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House price growth

The increase left the typical UK home costing £205,846, according to Nationwide

What’s the latest?

House price growth sped up in February with property values climbing by 0.6%.

The increase, which followed a 0.2% rise in January, left the typical UK home costing £205,846.

The annual rate at which house prices are increasing also picked up slightly during the month to stand at 4.5%, compared with 4.3% in the year to the end of January, according to Nationwide Building Society.

Why is this happening?

Nationwide said the housing market continued to be supported by the UK economy, which remained relatively strong.

Economic growth accelerated slightly between October and December, while the unemployment rate remained stable at an 11-year low of 4.8%.

But the group warned the outlook was uncertain, and the economy was likely to slow down during 2017, with consumer spending hit by the weaker pound.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “Nevertheless, in our view a small rise in house prices of around 2% is more likely than a decline over the course of 2017, since low borrowing costs and the dearth of homes on the market will continue to support prices.”

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Home for sale in Ascot.Above: four-bedroom home on Kings Road in Sunninghill near Ascot 

Who does it affect?

The fact that the heat appears to have come out of the property market is good news for those looking to buy a home as it takes off some of the pressure to purchase somewhere quickly.

But the ongoing shortage of homes for sale continues to be an issue as it limits choice for potential buyers.

The fact that house price growth is expected to slow further may also have an impact on stock levels, as homeowners are more likely to put their homes on the market to ‘test the water’ during periods of strong increases in property values.

Sounds interesting. What’s the background?

Nationwide said there had been a significant increase in the proportion of people buying property with cash during the past decade.

It said cash transactions had soared from just 20% of all purchases in 2005/2006 to around 35% now.

But Nationwide said the rise was driven by a decline in mortgage lending, rather than a jump in actual cash transactions.

Even so, the share of cash buyers has not fallen back as the economy has recovered and lending has picked up again.

The level of people buying with cash peaked at 38.9% in the first quarter of 2016 as investors rushed to complete purchases before new higher stamp duty rates came into force in April.

Top 3 takeaways

  • House price growth sped up in February with property values climbing by 0.6%.
  • The increase, which followed a rise of 0.2% in January, left the typical home costing £205,846.
  • The annual rate at which prices are increasing also picked up slightly during the month to stand at 4.5%, compared with 4.3% in the year to the end of January.

What’s the cost of buying a home ? lets have a look

What’s the cost of buying a home?

buying a houseSo, you’ve spent more time than you care to admit on Rightmove homing in on the ideal area for you to live. You’ve seen one too many floorplans, fallen asleep dreaming of furniture placements and started making colour charts for the prospective kitchen…

 You’ve decided to take the plunge and buy a home so let’s get this show on the road!

The next step is to talk money but, as a first-time buyer, what fees do you need to think about that might not have come to mind yet?

Deposit

This will normally be around 5% – 20% of the property price which you will pay upfront to your solicitor, to secure the property. You want to get together as big a deposit as possible in order to get the best mortgage rates.

Mortgages

You will need to speak to a Mortgage Adviser to find out how much they will lend you. The amount will depend on your salary, the size of your deposit and credit history. If you’re not planning to buy immediately, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of getting a better mortgage i.e. you may get a better interest rate if your credit rating is better.

There are many things to think about when selecting a Mortgage Adviser – such as whether to go through a broker or direct to the lender. Although their rates will be different, it is more important to look at which will support your personal circumstances the best. Regardless of whether you go through a broker or direct, the adviser should be able to present you with a shortlist of options based on your personal situation to make life easier for you when deciding which to go with.

The other fees you can expect to see, at this stage of the process, are mortgage arrangement fees (which you can pay upfront or roll it into your mortgage repayments), mortgage valuation fee, broker fees and conveyancing transfer fee.

Get a step by step guide to mortgages with our Mortgage Hub here.

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty isn’t just for the millionaires amongst us – it is a charge on any home if the property costs over £125,000. You can see Stamp Duty charges for a particular home price with this calculator here but, in a nutshell, this is how it works:

If the purchase price is £275,000, stamp duty is calculated as follows:

0% on the first £125,000 = £0

2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500

5% on the final £   25,000 = £1,250

Total stamp duty payable = £3,750

Be aware: this is the way stamp duty is calculated if this is your only home, but if it’s a buy to let investment or a second home, different rules apply.

Valuation and surveyor’s fees

The next step is for your mortgage provider to create a mortgage valuation report on the property as a means to check its market value and condition. There are three different report tiers to choose from, ranging from the most basic “Mortgage Valuation”, to the most comprehensive “Buildings Survey”. These may seem like an unnecessary fee, but it’s better to be fully aware of any potential problems you may face in the future with the property, before going any further with the purchase. You will usually be required to pay upfront for the cost of whichever report type you choose. Find out about the three different options below:

Mortgage Valuation – This is required by all lenders and is the minimum level of report required. The report checks that the property‘s cost is in line with current market values, as well as other basic checks.

Homebuyer’s Report – This is a much more detailed version of the Mortgage Valuation. In this report, they will look at all visible aspects of the home and recommend changes as well as any causes for concern. This may be easiest and cheaper if you use the same person who is doing your Mortgage Valuation.

Buildings Survey – This is the most detailed kind of survey. Recommended for older structures, period properties or homes which have had alterations (or which you plan to renovate), the surveyor will look thoroughly for problems with damp, within the roof and structure, rotting or with the foundations etc. They will also provide you will estimate prices for maintenance work.

Remember: when you’ve received your report, don’t just put that onto your pile of paperwork – make sure you read it and understand it thoroughly before you proceed with the home buying process.

Solicitor fees

A solicitor will be needed to help with the legal side of buying a home and may offer other services, such as local searches – which check out if there may be any local plans or issues going on which could affect you as a prospective owner. They will also charge for solicitor fees, disbursements and Land Registry fees – so these fees could rack up. Have a look at this calculator to see what your expected legal fees could be.

It is, again, important to do your research into several solicitors to pick the right one for you. The more expensive ‘no sale, no fee’ option is great for protecting yourself incase the sale falls through or you could get a much cheaper option but you will still have to pay their fees if the process is halted. Also, do you want a local or a call centre-type service? A local solicitor may be slightly more expensive but they may have more local knowledge and you can go in and pester them if you want to push the process along!

And when you’re ready to move…

That’s a blog for a different day, but you’ll need to keep some funds aside for removals companies (use our local removals tool here), ground rent if you’re buying a leasehold flat, the cost of changing the locks and house insurance, once you move.

There may seem like a lot of costs here, but it’s best to know what you’re dealing with and what the options are upfront, so you can make sure you have saved enough before you start and you don’t have to cut corners. It also means you  can do the necessary research and know your options when it comes to picking solicitors and mortgage advisors. Why not print this list off and tick them off as you go along? Good luck with your move!

 

Get your home ready for Christmas

With presents to buy, holidays to organise and food to prepare, it’s easy to neglect your home in the run up to Christmas. As always, we’re on hand to help, so here’s a list of quick fixes to get your home sparkling in time for 25th December.

December 15, 2016

home ready for Christmas

Bring Hygge into your home

  • Embracing the Danish concept of hygge doesn’t have to involve great effort or expense – it’s a Danish term for feeling cosy, spending quality time with friends and finding pleasure in ordinary, everyday moments. So lay out some cosy throws, plump up your cushions and enjoy some time with your loved ones
  • Nothing says homely and cosy as much as a fire or wood burning stove, but mess and hassle is the last thing we want at Christmas. Save yourself time and energy with instant lighting and long-burning wrapped logs. They don’t spit, you won’t need firelighters and you’ll have a roaring fire in an instant.
  • Ensure your heating is working properly – no one wants to be sitting in a cold house with no hot water on Christmas Day

home ready for Christmas

Make room to make merry

  • Declutter surfaces to make room for guests drinks glasses and bowls of nibbles. Let’s face it, you aren’t going to touch the fruit bowl for the next few weeks. Downsize to a small bowl of festive satsumas and make space for the mulled wine and mince pies
  • Simple touches like a candle-lit mulled wine warmer will look lovely when guests come round and help spread the gorgeous smells of Christmas around your home
home ready for Christmas

 

“Before-Christmas-itus”

It’s a mild illness that you’re probably still in the throes of; the obsessions to get that job done before Christmas. While it’s now unrealistic to say you could re-decorate the guest bedroom, you could at least replace those lightbulbs that went 6 months ago before visitors arrive…

  • A quick and easy trick to enhance lighting this time of year is the humble fairy light. Plus, they’re a much safer bet than candles if you’re hosting children or elderly relatives
  • Oil squeaky door hinges, wipe paintwork doors and bannisters and clean the windows, because while we’re wishing for a white Christmas, chances are the low winter sun will be glaring in on Christmas day and showing up how good your window cleaning skills are
  • If you’re still committed to getting that job done beforehand – no matter how big or small – then consider getting some extra help and find a home service professional with Plentific

home ready for Christmas

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas…

  • Stock up on some festive scent diffusers
  • Water your Christmas tree! The last thing you want is to be hoovering up pine needles on Christmas morning. Tending to your tree should also ensure it continues to give off that lovely pine aroma
  • Get rid of any dodgy smells – clean pet beds and purge your fridge / cupboards of old food to make way for Christmas dinner!
  • Give your bathtub, sink and shower a good scrub in advance of planned – and the inevitable unexpected – visitors

home ready for Christmas

A welcoming first impression

  • Tidy up the front of your house so it looks just as good as the interior. While these tips are for home sellers, they’re good ideas that we could all use
  • Leave plenty of time to make up spare bedrooms with clean sheets and towels. It always takes longer than you think, so just set aside a block of time
  • Significantly more house fires happen at Christmas time, so make sure you test smoke and carbon dioxide detectors
  • Hang a festive wreath up on the front door

You’re all set, Merry Christmas!

Faster house price growth in November, says the Halifax

Terraced house

Annual growth in UK house prices accelerated for the first time in eight months in November, a lender’s figures show.
The Halifax, part of Lloyds Banking Group, said property prices had risen by 6% compared with a year ago.
That meant the cost of a typical home was £218,002, it said.
The faster price growth is in contrast with figures from rival Nationwide, which said annual house price growth had slowed to 4.4%.
Annual property price growth peaked at 10% in March. The Halifax said that, despite the pick-up it reported in November, “annual house price growth may slow over the coming months”.
‘Putting the boot in’
Prices were up by 0.2% compared with October, and had risen by 0.8% in the three months to the end of November compared with the previous quarter, it said.
Industry figures welcomed the pick-up in prices.
Russell Quirk, chief executive of eMoov, said: “Many in the industry have been quick to put the boot in over the last few months where the UK property market is concerned, hanging gloomy predictions on a dwindling level of demand in the market.
“It would seem this simply is not the case. The driving factor behind inflating house prices is an imbalance between supply and demand and, with house prices spiking this late in the year, it would seem there is certainly a sustained level of buyer demand present in the current market.”
Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, said: “The Halifax’s market confidence tracker illustrates perfectly the ‘business as usual’ stoicism. It found consumer confidence in the housing market is at its lowest level for three years, but that nearly four times as many people expect prices to rise as think they will fall in the next year.”
The Halifax said that low mortgage rates were maintaining demand among potential buyers. But HSBC has just pulled one of the cheapest deals – a 0.99% two-year fixed-rate deal off the market.
Mortgage broker Aaron Strutt, of Trinity Financial, said the lender was inundated with enquiries, which could have led to it being withdrawn, despite the relatively high arrangement fees connected to the deal.

10 tips to help sell your house!

10 tips to help sell your house!

 

 

It’s all about property presentation; trust me when I say that this is key.

Homes are our biggest asset, naturally we expect a good price and yes under the right circumstances it should be possible to get it. Let me tell you if you put your property on the market with the “let’s see what happens” attitude you are not likely to achieve your price expectations.

Would you sell a car without giving it a quick wash and brush up? No, so why do it when trying to sell your home?

Getting the buyer to connect with your home, to imagine how it will suit their family and lifestyle, is not just luck; it’s about creating the right environment so they can’t resist it.
It’s extremely important that each room appears as it is intended to be used. Imagine the mindset of a potential buyer of a three bedroom house seeing two bedrooms plus a storage room!
And why do vendors think they are doing potential buyers a favour by showing them their home? It might take multiple viewings and can be wearing but it has to be done at a time convenient to the buyer not just the vendor.
To sell your home in today’s marketplace follow these few simple tips:
1. Good landscaping will transform the exterior look and feel of your home and give you a higher price. Hire a landscaper or do it yourself.
2. Your front door is the centrepiece of your kerb appeal so repaint it in a tasteful colour. Update the outside lights and put potted plants on either side of the door.
3. The entrance hall creates a first impression… make sure it is the right impression. Paint it in a neutral colour, remove any bulky furniture, upgrade the lighting and if you feel you need colour add it with accessories and a rug.
4. The wrong lighting can make your home feel dark and drab so install brighter modern lights to make your home seem sunny, cheerful and up to date.
5. Paint colour is such a personal choice and potential buyers are likely to want to customize it themselves. If you have dark rich colours then repaint in neutral hues.
6. Avoid major overhauls, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, but do update the lighting, install new faucets, mirrors and doorknobs if they are dated.
7. Clutter. NO, NO, NO! How do you expect to impress potential buyers with a cluttered house? If you have outgrown your home, start packing and if you don’t have anywhere to put it then use storage.
8. Pets – some love them, some hate them and some are allergic to them, so make sure that on the viewing they are out of they house to prevent one of three things happening:

    – Pet lovers will pay more attention to your pet and less attention to your home.
    – Pet haters will feel uncomfortable, completely on their guard and rush round your property leaving as soon as they can.
    – If you have a buyer that is allergic to animals, a reaction will put them off your home. Remove all pet bowls, baskets and (most important) litter trays.

9. Back garden. The first thing people see when they walk out the back? An unkempt garden? Loose concrete slabs? Your back garden should look like a space for entertaining. If need be, buy inexpensive patio furniture, potted plants and install some outdoor lighting to tie it all together.
10. Clean – Buyers expect to see an immaculate home with no signs of dirt. Remove last night’s Indian take away from the worktops and do the washing up! No dirty underwear on the bedroom floor. Potential buyers need to imagine themselves living in “your” space, your perfectly clean home!
You’ll be surprised how big an impression these small updates can make. By the time you’re done, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
Follow these small steps to help maximise your property’s potential that will allow you to achieve a faster sale and the best possible market price for your home.

247 Property Agent Ltd

 

247 Property Agent New Instant Valuation Tool

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We offer free instant online sales and rental valuations of your property, simply click the button on this page to get your results. Do remember that every property is different and we would always strongly advise you to take up our free no-obligation valuation in person by one of our experts to give you an accurate valuation of your property.

Click here  http://247propertyagent.com/online-valuation/

See how much your property is worth

Rising London house prices spark departure of thirtysomethings

Campaign group Generation Rent says exodus has occurred during a period when property prices in the capital rose by 37%

Houses in Islington, London
A street in Islington, north London. Only among twentysomethings are there more people coming to the capital than leaving it. Photograph: Alamy

The number of thirtysomethings leaving London has leapt in recent years as high housing costs have forced people to move out of the capital, according to campaigners.

Analysis by the group Generation Rent showed that 65,890 people in their 30s moved from London to another part of the UK in 2014-15, a net loss of 30,410 in that age group. This was 48% higher247_jul16_fa_tabletthan in 2011-12, when 20,590 more 30 to 39-year-olds moved out than moved in.

Internal migration data from the Office for National Statistics also showed a sharp increase in the number of children leaving the capital. In 2014-15, 26,920 more children under 10 moved out of London than came in, compared with a difference of 19,980 three years previously.

Generation Rent said the exodus had taken place during a period in which house prices in London rose by 37%, compared with 16% in the UK as a whole, and rents increased by 10%, compared with 4% outside London.

It said almost two-thirds of people moving out of London had gone elsewhere in the south-east and the east of England commuter belt, while 12% had moved to the Midlands and 11% to the north of England.

Only among twentysomethings are more people moving into London than out; in 2014-15, there were 37,950 more people in this age group living in the capital than the year before, a 3% increase.

Betsy Dillner, the director of Generation Rent, said: “Growing numbers of Londoners are giving up on the city and its extortionate housing market.

“London is an incredible city and the decision to move away isn’t taken lightly. These people are leaving friends and family in order to find a home they can afford, and some are leaving their jobs. This should worry everyone in London, from employers facing a loss of skills to communities losing valued neighbours, and particularly Sadiq Khan, whose housing policies will need to stop this exodus.”

Research by Lloyds bank found that moving to somewhere an hour’s commute from London could mean paying hundreds of thousands of pounds less for a family home. While the average price of a home in London transport zones one and two was £741,919, in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, the average was £183,345, while in Peterborough, it was £189,319, Lloyds said.

Andrew Mason, the Lloyds mortgage products director, said: “Commuters to London who don’t mind a longer journey between home and work could reap the financial benefits of living outside of the capital.

“However, the decision of whether to live in the city or further away is not simply a trade-off between financial costs and journey times. Quality of life is also a major factor: family circumstances, better schools, physical environment and homes that offer better value for money also come into the equation.”

Could Bridget Jones still afford that flat above Borough Market today?

Bridget Jones has made many mistakes, but spotting the one-bedroom flat she occupied in the first film was not one of them.

Sitting above the Globe Tavern, the flat has risen in value by more than 240pc since Jones’ screen debut in 2001, thanks not only to London’s overheated property scene but also to its proximity to the reinvigorated Borough Market.

The pub
The Globe Tavern this summer Credit: google street view

Back then, she would have paid around £190,000 for the flat, according to onthemarket.com, but would expect £650,000 were she to sell it today, despite the noise of two nearby railway lines.

Jones was a publisher in the first film, a job which, back then, would have commanded a salary of £23,000 – just enough to pay for the flat above the pub.

Today, that salary would perhaps allow Jones to get a mortgage of £90,000. This would make her unable to buy in London, though she could afford to rent in most places outside Zone 1.

Adjusted for inflation, her salary would today be £35,000, still unlikely to support the purchase of a house in the capital. But at least she could rent a very modest flat near Borough station.

But as all Bridget Jones fans will be pointing out, their heroine changed career to become a TV news producer. The new film, Bridget Jones’ Baby, hints that she is a high-flier.

Strictly Come Dancing Live: How to get tickets for next year’s London shows

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Good news for seller’s, no sale no fee with 247propertyagent.com, also good news for fans of Strictly Come Dancing! The dance spectacular will be bringing six fantastic shows to London as a celebration of the Live Tour’s 10th anniversary in 2017.

Bedazzled celebrities and professional dancers will take to the stage in February 2017 at two of the Capital’s biggest Arenas.

The stars and judges will bring the live experience to The O2 Arena and Wembley Arena, where the audience decides who takes home the coveted glitterball trophy at the end of each show.

Although the line-up is yet to be confirmed, you can expect some familiar faces from the upcoming series, which is set to include Will Young, TV’s Judge Rinder and former Labour politician Ed Balls.

Find out everything you need to know right here, and make sure you don’t miss out on the biggest Strictly tour to date!

Melvin Odoom, Anastacia, Greg Rutherford, Laura Whitmore, Daisy Lowe, Ed Balls MP, Louise Redknapp, Danny Mac, Tameka Empson, Will Young, Ore Oduba, Claudia Fragapane, Judge Robert Rinder, Lesley Joseph, Naga Munchetty (Pic: Jay Brooks/BBC)

When is the show coming to London?

Strictly Come Dancing Live will visit London on the following dates:

  • Thursday February 9 and Friday February 10: Wembley Arena, Arena Square, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0AA – 020 8782 5566
  • Saturday February 11 and Sunday February 12: The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, Greenwich, SE10 0DX – 020 8463 2000

When do tickets go on sale?

Pre-sale tickets go on sale at 9am on Thursday September 22, while general sale tickets go live at 8am on Friday September 23.

Tickets for both shows can be bought from Ticketmaster; the Wembley shows here, and the O2 Arena shows here.