London first time buyers

The mortgage market is in continuous move and it can affect you as well.

If you’re one of those shopping for a house soon and you are considering a mortgage, you should carefully analyse a couple of factors before making a decision. The location, the time you are going to spend in your new home (if it is temporary or, hopefully, for the rest of your life), the purpose of the investment (for your own living or if it is a buy to let), and other life circumstances should be considered when choosing a type of mortgage.

However, even with all these cleared up, there is still one more factor that might influence your decision. The mortgage market is in continuous move and it can affect you as well.

The analysis after the first quarter of 2017 proves that some types of mortgages are increasing, while other products for loans are remaining unchanged. For example, the number of contracted mortgages rose in the first three months. These are bank products offered for self-employed people, people with complex incomes or other underserved segments of the buyers’ market. Looking closely upon the offer of bank products, you may see that banks will speculate this moment and will come with new and improved offers. You will just have to pick the most advantageous for you.

The mortgage market also seems to be improving since the number of completed applications  for first time buyers is rising. 67% of first time mortgage applications were completed in the first quarter of 2017, up substantially from 48% in the same period of 2016. Intermediaries have eased up the applications because of the struggle to obtain a mortgage that was intensely publicised last year.

And one of the most important news that the mortgage market received at the beginning of this month is that the lending rates reached their lowest point. The figures from the Bank of England showed that this year’s borrowers received the lowest mortgage rates ever.

These effects are sometimes connected and influence one another, but paying enough attention to the movements of the market might pay off eventually.

Sources:

http://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/brokers-see-demand-specialist-mortgages-less-buy-let-forecast/

http://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/uk-mortgage-applications-intermediaries-successful-year-ago/

http://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/mortgage-lending-rates-uk-reaching-lowest-rates-ever/

 

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Buying a home for the first time is one of the biggest decisions you will make.

You will need to choose what mortgage company is best for you and what kind of deposit you will need to have. There are quite a few choices out there now though that can help you.

Here is a list of things you should look into:

  • How much can you borrow?

Before you jump in and start looking for your home, check your credit and speak to a mortgage adviser to find out how much you may be able to borrow and if you can afford the monthly payments. Don’t forget to put some money aside for legal fees to. Always ask your lender if they cover mortgages above a commercial property as some lender may not.

  • Decide what you’re looking for and where

Once you have either got a mortgage agreement in place or you know what you are able to borrow then you can start looking into what type of property you are looking for, how many bedrooms, is a garden important to you and how far is the transport. When looking at a area check what

  • Start house hunting

When looking for a property the first step is to look on your local estate agent’s website. You may look at quite a few places before you find the right property for you. When you see a property that you want to view, look around for any signs of dump, is the building structure sound, how old is the roof, how much storage space.

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Buying your first home will be exciting, but it is important to stay grounded and focus on some important factors. Victor Michael look at the questions that first- time buyers should be asking before they purchase their first home.

Buying your first home is a very exciting time, and can also be a stressful one. Preparation is key in overcoming concerns and worries in order to make the process as painless as possible.

Victor Michael have compiled a list of questions to ask during the buying process that will hopefully help you on your way. It could mean the difference between buying your dream home or buying a disaster.

How much can I afford ? This, in itself can be a daunting task, but a task that needs to be assessed before you can look at any properties. The mortgage application is as important as the property. It is advisable to speak to a few brokers, just to ensure that you are getting the best quote to find out how much you can afford. Once you have a “ decision in principle” you can start your search for properties in your price range.

Would I be happy here long term ? When searching for your new home, don’t compromise on location just to get on the ladder. Remember that you have to live there, so make sure you explore all your options. Make a wish list of the amenities that you need close by – the way you live is key to deciding on a location.  Think about what you do when you come home from work, this can help you really determine if proximity to a gym, train station, park or good restaurants matter

Why are they selling ? While agents or sellers don’t have to answer this question it’s always good to get a good idea of the property’s history, and why the current owners have decided to move on. You might find out that the owner has work that is taking them overseas and therefore is keen to sell quickly, and so would accept a lower price.

Which survey do I need ? This is an important factor for any purchaser. This will ensure that the property is in good shape. Taking out a home buyers survey will avoid any stress later down the line – so be sure to undertake this task.

Exactly what is included in the sale. ? Ask questions ! Do not be afraid to ask. No matter how silly you think it sounds. If you see an item of furniture that sets the property off, ask if there is a possibility it could be included.

Has the property repeatedly changed hands ? Try to find out ? Speak to neighbours, shop keepers, anyone that may know. If the property has repeatedly changed hands In the last 10 years, this could be an indication that something is wrong. Be realistic, and keep an open mind.

How much is the council tax and how much are the utility bills in this area ? If you can, try to get exact amounts, talk to the seller if you need to, these costs need to be added to your overall budget. While these may seem like small considerations in comparison to the amount you will spend on the house, they are reoccurring expenses that will add to the pressure of owning your own home.

Do you have noisy neighbours ?If the seller has lodged any complaints against their neighbours they legally have to tell you if you ask – so make sure to ask this one, it could save you a lot of trouble! It may be worth visiting the area at night just as a precautionary measure.

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As if there isn’t enough stress involved in buying and selling a property, once the purchase is agreed it’s far from over.

Here is some top tips to ensure your move goes as stress-free as possible:

1. If you’re renting, you’re in a strong position. Keep the rental property for an overlapping week (or as long as you need/can afford) to make the process deliciously smooth.

2. There’s an idea that moving on a Friday is a good idea, but we think Tuesday is the best day, especially if you have young children. Take Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off work, giving you Saturday, Sunday and Monday to get ready; move on Tuesday; then Wednesday to straighten things up while the children are at school. The weekend’s not far away for a final push. The good news is that removal firms generally charge less for a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday move.

3. Spend several months pre-move having your children’s friends to stay, so you can call in all sleepover favours over your moving period. Farm out children, pets, or any other member of your family who won’t be a positive asset to the process.

4. Don’t even think about packing the contents of your house yourself. Look at the removal costs as part of the big picture and get the pros to do as much as possible. (You will of course already have de-cluttered and dispensed with anything that, in the words of William Morris, ‘you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’).

5. If you find you are moving a box that hasn’t been opened since your last move – now is the time to get rid of it!

6. Use your pre-move time productively by obsessively labelling boxes with their contents AND which room the box should go into on arrival in its new home. Use as much colour coding, labelling, post-it noting and organisational brilliance as you can muster.

 

7. If you’re downsizing, build in as much time as possible between exchange and completion to give you adequate opportunity to dispense with the possessions you will no longer have space for.

8. Not all removal companies are the same (or charge the same). Personal recommendation is generally best, but social media is extremely helpful for finding the best suppliers of this kind of service. Get quotes from, and meet, three companies before you make a final choice.

9. It’s better to find a removal company that is local to your new home than to use one in your existing area. You should be able to advise them about local access and parking issues at your existing home, and they will have a good understanding of any problems in your new area.

10. If you’re moving out of London, bear in mind that London removal companies charge like angry rhinos as soon as they see a postcode outside the M25. And if you’re moving down the road, don’t be tempted to do it yourself – it’s no easier to move 300 metres than 300 miles, so grit your teeth and get over it!

11. Check and double check access. Several smaller vans are more flexible than one big one, but it will cost more. If you’re relying on on-road parking space for the removal van, speak nicely to your new neighbours before putting some cones out.

12. Take a picture of the metres at your old home as you leave the premises, and the new ones as you cross the threshold. That way, arguments with utility companies are easy to resolve.

Finally, stay calm, and try to see the funny side if things don’t go according to plan. The chances are you will be gaining anecdotal entertainment on which you will be able to dine out.”

Source: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/household/top-tips-for-stress-free-house-moving.html?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=21136-202776-Campaign+-+18%2F04%2F2017+MC 

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The number of million pound apartment sales in England and Wales has grown nearly threefold, up 196%, in the last decade, according to new research.

The rate of sales growth for apartments has far outpaced other prime market property types with sales of million pound terraces rising by 165%, followed by semi-detached properties up 154% and detached homes up 88%.

The research from Lloyds Private Banking also shows that apartments represented 22% of all million pound property sales in England and Wales in 2016 compared with 17% in 2006 and accounted for 26% of the increase of all million pound property sales between 2006 and 2016.

Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of million pound plus apartments were in London with 96% of sales and the sale number in the capital has increased 193% from 973 in 2006 to 2,853 in 2016, representing 35% of all million pound property sales in Greater London in 2016.

Source: http://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/demand-luxury-apartments-soars-parts-uk-particularly-london/?utm_source=Property+Wire+News&utm_campaign=fc980f14bb-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cb0fe1dd73-fc980f14bb-108361813&goal=0_cb0fe1dd73-fc980f14bb-108361813 

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While there has been much focus on the so-called ‘tenant tax’, agents are warned that new legislation coming into force today has been largely overlooked despite its potential significance.

It gives local authorities in England tough new powers to crack down on rogue agents and landlords.

For the first time, local housing authorities will be able to impose a civil penalty of up to £30,000 for a range of housing offences, including:

  • Failure to comply with a housing improvement or overcrowding notice;
  • Failure to have the correct licence for a property that needs a mandatory HMO, additional or selective licence; and
  • Failure to comply with the HMO management regulations.

When it comes to properties that do not have the correct licence or where management rules for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are breached, both the landlord and letting agent can be held liable.

Before imposing penalties, local authorities must have regard to government guidance, issue a notice of intent and invite representations. There is also an appeals process.

The Government has also expanded the Rent Repayment Order (RRO) provisions that enable the local authority or tenant to claim back up to 12 months’ rent.

Previously, this power was only available in relation to licensable but unlicensed properties, and tenants could not lodge a claim unless the local authority had prosecuted the landlord.

From today onwards, RROs are available as a sanction for a wider range of offences including:

  • Illegal eviction or harassment of occupiers;
  • Using violence to secure entry; and
  • Failure to comply with a housing improvement notice or prohibition order.

Tenants will now be able to submit a claim without the local authority having prosecuted the agent or landlord, and the local authorities have the power to assist them.

Unlike criminal prosecutions, any income received from civil penalties and RROs can be retained by the local authority and spent on certain housing enforcement activity.

Isobel Thomson, chief executive of NALS, said: Whilst we support local authority action to crack down on rogue agents and landlords, it is vital that councils resist the temptation to issue financial penalties for very minor infringements purely to raise income and fill their budget black hole.

“If used wisely, these powers could mark an important step forward in driving rogue operators from the market and improving consumer protection.

“With councils able to retain revenue from targeted enforcement action, the business case for introducing new bureaucratic and costly licensing schemes is weaker than ever. It is time for councils to think again and adopt a smarter approach to regulation.”

 

Source: http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/new-legal-crackdown-on-letting-agents-and-landlords-comes-into-force-today/ 

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A petition that has so far gathered 144,343 signatures and argues that making rental payments is proof of ability to meet mortgage repayments is to be considered for debate in Parliament.

The petition creator, Jamie Jack Pogson, says he wants “paying rent on time to be recognized as evidence that mortgage re-payments can be met”.

Jamie had this to say: “Since living on my own I have paid £70,000+ in rent on time yet still struggle to get a mortgage. Unless you’re getting handouts, wealthy or in receipt of inheritance it’s almost impossible.”

Recent research from Lloyds Bank found that home affordability – as measured by the ratio between average house prices and gross local earnings – across UK cities is at its worst level since 2008.

Yet buying still remains more affordable than renting in all 12 UK regions. Halifax data shows that on average, first-time buyers are making annual savings of £651 compared to those who rent.

Buying is most affordable compared to renting in London, with the typical first-time buyer paying £161 (10%) a month less than the average renter (£1,420 against £1,581) an annual saving of £1,927.

Source: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/finance/should-rental-payments-be-proof-of-mortgage-affordability.html?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=21136-198062-Campaign+-+16%2F03%2F2017+MT 

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The latest research from Connells Survey & Valuation shows that, during February, first-time-buyer activity soared to a market share of 36% – an 8% rise against February 2016.

The near zero base rate has ensured that mortgages remain more affordable than ever – with gross lending at its highest level since 2008.

First-time buyers have seized the opportunity to get on the property ladder. This group now accounts for a third of activity in the property market during February (36%) – the highest proportion of first-time buyers since July 2011 and the highest February since 2010.

John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “Continued affordable mortgages have provided first-time buyers with an ideal opportunity to take their first step onto the ladder in February. Lending to aspiring homeowners continues to rise, while the base rate remains so low. For those with enough savings for a deposit, now is a great time to buy. Many are taking advantage of the opportunities on offer.”

John said: “The stamp duty surcharge has succeeded in helping first-time buyers at the expense of landlords. But this may well be temporary. Less competition for today’s first-time buyers comes at the expense of tomorrow’s. Most people rent as they save for a deposit, but the steady investment into the rental market is running dry. With limited new homes being built for the PRS, rents will soon start to rise. This will devour tenants’ disposable income which would otherwise have been saved for a deposit. The problem will be exacerbated next month as mortgage tax relief is removed, forcing more landlords to exit the market or ramp up rents.

In the Housing white paper, the Government announced plans to boost build-to-rent and institutional landlords, but it will be years before anyone can move into the accompanying new homes. Rents remained relatively stable following the influx of investment before the stamp duty surcharge but tenants could soon feel the full force of recently announced Government policies.”

However, the increase does not mean the Government has succeeded in boosting the prospects of first-time buyers long-term, says Connells Survey & Valuation. The surge from 28 per cent last February to 36 per cent this February is only marginally higher than the 10 year average.  Over the course of the last decade first-time buyers have been responsible, on average, for 35 per cent of the market. And the 36 per cent of valuations that first-time buyers represented in February 2017 pales into insignificance compared to the 41 per cent peak in February 2010.

John continues: “The rapid growth in first-time buyer activity is a recovery from a lower position, rather than a substantial improvement in market conditions. It’s important to not just look at the snapshot numbers but take into account the long-term trends. It’s still incredibly difficult to get on the property ladder. Most aspiring home owners will tell you about the Herculean challenges they face to save for a deposit. Despite all the Help to Buy programmes, first-time buyer activity is only 1 per cent higher than it has been, on average, over the last decade.

We may be in the eye of the storm in Britain’s housing market – a brief period of calm before the turbulence begins again. The base rate can’t stay on the floor forever. With Brexit approaching, economic conditions may get tougher. First-time buyers may need to board the ladder now before it’s hoisted up again.”

 

Source: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/property/ftbs-storm-the-property-ladder-in-february.html?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=21136-197729-Campaign+-+15%2F03%2F2017+CT 

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When it comes to home decor, 2016 was the year of everything from woven wall hangings to Scandinavian-inspired interiors. And as the year winds down, soon enough your thoughts will most likely wander to a home refresh. So it’s worth exploring the top decorating trends that will likely be on repeat in homes across the country—and possibly in your own abode.

We checked in with three interior designers—Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Young Huh, and Beth Diana Smith—for their 2017 decorating forecast and some easy pointers on how to make them your own. These trends are chic, inspiring, and (fortunately) don’t require a complete room overhaul.

Green
According to celebrity interior designer Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, who counts Kendall Jenner among his list of clients, green is “strong again.” From lime green to emerald, the hue works throughout the home—whether it’s as a wall color or a room-filling rug. If you’re not too keen on the idea of using green in large doses, Lawrence-Bullard has a suggestion: “Add really fun emerald glasses to your regular white plates and suddenly you’ve got that up-to-the minute look.”

Tropical Prints
It’s no secret that interior design takes cues from the runways, and this year, we’ve seen the likes of Marc Jacobs, Prada, and Emanuel Ungaro experiment with all things tropical. The print will continue to appear in wallpaper and designer fabrics, according to Lawrence-Bullard. But don’t worry if such in-your-face prints are out of character for you. He suggests throw pillows boasting the trendy pattern: “Always buy a plain sofa and change it up with new pillows,” Lawrence-Bullard advises. “It’s just like buying a great piece of classic clothing. You can certainly refresh it with a new bag and shoes.”

Texture
Weaving texture into an interior makes it more inviting and the idea of mixing fabrics and materials will be on the rise. “Texture is really important,” says Lawrence-Bullard. “We are seeing more and more texture in every form, from brushed brass tables to light fixtures to fabrics and wallpapers.” A quick way to test the trend: Drape a nubby wool throw over a leather chair or mix fabrics used for decorative pillows.

Marble and Brass Combinations
Young Huh, who was named one of Vogue’s five young interior designers on the rise in 2015, promises marble and brass will continue to dominate in 2017. “We’re going to see this trend in both kitchens and baths,” Huh explains. “It’s that combination of something very natural and clean, like white marble, and something industrial, hard, and a little bit glamorous with the brass.”

Muted Colors
Does the thought of bold colors anywhere in your home make you feel a tinge of anxiety? Don’t fret—it’s all about neutrals in the year ahead. “Whites, beiges, pale grays, camel, and blush pink are super on-trend,” Huh says.

Geometrics
Your goal should always be to create a home that feels curated, and an easy way to accomplish this is through pattern. “We’ll see inventive geometrics that speak to ancient cultures, whether it is African or Asian patterns, but they’ll be modernized,” Huh says. Think simple lines, geometric designs, and triangles, Huh explains.

Quirky Lighting
Think of lighting as an accessory for your home—it’s the perfect way to show off your unique design sensibility. “A quirky lighting fixture looks great in a dining room,” Huh says. “It’s a great space to go for it and do something unusual.” Also consider sprucing up your bedside lamps with something truly memorable.

Artisan-Crafted Furniture
For New Jersey–based interior designer Beth Diana Smith, the new year will include an emphasis on uniquely crafted furniture. “People will be going back to furniture that is more of an investment—furniture that is very well-made,” Smith says. She recommends antique shopping for pieces that will add character to your home and browsing sites like Chairish.

Gray
Gray was a prominent color in 2016 interiors and it will continue to reign in 2017. “We will see different tones of gray, a lot of gray and white, and gray in deeper colors,” Smith says. It’s the sort of color that complements a full spectrum of shades, from bold red to mellow ivory.

Bronze
Smith promises that 2017 will bring loads of bronze—a metal that warms up any space. “It’s a lot more classic in a sense,” she says, as it complements a myriad of decorating styles. “I like it in lighting and accessories, whether it be vases, lamps, or decorative bowls for the kitchen,” Smith says.

Source: http://www.vogue.com/article/home-decor-decorating-trends-2017 

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Property owners in one in three areas in UK areas earn more from owning their home than they do from their work, new research has found.

Overall house prices outpace owners’ earnings in 119 areas and 17% of all local areas have seen average house prices increase by more than total average pay, according to a study from home lender the Halifax.

Average house prices have increased by more than total average employees’ net earnings in 31% of local authority districts in the past two years and the proportion of areas where house prices are outpacing earnings over the last two years has edged up from 28% in 2015.

More than nine out of 10 are in London, the South East, South West and the East of England with these four regions accounting for 111 of the 119 or 93% of areas.

The biggest gap between rising property values and earnings was in Haringey in London. House prices in the borough increased by an average of £139,803 over the last two years, exceeding average take home earnings in the area of £48,353 over the same period, a difference of £91,450, equivalent to £3,810 per month.

Haringey is followed by Harrow in north London with a price growth to earnings difference of £77,791, St Albans at £72,990 and Waltham Forest at £63,646. In total, six London boroughs appear in the top 10 districts, including Newham at £63,583, Redbridge at £56,528 and Hounslow at £54,569.

‘Buoyancy in the housing market over the past two to five years has resulted in homes increasing in value by more than total take home earnings for the average homeowner in many areas, though mostly in southern England,’ said Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax.

‘While it’s no longer unusual for houses to earn more than the people living in them in some places, there are clearly local impacts. Home owners in these areas can build up large levels of equity quickly, but for potential buyers whose wages have failed to keep pace, the cost of buying a home has become more unaffordable during that time,’ he explained.

Four areas have recorded a differential of over £100,000 over the past five years. The greatest was again Haringey, where average property prices have increased by £242,121, surpassing average take home pay during the period by £124,300. Then Harrow at £115,522, Waltham Forest at £105,195 and Three Rivers at £101,082 with nine of the top 10 performers in London.

 

Source: http://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/research-reveals-much-home-earns-owner/?utm_source=Property+Wire+News&utm_campaign=016843e7c3-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cb0fe1dd73-016843e7c3-108361813&goal=0_cb0fe1dd73-016843e7c3-108361813 

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