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Interest rates have increased again for the second time in quick succession, and a quiet Wiltshire town has leapt up the property hotspot list! In good news for tenants, the government has announced new reforms to protect renters. Read on for all this and more.
What can sellers entering the market in March 2022 expect?
With all COVID-19 restrictions being lifted by the end of March (if not sooner), and spring just around the corner – which is traditionally a hot time of year for the property market – here are some of our predictions for what to expect next month…
House price growth set to slow
After a strong start to the year, house prices are forecast to stabilise over the coming months.
The UK’s biggest building society, Nationwide, reported a sixth consecutive monthly increase in January, with prices rising 0.8% on the previous month and 11.2% annually.
Competitor Halifax also announced increases of 0.3% from the previous month and 9.7% annually.
However, despite these consistent increases over the past 12 months, both lenders have predicted a cooling of the housing market in 2022, with the cost of living increases and limited supplies of new housing stock coming onto the market being cited as major factors.
Movers and Shakers
Corsham named as a top property hotspot
The picturesque country market town of Corsham in Wiltshire has been named as the UK’s newest property hotspot.
The town might not be instantly familiar by name, but TV fans will recognise it, as it’s appeared in numerous period dramas, from Poldark to Lark Rise to Candleford and Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
And with demand for more open spaces and work from home offices remaining strong, the town on the edge of the Cotswolds is seeing a big increase in buyer activity.
Figures released by major property portal Rightmove show an increase in buyer demand of 124% compared with 12 months ago. Average prices have inevitably increased too, with a jump of 6% year on year.
The majority of buyers are Londoners seeking more bang for their buck, and with average prices in the town of a little under £330,000, it’s no surprise that it’s attracting many out-of-towners.
First-Time Buyer News
Affordability issues reach record highs
One of the UK’s biggest lenders, Nationwide, has announced some startling figures which affect first-time buyers’ affordability.
While it’s widely known that house price growth has outgrown wage growth, the building society has laid bare just how much price increases have outpaced wages since the pandemic began.
Their figures reveal that a 10% deposit on a first home is now equivalent to 56% of total gross annual earnings, which is a new record high.
Section 21 to be abolished
In a move that will protect renters, the Government has announced plans to abolish Section 21, which allows landlords to evict tenants without any reason.
The plans are part of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, which is aiming to help poorer communities become more prosperous.
Other changes that are planned include ensuring that privately rented properties meet minimum standards, and the introduction of a landlords register, with an aim to crack down on rogue landlords.
Latest news for Landlords
Almost 1/3 of tenants admit to keeping hidden pets!
A recent survey has found that 27% of tenants have admitted to hiding pets from oblivious landlords for more than three years.
The most commonly hidden pets are birds and rabbits, while somewhat surprisingly, horses are in third place! We’re not sure entirely how you hide a horse – suggestions on a postcard, please!
The number one way to avoid landlords discovering pets during an inspection was to take them out for a walk, which was followed closely by asking friends to look after them, and then asking a neighbour to keep hold of them during inspections.
The study also revealed that the most pet-friendly landlords are in Norwich, with the least friendly being in Edinburgh.
Interest rate increase for the second time in three months
The Bank of England has announced an increase in its base interest rate from 0.25% to 0.5% – the second increase in just three months.
The increase will mean a rise in monthly mortgage repayments for around two million homeowners with variable-rate mortgages and will add around £24 per month to a £200,000 mortgage.
The rise comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s announcement that energy bills will increase by 54% this year, as millions of households face a squeeze on the cost of living.
A home with a rather unusual feature in the front garden made headlines on social media recently.
The 2-bedroom bungalow in leafy Nursling, Hampshire, has a spacious back garden with views across lush green fields, but it’s the enormous telephone pylon in the front garden that really caused it to go viral.
You can check it out here, but hurry – the property’s already sold, subject to contract.
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If you’re thinking about selling your home in Ashton Under Lyne this spring and want a quick sale, then here are our tips to help you find a buyer in no time at all.
- Be Flexible on Price
When it comes to selling your property in Ashton Under Lyne , a good estate agent will be able to give you a clear idea of the price range that it falls into.
Ideally you’ll get the full asking price, and if you’re very lucky then you may be offered more if a couple of potential buyers want to compete.
However, if you want a quick sale then you may need to be prepared to accept a little under the asking price. You should be willing to be flexible, especially if the property is looking tired and some of the major components need updating, such as the boiler or windows.
Have an amount in mind that you would be willing to accept but don’t allow yourself to be forced into accepting a low offer if you won’t be happy with the price.
- Find the Right Buyer
While it’s natural to want to achieve the highest possible price for your property, it may be worth sacrificing a small amount to get a sale completed as quickly as possible.
For example, one buyer may offer you the full asking price but be part of a long chain, whereas a first-time buyer may come in with a slightly lower offer but with no chain to consider.
So if you’re looking to sell in a hurry, then it may be worth your while choosing a buyer who’s ready to go quickly, even if it costs you a bit of money in the short-term.
- Give Your Home a Lick of Paint
Buyers will be far more attracted to a property that’s ready to move into immediately, and you don’t need to spend a fortune getting the place ready either. A fresh coat of paint will do the job, even if it’s just a touch up rather than a full paint job.
Go for neutral colours too, such as an off-white or magnolia. Buyers want to imagine themselves living in the property they’re viewing, so giving them a blank canvas will be far more appealing than jungle-themed wallpaper for example!
- Boost Kerb Appeal
Many buyers will make up their mind about a property before they’ve even stepped foot inside.
If you’ve allowed the front garden to become overgrown, or your overflowing wheelie bins are blocking the path then it’s time to get the gardening gloves on and tidy it up.
Add a hanging basket or two, or some pots, and perhaps touch up any paitwork if you want to really make an impression.
- Show off your Home’s Assets
You want to show your property in its best light, so that means highlighting everything that’s good about it.
For example, you may have been using the second bedroom as a dumping ground for all your old coats or magazines, but buyers will want to see how they can use the space as a second bedroom.
So clear all the clutter out of sight, make the bed and let buyers see what it’s meant to be used for.
This ties in nicely with showing off your property’s assets. Buyers want to see a property that’s well looked after and don’t want to be overwhelmed with clutter when they walk through the door.
So if you have been using the understairs cupboard for junk or piling up paperwork in the sitting room then it’s time for a clearout. And there’s the added bonus of potentially making a few pounds by selling some of your unwanted possessions.
- Fix any Minor Issues
When you’re living in a place it’s easy to overlook a missing lightbulb, a damaged fence or a cracked window.
However, if you’re looking to sell, then these minor issues are all things that buyers could pick up on, and which might put them off making an offer.
Some buyers may see minor issues like these as a sign of potentially bigger issues elsewhere, and it gives them the impression that the house isn’t well maintained generally.
So before you come to sell, just take some time to sort out those odd jobs that you’ve been putting off.
- Clean Your House
You don’t need to get the professionals in or spend all day doing a deep clean, but before any viewings just make sure you’ve whizzed round with the vacuum and a duster, emptied the bins and tidied up.
You’d be amazed how much of a difference it can make to buyers, and it’s further proof that you take pride in your property and maintain it to a good standard.
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Knowing when to sell your home is tricky.
Every homeowner wants to do what is best for their family and get the most profit from their property. So when is the best time to sell your Ashton Under Lyne home?
When You Are Ready
This might at first seem obvious!
However, many sellers get caught up in putting their homes on the market at the ‘optimum time’ rather than when their family is ready.
Although moving in the summer months is often deemed unfavourable, it might be the only realistic opportunity for young families. Trying to force a move when the timing is not ideal for your personal circumstances can be catastrophic.
Additionally, there is a considerable amount of work involved with preparing the home for sale. Before the property can be photographed and viewed, a substantial declutter and a thorough clean will be necessary. You might also be required to redecorate, adding a more neutral colour palette to the home so it appeals to the broadest possible market.
Ten years ago, advising a client on the best time to market their home would be straightforward.
Spring was always the best, with Easter routinely ranking as the busiest week for home sales. Conversely, Christmas was the worst, with buyers deciding to stay put and begin their home search in the new year.
However, the housing market has changed dramatically. Video viewings offer more flexibility, and the current housing shortage means buyers are now often willing to move at previously ‘unfavourable’ times.
Spring is still the most popular time to buy and sell properties. Most of us are inspired by the new season and eager for a fresh start in a new home.
Completing a sale in spring allows us to reap the rewards of the summertime in our new property.
Selling your home in summer allows you to show it in the best light. The house will photograph fantastically, and prospective buyers will enjoy the late evening viewings with natural light.
Houses aimed at young couples and the elderly often perform better in the summer months, with families often preoccupied with the school holidays.
Autumn offers an excellent opportunity to buy a new home and be settled before Christmas.
When marketing your house in the autumn, be sure to make the property warm and inviting, showing viewers just how fabulous and cosy winter in their new home can be.
For years, winter has been considered the most tricky time to sell your home.
The market tends to slow in the middle of October, with buyers accepting they will spend the festive period in their current property.
However, the massive benefit of selling in the winter is that you will face much less competition. Meaning, determined buyers are more likely to land on your home than they might have been in the more competitive spring or summer months.
Focus on Supply and Demand
Before contemplating putting your home up for sale, consider your target market.
If you have a two-bedroom property, you will most likely be appealing to young couples. They might be more flexible with move dates, especially if they do not have children.
Conversely, if you are looking to sell a bungalow, it will likely appeal to older people and those looking to downsize after children have flown the nest. These clients may be more reluctant to deal with the hassle of moving in the winter, and therefore a spring or summer completion will be ideal.
The Current Economic Situation
The housing market is known for its fluctuations. However, it continues to bounce back following any adversity, and house prices grew a staggering 8.5% last year, despite challenges in the economy.
It is crucial sellers consider incentives such as the 5% mortgage deposit scheme, which will encourage buyers at less favourable times of the year.
Buyers aren’t just viewing your particular home; they are assessing the area.
So considering any dramatic changes planned for the town may make a huge difference to the best time for you to sell.
For example, if a great new primary school is in the pipeline, it may be worth holding out on advertising the home. Excellent schools drastically increase the price of homes, and it will also widen your target market.
On the other hand, something may be planned that will reduce the price of your home. If this is the case, it might be worthwhile moving more quickly, even if this means advertising the house in a less popular season.
Ready to move? Alex Jones are your local property experts for the Ashton Under Lyne area.
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Summerhouses, or garden rooms, are purpose-built wooden structures that generally have felt or tiled roofs.
They are becoming a staple of the modern British home, enabling us to get the most from our garden spaces. Summerhouses can be used for many different purposes, from offices to playrooms to cocktail bars.
The beauty of summerhouses is that they are entirely bespoke. No garden is too small, and a design can be developed to complement your home beautifully.
Most summerhouses do not require planning permission, but it is always best to check with your local council if you plan to build something particularly large.
Summerhouses are Functional and Multipurpose
Getting the most from your summerhouse means developing it to cater to a range of circumstances.
With the rise of home working, many choose to use their garden room as a home office. This is a great way to build a literal segregation between work and home, a blurred line many of us struggle with.
However, when using the space as an office, ensure it can double as something else during the evening and weekends, to use your space to its full potential. This might include an arts and crafts area, or a potting shed for keen gardeners.
Once you have defined the uses for the summerhouse, designing and decorating the room will flow much more naturally.
Don’t Forget the Insulation
The name doesn’t limit the room exclusively to the summer months, and this should be a space you enjoy all year round.
Therefore, insulation is essential to ensure your summerhouse is enjoyable in the colder months. Especially if you intend to use the space as a home office, proper insulation is crucial.
It’s Positioning Matters
Choosing the perfect sized summerhouse is vital. You need a space big enough to be functional but not so large that it will detract from your garden. Your summerhouse should complement rather than overpower.
Generally, the best positioning is at the very end of your garden. It feels secluded and can provide the tranquillity many crave.
Avoid placing the summerhouse in the middle of your garden, as it can make the area feel claustrophobic. Additionally, too close to your home will not allow this garden room to become its own separate entity, and you could risk blocking sunlight to the house.
Adding a garden path through your lawn towards the summerhouse not only looks great but helps avoid dragging muddy shoes into your lovely purpose-built garden room.
Let in The Light
A summerhouse allows you the freedom to create an ambience utterly different from that in your home. You must inject the most natural light into the space that you can, great for boosting productivity and mood whilst enjoying the room.
Large patio doors and windows are ideal, allowing the sunlight to seep into the space effortlessly. However, if you opt for large panes of glass, be sure to hang great quality blinds. This will allow for light manipulation and family privacy.
Inject Your Personality
Your summerhouse is a space that affords you complete freedom with regards to décor.
A summerhouse gives you the ability to express your personality and interior design style, running with a design or theme that you may not have the confidence for inside the home. Bright colours work amazingly and are wonderful if you are doubling the space as a playroom.
White-washed Scandinavian themes are popular in offices, permitting you to keep furniture to a minimum in the room. Alternatively, mix and match items to give a relaxed, bohemian finish, which works particularly well when textures and colours contrast.
Be sure to show your personality on the outside of your garden room too. You should not feel limited to brown woody tones. Pastel blues and greens look marvellous surrounding summerhouses, encapsulating the summer vibe.
Remember to Leave a Little Storage
The uses for a summerhouse differ dramatically from that of a shed, but leaving yourself with a little storage will be extremely useful.
Most gardens are not afforded the luxury of enough space for both a summerhouse and a shed. So, for those without a garage, a summerhouse may also need to work as a storage space for some essential garden items. Having a space to store your lawnmower and other tools securely is ideal.
Keep this storage area completely separate. If possible, divide the space into two different rooms with a door adjoining. This way, your summerhouse will retain its functionality and continue to look fabulous.
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Does your home in Ashton Under Lyne have a south facing garden?
Buyers are attracted to a south facing garden for many reasons. While the value they add to your home may be negligible in the grand scheme of things, having a south facing garden is a top selling point that can create interest.
If you have a south facing garden, here is our view at Alex Jones about how desirable a house with a south facing exterior is to buyers in Ashton Under Lyne .
What is a South-Facing Garden?
The clue is in the name, but a south facing garden faces south! Normally, this means the back of your house faces towards the south pole. Many estate agents will market a home as south facing even if it points south-west or south-east, depending on the exact position of your home.
You can usually tell if your house is south facing if you have the sunlight in your back garden all day long or if a compass points south when you are in the garden. But, to know for sure, invite an estate agent round for a free valuation. They’ll be able to tell you whether it’s classed as south facing and, if it is, how much value it could add to your property.
Is a South Facing Garden More Desirable For Ashton Under Lyne Buyers?
A house with a south facing garden has many benefits and it’s certainly an attractive and desirable feature for many buyers in the Ashton Under Lyne area.
While a south facing garden doesn’t necessarily add value to your home, it’s a great selling point that can make your home more attractive and sell quicker, particularly since homes with a south facing garden provide benefits like:
- More sunlight in the garden all day Perfect for sunbathing and kids playing outside
- Opportunities for plants and vegetables With more warmth and sunlight all year round, you have more opportunities to grow vegetables and maintain exotic garden plants
- Warmer garden and back-end of home Naturally, the garden is warmer with a south facing garden, and the back part of your home will stay warmer, too
- Better for drying clothes on the washing line More sunlight means quicker air-drying times, which is perfect if your home doesn’t have space for a tumble dryer
- Patios stay cleaner and require less jet washing Ideal for any buyers looking for a low maintenance home
Get an Expert Valuation
Are you selling your home in the Ashton Under Lyne area? Our friendly team here at Alex Jones are your local property experts and we’d love to hear from you.
If you want to know how much your house with a south facing garden is worth to buyers in the area, get in touch today to request a valuation.