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House price growth is finally starting to slow down, with some property experts predicting a crash this year. In other news, a shift in renters’ demands has been revealed by one leading property website, and fans of a popular TV series can get their hands on one of the houses used in filming.
Read on for all this and more in our May property market update.
UK House Price Growth Set to Slow
Average UK property prices reached record highs in April, but the growth is set to slow down, according to one mortgage provider.
Major lender Halifax revealed that prices rose 1.1% in April compared with March, which was the 10th consecutive month of growing prices.
However, with the cost of living on the rise, along with an increase in interest rates, the lender is predicting a more significant slowdown in prices over the coming months, while some speculators are even predicting a property crash by the end of 2022.
Demand for properties continues to outstrip supply, which is keeping the market buoyant for now, but with household budgets being squeezed and variable mortgages affected by the Bank of England’s highest interest rates for 13 years, it’s likely that a slowdown is on the way.
Homeowners in parts of London are already noticing the difference, with average prices falling in 15 of the capital’s boroughs between February and March.
Renters Seeking More For Their Money
According to property portal, Rightmove, demand for rental properties with bills included has seen a significant jump in the past 12 months.
The website has reported a 36% increase in enquiries from tenants for homes where the rent includes utilities, as energy costs continue to soar.
It’s also been revealed that the average monthly rental cost across the UK (excluding London) has hit £1,000, which signals an 11% annual increase.
Meanwhile, in the capital, the figure is just under £2,200 per month, which is a 14% increase from 12 months ago.
The startling figures reflect the competitive rental market at present, with Rightmove revealing that enquiries for rental properties are three times higher than the number of properties available.
The Rise of the £500k Property Market
For the first time in history, 15% of the UK is now made up of areas where average property prices exceed £500,000.
The data revealed by one leading estate agent shows that between 2019 and 2021, the number of electoral wards that fall into this bracket jumped 50%, from 874 to 1,312.
The most significant jump has occurred in the South West, where half-a-million-pound property sales have increased 167%, fuelled mainly by the race for space caused by the pandemic.
Unsurprisingly, 63% of London’s electoral wards fall into the £500k bracket, with a number of others falling just short.
Will the Housing Market Crash This Year?
Property professionals are split as to whether there’ll be an impending crash this year, with one expert advising would-be buyers to ‘under no circumstances’, take out a large mortgage.
Former government adviser, Paul Cheshire, is predicting a nationwide price drop of at least 10%, with rising inflation and falling incomes leading to a perfect storm for the housing market. And with interest rates forecast to continue increasing, it could lead to mortgages becoming unaffordable for many buyers.
The flip side of the argument is that buyer demand currently remains strong. Put simply, there are more buyers than properties available, which continues to be good news for sellers.
Couple this with an increase in homeowners switching to fixed-rate mortgages, plus the fact that mortgage rates are still low by historical standards, and there’s every reason to be optimistic.
One thing that most experts agree on is the likelihood of a fall in prices in the coming months, but the chances of a full-on meltdown may be slimmer than many of the doom-mongers believe.
Your Chance to Own a Piece of TV Real Estate
Fans of the hit BBC drama, Killing Eve, will be excited to know that one of the properties used in filming is currently up for sale.
The six-bedroom house has appeared frequently in the most recent fourth series of the drama, as the home of psychiatrist, Martin.
It’s not the first time it’s appeared on the small screen either – hit TV shows, Fortitude and We Hunt Together have both made use of the property’s open-plan spaces too.
The house is set on a private road in the leafy London suburb of Stanmore, with an asking price of £2.75m.
You can take a peek at the property here.
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If you’ve been reading the news or watching the amazing legend that is David Attenborough, you’ve probably heard that it’s getting harder for bees to survive in our UK cities.
Just like humans, there are three main things bees need to thrive: food (i.e., pollen), water and shelter. Unfortunately, our gardens aren’t always full of these things, especially in warmer months.
However, there are many simple things you can do in your garden to make it a more attractive place for bees to visit.
If you want to invite more local bees to your garden this summer, here are three top tips to make your garden more bee-friendly in Ashton Under Lyne .
1. Plant Bee-Friendly Flowers
One of the best things you can do for your local bees is to plant flowers full of pollen or nectar for them to enjoy.
Even though most flowers bloom in spring and summer, there are some species you can grow in winter and autumn that’ll continue to attract the bees in colder seasons. As a bonus, they’ll also make your garden look full of life at the end of the year, which can help your garden stand out if you’re selling in winter.
Here’s a quick guide to some of the flowers you can grow in each season:
- Spring: Pansies, Bluebells, Primroses, Hawthorn, Peonies, Crocus and Rhododendrons
- Summer: Lavender, Foxgloves, Snapdragons, Phlox, Echinacea, Poppies, Globe Thistle and Hollyhock
- Autumn: Ivy, Witch Hazel, Borage and Zinnias
- Winter: Snowdrops, Winter Clematis, Winter Honeysuckle and Winter Heather
2. Build Bee Hotels
We love this idea! Building a bee hotel for your garden can provide a shelter for local bees to rest in. Creating one is also a great family-friendly activity that ends up with something nice for you and the bees, since they can also become a rustic garden feature.
A bee hotel doesn’t need to be very big, and should be placed around 1-4 feet off the ground and ideally in a position that gets full sunlight.
Visit the RSPB UK website for a full guide on how to make your own bee hotel.
3. Create an Outdoor Herb Garden
Even though we often think bees only like flowers, this isn’t true. They also love many different garden herbs. If you want to make your garden more bee-friendly, consider creating an outdoor herb garden in spring or summer.
Common kitchen herbs like thyme, chives, sage and creeping rosemary are ideal for attracting the bees. Plus, they’ll make your garden smell amazing and you can use the cuttings to make fresh meals in the kitchen!
Making your garden bee-friendly is a great way to help the planet. It can make your garden and local area a more environmentally friendly place to live. Plus, having an eco-friendly home can sometimes help with your resale value and attractiveness to future buyers.
To learn more about how desirable a greener home is in Ashton Under Lyne , Alex Jones are your local property experts.
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The Chancellor’s Spring Statement delivered precisely two years after the first Covid lockdown, made its primary focus the need to address worries about the rising costs of living.
However, elements in the statement are relevant to the property market, including cuts in VAT for green energy materials and a decision not to increase stamp duty surcharges on second home purchases.
So, precisely what effect will the changes have on UK property owners?
Cuts In Energy-Saving Purchases For Homeowners in Tameside
Homeowners in the UK are set to benefit from slashed VAT on the purchase of energy-saving materials like insulation, heat pumps, and solar panels. Over the next 5 years, there will be 0% VAT to pay on materials designed to make homes more energy-efficient, down from 5% VAT relief.
It’s estimated that these tax savings are worth around £1000 upfront and will help reduce annual energy bills by around £300. It’s a welcome measure for homeowners and landlords alike since they can make their homes more energy-efficient and help keep the costs of heating and lighting their properties down.
No Increase In Second-Home Stamp Duty
Although there was some speculation that the stamp duty surcharge levied on second homes and buy-to-let properties in England would be increased in the Spring Statement to 4%, this did not materialise.
While it will come as a relief to property owners struggling with the cost of living crisis, there is no doubt going to be some disappointment that the current 3% surcharge wasn’t scrapped altogether. That will also come as bad news for renters since a recent study commissioned by the NRLA showed that removing the surcharge could lead to 900,000 more private rental properties being made available in the next ten years.
The Income Tax Basic Rate Cut And The Impact On Property Owners in Tameside
For many people, the announcement that the income tax basic rate will be reduced by 2024 to 19p from 20p in the pound resulting in a £5 billion cut in taxation for 30,000,000 people sounds like a positive move. Especially when considering the rise in National Insurance thresholds to £12,570 (an increase of £3000), which will help save the UK’s working population about £6 billion per year.
However, for landlords, the news may not be enough to help deflect the rising taxes over the months to come. National Insurance is set to increase by 1.25% from April. On top of this, some landlords might find themselves affected by “stealth taxation” – falling into a higher tax band when allowances and thresholds aren’t increased.
No Change Yet On Rental Reforms
Although an announcement was made in February about rental reforms that will be introduced, including more bans and fines for rogue landlords, consultations about a national register of landlords, the introduction of minimum standards for private rental properties, and an end to Section 21 evictions, the Spring Statement contained no updates about these proposals and a possible timescale for their introduction. It’s hoped that a white paper that focuses on rental reform may be published soon.
Property owners nationwide will now be looking ahead to Autumn’s full budget in the hope of more positive announcements.
To ensure you keep up to date with all the latest property news, advice and inspiration, check our blog and social media pages regularly.
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Interest rates have increased again, the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme has launched, and one major lender has reported record annual price rises.
Read on for all this and more in our March property market update.
With the clocks going forward at the end of the month, lighter evenings and Easter just around the corner, the traditional Springtime boom could also be on its way! And none too soon as there is still a desperate shortage of housing stock.
Here are some of our predictions for what to expect next month…
Now is the time to sell
Figures recently released by leading property portal Rightmove have revealed that the UK’s average property price saw its most significant month-on-month increase for 20 years between January and February this year.
According to their stats, the average asking price of a property rose by £7,785 in the first two months of the year, as sellers have increasingly been taking advantage of a shortage of homes for sale.
The figures have also revealed the startling increase in house prices since the start of the pandemic, with average asking prices having risen nearly £40,000 in the past two years, compared with a rise of around £9,000 in the two years prior.
For homeowners who have been considering selling their property, now is a great time to bite the bullet. Spring is traditionally the best time to list, with the most active buyers on the market, and with COVID-19 restrictions now lifted and house prices expected to cool off over the next few months, it could be the last opportunity to take advantage of increased asking prices.
Nationwide reports record cash rise
The UK’s biggest building society, and one of its biggest lenders, has reported a record rise in the cost of a UK home.
According to figures released by Nationwide, the cost of a typical home rose by £29,162 in the past year – the biggest cash increase in property prices since they started collecting comparable data in 1991.
This means the average asking price across the UK reached £260,230 in February, with the increased cost of living appearing to have little effect on house prices.
The findings are bad news for first-time buyers struggling to get onto the property ladder, although with many property experts forecasting a slowdown in house prices in the coming months, there may be some respite for those looking to take their first steps.
Buy-to-let mortgages becoming more appealing for investors
Research from Mortgage Broker Tools has shown that affordability for buy-to-let mortgages is at its highest point since they started collecting data.
According to their figures, average maximum loan sizes have increased by 13% in the past year, with the average currently being a little over £421,000, which represents a £20,000 increase in the past two months.
And in further good news for potential landlords, figures released by Moneyfacts show that there are currently 2,235 mortgage products available to first-time investors – a considerable increase on the 1,311 products available at the same point 12 months ago.
Government launches Homes for Ukraine scheme
In response to the war in Ukraine, the UK government has launched the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which asks people who can, to offer a room to refugees fleeing the conflict.
You’ll need to confirm that your home is available for at least six months, and you’ll be entitled to a monthly payment of £350 for up to 12 months, although you won’t be expected to cover the cost of food and living expenses.
To register your interest in the scheme, just visit the government website.
Interest rates rise again
The Bank of England has increased interest rates for the third time in four months to try and lessen the effects of the continued cost of living increases.
The rise will directly impact around two million homeowners who have either a variable or a tracker mortgage, as they’ll see their monthly repayments increase again.
For homeowners with a £200,000 mortgage, this will mean around a £42 increase to their monthly repayments.
Homes for under £10k
While asking prices may have hit record highs and youngsters feel increasingly uncertain they’ll be able to get onto the property ladder, it’s certainly not all doom and gloom for would-be buyers.
A recent post by major property portal Zoopla has revealed a list of 14 properties for sale for £10,000 or less.
While some will need extensive work doing to them, and some will fetch higher at auction, it does show that there are still bargains to be had despite the significant increases in prices over the past couple of years!
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Whether you are a green fingered fanatic and can’t wait to pull on your gardening gloves and get stuck in, or if you consider the maintenance of your outside space as just another household task that you need to tick off a list, you can’t deny that the imminent arrival of summer is the perfect time to update and refresh your garden.
From the planting of spring flowering bulbs to sprucing up your winter-weathered garden furniture, keep reading to find out how you can make your garden summer ready in six simple steps.
1. Get underway with weeding
Possibly the most boring and time consuming of all the garden maintenance tasks is weeding, but unfortunately it is a crucial step in getting your garden summer ready.
Start by removing any weeds that have accumulated in your flower-beds and then look to remove any dead plants from around your garden.
You can also tidy up your borders using a strimmer or an edging tool.
2. Tend to your lawn
After a long winter without a trim, your lawn is no doubt in need of a good mowing. It is always best to mow your lawn when it is dry, and you should also leave the grass clippings where they fall as this will provide the soil with moisture and nutrients, resulting in a healthier lawn.
Now is also the ideal time to aerate your lawn. This can be done either by hand with a fork, or with an aerating machine.
3. Fix up your fence
Fences can take quite a battering over the winter months and nothing can make your garden look as neglected and uncared for as a faded wooden fence. Therefore, it is vitally important that you repaint and treat your fence to ensure it looks its best once the sun starts shining again.
If you have painted your fence previously, you should first strip off this colour before you start the re-painting and treating process.
The colour of your fence is completely dependent on your personal preference although it should be noted that darker stains can make your garden appear smaller. If in doubt, try and choose a shade that will complement the plants and flowers in your garden, as well as any garden furniture that you may have.
4. Set up a scrubbing station
Depending on the items you have in your garden, you may have a fair amount of cleaning on your hands. From a rusty BBQ, to grubby outdoor seating, to debris littered decking; essential cleaning will definitely be on your list of tasks for ensuring your garden is summer ready.
To remove rust from your BBQ, simply mix one cup of baking soda with a little bit of vinegar, apply to the affected area, leave for half an hour and then scrub away with soapy water and a sponge.
Outdoor tables and chairs can also be revived with just a bucket of warm soapy water and a bit of elbow grease.
5. Sow your seeds
Whether you favour flowers or prefer growing a selection of edible plants, now is the perfect time to start deciding what you want to grow and where. Once you have established your preferred plants, you should start ordering your summer flowering bulbs and seeds.
Now is also a good time to hunt down and eliminate any hibernating garden pests that may attack and destroy your precious plants and produce once they awake from their slumber.
You can either use a shop bought pesticide, or you can make your own soap spray that will effectively eliminate any pests. Simply mix one tablespoon of dishwashing soap with one gallon of water and spray directly onto the insects.
6. Install a water butt
Keeping your garden looking fresh and vibrant requires a lot of watering, especially over the warm summer months. Using water from your tap can send your utility bills spiralling if you have a water meter fitted, so instead, install your own water butt.
There are a wide variety of sizes and styles to choose from including slimline options if you do not have much space and second-hand butts available on eBay if you are keen to save money and do your bit for the environment.
Other water saving tips for your garden include:
- Using a watering can instead of a hose pipe
- Watering your plants when the temperature is at its coolest, either first thing in the morning or later in the evening
- Not overwatering your plants
- Not worrying if your lawn becomes scorched, it will recover quickly once the rain returns
If you are getting your property market ready and planning on moving to or within the Ashton Under Lyne area soon, why not telephone us on 01612929223 or call in. We’ll be happy to advise you on our available properties in the area.