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The Tameside property market is continuing to enjoy a boom, with prices also reaching record highs nationwide. With demand far outweighing supply, many buyers are increasingly paying more to secure their dream properties.
Read on to find out more, with some of July’s key headlines across the UK property market:
UK Prices Reach Record High In Buying Frenzy
The average asking price of a UK home has reached a new high according to the property website Rightmove.
Figures that are due to be released shortly will show a new peak, surpassing the previous record that was set back in May.
Rightmove also confirmed that the first six months of 2021 have been their busiest since 2000 as buyers rushed to complete their purchases before the phasing out of the stamp duty holiday.
The pricing boom has partly been caused by a shortfall in properties on the market. Rightmove confirmed that 140,000 more sales were agreed in the first half of the year than the long term average, however, there were 85,000 fewer new listings, leading to a shortfall of 225,000 properties, which has put sellers in the driving seat when it comes to negotiating as demand for properties continues to outweigh supply.
Stamp Duty Holiday Winds Down
The government’s stamp duty holiday is now winding down.
The scheme, which was introduced to stimulate the housing market during the Coronavirus pandemic has been an overwhelming success, with savings of up to £15,000 for some buyers.
That saving has now ended, however, buyers can still save up to £2,500 on stamp duty if they complete before the 30th September.
And the housing market is expected to remain strong, despite the ending of the stamp duty holiday.
Biggest Rent Rises In Coastal And Commuter Towns
Property website Rightmove has announced the towns and cities with the highest rent increases in the past year with coastal and commuter towns seeing the biggest jump.
Rochdale, Farnham and Folkestone have all seen average rents increase by more than 25% as tenants look for more space away from the major cities.
However, the recent easing of Covid restrictions has also seen some of the UK’s major cities begin to make a comeback, with renters looking to move back to city life.
Prices have risen 6.8% in Nottingham, and 3.8% in Liverpool compared to a year ago, however, in London and Edinburgh, rents are still lower than 12 months ago, at 6.8% and 4% respectively.
Self-Employed and Furloughed Workers Refused Mortgages Over Covid Grants
Self-employed people who have received government grants during the pandemic are being refused mortgages by many high street banks.
NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland have confirmed they’re not accepting applications from anyone who applied for a self-employment income support grant after 14th July 2020, while employed people who have been on furlough are also not having their applications accepted by many major lenders.
Self-employed workers are also being asked to come up with a higher deposit by some of the major high street banks. Metro Bank has confirmed that a deposit of at least 20% is required, while Santander wants a minimum of 25% before lending to self-employed workers.
It’s not all doom and gloom though as interest rates remain low!
The North West Continues To Lead The Housing Boom
Prices in the North West of England have risen by more than 15% over the past year, making it the area that’s seen the biggest increase across the UK.
Wales and Scotland aren’t far behind, having seen 10%+ increases too, but London has seen the smallest rise in prices, at an average of 5.2%, as buyers have increasingly looked to move away from the city to find more affordable properties with additional space.
Some Homebuyers Still Face Lengthy Search Delays
Homebuyers in some areas are still facing lengthy delays for council land searches. Increased demand has left some buyers facing an average wait time of 55 days for searches to be completed when the target is 10 days. Conveyancers and local councils are playing catch-up after the stamp duty holiday rush.
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Many people wanting to sell their home focus on preparing it for sale which makes perfect sense!
But, you should also be looking at what your garden offers to a potential buyer. After all, more and more of us are spending time at home and so want the outdoor space.
So, what sort of garden improvements should you be doing to add value to your home?
Here, we at Alex Jones take a step outdoors and share our top tips on garden improvements you can action immediately.
These tips won’t necessarily add monetary value to your home, however they will certainly make your property more attractive to potential buyers.
Fix it up: Complete outstanding garden jobs
First of all, fix things. You know that fence panel you have been meaning to sort for a while now? Get it done. That outside tap with a slight leak? Sort it out. And as for that cracked paving slab on the patio right by the French doors? Come on, either do it or get someone in to have a look at it!
Seriously, gardens are so important and they have to look good. If someone sees a messy, overgrown garden, they may have difficulty seeing past the weeds and miss the potential. They’ll see hard work and that is not for everyone. It also makes people wonder just how well you have looked after the rest of your home.
Home office: Add a garden structure
As we have said, more and more of us are spending time at home. Working, but at home. There are pitfalls to working at home, and one of those is finding a balance between work and home life.
The easiest way to separate the two is to – separate the two! A garden office provides that distance to lock yourself away and work without home life getting in the way. You can also step out of your garden office at the end of the working day, lock up, and then, quite literally, go home.
Costs of installation (and quality) vary, so you’ll need to do your homework.
Dine out: Create outdoor eating spaces
When the summer sun hits the sky, we all love being outside. Dining al fresco is something to cherish. Imagine a lovely breakfast on the patio or a BBQ with friends as the sun sets.
A nicely maintained garden patio or decked area will work wonders for your home’s appeal to a prospective buyer. If you have garden furniture, arrange it so that people can picture themselves there.
Lighten up: Add mood lighting to the garden
Adding value to your garden could mean making it more appealing. Use lighting to lift darker areas. You could add small solar lights to light up pathways, or a net of twinkling stars woven over a tree’s lower branches. You could have a fixed, electric light too, either for cosmetic purposes or security. It fully depends on your budget.
What is certain is that good use of lighting will benefit you when it comes to selling the property.
Home takeaways: Eating out…in!
Eating at home rather than eating out has become the norm so it’s unsurprising that there are items you can purchase to enhance the experience – a bar area for example, or a pizza oven maybe.
Some potential buyers will love that you have something there for them to make use of. These things won’t add much to the actual value of your home, but, what you are doing is adding value and standing out.
Outside and in: Merge the two
When you think of the garden, also think of how the garden and the house work together. For example, how do you exit the house to go into the garden? Could you add bi-fold doors to the property? This will be relatively costly, but the impact means you are more likely to add real value to the house.
When you are thinking of garden improvements, you can think big but you should also think small too. You could do some building work, or you could just ensure you get the small things done well. You could install a fake grass landscape, or you could make sure real grass is cut properly.
Whatever you do, or are thinking of doing, ask us for our opinion as we are more than happy to share our advice and expertise.
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Phew! It’s been a crazy busy one for us and indeed most agents throughout the UK. The UK property market is continuing to enjoy a boom, with prices still rising in most areas, although with the first stamp duty deadline looming, prices may begin to plateau slightly. Meanwhile though, this has led to record house prices and a skills shortage in the construction industry.
Read on to find out more, with some of June’s key headlines:
Half-Price Homes Scheme Launched
First-time buyers could soon be benefiting from a 30%-50% discount on a home under a new government scheme.
The First Homes initiative is being aimed at local and key workers, including nurses, teachers and supermarket staff, and it will help them to get on the property ladder with a minimum discount of 30% on new homes that are part of the scheme.
The same discount would then be passed on to future buyers in order to keep the homes available to members of the local community at below market rate.
The homes will also be available with just a 5% deposit, as major high street lenders such as Nationwide and Halifax have agreed to offer 95% mortgages on properties purchased under the scheme.
The scheme launched in the Bolsover district of Derbyshire in early June, with further sites to be announced in the coming weeks, and an additional 1500 homes joining the scheme this autumn.
The government has also pledged to add a further 10,000 properties to the scheme every year as part of a major initiative to provide affordable homes to locals.
Click here to find out more about the First Homes scheme.
Average House Prices Reach Record High
The average selling price of a UK home reached a record high of £261,743 in May, and it’s predicted to continue rising according to one of Britain’s biggest mortgage lenders.
The report from Halifax says that the average house price has increased by £22,000 since May 2020 – that’s an annual increase of 9.5%.
This follows similar findings from Nationwide, which reported an increase of 10.9% across the same period.
And with the stamp duty holiday still in place, albeit on a reduced rate, until October, along with the traditionally busy summer period, there could well be further increases to come.
Over 50% Of Homeowners Live In Homes That Fail To Meet Their Needs
A recent survey by property listings website Zoopla has found that more than half of homeowners are stuck in properties which don’t meet their needs.
Most of those quizzed pointed to a lack of space either in the home, or outdoors, while over 25% said they live in an area that they don’t want to be in.
The study of 2,400 homeowners also found that the average person required a home worth an extra £125,000 in order to be suitable for their needs.
It was also revealed that people typically stay in their home for more than four years after realising it’s not right for them.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to many homeowners reassessing where they live, with extra outdoor space and office space being two of the key things people are now looking for from their next home, as they increasingly spend more time living and working in their properties.
Renting Now Cheaper Than Buying
Research by estate agents Hamptons has found that the cost of renting is now cheaper than buying for the first time since December 2014.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, buyers with a 10% deposit would be better off than renters by £102 per month.
By last month however, private tenants are better off by an average of £71 per month compared to homeowners.
Only four areas of the UK currently buck the trend – the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber, and Scotland.
The trend of higher rents is not expected to continue in the long-term though, with the gap expected to close towards the end of the year before reverting to normal in 2022 when the housing market is forecast to slow down again following an exceptionally busy few months in 2021.
Increased Demand Leads To Construction Industry Boom
Increased demand for home improvements, driven by the pandemic, has led to a boom in the construction industry.
However, a shortage of tradespeople means thousands of extra workers are required, with a report by the Construction Skills Network concluding that an extra 9,250 workers are needed by 2025, just in Wales alone, in order to meet demand.
It’s a similar picture across the UK as a whole, with construction work set to grow by 4.4% on average until the end of 2025.
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The UK is a true melting pot where street names are concerned!
We certainly have our favourites, with over 3000 ‘high streets’ and 2000 ‘station roads’ across the country.
However, there are also some unusual and hilarious street names hidden across our beautiful counties.
11 of the UK’s Most Quirky Street Names
Located in south-east London, Ha-Ha road has to be one of the most unusual street names the country offers. Unfortunately, the story behind the name is not quite as funny as one would first assume.
A ha-ha is the name of a sloping ditch, used in this instance to create a separation from the land housing livestock and the land owned by the ministry of defence.
Frying Pan Alley
Situated in bustling east London, Frying Pan Alley takes its name from the original shop that previously stood here. A place specialising in pots and pans of all shapes and sizes, it has a large sign outside showcasing what the shop used to offer.
Oxford’s unusually named road routinely features in the list of the most embarrassing street names in the country. However, the occupants believe the giggles are well worth it.
Houses on this road are a whopping £40,000 cheaper than those on the surrounding streets!
No Name Street
The only street in the UK with this name can be found in Sandwich, Kent. Whilst no one appears to know to origination of this name, it certainly attracts a lot of attention.
Tickle Cock Bridge
Tickle Cock Bridge is a pedestrian underpass in Castleford. The name provides a laugh for those that visit, but it holds a special place in the hearts of many locals.
Following a renovation in 2008, the council changed the name to Tickle Cott Bridge, which was met with outrage from those who live nearby. After many petitions and protests, the local authority reinstated the much-loved Tickle Cock title.
Christmas Pie Avenue
This road has attracted an enormous amount of attention over the years, and was unsurprisingly voted the most festive street in the country by the Royal Mail.
Interestingly, the name has nothing to do with the Christian holiday. Instead, it originates from a prominent family who used to live in the area.
This street in Doncaster gets its name from Medieval English and simply refers to its location at the back of the village. Whilst it doesn’t have the most extravagant backstory, the road attracts plenty of laughs from passers-by.
Pocket Handkerchief Lane
There is an air of mystery about this strangely named road in Rotherham, as nobody is quite sure where the name originated.
Perhaps one of the most unusual names in the country, but which unfortunately offers no explanation.
Hanging Sword Alley
In Tudor times, this area was home to many fencing schools. In a similar fashion to countless other streets in London, the Hanging Sword Alley took its name from the activities or amenities available.
Due to its proximity to Tower Bridge, knights would be regularly seen riding along this street, hence it’s name.
Slaparse Lane sits just outside of Exeter, and unfortunately, there is no concise story about how this street gained its quirky name. But, it will continue to attract a giggle from visitors who pass by every day.
Changing Road Names
After many years of being embarrassed over living on Butt Hole Road, the residents of Conisbrough petitioned to have the name permanently changed.
It wasn’t necessarily the name that offended the locals, but the tourist attraction it had become.
Visitors flocked to the street to have their photo taken with the street sign, which was stolen repeatedly. A coach load of American tourists even arrived to have their picture taken with it.
Following approval in 2009, the name was changed to the rather more sedate, Archers Way.
Can a Street Name Increase the Value of Your Home?
Interesting, properties ending in ‘Street’, ‘Court’ or ‘Terrace’ tend to be significantly more affordable that those ending in ‘Road’ or ‘Lane’.
Additionally, studies show that homes with odd house numbers are worth, on average, £30,258 more than those with even numbers.
Aside from the property itself, there is a vast range of factors that will affect the value of your home.
For example, the proximity to excellent local schools can drastically increase the worth of your home. For those with young children, or those looking to start a family, this is often a non-negotiable element in their house search.
Additionally, a close-by local pub and proximity to a train station will also add huge amounts of value to your home.
What’s the quirkiest street name you’ve ever heard? Let us know so we can add it to our list!
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One of the top concerns that many families have when moving to Ashton Under Lyne is finding the right school for their children. Many home moves are explicitly made so that families can move closer to the catchment area of their dream school.
But what happens if you find your dream house first and then need to find the best school close by?
As your local estate agent, we know the Ashton Under Lyne area exceptionally well and receive so many questions about this that we decided to give you our best advice to help keep you informed. In this article, you’ll find our top tips to help you find the right school for your children when moving to Ashton Under Lyne .
Work out what your priorities are
Let’s face it, it may be tough to find a school that has absolutely everything that you’re looking for and all the schools in the Ashton Under Lyne area have their own strengths.
When looking for a school in Ashton Under Lyne we recommend making a list of your priorities. For instance, are you looking for a school with a tremendous academic record or one with a specific subject focus? Are extra-curricular activities essential or does your child have any special needs that the school should cater for? Are you looking for state schools or private schools? Day or boarding? Single-sex or co-ed? There are lots to consider before you even kick off your search.
Writing down all your priorities like this will help you focus your search, as this is an area that’s packed with lots of great schools to choose from!
Start your school research well before your move
Once you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in terms of priorities, it’s time to start researching. We recommend doing this as early as you possibly can. You will probably want to visit several schools in Ashton Under Lyne before you decide on the best fit, so make sure you leave enough time for multiple appointments and open days.
It’s straightforward to access all the information you need on the excellent schools in Tameside as you can do this online, even if you’re currently located in a different part of the country.
Start gathering critical information online using reputable sites such as The Good Schools Guide and check the school performance tables on Gov.uk. Read through online school reviews and scour the Ofsted reports.
School research can be a time-consuming process, which is why we recommend starting early. Once you’ve whittled it down to your top three schools in Ashton Under Lyne , pay each of them a visit with your child. Which brings us on to our next point…
Pay your top choice schools a visit
Although this might not be immediately possible, we highly recommend visiting schools when you can. Take a tour and get a good feel of the environment that your child will potentially be spending lots of their time in. Talk to the staff and pupils and ask them questions.
Here are some of the key things to observe on a school visit:
- How do the students and teachers interact with each other?
- Are the facilities clean and well-maintained?
- Do the teachers seem enthusiastic and happy to chat through all your questions?
- Is the environment and community friendly and welcoming?
- Do the children appear happy and engaged?
If it’s not possible for you to physically visit the school before you move, don’t despair. Check out their website. Some schools now offer virtual tours of their campuses. You could also hold a Zoom call with the headteacher to get a better feel of the school, and it’s teaching style.
Find out where your new neighbours are sending their children
If you have the chance to say hello to your new neighbours before your move, ask them about their personal experiences with the local schools in Tameside . Chatting with another parent could save you research time, as they will have done the same research when they moved and may also have first-hand experience of a school if they are sending their own children to one of the schools that you’re interested in.
Make sure you have a back-up plan
Once you have found the perfect fit, find a back-up! It’s always sensible to have a Plan B in case your chosen school in Tameside doesn’t work out. Creating a list of your top two or three schools means that you can quickly fall back to another option if needed, although of course, we hope your child gets into your first choice!