August Newsletter- A Property Market Update

August Newsletter- A Property Market Update

As I write, we are into the last summer Bank Holiday.  I have everything crossed for a little bit of sun and warmth for us all.

Talking of ‘hotting up’.  Demand is growing for rentals. Our London lettings market has seen a lull since the pandemic. But we have recently had great success letting larger houses, 3 bedrooms plus. We are a little short of stock now, so if you were thinking of renting, now really could be an opportunity, we actually do have waiting tenants.

<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">What’s next for the property market?</span>

Having contributed to record-breaking sales numbers over the last year, we consider what's next for the property market following the approaching end of the stamp duty holiday.
For first-time buyers
Introduced by the government this spring, the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme has encouraged lenders to offer lower deposit options, paving the way for the return of first-time buyers wanting greater flexibility and freedom becoming homeowners.
This scheme is set to close to new applicants in December 2022, with the government’s total investment expected to reach over £20 billion.
Flexible mortgage schemes
In support of the government's help-to-buy option for first time buyers, we are seeing banks and developers coming together to create other schemes that could essentially replace the government’s help-to-buy scheme when it comes to an end.
An example would be the Deposit Unlock Scheme, which provides buyers with a package that allows them to buy new build homes up to a value of £330,000, with a 5% deposit and 3.5% mortgage rate – fixed for two years.*
High street banks are also beginning to offer 5% mortgages, which offers to lend buyers an extra 10% of a traditional 15% deposit, requiring buyers to only front up 5% themselves.
Looking ahead
Existing and new incentives will boost a drive in the first-time buyer market and are likely to have a similar impact as the SDLT holiday.
Other new schemes could involve cuts to SDLT rates, particularly with second home purchases in order to get this section of the market moving again.
Are you looking to buy this year? Get in touch with us today.
*Newcastle Building Society

<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">With home break-ins high over summer, are you covered?</span>

As a landlord, it is vital that you properly safeguard every aspect of your portfolio.
Should there ever be issues with collecting rent, damage to your contents, a home emergency, or an injury that you are liable for, you could be out of pocket and unable to afford the costs of maintaining your property.
There are policies tailored to the risks landlords face that can provide vital cover for realities of working in property ownership. Find out more below.
Landlord liability
Should a tenant injure themselves on your property from such hazards as loose tiles or an ill-fitted carpet, then you could be held liable. If the injury leads to a lawsuit, a liability policy can assist you with:
- Your legal costs in defending a claim.
- Damages awarded to the claimant.
- The claimant’s legal costs, if you are found to be at fault.
Are your properties furnished? You might want to consider Contents Insurance
It is standard practice for most landlords to let their properties on the condition that the tenant can prove they have a contents insurance policy ready to be put in place on the day of the move.
However, if your properties are furnished or semi-furnished, you might want to think about getting your own policy.
Apart from Christmas, the highest surge in burglaries happens across summer, whilst every other month sees a low trend in attempted break ins.*
Leaving doors and windows open or unlocked due to the rise in temperature can invalidate claims made in the event of theft, so it's worthwhile to encourage your tenants to reduce criminal opportunity where possible and show caution with any valuables.
Do you have a buy-to-let mortgage?
Most landlords will usually have a buy-to-let mortgage in place.
Many providers will also insist that you have loss-of-rent insurance to cover your rent should you not have a tenant for an extended amount of time, or if your current tenant can’t (or won’t) pay the rent.
Loss-of-rent cover also protects you, should a fire or flood make your property uninhabitable. Your tenant will no longer be required to pay you rent, which could put your mortgage in jeopardy.
*West Yorkshire Police Department

<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">How does disrepair impact your property sale?</span>

Throughout the selling process, buyers are looking to assess the extent of the work needed to fix your home to their own standard of living, working out the time and money they may need to invest.
Whilst there are plenty of home hunters out there looking for their next project to tackle, many more will be looking for something that requires minimal fuss.
So, which home repairs can be the biggest deal breakers for buyers?
As the main cause behind serious structural issues, it's no surprise that damp ranks as the highest turn-off according to research.*
Keeping your house well ventilated in every season is crucial to safeguarding your investments, and with 63% put off by bad smells from pets or cigarettes, it's also worth purchasing diffusers before any viewings to keep your house smelling and looking at its best.
Having a messy garden also made the list, with 48% of people saying that it would put them off buying a property, as well as outdated electrics and poor natural lighting.
Aside from making any significant changes to the number of windows or doors in your property, the simplest way to increase the amount of light in your home is to eliminate any dark corners with warm lamps, giving the space the illusion of natural light.
Outdated electrics can be costly and time-consuming for buyers to update. So, if you’re looking for a quick sale, it might be worth getting any major issues fixed before viewings start to avoid a lengthy period on the market.
If you've completed any renovations or refurbishments since moving in, you should consider learning your home's current market value. Book your valuation today.

<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">Ways to avoid gazumping with your property sale or purchase</span>

With the property market heating up, gazumping is becoming all too common as demand outstrips supply.
In this article, we explain what gazumping is, and – most importantly – how to avoid it.
What is gazumping?
Gazumping is when a seller accepts a higher offer from another buyer after having already accepted one.
Between accepting an offer and exchanging contracts, a lot can happen, so it's important that both parties understand that neither side has a legal obligation until they have signed on the dotted line.
Whilst initially attractive on the side of the seller, gazumping could actually delay your sale, cost you more money or result in a fallen-through agreement in some cases.
Top tips to prevent gazumping
Look for the best mortgage rates
Knowing your options and being pre-approved by a lender shows you are a serious buyer, and a more reliable option than a gazumped offer that would only end up costing the seller.
Develop a good relationship with the seller
Having a good relationship with the seller is key to staying in their mind.
This means getting things done quickly and efficiently, as well as communicating any changes as transparently as possible.
Highlight why you’re a good candidate
Are you a first-time buyer? Paying cash? Or buying without a chain?
The less likely the sale is to fall through, the less likely you are to be gazumped.
Ask the estate agent to mark the property as sold
If the estate agent hasn’t marked the property as Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC), it’s a good idea to ask them, as it will minimise attention from other parties.
Need advice from a professional on your next sale or purchase? Contact our team today.

<span style="font-family: Georgia;">The big damp swindle part 1</span>

When I bought my first home in the 80’s the surveyor said the property was damp. As was the procedure in those days, I was informed to get a ’timber and damp, “specialist”, to go and inspect and issue a report...

Click here to read <span style="font-family: Georgia;">The big damp swindle part 1</span>.

<span style="font-family: Georgia;">The fraud of rising damp </span><span style="font-family: Georgia;">part 2</span>

Rising Damp was invented by the chemical industry. In a particular chemical industry boardroom in 1962 actually. When the first damp meter was invented...

Click here to read <span style="font-family: Georgia;">The fraud of rising damp </span><span style="font-family: Georgia;">part 2</span>.