Summer and Autumn Sold Rush For House Sales

sold board outside property

Will 2018 end well for house sales?

During the first six months of 2018 the level of house sales across the UK were running at a fairly poor level, but now the second half of 2018 is bouncing back with house sales on the up again.

Property sale agreed in Fleet by McCarthy Holden
A quick sale was recently agreed on this £1.85m. guided property in the Blue Triangle Fleet

When we say house sales are on the up, we are talking about house sale volumes not prices.

The market in residential sales remains very price sensitive, which is why discerning house buyers are seeing the current market conditions as an opportunity to move whilst prices remain static. The news for house sellers is that you can and will sell successfully in today’s market, but don’t expect a fancy or inflated price.

Large house price gains are gone for a while, but like all markets when they rebound from a low they come back with a sharp and fast uptake. Savvy buyers know this so are active in the market now.

Property sold in Odiham by McCarthy Holden
This cottage in Odiham was snapped up and exchanged when guided £850,000

A turning point this Summer and Autumn

Summer and Autumn trading results on house sales are showing high levels of properties going through to exchange of contracts and new sales being agreed quickly if the price and marketing combination is right.

Take this property below, which had offers within ten days of going to the market with professional video marketing and an eye catching price.

House sales exchanges have been increasing with examples across the price ranges, with the exception of the still soft £2.5 plus market which will no doubt catch up in due course.

There have been encouraging sales just under £2.0m. such as the example below.

Property sold in Finchampstead by McCarthy Holden
Sold (exchanged) just under £2.0m. in Finchampstead, Berkshire

Tragedy comedy or soft landing

We are of course reminded of the phrase All’s well that ends well, which is a title from a play by William Shakespeare, thought not to be neatly classified as tragedy or comedy. Lets hope for the residential house market its neither and 2018 ends well for house sales.

If you are looking ahead to a house sale in 2019, why not ask for a free no obligation valuation for McCarthy Holden.

Property Preview and First Look At This Hampshire Home

Mattingley, Hampshire

We are pleased to provide this video and photographic preview of a wonderful property, which is about to be placed on the open market at an estimated guide of £1.550m.

Located in the delightful hamlet of Mattingley on the outskirts of Hartley Wintney, this is a significant property which provides around 3,700 sq. ft. of luxurious space.

Take a look at the video above and enjoy a tour of the property and local area, we think you will be impressed.

Early viewings before going to the open market will be possible, so if you are tempted to view please contact our Hartley Wintney branch on 01252 842100.

There will be many photographs and insights available soon, but in the meantime here are a few images courtesy of johnjoe.co.uk

And if you are selling or letting a luxury home, discover the benefits of professional video marketing.

property for sale in Mattingley Hampshire
Approached over a long tree fringed track - in a prime location
reception hall of property for sale in Mattingley Hampshire
The stunning reception hall is impressive
luxury Kitchen of property for sale in Mattingley Hampshire
The vast kitchen breakfast room with garden or family room beyond is a fine feature
living room of property for sale in Mattingley Hampshire
The elegant living room
Master bedroom of property for sale in Mattingley Hampshire
The Master Bedroom
luxury en suite of property for sale in Mattingley Hampshire
Exquisite luxury en-suite to the master bedroom

Brexit Uncertainty Brings Uplift In Top End House Rentals

Uncertainty around Brexit driving buyers to rent instead of buy

There is an unexpected short term boost in the higher end of the residential rental market going on right now, because of austere house purchase stamp duty levels and Brexit uncertainty.

A number of high end house buyers are deciding to pop into a property rental for the next year or so, using the stamp duty funds they would have allocate on a property purchase around £2.0m. or more, to pay for the property rental instead of going into the Government coffers by way of stamp duty (about £154,000 at £2.0m. and £274,000 at £3.0m.).

The property above has been placed on the rental market today at £6,000 p.c.m.. This is an example of a luxury house in Berkshire which will attract interest from tenants wishing to live near say Wellington College, Reading and Wokingham yet have easy access to London. The video production and photography by johnjoe.co.uk will no doubt enable a quick uptake in tenant enquiries.

The medium term outlook for top end rentals is good, and for house sales over £2.0m. there could be good new post Brexit because the level of hot buyers in rental looking to buy will be at a good level.

The market insight is that the first half of 2018 saw one of the poorest levels of house sale transactions for some time, however, right now, discerning house buyers are seeing the current market conditions as an opportunity to move whilst prices remain static. The news for house sellers is that you can and will sell successfully in today’s market, but don’t expect a fancy or inflated price.

Large house price gains are gone for a while, but like all markets when they rebound from a low they come back with a sharp and fast uptake. Savvy buyers know this and are taking care of business now.

Another example of positive movement in the rental sector £5,000 to £8,000 p.c.m. is the property shown below, which was recently snapped up by a tenant on a guide of £7,995 p.c.m. So, if you are a landlord looking for an agent to manage and rent a luxury property then go to mccarthyholden.co.uk

High end property rentals boost for estate agent McCarthy Holden

Perk Up Your Patio With Autumn Pots Of Colour

As the new season approaches, plant some pretty pots to brighten the scene. Hannah Stephenson digs up top tips.

patio pots

As pots of tired summer bedding are tipped onto the compost heap to make way for autumn and winter flowers, there are certain things you should do now to ensure your container plants for the cooler months get off to a good start. Here’s our step-by-step guide…

1. Provide good drainage

Once you’ve emptied your pots of summer bedding and given the containers a good clean, line the base of your pots with crocks from broken terracotta pots or bits of polystyrene that your new bedding comes in, to make sure you have ample drainage for new autumn and winter bedding.

As autumn rains come, if your pots are exposed to the elements, the roots of your plants can become too wet if you don’t include sufficient drainage when you plant them up.

Mix a handful of sharp stone or grit into the fresh compost to help drainage and stand your pots on feet, so the moisture doesn’t come up through the pot and soak the roots from below.

2. Fill pots well

Unlike summer bedding, which grows rapidly to cover the whole area of the pot, winter bedding is slower to make an impact – so it’s best to plant winter bedding closer together in tubs, troughs and hanging baskets.

They won’t have as much growing time as summer plants had to make their mark, so don’t penny-pinch on the amount you buy.

3. Don’t over-water

Winter-flowering pansies and other bedding won’t need as much water as your summer annuals did, so don’t mix water-retaining granules into the fresh compost, or you’ll end up with rotten roots and wilted plants.

watering can

4. Shelter containers

If you have planted up pots with spring bulbs, violas and pansies, put them in a sheltered spot – say under a porch or cold greenhouse when the winter weather is at its worst – but make sure they get maximum light so they can benefit from even weaker sunshine.

As the weather gets cooler, protect plants by grouping containers and moving them closer to the wall to keep off wind and rain.

5. Choose plants wisely

Some bedding only appears in the autumn, including dwarf Michaelmas daisies, pot chrysanthemums and miniature cyclamen, while orange-berried winter cherries and ornamental kales appear slightly later on in the season. All can be put to good use in a container and enhanced with evergreen foliage plants.

Garden centres will now be awash with autumn and winter bedding, including pansies and violas, wallflowers, dianthus and cyclamen. Use a showstopper as the centre plant and then use trailers, such as creeping Jenny or ivy, around the outside of your pots, filling the gaps with pretty violas and pansies.

flower pot

So, if your are looking for a property with a great patio and extensive grounds with far reaching views, then take a look at this Hampshire property.

Bank of England Warns of No-Deal Brexit House Price Crash

Property Hampshire Warning Bank of England
Governor of the Bank of England Dr Mark Carney leaving Downing Street, London yesterday, following a Cabinet meeting.

Was this a forecast?

The Governor of the Bank of England has warned ministers that house prices could crash by more than a third in the event of a disorderly, no-deal Brexit, according to a report by Gavin Cordon, Press Association Whitehall Editor.

Yesterday, Mark Carney briefed Theresa May and senior ministers on the Bank’s planning for a “cliff edge” break with the EU at a special Cabinet meeting on Thursday to review the Government’s no-deal preparations.

It is understood he warned house prices could fall by up to 35% over three years in a worst case scenario, as sterling plummeted and the Bank was forced to push up interest rates.

“What could be lost in the alarmist headline is that Carney wasn’t making a forecast,” says John Holden Chairman of McCarthy Holden.

We’ve been here before

“And hang on, haven’t we been here before?” Holden continues.

Back in May 2016, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne warned that following a leave vote house prices would drop by 18%. Around the same time US President Barack Obama said Britain would go to the “back of the queue” for trade deals with the US if it votes to leave the European Union.

“So again today we read headlines which could damage confidence further in both the wider economy and the UK residential property market.” continues Holden.

Understanding the context

Fortunately, some leading economists have stepped up and put Mr Carney’s comments in a framework of context.

Take BBC’s economic editor Kamal Ahmed, who stated today that it appears that the Governor wasn’t providing the Cabinet with a forecast of what the Bank believes would happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit. He was briefing the Cabinet on what preparations the Bank was making if that does happen, including last November’s stress test.

It was not a forecast.

It was an apocalyptic test where the Bank deliberately sets the parameters beyond what might reasonably be expected to occur. The major banks all passed the test, giving reassurance that the financial system can cope with whatever happens next year.

The Governor believes that a ‘no-deal’ scenario would be bad for the economy. But not as bad as the headlines today which are based on a doomsday scenario that is not actually forecast to happen.

The market insight from John Holden is  that “On the shop floor at McCarthy Holden the first half of 2018 saw one of the poorest levels of house sale transactions for some time, however, since July positivity was in the wings because house buyers began surfacing again with intent.”

“Right now, discerning house buyers are seeing the current market conditions as an opportunity to move whilst prices remain static. The news for house sellers is that you can and will sell successfully in today’s market, but don’t expect a fancy or inflated price.”

“Large house price gains are gone for a while, but like all markets when they rebound from a low they come back with a sharp and fast uptake. Savvy buyers know this and are taking care of business now” concludes Holden.

John Holden - Chairman McCarthy Holden

Below are samples of fine homes that have SOLD (exchanged or completed) during 2018

Print marketing, they say it’s all over

Discover the beauty and benefits of quality print

When it comes to print marketing, some say it’s all over but we challenge that view and back up our view with investment in print marketing and tangible evidence of results.

In this digital age it is very easy to dismiss the power of quality print marketing, and when it comes to the thousands of pounds we spend on producing the lifestyle and property magazine In The Country and Town the doubts sown by the digital age ring loudly in our corporate ears.

The summer edition of lifestyle and property magazine In The Country and Town is out now, thanks to greta print services from IC Printing and photography work from John Joe. Right now the magazine is being read by thousands of people, including house buyers, search agents and tenants from as far afield as London to Bejing.

This quality magazine is showcasing wonderful content from stunning properties, to celebrity chefs and motoring features, great interior design, market insight, politics and gardening. So, does it work?

At McCarthy Holden we distribute thousands of copies of each issue by Royal Mail and many more by our own direct distribution. Looking back on previous issues we can fine many examples of properties which were sold directly from this magazine, despite these properties already being on the open market on property portals such as Rightmove. So yes this old fashioned print marketing can work and in many cases outperformed the digital property portals such as Rightmove.

Take a look at some examples.

farm sold

The house above sold as a result of the successful buyer picking up a copy of the magazine in a railway carriage travelling from Waterloo to Fleet.

country house photo
Finchampstead Ridges, Berkshire

The country house above sold when Royal Mail delivered the magazine and the successful buyer, who wasn’t on Rightmove or registered with an agent to move, simply saw the advert and was inspired to move.

Why Does Print Work In This Case?

“Quality print in books and magazine are something we are all attracted to, because people appreciate good design and beauty and I’m not at all surprised by the fact that printed books are on the rise again against the digital versions. People like to hold a book or magazine.” says marketing director Samantha Holden.

‘In this case the carefully targetted Royal Mail delivery is a big factor in the success rate, getting us to buyers who haven’t yet thought about moving. We already have the digital buyers from the online property portals, but we want to find and motivate buyers who aren’t yet in the market place. In The Country and Town does this brilliantly” she concludes.

Quality magazine print marketing can outperform the digital world of Rigtmove or similar property portals, so for those who think print marketing is dead, a reassuring word to say that quality print magazine marketing is working well.

The Opportunity for house sellers to appear in this magazine, without obligation or cost unless we sell or let the property, is a big appeal.

The real story of this successful magazine is that it brings new buyers to the market, many of whom are not actively in the market looking around agents or property portals, hence the reason we tag the magazine name with ‘Creating the inspiration to move.’

One McCarthy Holden client took the time to write in and pen the following commendation about their experience of the In The Country and Town magazine.

‘A brief note of thanks for selling our lovely house in Odiham. The full page advert in your property magazine was excellent and certainly did the trick, outperforming internet giants such as Rightmove and Primelocation. Congratulations on producing such a professional and succinct magazine as “In the Country and Town”. The photography and video work was of exceptional quality, which has also provided a lasting memory of a property we were really fond of. We did appreciate very much your extensive experience coupled with your negotiating prowess, which held the deal together from the outset through to completion. All the very best for much deserved success in the future. Sue Easton- Jones – West Meon.

The property we sold for these clients at the time is shown below.

So in summary, if you are thinking of selling or renting a fine home then don’t just focus on digital marketing but in addition think about the role of quality print. Fortunately at McCarthy Holden we are leaders in digital and video marketing as well as professional print.

Cont act your nearest branch for a free no obligation valuation.

country house
Odiham, Hampshire
magazine photos

The A-Z of Home Renovation

extension-property-hampshire-diy-renovation

THE A-Z OF HOME RENOVATION

Thinking about embarking on a ‘project’? Claire Spreadbury reveals everything you need to know.

A new beginning: Starting a building project feels exciting. You’re creating a new section of your home, designed uniquely for you, which is pretty special.

Builders: The people who are going to take on your work need thoroughly researching. They’ll all have different work ethics, set-ups and costs. Ask around and find out if friends and family would recommend builders they used – it’s surprising how many won’t.

Contract: Once you’ve made a deal with a builder and the work’s secured, insist on a contract. This should tell you exactly what will be done when – week by week – and how much you need to pay at every stage. Remember to only pay that money when work’s completed as agreed.

Dirt: Strap in for a few months of filth. There will be dust everywhere. Some builders are better than others when it comes to protecting you from the dirt (for example, blocking off sections of the house so mess can be contained to work sites) and cleaning it up. Your grass is also likely to get filthy (and slightly ruined) if they store tools in the garden.

Extras: Beware – everything will have been priced up for you, but as the build progresses, there will be lots of additional opportunities for you to haemorrhage cash. The builders’ costs, for example, might include uber-cheap, ugly new radiators, but no doubt there’ll be an option to upgrade to much prettier ones, for a price of course.

Frayed nerves: Going through a build is incredibly stressful, and youmight well need to take on the role of project manager, which is almost impossible if you’re trying to work and sort out your family at the same time. Be prepared for difficult conversations with the builders too – if  you’re not happy with something, it won’t change unless you speak up.

Getting cash out: You might not want to do any dodgy dealing, but if you’re trying to haggle and the only way to make things more affordable is to supply a lump sum of cash, you might be tempted (though we couldn’t possibly recommend it). Getting large amounts of money out of the bank can be troublesome. You may have your account blocked and be treated like a total criminal, just to warn you.

Holidays: A holiday feels so good in the midst of a build, but be warned – there might be a little less activity going on when you’re not around. Builders often work on several jobs at the same time, so if someone else is around and shouting louder, people may get moved off your project onto theirs.

extension-property-hampshire-diy-renovation

Itemisation: When the builder gives you your contract, go through it with a fine-tooth comb to check if anything’s missing. If you’re ordering a new kitchen or bathroom, check the itemised list. You may have spent days in the shop talking through it all and working out what you want with the supplier, but that doesn’t mean they won’t incorrectly order something.

Jargon: There will be lots of things you won’t know the names of. When builders, plumbers or electricians litter their updates with words you don’t understand, ask what they mean.

Keys: Your builders are likely to need their own set of keys, so be prepared to get a set cut, and to trust them in your home. Otherwise you’ll need to remain in the house the whole time, and might just drive yourself insane.

Lost stuff: Anything you leave on site is likely to end up in a skip if it’s not needed, and things like light fittings or thermostats – that are fixed to a wall that are being knocked down or worked on – can easily get mislaid.

Mess: Strap yourself in for a messy few months. You’ll have stuff on top of stuff, on top of stuff. It’s a nightmare.

Never-ending: The builders might tell you eight weeks, you’ll estimate 12, but when they’re still at it during week 14, you might feel like you want to explode. Building work takes an awfully long time.

Open plan: This is the look so many of us are trying to achieve. Open plan living’s what modern life is all about, a real home hub where everyone can be together, perfect for families and entertaining. Just beware, there are fewer places to hide mess so think about storage, and if you have a TV in your open space, that’s going to take over, so you might need some screen rules.

Portaloo: They’re not pretty but if having a portaloo stops dusty builders traipsing up your stairs to use your bathroom, you want to have one installed. Check if it’s included as standard in your job price.

Queen-size tantrums and emotions: Nothing can really prepare you for the stress building work puts on your life. If you have other stressful elements to worry about too, prepare yourself for a tough few months. You’ll be snappy, ratty, emotional and generally quite unpleasant whenever you’re inside the house.

Real-life blur: Once you’re a good six weeks into a build, something happens to your brain. You’re no longer able to retain any additional information that isn’t written down, and have to take each and every day as it comes. Planning ahead can no longer happen.

extension-property-hampshire-diy-renovation

Skips: When you’re having building work done, a skip is one of the first arrivals. Don’t get too excited about using it to chuck out some big old bits of rubbish you’ve been hoarding for the last 17 years, though. Generally, builders might let you pop in the odd thing, but if you take advantage, they’ll charge you for the cost of the skip – which is hundreds. Prepare yourself for scavengers too; scrap metal dealers will come and rummage at all hours, and some have better manners than others. Same goes for neighbours looking for matching bricks and tiles, and complete randoms hoping for treasure.

Timings: We all know a builder’s schedule is unlikely to go completely to plan. Be prepared for timings to be, let’s say, flexible. It’s slow work – but worth the wait.

Under the ground: You might have to wave goodbye to bits of your garden or a beloved rose bush when it’s dig up to provide the soak away. The tunnels and pipes are often necessary for plumbing work, but rest assured, the garden will grow back (minus the rose bush).

Various people: Building firms use different people for different types of work, so you could see a lot of different faces over the course of the work. It’s a good idea to try and get to know them all though, as you’ll feel easier about being in the house with them.

Wall cracks: When you knock down walls and do extensions, you put the rest of the house under severe pressure. Supports will be put in place to ensure it’s safe but you will discover lots of brand new cracks, around windows, across corners and over ceilings. This can be alarming but it happens. Wait for the house to settle (usually at least six months is advised), then fill in the cracks and redecorate.

X-rated language: It’s not sweary builders you need to worry about, but your own language. Another side-effect of stress, it’s likely your swear count will rise dramatically. Stay calm by organising time away from the house, relaxing exercise classes like yoga or meditation, and mindfulness apps.

Yes please: Remember everything you say ‘yes’ to could cost you money. Some builders are more upfront about it than others. So if you’re asked if you’d like something a bit different, be sure to check whether it’s included in the price.

Zoo-like behaviour: Most reputable firms will use good staff, but there’s always the odd one – possibly the labourer doing all the horrible jobs – who might not be quite as tidy and polite as you might like. Be sure to give them mugs you’re happy to throw away for their cuppas, prepare for mud getting everywhere and cover up any areas – like stair carpets and hallway – with sticky, plastic coverings. You’ll really appreciate it come the end of the build.

extension-property-hampshire-diy-renovation

Before you start building works of a significant expense, why not speak to your local branch of McCarthy Holden who will be able to guide you in potential before and after values. For your local branch information:  

https://www.mccarthyholden.co.uk/branches/

Country House For Sale In Odiham Preview

Property For Sale In Odiham Hampshire

Our Odiham branch will be showcasing this country house next week, so here is a preview.

This is a substantial house of immense character in grounds of around 6.5 to 7 acres (not yet checked or measured), now available on the open market for the first time in over 40 years.

Originally designed by the renowned architect Herbert Pool for his own occupation in circa 1935 and extended in the 1950s, the generous proportions of this home extend to about 4,600 sq. ft. with the added benefit of the principal rooms enjoying a southerly aspect over the beautiful grounds to the rear.

Within this significant space there is a self-contained wing with a potential family room / staff quarters.

This property is set in beautiful park like grounds, brushing shoulders with lovely Hampshire countryside and less than a mile from the picturesque village of Odiham, rich in period charm with local shops and restaurants.

property photo rear elevation

The impressive oak front doors open lead to a fine reception hall, where the main stairs lead to the first floor. There is an elegant drawing room with wonderful views over the grounds to the rear, a morning room which opens onto the terrace, a substantial dining room, a garden room, and a kitchen/breakfast room with a converted gas-fired four door AGA and electric Neff oven and Neff ceramic hob. There is a seating alcove. Beyond the kitchen there is a secondary staircase to the first floor. A door leads to the former servant’s quarters with a sitting room, bedroom and bathroom.

The master bedroom with triple aspect windows is approached past a dressing room with an extensive range of wardrobes. There are six further bedrooms, one of which is currently fitted as a study.

property for sale hall photo

In location terms this is special, and benefits from ease of access to London, Heathrow and the M3 / M4 motorways, and of course towns such as Farnham, Reading, Guildford and Basingstoke. Odiham Common is nearby as well as some excellent walks into the adjoining countryside and along the Basingstoke Canal providing wonderful towpath walks.

Telephone 01256 704851 for more details or to a arrange a viewing.

Odiham High Street View
Photo by John Joe

Property for sale in Odiham preview

Property for sale in Hampshire.

If your leaving #London or any other city to escape to the country, then do take a look at this property preview of a character home set in rural Hampshire; due to the open market soon with an anticipated guide of £1.1m.

Located on the outskirts of Odiham Village and surrounded by open countryside, this is an attractive converted and extended former stables, which occupies a plot of approximately an acre.

The Stables was converted by the current owners 25 years ago, and the photos and video created by John Joe showcase this beautiful four bedroom detached family home which has an abundance of character throughout, including exposed beams and brickwork as well as wood burning stoves in both the main lounge and family room.

kitchen photo

Upon entering the property you are met by an entrance hall which provides access to the living room and family room, both of which are double aspect. At the back of the property is the spacious country fit open plan kitchen/dining/family room with double doors leading to an outside patio area and the generous grounds. There is also access to the downstairs cloakroom and separate utility/boot room with side access to the garden.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms, with the master bedroom benefitting from an en-suite bathroom, and a family bathroom. All bedrooms have built in wardrobes and there is additional storage on the landing with a linen cupboard and space in the eaves.

The property is accessed via a double five bar gate which takes you through to the gravel driveway providing parking for a number of vehicles. There is also a detached double garage which has the added benefit of an office space on the first floor.

garden view

The private garden is mainly laid to lawn with a number of mature shrubs and trees, as well as an area of orchard. There is a large stone patio area, ideal for alfresco dining, which is the perfect place to take in the adjacent countryside views. Additionally there is a summer house and a shed that is located next to the greenhouse and vegetable patch.

Odiham is ideally located for access to London via Hook mainline station along with M3 access via junction 5. There are a number of shops and restaurants, a thriving cricket club and tennis club with excellent schools also on offer. Nearby towns such as Farnham, Fleet, Basingstoke and Reading are a short drive away and provide further shopping and recreational facilities.

Contact our Odiham branch on 01256 704851

photo property for sale hampshire odiham

Property Preview – New To The Market

This property in around 2.5 acres(not yet checked or measured), is new to the market today so we have rushed to get the preview video to potential buyers.

The anticipated guide price is around £1.2m. and the property, which is located in Rotherwick, will be of particular interest to the equestrian enthusiast. Telephone 01252 84200 for further details.

Housing Wealth Hotspots In Britain’s Major Cities Revealed

Housing Wealth HotspotsLondon Tops The Tables

The total value of London’s homes is now over £1.5 trillion – more than twice the value of Britain’s next nine largest cities combined – analysis has found. Zoopla made the findings after analysing property values in Britain’s 10 largest cities.

It found the total value of London’s housing has increased by 1.54% over the past 12 months – the slowest growth rate of any of the top 10 cities. Sheffield had the highest annual growth rate at 5.63%, followed by Glasgow at 5.38% and Manchester at 4.49%. Bristol is the next most valuable city after London, with homes there worth an estimated £115.21 billion. Bristol is the only city in Britain apart from London where the total value of homes is over £100 billion.

Glasgow is in third place with a property market value of £90.75 billion, having also seen particularly strong growth in property values over the past year compared with the other major cities. Lawrence Hall, a spokesman for Zoopla, said: “It comes as no surprise that London is significantly more valuable as a residential property market than any other British city. “However, the data does show that, in comparison to cities further north and across the Scottish border, the rate of growth in London has slowed.”

The research also looked at the pockets in each city where total property values are particularly high. Within London, the SW1 area, which includes Belgravia, Pimlico and Westminster, was identified as being the most valuable area of the capital. Homes there are worth £54.57 billion in total – nearly as much as the whole of Sheffield’s housing – according to these estimates.

Bristol’s BS16 neighbourhood was identified as the city’s most valuable enclave, with a total value of £10.1 billion. The area includes Downend, Emersons Green, Fishponds, French, Pucklechurch and Staple Hill.

In Glasgow, G12, which includes the West End and the University of Glasgow, has a total property value of £4.27 billion, while Birmingham’s most valuable area is B13, including Moseley and Billesley, with a total value of £3.97 billion, according to the findings.

Meanwhile, homes in the M20 area of Manchester, which includes Didsbury and Withington, are valued at a total of £6.48 billion.

Summary / Conclusion

At McCarthy Holden there was no surprise in London topping the tables, however there is an interesting trend currently because there is a significant uplift in buyers leaving London to find a new home and settle in places like Fleet, Odiham and Hartley Wintney, perhaps indicating that lifestyle and environmental criteria play an important a part in moving house.

Here is the annual percentage growth in the value of homes, according to the research, followed by the total value in January 2018:

1. London, 1.54%, £1.506 trillion

2. Bristol, 3.8%, £115.21 billion

3. Glasgow, 5.38% £90.75 billion

4. Birmingham, 4.08%, £81.66 billion

5. Manchester, 4.49%, £80.47 billion

6. Edinburgh, 4.04%, £68.27 billion

7. Nottingham, 3.69%, £66.13 billion

8. Reading, 2.37%, £60.55 billion

9. Leeds, 4.2%, £59.05 billion

10. Sheffield, 5.63%, £55.69 billion

And here are the most valuable areas in each of the top 10 cities and the annual percentage growth in their value, according to Zoopla (cities ranked in order of the total housing value in each city):

1. London, SW1, includes Belgravia, Pimlico, Westminster, 0.01%, £54.57 billion

2. Bristol, BS16, includes Downend, Emersons Green, Fishponds, 4.43%, £10.1 billion

3. Glasgow, G12, includes West End, Cleveden, Dowanhill, 7.18%, £4.27 billion

4. Birmingham, B13, includes Moseley, Billesley,  5.37%, £3.97 billion

5. Manchester, M20, includes Didsbury, Withington, 4.78%, £6.48 billion

6. Edinburgh EH4, includes Dean Village, Comely Bank, 5.09%, £8.61 billion

7. Nottingham, NG9, includes Beeston, Stapleford, Lenton Abbey, 5.31%, £6.93 billion

8. Reading, RG4, includes Caversham, Sonning, Sonning Common, 1.23%, £8.54 billion

9. Leeds, LS17, includes Alwoodley, Bardsey, East Keswick, Eccup, 5.63%, £6.46 billion

10. Sheffield, S10 includes Broomhill, Broomhall, Crookes, 5.39%, £5.68 billion

So you’re just about to become a first time landlord?

How choosing the wrong letting agent will make you cry…

It happens more often than you think.You might get a new job offer that’s too good to turn down, you may decide to move in with your partner or you may just fancy a change of scenery and take some time out traveling.

The thing is, what do you do with your home? You could sell it, and reinvest the money, although returns on most things are very poor nowadays, as well as taking on a large amount of risk. So why not keep it?

If you keep it, you can either leave it sat empty and have a friend or family member check on it every once and a while, or you could let it out and hopefully make additional income along the way.

This is where doubts start to creep in…this is where becoming a first time landlord really can start you off worrying about your home that you have painstakingly improved and maintained over the years. There are so many horror stories about people renting out their homes from tenants not paying the bills, blocking the drains, decorating in unsuitable colours to running illegal ‘so-called businesses’. The problem is that a lot of dysfunctional, criminal, deranged or antisocial people can, when the occasion demands, give an impression of being an upstanding trustworthy member of society.

Unfortunately, without carrying out the right checks and trying to mitigate the risk as much as possible you may find, to your cost, that you end up with an unsavory character renting out your home.

Even if you do carry out the right checks, there is always the chance of things going wrong …way into the time scale of the tenancy. For example, what happens if the tenant stops paying, for no apparent reason? This can really start to cause cash flow issues.

There are also the legal obligations of being a landlord. Falling foul of the law can end up costing you an awful lot of money. For example, failure to comply with gas safety regulations could lead to prosecution and/or imprisonment with fines up to £25,000. Then, of course, there is the legal requirement to put your tenant’s deposit into a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDS) See details about ‘Tenancy deposit protection’ on the UK Gov. website.https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection

So the choice is yours… do it yourself or bring in a Letting Agent to help you.

So what should you really be looking out for in a lettings agency?

There are a few things that your letting agent must cover without a shadow of a doubt. If they can’t help you with these five things…then stay well clear.

  • Processes and measures in place for finding the right tenants
  • Health and Safety – complying with the law
  • Optimising rental income
  • Tenancy deposit scheme
  • Comprehensive tenancy agreement

Accreditations
Choose a letting agent who is a member of the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS), or one of the professional bodies that support it.

– The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA/Property Mark)

– The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

– The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)

Level of service
Can the agent offer you different levels of service, from full management to just finding a tenant, depending on your requirements?

Do they have professional indemnity insurance?
This will cover the letting agent against the possibility of being sued. Do they also have a client money protection policy in place

Tenancy deposit scheme (TDS)
Can the letting agent deal with this for you? If so, check that the scheme they belong is a government-backed reputable scheme.

Ongoing support
Does the agency undertake regular property visits to check up on the state of the property and the wellbeing of your tenants?
Is there an emergency maintenance out of hours contact number available?

These are just a few of the things you should consider when renting out your home for the first time. However, there is nothing like meeting up with the letting agent, to see what they are like in person. Do they get on with you, how helpful do they seem? How knowledgeable are the staff, and are they continuously being trained (CPD courses) on the latest legislation for example.

Also, check out a post by ARLA on “How to find a good Letting Agent”
https://www.ukala.org.uk/agents/press/releases/how-find-good-letting-agent

UK Residential Property In £ Per Square Metre

Local property hotspots in areas such as the Blue Triange in Fleet and the Cricket Green in Hartley Wintney have seen £ per square metre levels as high as £4,304 and £6,521 respectively, which sounds robust so how does that compare to other parts of the UK? These hotspot figures do not represent an average for the area, so bear this in mind when reading the following.

One square metre of house space in Kensington and Chelsea is 25 times more expensive than the cheapest area of England and Wales, new figures show.

The London borough tops the list for the costliest house price per area, with homebuyers paying almost £19,500 per square metre last year.

By contrast, the amount paid in Blaenau Gwent in Wales was £777, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Prices in the capital continued to soar far above other regions, with the cost per area almost doubling to £6,639 between 2004 and 2016.

The five boroughs with the steepest house prices per square metre were all in London, with the City of London (£17,371), City of Westminster (£16,246), Camden (£12,671) and Hammersmith and Fulham (£10,718) following Kensington and Chelsea.

Three of the five areas with the lowest cost per square metre were in Wales, with Merthyr Tydfil and Neath Port Talbot clocking in at £917 and £984 respectively.

They were joined by Burnley (£838) and Hyndburn (£976) in Lancashire.

The figures showed the north-south gap continues to widen, with prices in the South East (£3,445) almost double that of the North East (£1,271).

The data covers houses and flats bought in England and Wales between 2004 and 2016.

While there was a slight increase (2.7%) in the size of floor space bought, the rise in house prices was the main driver of growth, the ONS said.

Price per habitable room in England and Wales increased by almost half (45%) in the same period, whereas room size only increased by just over 1%.

A room in London cost almost £133,000 last year, almost four-and-a-half times more than those in the North East, with an average of around £29,700.

A boost in the proportion of detached homes purchased, along with a fall in the proportion of flats bought, account for the slight increase in room size.

Main Source: Isabel Togoh, Press Association

Market Insight and head scratching!

With our half year productivity up on last year and a record amount of property sale exchanges anticipated in July, are we really at odds with some of the negative press coverage around right now? Thankfully we are finished with General Elections and Referendums, for a while at least. The last three years have seen the residential house market disrupted in the lead up to these events, typically bringing a slow down in activity pre-event, followed by a rapid uptake in transactions post. The problem with most media coverage is that they work on house sales completions, which inevitably reflect a market three or four months prior and thus bear little relevance to the market occurring now today.

With the 2017 General Election firmly behind us, we can now look at the winners, who in property terms were the buyers who took the plunge and negotiated a deal pre-election. The wise buyers took advantage of a typical modest slow down in activity in the lead up to the General Election. Now, the market pace is set to rise during the remainder of 2017 and this is shown in our June and July 2017 productivity levels.

A Productive 2017

We have are already experiencing some record new ‘Sales Arranged’ figures this year, so we are optimistic about trading levels for 2017. Our house sales income at the half year point was up on last year and July is expected to finish with a record house sales income level. This doesn’t mean house prices are increasing, but instead it means the volumes of sales is on the up and buyers are being decisive, partly influenced no doubt by a shortage of supply which is a UK wide problem as the RICS survey out today reports by stating that new instructions had fallen for the 16th month in a row.

We look forward to a further review of the market late Summer / Autumn, when it will be time to check in on our market predictions. In the mean time our summer lifestyle and property magazine In The Country and Town is being read in thousands by potential buyers, investors and influencers alike.

The Rental Market

The Government is likely to ban tenant fees and this will result in agents charging Landlords higher fees, in order to recoup the costs of creating a lease and security checking a suitable tenant. The net result for tenants will be increased rents. ARLA, the industry professional body, recently stated that it does not support the fees ban, and that fees represent a legitimate cost to business that needs to be covered.

In many ways tenant fees are akin to house buyer fees, where referencing checks equate to mortgage application fees, contract negotiation charges are akin to conveyancing costs and inventory costs are similar to a survey cost.

The reality is that in order for a Landlord to be protected, many pre tenancy actions need to be undertaken and the cost of delivering these services has to be met in order to put in place the necessary safeguards.

In our area of operation, there is no evidence of Investment Landlords selling up as their profits start to dwindle due to the phasing out of tax relief on mortgage interest in April. Landlords will however seek to produce profit, and tax burdens together with the migration of tenant fees will force them to seek ever increasing levels of rent.

Lets Go!

We can look forward to some exciting new beginnings ahead and Brexit with all its uncertainty should be engaged with, and not seen as a doom-laden event. Remember there has not been the immediate 18% reduction in house prices post Referendum as predicted by George Osborne, nor many of the other horrific economic events. Many believe that sooner or later we will suffer, and that calamity will befall us in due course, but now is the time to focus on prospering and adopting a positive innovative attitude to our future; especially by business and industry in general.

For the remainder of 2017 I believe the residential housing market will be in good shape. This doesn’t necessarily mean a growth in property values, but it does mean that properties will sell faster and the number of transactions will be increased.

This in some way is also reflected in the experiences of the housing market in the United States, where there are some very similar scenarios. Like the UK, prices are continuing to rise despite political and economic uncertainty and some of the main reasons are also the same, namely a lack of supply. Prices for US housing is higher than April 2016 and this is having an effect on first time buyers and second movers, both groups that are essential for a healthy housing market. Also, rising rents mean that tenants hoping to buy find it harder to save for a deposit. A major difference between the two housing markets is that interest rates are rising in the US.

From a UK perspective there are some similar influences. It has been said that an interest rate rise would dampen the market, but this has not happened in the US. It was said that Brexit would have an effect, but it hasn’t. In both the US and UK more new homes are needed but this is not going to happen overnight and could take a decade to sort out.

I am confident about a positive output in 2017 and this confidence spills over into decision making about investment recruitment etc., so our corporate eyes are set firmly on making 2017 work well.

John Holden

Chairman and Managing Director

McCarthy Holden