailing unusual money mistakes as the main factor behind this.



To give you the best chance at getting approved the first time around, here are the red flags you should look to avoid.
Joke references when transferring money
What may seem like a joke amongst friends could turn out to be a very costly mistake.
Joke references can actually cause a delay in the mortgage process, so be careful and sensible when choosing your reference names.
Betting or gambling transactions
An occasional bet on something like the national lottery won’t have an impact on your application.
However, regular betting will be weighed up by lenders, who will decide if you are in a position to comfortably pay your mortgage each month.
Serious problems can arise from excessive gambling, but few take into consideration what the repercussions could be when looking to buy a house.
Making a big splurge purchase or giving money
Now, we aren’t telling you to not give money, but lending and spending large sums of money can raise questions from lenders.
The same applies to making a high number of purchases in quick succession, even if it is something for your future property, such as furniture.
Seeing less money in your bank than usual can cause delays throughout your mortgage process if calculations don’t quite add up.
Struggling to wrap your head around your mortgage options? Talk to the experts today, contact us for more information.

<span class="TextRun SCXW92691864 BCX0" lang="EN-US" style="font-weight: bold; font-size: 16px; font-family: Georgia;" xml:lang="EN-US" data-contrast="auto"><span class="NormalTextRun SCXW92691864 BCX0" style="font-weight: bold;">Low cost changes to increase your home’s </span><span class="NormalTextRun SpellingErrorV2 SCXW92691864 BCX0" style="font-weight: bold;">kerb</span><span class="NormalTextRun SCXW92691864 BCX0" style="font-weight: bold;"> </span><span class="NormalTextRun ContextualSpellingAndGrammarErrorV2 SCXW92691864 BCX0" style="font-weight: bold;">appeal</span></span>

Whether you are considering putting your property on the market or you are simply looking to increase the aesthetics of your front garden, there are a few low cost tips that can help you increase your home’s kerb appeal.
What to consider when upgrading your property’s exterior:
1. How much you’re willing to spend
Working out a budget will provide you with a clearer understanding as to what projects will be achievable.
If there is a limit to how much you want to spend on this area, prioritise the projects that you believe will make the most difference.
2. What are your main goals?
What are you looking to achieve from re-decorating? Are you interested in creating a green space outside your home or are you looking for practical solutions and storage options?
Painting your exterior adds 2-5% on your property's sale value, so if you're looking to move in the near future, it's important to know where to focus your attention for the best returns.*
Have you considered these options?
Refresh your front door
Your front door is the most noticeable feature when entering a property, so it’s worth considering an upgrade if it's peeling or looking tired.
Add your own design accessories
Door accessories, stylish house numbers, lights and retro flower pots are all on trend.
They are also very simple but effective ways of increasing the aesthetics of your front garden for any guests or prospective homebuyers!
Clear your garden
Last but not least, the lawn plays a key part in your home’s kerb appeal.
In fact, 67% of homeowners state that a tidy front garden would improve kerb appeal to them the most.**
If you’re looking to begin the process of buying or selling this month, contact our team today.
*Home Logic

<span style="font-family: Georgia; font-size: 16px; font-weight: bold;"><span class="TextRun Underlined SCXW205782460 BCX0" lang="EN-US" style="font-weight: bold;" xml:lang="EN-US" data-contrast="auto"><span class="NormalTextRun SCXW205782460 BCX0" style="font-weight: bold;">Eviction notice periods now at four months</span></span></span>

From June, eviction notice periods have been reduced to just four months for landlords, instead of the six months they were previously set at to protect tenants over lockdown.
In cases of extenuating circumstances or anti-social behaviour, notice periods will be lower.
After a year of restrictions and economic uncertainties, the change is part of a phased approach from the government to help the country regain normality.
Before the changes, there had been a ban on bailiff-enforced evictions to protect tenants during the ‘stay at home’ instructions.
The UK’s housing minister, Christopher Pincher, has continued to pledge support from the government for tenants, whilst balancing the needs of landlords.
He stated that crucial financial support will continue to be available, with the furlough scheme and universal credit uplift currently in play.
Many people in the property sector have agreed with the changes, stating that now is a sensible time to roll-back the measures as restrictions come to an end.
Whilst the ban on evictions has caused financial distress to some landlords, it seems to be regarded as a success in the wider picture.
We are committed to helping our landlords and tenants with their every property need.
If you have any questions regarding the reduced notice periods, or a general query or concern, get in touch.