Category Archives: In The News

Elections, Brexit & the Property Market

As election fever grips the nation, you may be wondering how the property market will be affected, either positively or negatively? House supply and demand don’t seem to be at the top of the political agenda, falling well below Brexit, the NHS and other big issues in the debate.

Directions to a polling station for a UK general election, European election or local election.
December 12th General Election.

However, here are some interesting policy proposals which would directly affect property owners and tenants alike depending upon the outcome of the December 12th vote. Labour are proposing a shake up of Council Tax which will see the property owner be liable, not the resident. So if you own an investment property you would be liable to pay the CT all year round, even when it’s tenanted. On the other hand, if you’re a tenant then you wouldn’t have to pay at all.

Labour also published a paper this year that hinted at removing private residence relief on Capital Gains Tax. If implemented, this would mean paying Capital Gains Tax when selling your primary residence. CGT would also be hiked up on second homes and investment properties, in line with income tax rates as a base line.

Meanwhile, whoever wins the election, a swift and decisive end to the Brexit impasse would certainly help the property market (and no doubt the economy as a whole), whilst most of our clients have decided to “get on with it” during 2019, the delays and dithering have put a small number of people off. In reality though, a high percentage of property sales are driven by necessity, people moving for work related or family reasons, people who are retiring or downsizing, as well as distressed sales and sales of estates. None of these sellers have the luxury of “choosing the perfect time” to move. End Result: a housing market that keeps moving forward. Overall, 2019 has been a good year and we expect 2020 to carry on in the same manner.

A majority government with a sensible approach coupled with a swift resolution on Brexit could be the beginning of something special….

THE KENILWORTH MARKET IS RUNNING WELL!

 

Brrrr it’s starting to feel like winter! As my daily alarm goes off its pitch-black outside, cold, wet and hardly the most inviting time to go out on a run. I’ve set myself a target of 4 miles a day, I thought this would be a realistic target to try and get myself back into running. Last year I ran two marathons and have had lots of niggling injuries since and a little loss of motivation. What a few weeks it has been for professional running though, seeing Eliud Kipchoge run a marathon in under two hours was just incredible and so inspirational! It’s certainly given me encouragement to get back out on the pavements again!

In Kenilworth over the last full month of October, the market indicators were very positive with the total number of homes sold above year on year data for the second month in a row. We have been very busy improving our offering with a great balance of modern and traditional marketing methods which have, without doubt, contributed to our recent success.

One of the things we are very excited about is the recent launch of our ‘5-step Strategy to Sell Your Home’. A proactive guide that has been designed to remove all obstacles that can get in the way of a successful sale. This will soon be available to download form our website with the aim of being a genuinely helpful guide to anyone marketing their home.

As the chosen agent for the Guild of Property Professionals for the Kenilworth Area, we have access to the London Property market via our associated office on Park Lane. This has proven invaluable particularly to the upper end of the market as we have an interactive window display in the heart of Mayfair!

We’re all really hoping for a great end to the year and if anyone out there has any questions or would like any help or advice be sure to get in touch at nick@elizabethdavenport.co.uk. For any keen runners out there, feel free to connect with me on Strava!

Nick Luntley MNAEA – Director Elizabeth Davenport.

Remember, Remember The SECOND of November!

What a fantastic time of year Autumn is; the Football and Rugby seasons are in full flow; the housing market is busy and yes Bonfire night looms on the horizon!

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October has been a surprising busy month for property transactions in the Kenilworth Area, I for one predicted a slow down as the much-debated Brexit deadline came ever closer. In actual fact the opposite has happened. Although or data sample is by no means representative of the whole region, our data shows an annual increase in buying activity from last year. Could it be the case that people are ‘getting on with it’ and taking advantage of continued low interest rates and stable market conditions? Who knows but one thing is for certain it is becoming harder to predict which way the market will go next. Soon we will be into November, one of my favourite months of year mainly due to bonfire night!

We are very lucky in Kenilworth to have one of the best annual Bonfire Firework displays in the country. What a backdrop, the castle beautifully illuminated, the warmth from the bonfire drifting across the field! I have a huge personal affection for this special night, I have been a regular attender for almost thirty years! I was first taken by my grandparents as a toddler and I now help run the show in my thirties as part of Kenilworth Round Table. I have literally grown up with this magical community event. If anyone reading this hasn’t made that trip down Castle Road on a chilly November evening, I would strongly recommend it! The benefits of doing so are two-fold; being part of such a great community event is one thing but by doing so you are actively donating money that is put to excellent use. All of the money raised goes directly to local charities and worthy people living in the Kenilworth area.

Now I am involved with the organising I fully appreciate how lucky we are as a town to have such great local people who give up a huge amount of their spare time for free to help make this event truly special for children and adults alike. The display is held on Saturday 2nd November with tickets available online and in a number of local businesses in the town.

If anyone reading this is attending be sure to say hello, I’m on the road closures around Castle Hill but I’m hoping to make it into the castle just in time for when the show starts!

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Brexit, Timing & Remaining Calm & Carrying On

Since the last issue the volume of both buyers and sellers discussing Brexit and the effect thereof hasn’t as much doubled as become almost the norm. To say there will be no effect is proven already to be nonsense. To say with authority though how positive or negative Brexit will have on the future is as pointless and subjective a question as “what will happen to my day if I turn left instead of right”. It seems that no one has a clue. Not even those who should.

At least the property industry is revealing some interesting yet not adverse findings. The last few weeks have seen two local properties sold for in excess of £935,000. Hardly a signal of panic.

What is statistically evident though is absolutely fascinating and backed up with fact, something sadly lacking in the bigger picture.

Cautiousness has trumped intuition and rashness.  Patience has seen the Tortoise overtake the Hare.

Emoov, often the first to provide analytics and statistics relating to our business has shown that both the volume and duration of viewings have increased in recent months.  This proves that “instinct” has truly been left dazzled by the headlights of “diligence”. 7% of buyers are regionally offering after one viewing. 56% require just two. 27% of those surveyed required a third before placing an offer.

For ourselves we have also observed that the duration of viewing appointments also needs a shift. The “sweet spot” sits between 21 – 30 minutes with 39% of buyers taking this long before offering.

Understanding the necessity of time and consideration we have recently employed further viewing representatives.  This will enable all of our buyers to spend the time they need in a property rather than the time that the other agent will only allow.

If Brexit has created cautiousness then now we have the capacity to support it. It’s all about support after all isn’t it.

 

Flocking Out Of London For A New Nest Here!

Well we’ve seen  it with our own eyes.  We’ve opened the doors and we’ve shook the hands.  We’ve passed the keys into the palms of many 30 and 40 somethings excited to be leaving the capital for the size, space and peace offered here on our own doorsteps.  Now both Nationwide and the Resolution Foundation thinktank have statistically proven the exodus from London northward. With property prices down 5% year on year and with over 330,000 leaving the city last year  (ONS statistics, year ending June 2017), London is the only region in the country with falling prices with the average increase nationally being 2.2%.

The Midlands, most specifically Birmingham, but now Coventry and the surrounding towns of Kenilworth, Leamington Spa and Warwick have seen the highest property price increases over the last year with a regional average of 4.5%.

HighSpeed2Infrastructure is vital. Investment in the city and the towns will reap rewards for all and the Rail network’s part in this cannot be understated. Whether people live in or out of London they’ve still got to get there after all.

Closer to home though and on an emotional level, the appeal of a commute no longer than many travelling from Wimbledon to Wembley means that living in Kenilworth or Earlsdon  or Styvechale or Leamington Spa will offer substantially more living space for the pound. It will also offer a community that can see children raised in outstanding schools without a forty five minute traffic jam and a bill for £100 a day childcare.

The distance between us and London seems to be getting smaller every year. Whether or not Mash and Liquor will be sold at The Almanack or Millsys though could be a step too far….

 

A Brave & Costly Improvement With Obvious Rewards! & Well Done Sky Blues!

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Well done to the Sky Blues on Saturday! The obvious excitement and passion on the faces of Gael Bigirimana and George Thomas were a sight for us to enjoy for years to come. Now the really hard work starts! Good luck fellas!

On a purely coincidental football theme, the Shearer Property Group (tell me you get it!), the firm behind such successful schemes as Grand Arcade in Cambridge as well as the new restaurant quarter in Cathedral Lanes, will lead a huge new development in Coventry’s struggling and let’s face it, ugly, Centre Point region of the City.

Built in the late 1960’s by the architect John Madin, much of whose work in Birminghams city centre has also been demolished, Centre Point has fallen to rack and ruin and in my opinion quite honestly summarises  all of the negatives of that era’s design.

In it’s place, a £300 million pound project to transform Hertford Street, the Bull Yard, Shelton Square and City Arcade into a retail and leisure masterplan that will offer the Midlands second largest shopping destination outside of Birmingham! A similar size to Touchwood, the new “district” will offer unmatched shopping, leisure and new homes for residential owners and student tenants.

With Coventry Universities investment into Bishop Gate currently developing at a rate of knots I think it’s time to acknowledge the huge benefit that our two Universities have offered this city. Although I have issues with the overdevelopment of HMO’s and the fact they don’t fail to ruin communities in a matter of months, I can’t fail to see how, together with Jaguar Landrover, these Universities have brought nothing but positive attention and investment back to this once failing City.

Sounds a bit like the lads on Sunday  doesn’t it.

Team GB, second in the world. Who needs Europe?

After an amazing Olympics in which Great Britain beat everybody out of sight (bar USA), team GB arrive home to a hero’s welcome. Richly deserved, it was an amazing achievement.

And the performance went a long way to showing how our little island can perform on the world stage, both in sporting terms and also in economic terms. After some of the post Brexit negativity, this is a real boost to the nation and should inspire everybody to rally together now and get onScreen Shot 2016-08-23 at 15.06.19 with the business of finding our way in the world, without the ties and regulations of the European Union.

Team GB won more Gold medals than Germany and France put together. Which goes to show when we organise things ourselves, we get the job done.

My money is on more of the same in Japan, 2020 and by then Brexit and Europe will be long forgotten as our economy and property market grow in strength. We’ll show everyone that our little island can make it’s own way and become a truly global sporting and economic force.

Congratulations everyone!

Goodbye Mr Cameron & Hello Mrs May, Let’s Crack On!

Having just received a call from BBC Coventry and Warwickshire with a question regarding David Cameron’s legacy and his impact on the property market, I found myself having to look at the same results but from two contradictory angles.

Are dramatic property price increases a positive or a negative? It’s that fundamental. Who is to congratulate and who’s to wave a fist at?

 According to data from the Land Registry, average UK house prices have risen from £161,148 in 2009, just before Mr Cameron became Prime Minister, to £206,953 in 2016 – a 28 per cent increase. If you own a home and don’t want to move then could this be irrelevant? Well, not if you want to remortgage and borrow more thus releasing more money into the economy. And what if you want to move? Well, unless you are moving from an area of wealth and high property value to an area not so, then irrelevant it is. The property you purchase will likely have risen proportionally too.

As far as I can see, David Cameron, Britain’s youngest Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812, has been sturdy if not so Gung Ho as New Labours last elected incumbent. His parties decision to increase Stamp Duty for investment landlords seems flawed but his restructure of traditional stamp duty was welcome.

Now, we must move forward as a country, not just a political party and Theresa May be the right person to do this (See what I did there!) . Until Labour’s leadership creates solidarity within it’s own party I see we have little choice other than hoping that this Governments moral decision making prevails within our new “Brexit” nation. No rash decisions, some cleverly thought through policies and a goal of making everyone who at least lives here now as comfortable and productive as possible.Garden-Grabbers

Coventry – Euston – Sales Express!

Although I can’t see Coventry becoming North Londonshire any time soon it is worth bearing in mind that local government development agencies have come up with such bizarre  concepts in London’s more popular commuter towns in recent years.

With a travel duration of 60 minutes from Coventry Station and annual costs being in the region of £7500 it is no wonder we are finding more and more buyers visiting from the Big Smoke. This annual cost of travel is as little as 1% of the average price difference between  houses in London’s Zone 1 and 2 and Coventry itself.

With Nationwide showing a 26% growth in central London and a steady but not so spectacular increase circumnavigating its core, the ability to commute can offer both a healthier lifestyle and a happier wallet as well. With the opportunity to own more substantial property at a fraction of the cost, the once traditional lure of towns such as Reading, Hatfield and Luton can be bettered at even lower cost by travelling just a few miles further.

Kettering, Peterborough, Luton and Basildon are in the top five most cost-effective towns within a 70-minute commute to central London. Coventry sits even closer if we use the Coventry – Euston line.

We have seen tremendous interest in properties within easy access to Coventry Station. Styvechale, Cheylesmore and Earlsdon are all appealing to Londoncentric buyers wishing to spread their wings.

What with the new FriarGate development dramatically improving the entire Station area we could soon see Coventry and its surrounding Villages become a genuine commuter hub. Seemingly this city is certainly becoming one to to invest in and one that should see more families making it there own. Now that can’t be bad for anyone can it.

“On The Job” Hits The Right Buttons!

Quite often the last thing an Estate Agent would choose to do in their own spare time would be to watch a television series about Estate Agents but “Under Offer: Estate Agents On The Job” was a different beast. I suppose the voyeuristic nature of the docudrama spiked a sense of  impending dread. I better watch it so I know what  I’m faced with tomorrow! Would we Estate Agents be further tarnished? Would we be mocked? I was pretty confident that the show wouldn’t instigate a surge of job applications but I hoped for the best and I think we got it.

First and foremost it was fun. We are great fun you once you get to know us.

Secondly the show was littered with classic quotations that that Messrs Scorcese and Tarantino would have been proud of. “Mass Murderers would be greeted with a better response”, “If you want to be an Estate Agent, you just open a shop”, “Most Estate Agents are Posh and Blond and I’m Irish and a Redhead”. It was great. The show on a more serious note clearly highlighted the canyon between London and the rest of the country something that we certainly have written about before. What clearly works in one region won’t  necessarily work in another but certainly what shone through is that energy and enthusiasm go along way. Together with a moral compass pointing North, Estate Agents should come out of this smelling of roses rather than manure! Still, we are only on  Episode Two!