Spring Price Surge Comes Early for East Midlands Property Market

Spring Price Surge Comes Early for East Midlands Property Market

The winter months often see a slowdown in the housing market as homeowners are reluctant to sell over Christmas and the cold weather. However, annualised house price rises in the East of England have now overtaken those in Greater London and South-East England, according to the latest figures published in the home.co.uk Asking Price Index. This amounts to an average residential price increase of 12.2% across the region. By any standards these are astonishing rises, especially for the time of year, pre-empting the expected ‘spring price surge’ as the result of more homes traditionally coming on the market from March onwards.

With the trend predicted to hold until at least 2017, investors, homeowners and estate agents alike are watching the market with interest to see how things develop.

What is behind the huge price rises?

Probably the biggest factor behind house price rises in the East of England is a regional lack of supply. This is a problem familiar to homeowners and investors in the south of the country for some time, but until recently has not been an acute problem in the Midlands. This simply aren’t enough new, affordable houses being built in the East Midlands, and so the stock of available property coming onto the market remains low.

Although the situation isn’t as bad as it is in the West Midlands, which saw a 17% decrease in newly available housing compared to January 2015, the East of England still saw 14% fewer new properties coming onto the market than this time last year.

Increasing demand

At the same time, demand for property has gone through the roof, partly as a result of population increase and partially to do with increased rental prices.

Long-term tenants are now increasingly looking to enter the property market and take on mortgages, rather than ‘save and rent’. The result is a classic scarcity situation, where demand outstrips supply and prices rise steeply as a result.

Low interest rates are also a factor. With rates held at their current rate until at least next year, we are looking at a buoyant property market for the foreseeable future. Early proof of this is 0.7% average price rise across the region last month.

What does this mean for North Nottinghamshire?

Some commentators have chosen to take a negative view of these trends, but despite the naysayers, the housing market in Mansfield, Sutton in Ashfield and the surrounding area is in a very strong position as a result of these changes. Both existing and potential homeowners have good reason to be optimistic.

Despite the rapidly increasing regional averages, prices in the local area remain exceptionally competitive compared with other parts of the Midlands. This is great for both current homeowners and for people looking to buy a property in the area. If you already own a home in the area, look forward to a year to 18 months’ worth of progressive increase in the value of your property. You’re already in a great position.

And if you’re looking to get onto the property ladder? Our advice is to buy as soon as you can, while house prices remain low and mortgage rates are the most affordable they have been for years. Despite a relative shortage of new-build homes (and that could well change this year), there are still a good number of fantastic properties coming onto the market in Mansfield and Sutton in Ashfield. Within easy commuting distance of Nottingham and with good train and motorway links to London, North Nottinghamshire is becoming a popular base for professional working families.
To have a look at our latest properties, please take a browse through our website, and don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01623 554084 for more information.

The Legalities Of Preparing A Home For Sale

The Legalities Of Preparing A Home For Sale

After deciding to sell your home and choosing an agent to market that fact, there are several remaining steps to take. In fact, there are a number of steps that need to be taken in order to successfully prepare any home for sale.

Energy Performance Certificate

All of the houses for sale in the UK must include an EPC, or Energy Performance Certificate. This certificate, obtainable via an accredited assessor provides much vital information about the property being sold. This information includes the property`s rating for energy consumption. In addition to this rating, the certificate also includes information about the home’s environmental impact in terms of CO2, and any recommendations for how to reduce consumption of energy. A sliding scale from A to G indicates the most to least efficient energy efficiency respectively.

It is a good idea to obtain the EPC early on in the process, as this will allow you to implement any recommended changes to improve the energy performance of the property before it is sold. Some of these changes may result in an increase of property value, which can ultimately get you more for your home.

Find an Accredited Solicitor

Again, completing important steps early in the process can ensure that the best individual is in place to sell your home. When searching for a solicitor, it`s always best to choose those who are part of a regulatory body such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This will provide you with peace of mind that every step of the transaction is going just as it should.

You can also help your solicitor greatly by ensuring you have specific and required information ready to give them. You will need copies of any lender information, details about changes made to the property since you purchased it, your personal identification and any information regarding boundaries or building certificated obtained in order to complete any building on the property.

Agent Information

Not only will your solicitor require information related to your home, but so will your agent. Again, the best time to gather and prepare this information is early on in the process, before things become very busy for you.

Some of the documents your agent will definitely need include certificates for electrical, gas and any building regulations. As well, they will need receipts for any rents paid or service charges incurred, if applicable. Finally, your agent will require bills for paid utilities and taxes, as well as for any insurance of contents.

Another list of items to have on hand is a fixture and fittings form. This form will provide information about what fixtures you plan to leaving in the home, and which you plan to take with you when you move.

Being fully prepared to sell your home from a legal standpoint can offer a number of advantages. Not only does doing so allow you to experience far less stress when it’s time to make the sale, but it can also result in financial benefits to you in terms of higher property value. Ultimately, this means more money available which can be put toward other benefits like a larger home, vacation, or another major purchase, such as a vehicle or additional property.

The Buy-to-Let Property

The Buy-to-Let Property

If your goal is to have future security that allows you to retire comfortably, buy-to-let can provide a solution. Of course, like any property investment, all of this market’s aspects must be considered.

Unlike owning a personal home, owning a buy-to-let property means that you are a business owner; a landlord who provides housing to tenants. This type of property ownership comes with its own set of legalities.

HMOs

HMO stands for ‘house in multiple occupation’. This type of arrangement is one of the most popular forms of buy-to-let property investment. The HMO property is one where three or more people live in one home and share amenities such as the home’s kitchen and bathroom. These properties exist in both small and large sizes. A large HMO is one where five or more tenants share the amenities in a building that’s at least three stories in height. Although this type of tenancy is most commonly associated with students, it is also becoming increasingly popular among the young professionals market in London, Nottingham and other British cities.

This option demands that particular legalities are adhered to. For example, as a landlord, you will be expected to regularly check certain vital aspects of the building, such as electricity, fire and gas safety. You will also need to ensure that the property’s number of tenants remains at a reasonable level. In addition, you will need to ensure that all facilities, whether for washing or cooking, as well as any communal areas are always clean and in sound working order.

Usually, an HMO does not require planning permission if you wish to convert it to a personal dwelling in future unless it has been classified as a large HMO.

How to Invest in Buy-to-Let

Once you’ve reviewed the list of buy-to-let property for sale near you, you can make your investment with personal cash or opt for a buy-to-let mortgage with a deposit of cash. Any investment into a buy-to-let property also means carrying a mortgage. However, it’s important to note that mortgage payments remain due whether or not there are tenants occupying your building.

Earning a Profit

Investing in buy-to-let property can earn you a profit in more than one way. You can earn money through capital growth as well as through rental yield.

Capital growth refers to the profit earned when a rental property is sold for more than an investor paid for it. Most commonly, it is rental yield which offers the most lucrative way to earn profit. This is the rental payments received from tenants, minus the cost for repairs and running the building.

Additional Costs

In addition to the cost of purchase and maintenance, buy-to-let properties also incur stamp duty, land tax and survey and solicitor’s fees. Fees will also be incurred by letting or sales agents. Marketing fees may also apply should you choose to sell your property.

In order to secure your investment, you may decide that taking out a landlord’s insurance policy as well as buildings insurance are both good ideas. Both offer protection for you and your investment.

Before you commit to purchasing a buy-to-let property, it’s crucial to ensure that you’ve thoroughly researched things like consumer protection so that you know what is and what isn’t available to you as a landlord.

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Making an Investment in Commercial Property

Making an Investment in Commercial Property

Commercial property is one means that a property investor can use to diversify their portfolio. Property that is commercial includes anything from blocks of offices to retail premises. Also known as lots, commercial properties usually come with a higher rental cost than residential properties.

Commercial properties are only used for the purposes of business. But like residential properties, a commercial property will require occupants if the goal is to generate income.

Reasons to invest in Commercial Property

Investing in commercial property has several advantages. One of the main advantages is the money that can be saved. A commercial property doesn’t cost as much to maintain as a residential one, as the occupants are responsible for maintenance costs. As well, commercial properties cost less to operate.

In addition to cost savings, a commercial property offers reliability in terms of rent. This is because in a commercial setting, a corporation pays this expense. As well, commercial properties have far longer leases than residential properties – up to 20 years – making it unnecessary to have to seek out tenants every few years.

Commercial Property Investment Methods

There are three methods used to invest in commercial properties. These are property funds, indirect and direct investment.

Property funds are a method most commonly employed by first time or small investors. They allow an individual to get started with investment into commercial property. Property funds are a collective investment, much like unit trusts and Oeic.

Indirect investment involves investing not in the commercial property itself, but in the shares of that property. This is akin to investing in the stock market, as the money you make will be from the property’s value.

Direct investment involves the full purchase of either the share of a commercial property, or the entire commercial property itself. Although risky, this method can yield the largest amount of income if successful.

What to look for

The location and type of property are two important characteristics. However, the property type will determine whether or not the potential investment’s location is a good one. Perhaps accessibility should be another factor as any properties that exist in ‘business hubs’ or which are located near business centres are ideal.

Type of property will be a definite deciding factor. Which type you choose will depend on what you want from the property. Office buildings tend to be the best option where the securing of reliable tenants is concerned. They are also the most likely to be occupied regardless of economic climate. Other options like industrial, healthcare and retail properties can also have many advantages.

Before investing in any property, it’s important to take note of their income generating potential. To do this properly, you must look at several things, including industry, historical averages and financial projections to find the property that’s most likely to produce a steady income over the long term.

Whichever type and location of building you choose, another important thing to keep in mind is the nature of property investment. It is a cyclical venture which will see a number of changes in terms of interest rates and market stability, among other factors.

Letting Agents – Choosing the one for you

Letting Agents

One very careful consideration that should be made when investing in property for the first time is to choose the best letting agent for the job. If you are new to the property rental realm, you may not be aware of what signs to look for that tell you the agent you’re considering is the right one for you.

Narrowing the List

Because there may be many letting agents in your area, the ideal number to shorten your list of potentials to is three. Once you’ve done this, you are in a position to ask some pertinent questions that will allow you to choose the right agent for the job.

Look at Let Boards

Some may say that the more Let Boards an agent has under their belt, the better. This could be indicative that an agent has skills that allow them to find tenants fast. However, it could also mean that they are willing to put any Tom, Dick or Harry into their Client’s property just to earn a quick letting fee. Tenant selection is of vital importance to the success – or otherwise of property investment. You need to establish the protocols of a letting agent before you make your choice.

Testing

When searching for the best letting agent, you may want to consider calling them as a tenant. This can answer many questions for you, such as their methods and treatment of clients. You may find that one letting agent will get your number and be back in touch, whilst another may recommend that you view a property. You can ask what charges are levied on applicants and decide whether these would put you off renting through that agent. Calling an agent can definitely help you to choose one.

Another way to test a potential agent is to visit their offices. Being able to physically see their work space can also be a good way to discern many things. The working environment has a large impact on the job any employee does, and so it’s important to ensure that the environment is both productive and positive.

Fees

Letting Agents are now required, by law, to publicise their fees and charges. Care needs to be taken; a low commission may seem attractive on the face of it but many agents then make extra charges for virtually every aspect of the management process. Do they take a percentage from contractors employed to carry out repair? You should establish what additional charges are passed on to the tenant as these may deter the best tenants from renting through them.

Registrations

Which organisation an agent is registered with can also help you decide about hiring them. For instance, an agent registered by the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) must adhere to strict codes of conduct. They must also carry insurance, both for their client’s money and themselves.
RICS is a professional body that accredits professionals within the land, property and construction sectors worldwide. Members, such as ourselves that hold RICS qualifications may use the following designations after their name: MRICS (Member), FRICS (Fellow), AssocRICS (Associate).

The Importance of Registration

There is no mandatory regulation for letting agents and there has been a significant rise in the number of firms entering the market in recent times. Many do not have any recognised professional qualification or formal training. Members of the RICS have to undergo rigorous professional examination and must work under the supervision of a Chartered Surveyor before they can qualify. The process usually takes a minimum of five years. They then have to undertake a programme of continued professional development every year to ensure that they are up to date with the latest legislation and best practice. If you choose a letting agent who holds membership of the RICS you will be assured that they will place your interest above everything else. Repairs can be specified and supervised by a Chartered Surveyor without having to rely on the word of a jobbing builder. Savvy tenants know that if the letting agent holds a professional qualification, then they will be treated fairly and will be drawn to them – hence there are benefits all round. After all, if you were ill, you wouldn’t go to see a doctor who was not qualified would you?