Landlords – Are you worries by void periods?

Lettings Are At An All-Time High!
No Landlord should be facing void periods at a time when the rental market is booming. Demand has stayed strong and showing no signs of slowing down.
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As lockdown restrictions continue to ease demand for quality rental homes has increased and this is likely to continue in towns and cities such as Kenilworth, Warwick, Leamington Spa and Coventry as offices and amenities start to open up further.

With rental demand at such high levels and supply still low this is causing average rents to increase and the average time it takes a property to let has fallen.

Snapshot figures for our Lettings department from Summer 2021:
10 available properties for rent ranging from 1/2 bed apartments to 2/3/4 bedroom family homes
Average enquiries per available property 26
Average viewings 15
Average days void 3

If you have or are about to have a property that will be available for Let don’t delay. Contact us today and avoid those void periods. We specialise in quality rental properties across Warwickshire. Call 01926 298 298, 02476 010105 or 01789 549 549.

A Good Time to Buy Property?

With stamp duty relief set to end shortly and already having been watered down since June 30th, the frenzy of activity witnessed over the last few months could slow potentially. If you are a prospective buyer or seller are you wondering what this will mean for prices?

The stamp duty holiday brought many players to the market who saw the opportunity to save thousands in tax. This brought forward decisions for those who perhaps would have otherwise waited until next year, or even beyond. So will we now see a lull in activity and downward pressure on prices?

In actual fact, compared to July in years gone by, the housing market is still very busy. New instruction levels are high and offers are still being received. Sold Board Kenilworth

It seems there were many potential home movers who wanted to wait until they had been double jabbed before committing, not to mention vast numbers of workers who are now having to move job due to the pandemic. Add this to the high numbers of marital separations compared to years gone by and you have the perfect storm for a very busy property market for Autumn and Winter 2021, going into next year.

Interest rates remain historically low and mortgage availability is good. Those who are selling up or downsizing will benefit hugely from the current high prices, so (again) that will mean yet more activity. New homes are being built everywhere you look and brand new student blocks are sprouting up left, right and centre in the big university cities. And first time buyers want to get on the ladder sooner rather than later before they miss the boat.

So in fact, it’s still foot hard to the floor as far as the property market goes. If you’re waiting ‘until things cool off’ then you could have a very long wait ahead.

For professional and impartial advice on either buying, selling or renting, call Elizabeth Davenport and speak to one of our professionals who will be delighted to help.

It’s Coming Home!

Pila, Italy - May 26, 2011: Vintage Subbuteo miniature toy of a soccer player of the English national team. Subbuteo is a set of table top games simulating team sports such as soccer, cricket, rugby and hockey created by Peter Adolph.

What a few weeks it has been, with Southgate’s men providing a welcome distraction from the ongoing nightmare that is Covid 19. Whether you are a football fan or not, it’s hard not to be inspired by the England football team and their excellent run of form in the Euros. With reported viewing figures of 20m plus for the Ukraine match it really seems to have caught the nation’s attention. The Germany game was a particular highlight for me not only for the incredible result but seeing the atmosphere in stadium, with actual fans in attendance!

Whilst Gareth’s men have been performing on the pitch It’s been a very busy period for the property sector at home. At the end of June we saw the close of the stamp duty holiday from £250,000 up to £500,000. As a result, there was a rush of completions as pressure mounted to keep chains together and ensure sales went through. This was a stressful time for everyone concerned. I wanted to say a big thank you to all our clients who we manged to help negotiate through this particularly tricky period. Also, a big thank you is due to all our friends in the conveyancing world – I expect many of you will be booking well deserved holidays very soon! Remember There is still a stamp duty holiday up to £250,000 until the 1/10/21 when we then return to the pre-pandemic rate of band of 0 Stamp Duty up to £125,000.

We have experienced a record number of transactions this year and the selling conditions even post the Stamp Duty holiday appear to be very good, this is largely due to a shortage of properties on the market. So, we are hopeful that although for most people stamp duty has returned, the market is showing no signs of slowing down.

Something that grabbed our attention this week was a post on social media sharing an appeal from Thorns Primary School to raise money to repair their swimming pool. Having learnt to swim there myself (a long time ago), we just wanted to wish them the very best of luck with their fundraising, we have shared the link to the on our social media pages.

Finally, by the time this article is published we will have played our semi final against Denmark and I hope we will find ourselves looking forward to a final on Sunday. Surely, it’s coming home.

 

A Sign Of The Times

Selling and Buying property is an ever changing game. The last few years have seen monumental changes to the way that people search for suitable properties to purchase.iStock_000014885905_Medium

With an increasing proportion of the initial searching being done online, buyers can search for their next home or investment from the comfort of their armchair or whilst sitting on a train or perhaps even while at work (heaven forbid!). Just a few years ago the property information would have come in the form of a long winded and tediously long description of the house or apartment in question, with paragraph after paragraph about fixtures and fittings, kitchen worktops and glazing descriptions.

Nowadays of course, these boring write-ups are all but forgotten and have been replaced with high quality photographs, detailed floor-plans and HD Video Tours, especially from the higher quality estate agents.

The one thing that remains the same is when the buyer actually goes to view the property in person. Modern gadgetry at this point is irrelevant and all that matters then is for the estate agent to show skill and understanding of the buyers’ requirements and help them in making the correct decision. And if the property they are viewing is not suitable, a skilled agent will be able to suggest a suitable alternative. That’s where we come in.

Our viewing representatives have years of experience and will help to get your property sold for the maximum possible value. They also work at weekends and in the evenings on selected days, meaning greater flexibility and more sales agreed for you, our customers.

Now that’s progress….

Stamp Duty Holiday Extended!

Good news for home buyers and sellers. The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced an extension to the current stamp duty holiday. This is great news if you are considering buying or selling this year and firmly gives the green light to a busy spring for the housing market. Interior-web

The current £500,000 nil-rate band in England and Northern Ireland will apply until 30 June. Between 1 July and 30 September, it will be reduced to £250,000, and then from 1 October, the previous threshold of £125,000 for home movers will be reinstated. In practice, this means that people buying before 1 June will be able to save up to £15,000, while those buying between 1 July and 30 September will be able to save up to £2,500 in tax.

Whilst October seems a long way off, due to the nature of the property market and the lengthy process involved, we recommend taking the plunge sooner rather than later if you are looking to save money. From start to finish, the house buying process typically takes around 5 months so if you put your house on sale tomorrow or start searching for a home then you could hope to be moved by September. The process can of course be quicker but this is a typical timescale.

If you are weighing up your options and need further advice, then why not request a visit from our valuer. We can provide advice on all aspects of buying and selling and there is no obligation. Call us today to book a free appointment on 01926 298 298.

Investment & Lettings Opportunities?

With the gradual return to normality having been mapped out by Boris Johnson this week, investors and landlords will be wondering where they stand once all of the dust has settled following the pandemic.

The stamp duty holiday (whether it’s lengthened or not) hasn’t had that much of an impact on the investor market, though lack of students and an immobile workforce certainly has. With lockdown restrictions being eased over the coming weeks and schools and universities returning to their on-site studies, the need for rental accommodation is due to grow rapidly through 2021. Interior-web

With many small and large businesses sadly having ceased trading, there will probably be a large movement of labour to new jobs across the country and a need from workers for accommodation in new locations. With many potential home buyers having felt the pinch and struggling to gather big enough deposits to purchase homes, inevitably this will push demand further in the private rented sector. Great news if you are an existing landlord or potential investor as this will have a positive impact on rents and demand for quality rented accommodation across the region.

Interest rates are set to remain low for the foreseeable future in order to encourage the economy to recover, therefore buy to let mortgage rates should remain competitive throughout 2021. If you are a potential landlord or looking to extend your portfolio then this could be an excellent time to pick up good bricks and mortar investments.

Elizabeth Davenport can help you with managing your lettings portfolio, we can also offer guidance on buying the right property. For further information speak to our lettings manager, Carol Garritty who will be delighted to have a chat and offer impartial advice.

What about the Stamp Duty Cliff Edge?

With the stamp duty holiday due to end in a few short weeks, those wanting to take advantage of this tax break are rapidly running out of time. In recent days and weeks there has been some negative commentary from various quarters about “cliff edges” and the “race to beat the deadline”. Will there be a ‘stamp duty cliff edge’ as predicted?
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Whilst you may well agree that paying large amounts of tax isn’t the most exciting proposition, the reality is that stamp duty has been a part of English Law since 1694 when it was introduced during the reign of William and Mary in order to raise funds for the war against France. It was introduced on conveyances of sale, including the sale of land in 1808. So for most homebuyers Stamp Duty has been a reality since we purchased our first home and remains so today.

With the prospect of having to pay Stamp Duty again soon, a few buyers and sellers may decide not to move home after all and stay put as they were only really moving in the first place to save some money. Lucky them.

In the real world, most of us move home for a variety of practical reasons: we need a bigger house, we need a smaller house, we want a garden, we need more bedrooms for our growing family, we are getting divorced, a relative has died, the house has been repossessed, we want to live closer to Grandma, the neighbours are a nuisance, we want a house with a view, we prefer a south facing garden, we need to be by a good school, our employer has moved our job location, etc. The list goes on.

The majority of us don’t have the luxury of deciding to move because “there’s a stamp duty holiday”. So in the real world, the property market will march on and it will be business as usual. 2021 will no doubt see a resurgent economy and a resurgent housing market.

For further advice on your property sale or rental speak to one of our friendly team of experts.

Good Presentation – It’s Common Sense

Buyers in the current market are particularly fussy so right now it’s more important than ever to get the presentation right when selling your property.

That means the whole property including the exterior, interior and gardens (if any).

Excess furniture and clutter should be packed away and put into storage, childrens’ toys cleared away, any peeling paintwork should be touched up. In bathrooms it’s essential to replace mouldy sealant and revive any dirty grouting. Kitchens need to be ultra-clean and free from grease and grime. Broken cupboard doors must be fixed and dirty carpets should be cleaned or replaced. Bad smells (from dogs or other pets) must be eradicated, they’re a real turn-off for buyers.

Lawns should be cut, hedges trimmed, borders weeded. A few nice potted plants and hanging baskets will really freshen things up. The driveway or front path should be freshly swept and a new front doormat saying “Welcome” will create an inviting first impression.

And if you simply don’t have time to do all of this then you should pay someone to do it for you. It will be well worth the investment. A clean and well presented property will always sell before a similar property that’s messy and untidy. Put quite simply, a better presented property is worth more money.

For further expert advice about selling or renting your property, call one of our experts today and we’ll be happy to chat.

 

2021. Here we go again…

Happy New Year! And what a year 2021 is set to be. After the miserable annus horribilis of 2020 that many folks will be delighted to forget, the new year brings a fresh feel and invigorated spirit with feelings of joy and optimism for better things to come. iStock_000014885905_Medium

With hospitality able to start up again in the near future and people happily returning to work after months of misery, this will give a welcome boost to the economy and start to get everything back on track. It will also mobilise a large chunk of the workforce, when times are hard people follow the work trail and this will mean additional demand for housing in many areas either through purchase or rental.

Whilst 2020 was one to forget generally, the property market did receive a big boost because of the stamp duty holiday and although this (at time of writing) is still due to end after March, it has meant that property prices remained firm and confidence was retained. It’s still not inconceivable that the Chancellor will extend the SD holiday, he will want a healthy property market to bolster the economy generally. Extension or not the current trajectory of the market has already been set, add to that the stubborn shortage of homes nationally, increased demand due to workforce mobility, and ever-present record low borrowing rates, the outlook looks solid for the foreseeable future.

And with ‘Brexit Done’, whatever that means, business will have more certainty giving more job security and certainty for mortgage payers and renters alike. So in summary, the future looks bright!

If you need to move home this year or release equity in your investment portfolio, call our office for further advice about going on the market. Likewise if you have a rental property that is empty or coming up for renewal, our experts are on hand to help out. Call us today and get the ball rolling for 2021!

Merry Christmas!

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Whether you can believe it or not some of the most recent statistics released from Rightmove have revealed some really surprising and unusual activities over our Christmas holiday’s! I’m not talking about “Pie Face” or “Charades” here, I’m simply talking about online property views.

Rightmove reports show a whopping increase of over 20% activity levels between Christmas and the New Year.

The last published statistics revealed that on On Christmas Day there were nearly 14 million page views and over 10,000 people took time out from the festivities to send emails to agents.

On Boxing Day it gets traditionally  busier, with page views jumping to over 25 million.

Views peak on New Year’s Day, with an average of over 38 million page views  (This is no doubt due to many being unable to even step out of their armchairs!).

What does this really tell us? Well, unarguably it shows that when we have time, we use it. Christmas and more specifically the New Year, with the hopes and ambitions it promises (who can’t fail to at least have hopes and ambitions for the year ahead whether realised or not!), is time for prediction and planning. Physical viewings are not so common, but planning ahead and looking at what’s available, can be the spark that lights the fire. Having your property on the market over the Christmas period doesn’t mean that Mr and Mrs Smith are going to disrupt your Figgie Pudding and Brandy Snaps. It means simply that they will likely plan to visit your house after Christmas.

Seeing your home for sale may persuade them to sell their own property and enable them to move forwards. Yours could be the property that instigates those decisions. And more importantly, yours could be the property they buy as well.

Lastly, we just wanted to wish all our customers past, present and future a very Merry Christmas. 2020 has been such a testing year for everyone and we wish you all a happy, healthy and hopefully  successful 2021!