Category Archives: In The News

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!

CAN I STILL MOVE HOME DURING LOCKDOWN?

The new lockdown measures in England, implemented since Thursday 5th November may have left you wondering what your options are in terms of moving home, or even going to look at properties for sale or rent?

Moving HomeCan other prospective buyers come and look at your own property with a view to purchasing or are they confined to peering through the window or simply looking at photos before they make their decision? Are you allowed to have an Estate Agent visit your house to give you advice on selling?

In order to answer your questions, we have been working closely with our governing body and the Guild of Property Professionals to interpret the latest government advice and the good news is that the property market is still very much “open for business”.

If you are due to move home and have either agreed a sale or exchanged contracts, then you are allowed to continue with your move during the current lockdown restrictions. If you have agreed to rent a property, then again you can still carry on with the move. Appointments can still take place at properties being marketed, so long as strict Covid-safe guidelines are followed (including no more then the agent and the buyer being present, the property should also have been sanitised prior to the appointment and those present must wear masks, gloves and observe social distancing).

Most good solicitors and removal companies are still operating safely at the current time. It’s worth also bearing in mind that there is a backlog of properties waiting to exchange contracts so timescales are slower than normal. For rentals, timescales haven’t really changed so good news there.

“My property isn’t getting any interest. Is it because of Covid?”
Probably not, the market is still very buoyant. If this is the case please contact us as we can almost certainly help you.

So if you need to move home or are looking to either sell or rent your property, call one of our experts for further advice on 01926 298 298.

BUSINESS AS USUAL – YOUR SAFETY FIRST

July has seen record activity levels at our Warwickshire branches. The number of viewing requests, new valuations and properties coming onto the market is currently eye watering. Good news if you’re a buyer as there is going to be more choice with more properties available for sale. At the same time there also appears to be more buyers searching. Kenilworth Estate Agents

The Stamp Duty holiday announced 2 weeks ago certainly seems to have had a big impact and with the clock already ticking, many people have taken the decision to move home in 2020 and take advantage of the huge savings on offer from the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. Purchasing a property at £500,000 prior to March 31st 2021 will save you a cool £15,000. Normally this money is simply deducted upon completion of purchase, you get nothing in return, not even a receipt! Wouldn’t you rather spend the money on a brand new luxury Kitchen or even a couple of dream family holidays?

If the answer is yes then give us a call today for further advice about selling your property. If you are located in Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, Warwick or surrounding villages then we are here to help and offer professional advice.

Of course your safety is paramount and all of external appointments are now conducted with face masks, gloves and proper social distancing. If you arrange an appointment to come into our office then rest assured there are screens at all of our desks to protect you and your family.

We look forward to working with you.

PENT UP DEMAND SEES HIGH LEVELS OF PROPERTY ACTIVITY

After several weeks of paralysis, the property market has returned with a bang. Activity levels have quickly reached those achieved during early March and the 2 preceding months.

Sales completions have begun again, those sellers that were unable to finalise their sales prior to the lockdown are now able to get moved, buyers who previously couldn’t get removals services can now do so again and solicitors who were furloughed during April and May are now back and getting the legals finalised on outstanding property transactions. iStock_000014885905_Medium

So it really does seem to be “Business As Usual”. The “doom-monger” media predictions seem to have got it wrong yet again. Their stories of a collapse are nowhere to be seen, the reality on the ground is strong buyer demand (pent up in many cases after weeks of inactivity) coupled with sellers keen to get moved. Mortgage rates remain at record lows and the sales agreed over the last couple of weeks reflect stable prices, the majority of sales agreed through Elizabeth Davenport have been for full asking price or even higher.

Safety measures remain paramount of course, if you wish to view a property that we are advertising there are now strict procedures in place at all physical viewings. All of our properties have “Video Viewings” available for you to watch online first, this has avoided many wasted viewings where the property perhaps wasn’t suitable for the prospective buyer, reducing potential risks to all concerned. If you are selling then this means only the most suitable buyers will be looking around your home.

If you do have a property to sell and want expert advice on the current market conditions then call our office and we will be delighted to assist on 01926 298 298.

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.