Will a Heat Pump add value to your home?

The government will offer landlords and other homeowners grants of £5,000 from April next year to install heat pumps and other low carbon systems.

The first thing to say is that you’re not going to be forced to remove your gas boiler any time soon, or even in the future. Having just installed a brand new one at my own house just last year this came as a big relief following yesterdays announcement.Heat Pump

Heat Pumps aren’t a new technology, they have been around for many years, however uptake has been very slow due to the burdensome costs of installation. Ground source heat pumps are only practical if you have plenty of land on your property so most people would be looking at air source heat pumps. These typically look like a large air conditioning unit stuck on the side of the house, so again for practical reasons many people have discounted them, especially perhaps if they live in an apartment or a terraced property.

As uptake increases with the implementation of the grants over the next few years, home owners and buyers will become more familiar with this type of heating system, perhaps starting to see them as adding value to the property. Or perhaps not?

At present, the vast majority of homes in the UK either use gas boilers (or modern electric heaters to a much lesser extent) and this is what the majority of buyers expect to find and see value in. With the cost of an air source heat pump ranging up to around £18,000 compared to a gas boiler system at around £5,000 it will take a big shift in price and lots of encouragement from the government to make heat pumps main stream.

So for now, spending the £18,000 on a new Kitchen and Bathroom will add a lot more value to your home. Let’s hope as time goes by, costs come down and we can all work towards a carbon free housing stock and economy.

MASSIVE HOUSE PRICE INCREASES – TIME TO SELL?

The government’s latest house price index report (published on 15th September 2021) showed some huge price increases year on year. Local area’s that saw some of the best gains included Coventry prices increasing 8.7% (versus the national average in England @ 8%). Warwick’s price rises were more modest at 2% while Stratford Upon Avon saw a whopping 18.7% increase for the same time versus the previous year. Stratford’s average price now stands at £355,000. Warwickshire as a whole faired very well with average increases of 10.9%.

iStock_000002696243XSmallWith prices so high right now and no way of predicting what the market will do next, selling could be a smart move for those looking to cash in, downsize or release some equity. There are of course plenty of other scenarios where sellers will benefit including deceased estates and separations.

If you’re a first time buyer of course, this won’t be the news you were looking to hear. Having said that, borrowing rates are at an all time low so whilst you may have to stretch your deposit a little further, repayments will be very modest once you’ve made that first purchase.

Long term, purchasing bricks and mortar still looks a very safe bet. Compare average house price increases to current savings rates or other investments, including bonds and ISAs, or perhaps even versus the volatility of Crypto investments, the saying “as safe as houses” still rings as true today as it did 50 years ago.

For professional advice on all aspects of buying or selling speak to one of our experts. Contact Elizabeth Davenport on 01789 549 549.

Housing Boom is not driven by the Stamp Duty Holiday

A think tank has looked at compelling evidence and found that the current boom isn’t in fact driven by the Stamp Duty Holiday.
If you’re a home owner, this is exciting news and suggests that any predicted lull in activity and prices is not going to materialise.

The Resolution Foundation found that those areas that would have benefitted most from the Stamp Duty savings didn’t enjoy the best price increases, whilst other areas that received negligible benefit from the holiday had much higher price increases. iStock_000002696243XSmall

So if the current boom isn’t driven by tax savings, what is causing all of the gains? It would appear that the main driving force is very low interest rates with many lenders offering deals below 1% and the increasing availability of finance and higher loan to value deals.

With no current indication that lending rates are likely to go back up again any time soon, this suggests that the market will remain buoyant and strong going into 2022.

If you’re buying this is excellent news as you’ll save thousands in interest payments whilst those who are selling will benefit from higher prices, especially if you’re downsizing.

Great news all round in fact. For further help and advice on selling or buying your next home call our office and speak to an expert. We’re here to help you.

Should We Have A ‘For Sale’ Board?

Many homeowners are unsure whether to have a ‘For Sale’ board when they place their property on sale. There are a number of reasons they might think of to not have one: They don’t want to upset the neighbours. They don’t want people knocking on their door. They think it might be a security risk.

In reality these reasons are unfounded and there are many advantages to having a ‘For Sale’ board put up. If you decide to put your home on the market then you will generally find it easier to sell with a board for the following reasons:

Sold Board Kenilworth Buyers expect a house that is for sale to have a For Sale board outside it. A board sends a very positive message to buyers by confirming that the seller is committed.
A board helps buyers to locate and identify the property when they come to view, making their experience an immediately positive one.
Many buyers go on a Sunday afternoon drive searching for ‘For Sale’ boards in their preferred locations. I myself have bought 4 properties, all of which I discovered via the ‘For Sale’ boards!!
The neighbours will know that the property is on sale very quickly via the internet anyway so not having a board won’t stop them finding out. It’s best to simply tell them yourself than let them find out the hard way.
If your Estate Agent has an attractively designed board, this can add to the kerb appeal and the saleability of your property.
Even if you live in a no through road, a board can alert potential buyers to your property. For example, friends or relatives visiting one of your neighbours.

So if you’re going on sale this year then the message is simple. Get an attractive ‘For Sale’ board mounted outside the front of the property and increase your exposure to potential buyers. You’ll be moving in no time.        by George Hartshorn

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.