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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.
Back then, she would have paid around £190,000 for the flat, according to , 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.
Parents are willing to pay £53,000 more for a home near one of England’s best-performing schools
House prices in parts of England have been thrust upwards by well-performing schools, with parents willing to pay thousands – or even hundreds of thousands – of pounds more to be near them.
Lloyds Bank says that many parents are willing to pay an average of £53,000 more to be in the catchment areas of top state schools – a 31 per cent increase on last year – according to Sky News.
The average house near one of the best-performing 30 schools in England now costs £366,744, compared to a national average of £313,318.
The bank says six of the top 30 schools seem to have pushed prices at least £150,000 over the average price in their county. Unsurprisingly, the biggest premiums are being paid in the more affluent south of England.
Top of the table is Beaconsfield High School in Buckinghamshire, in whose catchment area homes sell for almost £630,000 – 171 per cent more than the county average of £367,191.
The Tiffin Girls’ School in Kingston upon Thames has added £192,011 to prices there, while Dr Challoner’s High School, also in Buckinghamshire, seems to have created a £168,308 premium.
Andrew Mason of Lloyds says: “Schools with the best exam performance are proving to be an increasingly strong draw for home-movers, as we’ve seen house prices rise sharply in locations close to such schools.
“Our analysis shows that since 2011 average house prices in areas with the best state schools have increased by £76,000, compared to a national increase of £42,145.
“And seven of the areas covered in this survey have seen house prices rise by over £100,000 in the last five years.
“The popularity of areas close to high performing schools may mean that homes remain unaffordable for buyers on average earnings.”
85% of homeowners are willing to consider using an online estate agent, according to research by netanagent.com
With the increased competition in the marketplace from online agents, the survey reveals that a staggering 96% of homeowners would compare estate agents’ fees and services online if they could, to help decide which agent to use when selling a property.
Despite this trend, there is still a clear appreciation for the services offered by traditional agents, with reasons to not use an online agent including a desire to ‘speak to people face to face when dealing with big decisions’ and for ‘local people to sell my house in the local area’.
The survey findings also reveal the challenge that estate agents face when convincing UK homeowners of their value. Only 18% of homeowners view estate agents as ‘helpful’ and 20% view them as ‘knowledgeable’, with nearly a fifth (35%) thinking estate agents are ‘pushy’ and 30% perceiving them as ‘poor value for money’.
When choosing an agent, fee is the most important deciding factor (56%), with personal recommendation a close second and local knowledge and responsiveness also ranking highly. Crucially, however, findings show that homeowners expect a lot for their money with a quarter (25%) expecting to pay as little as 0.5 – 1.0% fee to cover all estate agency services, in comparison to the national average of 1.1%.
As part of the fee, consumers expect services such as photography (52%) and the listing of their property on property portals such as Rightmove (49%) to be covered, with 10% even expecting the running of open days, 6% video marketing services and 10% virtual tours to all be included as standard.
Interestingly, despite wanting to pay a low fee, 38% of consumers expect estate agents to provide support and guidance from valuation to completion as part of their service.
Book a Free Valuation and see how much your property is worth.
“The pick up in price growth is somewhat at odds with signs that housing market activity has slowed in recent months. New buyer enquiries have softened as a result of the introduction of additional stamp duty on second homes in April and the uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum. The number of mortgages approved for house purchase fell to an 18-month low in July” explains Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist.
“However, the decline in demand appears to have been matched by weakness on the supply side of the market. Surveyors report that instructions to sell have also declined and the stock of properties on the market remains close to thirty-year lows. This helps to explain why the pace of house price growth has remained broadly stable” says Gardner.
He warns that business surveys suggest that the manufacturing, services and construction sectors all slowed sharply in July, and, if sustained, this is likely to have a negative impact on employment and household budgets.
“Most forecasters, including the Bank of England, expect the economy to show little growth over the remainder of the year. The Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to lower interest rates from 0.5 per cent to a new low of 0.25 per cent will provide an immediate benefit to many mortgage borrowers, though for most the boost will be fairly modest” he cautions.
For some families, this saving will only be around £15 per month.
The latest Nationwide index puts the average price of a home in the UK at £206,145. 247 Property Agent/Surrey
Ashley Centre Epsom On Saturday 27th of August From 9am
247 Property Agent are glad to be sponsoring Epsom Medical Equipment Funds. An Epsom based charity doing a fantastic job of raising funds for essential medical equipment at Epsom General hospital. 247 Property Agent are proud to donate a gift certificate to the value of £1050 for their full sales service. We also have donated a first team signed ‘Harlequins game ball’, come along to Ashley Centre Epsom on Saturday 27th of August from 9am to show your support for EMEF and purchase your raffle ticket with the chance of winning one of the above, along with plenty of others fantastic prizes.
Since 1979, With your help, we have raised over £4 million
Raising money for your local hospital
Our Charity depends entirely on the support of local people. Sometimes businesses kindly donate several thousand pounds, the rest has to be raised one pound at a time. We are grateful for all support. Below are a few ways you can get involved.
Donating to our appeals. Every penny is appreciated you can donate via Givey orJust Text Giving (see below) or sending a cheque made payable to ‘Epsom Medical Equipment Fund’ to EMEF, 32 Tealing Drive, Ewell, Surrey KT190JS along with a completed gift aid form (click here)..
Support our events. We like to put the fun into fundraising with dinner dances, barn dances and a variety of other events. Your support is vital. Just by coming along or buying a raffle ticket you will be bringing us a little closer to our appeal targets.
Visit us. Pop in to our shop at Epsom General Hospital where we sell cards, gifts and refreshments. We are open Tuesday 1pm-5pm, Thursday 1pm-5pm and Saturday 2pm-5pm. You can find us on the ground floor Wells wing near the lifts.
Raise funds just by searching the web via ‘everyclick’.
Just Text Giving
Just text EMEF32 to 70070 and you’ll receive a text from Vodaphone JustTextGiving asking you to specify how much you’d like to donate 1,2,3,4,5 or 10 pounds. Reply with EMEF32 followed by the amount in full pounds eg EMEF32 £10.
The donation will then be added to your monthly mobile phone bill or deducted from your pay as you go account and sent straight to us.
Support us by shopping online
Visit ‘give as you live’ by clicking the logo below and register. Whenever you shop online with selected companies we’ll receive a percentage of your spend. It costs you nothing and benefits us greatly.
Nationwide customers nominated EMEF to feature in their Community Match programme in branches across Sussex & Surrey. We’re delighted to announce that we were the winning charity.
How Do Sellers Avoid It!?
For those not sure what gazundering is, it’s a term used to describe the action of a buyer who lowers their offer on a previously agreed sale price, just prior to the contract being signed. Why – you might ask? Well of course some buyers do it purposefully to take advantage of a seller in a desperate situation but in some cases it isn’t through the buyer’s choice. They could be reacting to an event in the chain, or findings in the survey.
Gazundering is an absolute nightmare for sellers (no surprise there) because the seller is put on the spot, they must either accept the lower figure, or reject it and start the entire sales process all over again. Not a happy dilemma.
Putting the seller in such a difficult position can then trigger a chain reaction. If the seller is pressured to accept a lower offer on their property, they may be forced into reducing their offer on a potential acquisition.
In England and Wales, there are no binding agreements on sale price until the contract stage therefore when house values are falling – gazundering starts to come into fashion. However on the opposite end of the scale when house values are rising, we see gazumping – when a seller takes a late offer from another buyer which is higher than the originally accepted figure.
It’s a rotten situation for the seller to be put in, so here’s what we advise you to do to reduce your chances of being gazundered:
Listen to your valuer
If your property is priced realistically and on the market for the right price – you have a better chance of receiving an offer quickly. The less time it takes you to get an offer, the less desperate you will be to sell at any price. Some buyers will check to see how long your property has been on the market for and if there have been any previous price reductions to determine whether they try to negotiate a lower deal so be aware of this.
IF possible, opt for a chain free buyer
The quicker that buyer can move, the more valuable the offer. A buyer who already has a mortgage offer in place with no ties to another property may be worth lowering your price for.
Be honest about any defects
The more transparent and up front you are about defects in your property, the less likely they are to come back to haunt you in a survey. If they are declared and factored into the agreed price, the buyer cannot use them against you further down the line.
Consider shortening the chain
It might be a sound option for you to sell your home and rent for a period of time to shorten the chain. This means you will not be forced into accepting lower offers as your position is not a weak one.
The Bank of England has, as expected, cut its base rate to 0.25 per cent after a record seven years at its previous historic low of 0.5 per cent.
Today’s cut may be an important psychological boost to markets and manufacturers but it is uncertain what its impact will be on house sales.
Firstly, it is not clear whether high street mortgage lenders will follow suit and cut their interest rates for borrowers – most are under no compulsion to do so. Secondly, the number of buyers with tracker mortgages that to some extent mirror the movement of the BoE base rate is far smaller than before, as increasing volumes of people have arranged fixed-rate deals ahead of what many expected to be an interest rate rise, rather than a cut.
“Today’s rate reduction will have little impact on the mortgage market. Banks already have very tight margins and may want to focus on savers who are struggling to earn a decent return, rather than cutting rates further for borrowers” cautions Adrian Anderson, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris.
Even so, agents have welcomed today’s decision.
Estate agents from around the country are reporting only limited damage to business or prices caused by the Brexit result of the EU referendum two weeks ago.
A survey of 132 agents and clients by property software firm DezRez – conducted a week ago when the impact of the referendum was arguably more stark than today – shows that 53 per cent had seen no effect from the Brexit result, and five per cent had actually seen an increase in activity.
Some 52 per cent expected some eventual impact in the form of some vendors or buyers pulling out of deals – although only a third felt this would mean that overall there would be less stock on the market as a while.
The Thomas Morris agency, operating across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, claims a a surge in offers since the vote. Last Thursday, June 30, it saysthere were seven offers on properties accepted, around a 30 per cent increase on any given day at the same time in the previous month.
On average, offers across their seven branches are currently within five of the asking price with some offers-over.
“This is still very early days, and things will change over the coming weeks and months. However, where people need to move they will move and so far values haven’t dropped” claims Simon Bradbury, Thomas Morris director.
James Clarke of Plymouth’s Lang Town and Country agency is quoted in local media as saying: “I can only see the market slowing down if interest rates increase. But articles I have been reading report a further cut to interest rates is on the horizon and they are already at an all-time low. I can’t see a slow down for demand of property to buy. I believe it will stay relatively stable.”
At Tunbridge Wells in Kent, Heather Cernis of Jackson-Stops & Staff says both buyers and sellers have been pragmatic over the past two weeks.
“All transactions are progressing and on course. Post-Brexit, we have had a steady flow of new instructions and requests for market appraisals” she says.