First Time Buyers

Photo source: Property Reporter http://bit.ly/2ib8ZBf

We seem to get a lot of feedback about the property market on the regional level. London scores are getting lower and this causes an overall draw effect on the UK property market. All in all, the impression is that the market is definitely resilient to political uncertainty.

Details and some interesting point of view in the article on Property Reporter.

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Not as a surprise, the highest price per square meter is in London. The prices here doubled between 2004 and 2016.

However, the difference between the lowest price per square meter in the UK (Blaenau Gwent in Wales – £777) and the highest (the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea – £19,400) is enormous. The main causes and some of the effects on the long term you can find in this article on PropertyWire.

Astounding £18,000 difference between highest and lowest home prices per square meter

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It seems that interest rates will stay low for a while yet, and that has encouraged investors to look to commercial property in the UK for a steady and reliable yield. Over the last 17 years, we have seen income make up the majority of the return enjoyed by investors.

Photo source: Property Division http://bit.ly/2y6aPte

While stability in time is certain both for bonds and investments in the right properties, what is the right choice for investors. The analysis on Property Division takes a lot of variables into discussion and it is of help for investors in London nowadays.

Are Property Investments still Outperforming Bonds?

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Photo source: Property Division http://bit.ly/2hKFy8Y

Valuable advice for Buy-to-Let landlords to be ready for 2018:

1. Mortgage Interest Tax Relief Changes

2. Utilising Airbnb To Avoid Void Periods

3. New PRA Rules For Portfolio Landlords

4. New Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)

5. London House Prices & Rental Yields

More in this article on Property Division:

5 THINGS BUY-TO-LET LANDLORDS NEED TO KNOW GOING INTO 2018

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Photo source: Property Reporter http://bit.ly/2yWdhQP

If the housing plan reaches its target, the number of new homes built will definitely satisfy – or at least keep pace with – the demand. We are talking about 100,000 new and affordable homes each year.

The target seems now very far away and the main cause is lack of lands to build on. Latest research and solutions suggest swamping green-belt lands might be an efficient answer. This measure means that new properties can be built on lands on which the protection will be removed, in return for creating a new area of protected land elsewhere.

More land needs to be released for new homes in the UK to meet demand

The same resolution to build on green-belt lands was promoted a year ago. At that point, the opposition was strong enough against the idea.

Last year the question was if swamping green-belt lands was a step in the right direction, as this article on Property Reporter puts it. Since a year after the specialists reach the same point and with the same resolution, maybe it is the only answer.

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Home automation or domotics is building automation for a home, called a smart home or smart house. It involves the control and automation of lighting, heating (such as smart thermostats), ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and security, as well as home appliances such as washer/dryers, ovens or refrigerators/freezers. Wi-Fi is often used for remote monitoring and control. Home devices, when remotely monitored and controlled via the Internet, are an important constituent of the Internet of Things. Modern systems generally consist of switches and sensors connected to a central hub sometimes called a “gateway” from which the system is controlled with a user interface that is interacted either with a wall-mounted terminal, mobile phone software, tablet computer or a web interface, often but not always via Internet cloud services.

Even from the mere definition on Wikipedia, you know what to expect of a Smart Home. It is the ‘house of the future’ as we have seen it in movies a long time ago.

Complete automation of systems inside a house and the possibility to remote control them became a reality in the last few years. Because of the house’s ability to ‘respond’ to requests and needs of the inhabitants, it was named in the real estate domain a ‘smart home’. But is it smart enough to fascinate an English buyer?

Photo source: Property Reporter http://bit.ly/2x5GpDi

Latest research shows that most Brits are afraid of smart homes because of reasons like:

  • unapproved data collection;
  • hackers;
  • web viruses.

More details in the article on Property Reporter:

Majority of Brits are fearful of ‘Smart Homes’

Distrust in this type of a ‘connected house’ can be caused by lack of knowledge. Maybe testing the house before can prove to be a good way to increase confidence in home systems and technologies.

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The Government announced a support of almost £23 million for communities. This budget is to be used to develop Neighbourhood Plans until 2022.

What should come out of this move after the entire period?! The type of local growth the British Government is encouraging targets new buildings and homes, parks and other type of green spaces, offices, and shops.

Details upon the outcomes in this article below on Property Wire.

£23 million announced to help communities have a say in new housing

The pro-active moves of the Government however do not compensate on the lack of active involvement until now on ‘abusive’ leaseholds. The officials are expected to ‘make a move’ on current leaseholds and ban these types of contracts in the future. Considering the plan to build and develop new homes, the actions taken now should be a ground for more reliable future leaseholds.

Calls for UK Government to urgently sort out ‘abusive’ residential leaseholds on new builds

 

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Photo source: Property Reporter http://bit.ly/2wICfB5

Taken individually, these moves we hear about on the property market seem to be weird and with no rational basis: ‘biggest fall since…’, ‘highest raise’, etc. But if you judged them in the context of the market as a whole they make perfect sense.

For example, home buyers have been increasingly attracted by discounted luxury property. They now count for 45% of all purchases in prime central London. As an effect, the number of investors in buy to let (BTL) has seen a significant decrease, falling by 1/3.

Since luxury homes are the main target for the demand, the natural outcome is that the number of flat sales to fall easily. And this is exactly what has happened since the beginning of this year: flat sales went down 11% and prices have increased by 2.6%.

If you want to understand all the effects and, more important, the causes of the effects happening on the property market in the UK read the full analysis on Property Reporter:

Who is buying up Central London?

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Every property comes at a cost! But you can ‘mind’ your budget as a property owner when it comes to one financial department concerning properties: taxes.

Financial consciousness should be a field in which every house owner should be a master. There are a few tricks that can be used to lower the tax level upon your property:

  1. Don’t build any secondary constructions to the house. Even a garage can easily raise the tax level, being considered an outdoor structure.
  2. Pay constant attention (not money!) to the taxes paid. If you feel like you’re paying too much you can file an appeal to the local tax agency. And you can ‘prospect the market’ too: ask your neighbors with similar house how much do they pay.
  3. Don’t make your home over glamorous. Apparently being too posh can be taxed accordingly so keep your home on the normal ground.

More tricks and details in the article on Property Division:

Are your property taxes outrageous? Tips to lower them down

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Photo source: Flickr http://bit.ly/2w1IB2K

There comes one point in every home owner’s life when a though crosses his/ her mind: I need a bigger place. Climbing up the property ladder is a natural thing to do when you have a family and the financial situation is in your favor.

The solution is either moving into a bigger apartment (considering you already own one) or switching for a house. And the decision might not be as easy to take as you might think. A spacious and well placed apartment can be almost as expensive as a house, so the financial reasons might not be enough to have a clear choice.

If this is the case, bear in mind a couple of decisive facts when choosing a new place to live:

  • Try to estimate as realistic as possible the necessities for the family space. How many bedrooms? How big should the living be? How many bathrooms?
  • The neighbors. You might be that type of a people person that doesn’t mind hearing neighbors through the walls or you might want some peace and quiet and more personal space. A house doesn’t guarantee sonic isolation, and you’ll still have neighbors looking over the fence, but it is clearly more isolated than an apartment.
  • Gardening. Decide fast how much do you like it and to which extent. If you find overwhelming watering the cactus, you will definitely hate mowing the lawn once every… let’s say ‘week’ to make you feel comfortable.
  • Future development. Do you think you’ll need a garage or some extra storage space in the years to come? Think about how flexible the surrounding space should be to meet all your needs.
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