Latest News

British Private Rental Rates Up by 2.3%

The report identifies rising demand overtaking supply as the primary reason behind the rental market inflation. Various market surveys by the likes of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have shown that demand increased during the three-month period leading up to August this year, although the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) recently revealed figures that indicated a marginal decrease of demand during the month ...

Nationwide House Price Index Reveals Price Increase

The average house price in the UK grew by 5.6% over that past year according to Nationwide’s House Price Index for August. Many commentators are now claiming this rise as evidence that the result of the EU referendum has had little to no effect on the UK’s housing market so far, though some remain cautious as to whether it will have an effect eventually.

Monthly Increase Also on the Rise

Nationwide’s House Price Index also showed ...

Gas Safety Week

Gas Safety Week starts on September 19th and runs through to the 25th. It is intended to help raise awareness of the all the issues around gas safety and to encourage people to keep the safety and care of their gas appliances in their home of the utmost importance.

The week of gas safety awareness is organised by the Gas Safe Register, which is the official registry for engineers who work with gas lines and gas appliances. The engineers ...

Top 5 Home Design Trends for Autumn and Winter

Home design trends are an interesting subject to keep abreast of as they are often changing throughout the year. Sometimes a particular idea will resonate with so many homeowners at the same time that it’s a wonder that it hasn’t been incorporated into our collective interior design idea book already.

Other trends tend to be of the moment, and something that needs a bit of thought put into it before you commit. It might be that the idea ...

Activity in the housing market remains strong despite referendum

New research has shown that, despite the looming EU referendum and general uncertainty about the UK economy in its aftermath, valuation activity in May rose by nearly a fifth on an annual basis.

Overall, the total number of housing valuations carried out in May 2016 was 18% higher than in May 2015, while on a monthly basis valuation activity in May decreased by just 1% compared to April this year.

John Bagshaw, corporate services ...

Why Letting Agents Worth the Fee

Landlords usually have a couple of options when it comes to either finding tenants or managing the properties they rent out to those tenants. They can either take care of everything themselves or they can utilise the services of a letting agent.

For a new buy-to-let investor, choosing which to go for can be a dilemma, especially if they have the means to take of everything themselves but could possibly do with a more experienced head ...

Macmillan Coffee Morning

This morning the UK participated in the worlds largest Coffee & Cake morning and here at Abacus we are proud to sponsor this amazing event. Our West Hampstead & Kensal Rise offices hosted the event this year and it was an excellent time had by all. Some lovely homemade cake, pastries and cookies along with some tasty donations by local business's such as Waitrose and most importantly very generous donations by the local community.

Thank ...

Third of landlords undecided on Brexit vote

According to new research from the National Landlords Association, 30% of landlords are still undecided about whether they will vote to leave or remain in the upcoming referendum on the European Union.

The news comes a little over a week before the referendum, taking place on June 23, which will decide whether or not the United Kingdom will remain a member state of the EU.

The findings show that landlords are evenly split, with 35% ...

Huge Increase in Capital’s Property Prices Over Last 20 Years

A new report published by UK lender Halifax has revealed property prices have risen by 432% in Greater London per square metre over the past twenty years, which is a huge difference to the national average increase of just 251% over the same time.

National Average Price Per Square Metre

The national average price per square metre these days is £2,216, though it is not just the capital of the country that commands significantly above ...

Top Tips for New Buy-to-Let Investors – Part 1

With buy-to-let investment expected to drop off severely after the stamp duty rise last April, it is still seen as a potentially rewarding investment if you find the right property in a good area. Obviously, what makes a property ‘right’ and an area ‘good’ involves a lot of variables, but if you were thinking of buying-to-let before the stamp duty increase, it doesn’t mean that it’s now a terrible idea. Take a look at the following tips for ...

Investor Anxiety Calmed by ‘Brexit Clauses’

It’s been revealed that property investors have significant concerns over the effect that Britain leaving the EU could have on the UK housing market. The Brexit referendum occurs on June 23rd, with the British people deciding whether or not to remain in the European Union, but the potential effects of the vote to leave is already influencing the housing market.

Investors Adding ‘Brexit Clauses’ to Property Deals

Commercial property ...

Housing industry reacts to Brexit

David Cox, managing director of Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and Mark Hayward, managing director of National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), commented: “The outcome of today’s EU referendum will create a period of uncertainty among homeowners, buyers, investors, landlords and developers. We can expect international investors to look a lot harder at the UK as a market; this will have a consequential impact upon the ...

The sun shines on the Jester Festival (mostly)

If you wanted a glimpse of what Remain Britain looks like, then the Jester festival is in its own small way a good example. In some ways a typical British fete with balloons, cakes and jam for sale and a noisy traditional fun fair; but in other ways different. For example, the wide cross-section of locals and the most popular food choices – Greek filo pies (delicious), Indian curries and French crepes. However, not much sign of an ...

Brexit sees agents put hiring on hold

“Some of our core clients are saying ‘we’re going to review our position’ and a few have put freezes on,” confirmed Rupert Stuart-Baker, owner of recruitment consultant Beach Baker.

“They’re saying it’s for the next few weeks until they find out what the situation is. I think it’s line managers getting a bit nervous and saying ‘hang on, I need to speak to my boss and work out if that’s going ahead’.”

Another senior consultant told ...

West End Lane obscured by the fog of planning

Just as there exists the fog of war, so it seems there is a fog of planning. A2 Dominion’s redevelopment of 156 West End Lane has been amended and come back again for comments, but it’s not clear where things stand. To add to the fog, the redevelopment is being reviewed by a new planning officer.

Technically, the application did not need to reconsult because the new scheme is within the parameters of the old one (i.e. theoretically ...

How digital technology can help estate agents connect with customers

Digital technology in the property industry is here to stay’ was very much the opinion drawn from the recent FUTURE: PropTech conference, as an ever-increasing number of estate and lettings agents partner up with technology to enhance their businesses.

This is unsurprising. Digital technology – through apps, sophisticated websites and online portals – has advanced at such a rate that we have seen a 'disruption' of the property ...

Louis Theroux helps open The Mayhew's new animal clinic

Documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux cut the ribbon to unveil The Mayhew Animal Home’s brand new veterinary clinic expansion.

The Mayhew Animal Home, in Kensal Rise , has been expanding its vet clinic over the past year to have two new operating theatres.

The charity, which helps poorly animals , say the new Jeanne Marchig Veterinary Suite and Training Wing, will allow it to reach and help even more animals in need in the community. ...

33 things to do for FREE in the summer school holidays

It's the simple things that are the most memory-making. And you can make some awesome memories with your family this summer - for FREE.

From feeding ducks and climbing towers to going back in time and enjoying adventure trails, you'll never be at a loss for something to do in Bristol.

From prehistoric times to the present day, M Shed tells the unique story of Bristol and its place in the world. See amazing film and photographs, ...

Regional Cities See House Price Boost

The latest UK Cities House Price Index report reveals that there has been a surge in house prices in a number of regional cities across the UK, with Liverpool and Bristol seeing the most impressive increases. The report published by market analysis experts Hometrack analyses the housing market across twenty cities in the UK, monitoring any gains or losses in the overall average prices throughout each quarter and year.

On average, the ...

Contents Insurance Advice for New Tenants

Renting a property is a much easier process than buying a property, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of items that need special attention. We’re going to focus on one of those items in this blog, one that often gets overlooked, especially by younger folks perhaps renting their own properties for the first time.

The item we’re focusing on today is the issue of contents insurance, sometimes referred to as contents cover. In basic ...

Six Things We’ve Learned From The Referendum

It’s over. A win is a win, whichever side you backed. It’s true that everyone seems a lot less happy than they were a short while ago, but one has to hope the heat will give way to light - perhaps soon it will be time to move on and look to the (admittedly uncertain) future.

But wait just a moment. What have we learned as an industry from a four month campaign, from an unexpected result, and from the extraordinary volatile ...

Most Desirable Postcode for Young Professional Homebuyers

The area that is the most desirable for young British professionals to buy a home in has been identified as Hove on the South Coast, specifically the postcode BN3. It is also the second year running that this particular postcode has topped the table in the research by Lloyds Bank to find the most coveted area for young professionals between the ages of twenty-five and forty-four seeking to a buy a home.

Along with its neighbour, Brighton, ...

Free Energy Saving Tips for Homeowners and Tenants – Part 1

Save Energy with Heating

Let’s tick off some obvious ones first. Wearing an extra layer or two before turning up the heating is a very good thing to do. Try several thinner layers instead of just one big one and you might be surprised just how long you can hold off turning that heating up.

Once the heating is on, make sure your furniture isn’t right up against any of the heaters or radiators in the home as they will block the heat. If ...

Average UK House Price Rises by 0.3%

New Average House Price Figure

The overall quarter on quarter UK house price increased by 1.3%, although the percentage is actually 1.4% if you only consider Scotland and Northern Ireland. The numbers then drop significantly if you isolate either England or Wales, with the former seeing a rise of 1.1% while the latter’s average house price has only increased by 0.2% during the recent third quarter.

All together, the recent rise means ...

Chancellor Cancels Help to Buy Scheme

Thousands of Homebuyers Helped by Scheme

Since its inception, the Help to Buy scheme has helped over 86,000 homebuyers to achieve their dream of owning their own home. It’s currently unknown if Hammond’s incentive behind closing the scheme is because many of the people it helped to buy bought lower value properties with an average price of £157,000, significantly lower than the national average of nearly £216,000.

It should be noted ...

Top 5 Home Design Trends for Autumn and Winter

Black Stainless Steel Kitchen Appliances

Polished stainless steel is on the way out as a trendy material for your ovens, refrigerators and other appliances. Coloured stainless steel is in, and the black variety adds a touch of class and effortlessly matches the rest of the kitchen’s design.

Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets

Sticking with the kitchen, some excellent mismatched kitchen cabinet designs have set the whole two-tone trend in full ...

Free Energy Saving Tips for Homeowners and Tenants – Part 2

Save Energy with Refrigeration

Winter or summer, day or night, these necessary appliances constantly use electricity so it’s wise to understand how to help them operate as efficiently as possible. First of all, keep your refrigerator at a temperature between 3 and 5 degrees, while also making sure you keep the coils at the back of the fridge clean and clear of dust and grime as this will help it operate more efficiently. Also ensure the ...

Brexit Design Manifesto

Design can help the UK thrive after Brexit. But first the government must help design.

Here's why.

The UK's architects and designers are among the most creative and dynamic in the world. They generate billions for the economy and act as global ambassadors for our nation.

Design is one of our nation's greatest strengths and plays a key role in the "soft power" we project overseas. Our architects and designers are recognised for their ...

How Landlords Can Avoid Disputes with Tenants

Check Tenants’ References

The first thing a landlord must do to help minimise the risk of potential problems with a tenant is to thoroughly check the references of the people applying for tenancy of your property. Find out if the potential tenant has lived in rented property before, and what their previous landlord has to say about them. Also check up on their employment information, confirming their occupation, role and salary. If ...

Prime property rental market improves in UK Home Counties

But the region is seeing the emergence of a two tier market as there has been a sharp increase in the number of properties at the very top end renting for £15,000 a month or more, leading to rent falls.

The data also shows that overall rents in the prime market are also up 0.5% year on year and there has been a pick-up in rental growth which has reversed the trend seen in recent quarters, despite some of the wider economic uncertainty ...

Britain is still a nation that wants to be home owners, new survey shows

Some 72% of adults want to be home owners in two years’ time and 80% hope to own in 10 years’ time which is broadly in line with the 30 year average sentiment, according to the research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders as part of its long running series on attitudes to housing.

But the report by CML chief economist Bob Pannell, based on a survey undertaken on behalf of the CML by YouGov, also reveals some less predictable findings. ...

The city that never sleeps – London welcomes the Night Tube

Will the Night Tube drive up London house prices?

Yes I believe it will, but mainly in areas further out from central London, so from Zone 3, 4 and 5 outwards. At the moment it’s too early to predict an overall price increase.

The Night Tube will appeal to young professionals who work and play in central London but can’t afford to buy in Zone 1 or 2.

The new 24-hour service will mean they can push further out to more affordable ...

ABACUS HALLOWEEN

Let's celebrate Halloween together.

Please come and join us for pumpkin carving at our offices. Venue: 303 West End Lane, West Hampstead, London NW6 1RD - 02074313777 103 Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, London NW10 3NS - 02038155777 307A Neasden Lane, Neasden, London W10 1QR - 02082087919

Look forward to seeing You there. Abacus Estates Team

First-time buyers – how agents can help them through the legal process

Sometimes, when things go wrong for home buyers, it can be a source of real frustration and even worry – no more so than when their conveyancing solicitor is at fault. Our research shows that the complaints we help resolve often involve first-time buyers. They are particularly at risk since they’re going through the process for the first time, and often don’t know what their lawyer has responsibility for.

Earlier this year we reported on ...

British house builders optimistic about the future despite Brexit

However, despite challenges including the current planning system, a skills shortage and uncertainty following the EU referendum, house builders are forecasting increased growth and investment.

The report is the first in-depth study of the sector following the decision to leave the EU and confirms that optimism about the future of the house building industry has picked up slightly from 7.1 last year to 7.2 in 2016, with 10 representing ...

Residential rents up 2.3% year on year in UK

All areas have seen rises in their private rental prices since 2011 with those in England up more than those of Wales and Scotland.

According to Nick Davies, head of residential development at Stirling Ackroyd, there is a lack of properties available to rent in London where demand is highest, partly due to a high number of international students.

‘While London draws in the some of the world’s brightest students and graduates, it lacks ...

Architects unveil innovative design for temporary UK parliament in London

The internal architecture mirrors familiar features from the Palace of Westminster and is inspired by the magnificent hammer beam roof of Westminster Hall. The two iconic chambers of the House of Commons and House of Lords would be replicated to the same dimensions to ensure familiarity with the aim of reducing disruption to MPs and Peers.

The Royal Gallery and Central Lobby, which play an important role in parliamentary traditions ...

Home buyer confidence returns to pre-referendum levels

This is a rise of 16% and takes the number of prospective house buyers recorded up to the levels seen back in June, when estate agents recorded 330 on average per branch and comes as the supply of homes coming on to the market starts to fall, albeit marginally, according to the NAEA.

But while demand continues to improve across much of post-Brexit Britain, the findings from the study found that sales to first-time buyers are ...

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to condensation and mould

Condensation in residential property, caused by warm, moist air generated in areas like kitchens and bathrooms penetrating colder parts of the building, can vary in severity from a small patch of mould or discoloured wallpaper behind a cupboard in the corner of a room to serious amounts of mould growth across walls, inside wardrobes and on furnishings, carpets and in basements.

“Condensation can lead to mould, a serious problem for both ...

Predicting rental success – which factors matter?

The Dataloft PRS Squared Index monitors key indicators for 50 towns and cities across the UK to help our clients predict performance and we have picked out some of the highlights in this article.

A strong local economy is strongly associated with an active rental market – best judged through local earnings and job growth. The airport towns of Luton and Crawley (for Gatwick) have seen the strongest earnings growth over the last few years. ...

No crystal ball needed, just exceptional customer service

When I stepped in to my new position, I said that I prefer to focus on certainties rather than uncertainties and while in the last 18 months we’ve ridden the wave of a series of ‘uncertainties’ that included a general election; the introduction of stamp duty on second properties; the continuation of historically low interest rates; and then of course, the big Brexit surprise, I believe that throughout this, there remains one certainty. ...

The power of floor plans

From providing information about the size of the rooms to the general layout of the property, a floor plan usefully allows prospective buyers to understand how the space flows as well as the relationship or proximity of one room to another, which will give them a better idea of whether or not they should view the property in person, especially if they have a long way to travel.

“Organising and managing a visit can be very demanding and ...

Genuine concern for staff well-being is the most powerful motivator

Designed with staff in mind, the company founders, Ed Reeves and Rachel Clacher, asked every employee what their dream ‘home’ looked like. What they’d want to see and would make them happy. Suggestions ranged from the bizarre (hot tubs) to the small and practical (great acoustics), but each and every one was listened to.

This is where Moneypenny excels. From day one, Ed and Rachel have been dedicated to the well-being of their team. Why? ...

Vote of confidence for buy to let despite Brexit uncertainties

Some 54 per cent of those questioned by the bank say that Brexit will make no difference to their investment intentions, nor to the likely strength of the buy to let investment market. Indeed, some 19 per cent say Brexit may help the rental market indirectly, by making the sales market more volatile.

When it comes to rent increases, 55 per cent of those investors questioned admit they will have to raise their rent in the near ...

Yield no longer the key measure of buy to let success, says lettings expert

However, she says this does not take into account other often-new obstacles in the way of landlords and investors making profits: such additional costs to landlords cover health and safety issues, energy efficiency, and in particular reduced tax benefits through more rigorous Wear and Tear Allowances and the phased reduction in some landlords' mortgage interest tax relief from next spring.

"So although yields are a useful measure when ...

The gloom lifts – and so does the property market

But there’s more good news because buyer confidence has returned to such a degree that houses previously sticking in the market for far longer than either their owners or I would like have started to sell as well.

So Brexit is letting these owners exit the market with a smile on their faces and cash in the bank – or to invest in somewhere different to live.

It’s a curious phenomenon that things should suddenly get much brighter after ...

Agents Do Charity - and they're not trumped by events

Conveyancing Charity Foundation: This charity, established to assist conveyancing lawyers generate funds for charities, has hit a £400,000 milestone.

This was achieved through its Free Legal Fee Charity Competition whereby clients pay £10 at the end of their property transaction - £9 of which goes into the charity - and are entered into a monthly prize draw, the winner of which receives a £500 contribution to assist with the payment of ...

Property Natter: how to build a brand

The name

What’s in a name? Well, quite a lot actually, when it comes to most businesses. You either go for a name that encapsulates you and your services all in one – for example, Webuyanycar.com, Sky Sports, Dunkin’ Donuts, etc. – or you go for something a bit more quirky, distinctive and enigmatic.

Uber, for example, doesn’t immediately shout out taxi service, but through clever marketing, social media and word of mouth it has ...

What does a Donald Trump win mean for the UK property market?

Despite much uncertainty, the UK economy remains resilient in the face of Brexit, Leicester City are in strong position to progress to the UEFA Champions League last-16, and the Brexit-style financial disarray predicted on a Trump victory has so far failed to materialise.

However, many traders had priced-in a win for Hillary Clinton, meaning that investors endured a rollercoaster ride in the immediate aftermath of the election result, ...

Agent and conveyancer relationships must go beyond the bottom line

There is still much to grow upon when it comes to learning about each other’s business practices and culture to improve working relationships and dispel myths and prejudices.

One of the areas mostly affected by disjointed communication is client satisfaction. To those working within the legal sector, the annual Legal Ombudsman figures on conveyancing complaints will not come as a surprise – 23 per cent of overall figures. Nearly one in ...

European commercial real estate markets seeing strong momentum

The report says, that given these dynamics, capital values are expected to be squeezed significantly higher over the year ahead.

The strongest gains anticipated are across the office sector and European markets posted 11 of the top 12 index readings. On the occupier side, respondents in Hungary continue to report the strongest momentum on a global comparison.

Tenant demand remains firmly on the up in the office, industrial and retail ...

New buy to let powers granted to Bank of England committee from early 2017

It follows the FPC recommending that it be given additional powers of direction over both the residential mortgage lending market and the buy to let mortgage market in September 2014. The Government granted the FPC powers over the residential mortgage lending market in April 2015 and then consulted on the buy to let market.

The consultation noted the positive impact of buy to let landlords in the economy and the role they play in widening ...

Autumn Statement: The property industry's wish list for Philip Hammond

Key industry figures say the upcoming announcement is a chance to bolster activity in the housing market, which has slowed in recent months largely as a consequence of the previous Chancellor’s tax changes.

Mortgage interest relief, greater support for SME developers, capital gains tax, are among just some of the top issues that property groups, firms and individuals have outlined among their main requirements, but ahead of next week’s ...

Mortgage market defies Brexit jitters as rates hit record lows

In the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the EU referendum there was an understandable drop-off in buyer enquiries amid greater uncertainty in the market, with various economists pessimistically warning of a fall in house prices. But more than 100 days on from the EU vote and those fears have not materialised, with growing signs that buyers are returning to the market.

The latest Mortgage Monitor from e.surv shows that the number of ...

Minimum energy efficiency standards for rented properties – are you prepared?

Careful planning and preparation will be required to mitigate the potential impact, and it is important that buy-to-let landlords and investors take action now if they wish to avoid legal headaches in the near future.

The potential benefits of early engagement in this process are wide-ranging and could have a long-term effect on the way you manage and maximise value from your property investments. For example, this may mean the early ...

Tenant arrears set to soar

By April 2020, once they have been withdrawn altogether, the disastrous consequences of Section 24 will mean that it is likely that higher-rate tax payers will only receive 50% of the relief that they currently get, with various experts having already warned that landlords will be left with little alternative but to pass higher costs on to tenants.

With many landlords likely to face the prospect of having their profits unjustly wiped out, ...

Landlords not responsible for paying council tax, court rules

The tenancies in question were contractual periodic tenancies following a fixed-term and the council’s argument was based on the claim that a single tenancy cannot be both a fixed-term and periodic.

The landlord argued that the contract created a single tenancy whose term was six months and thereafter continuing as a monthly tenancy. This would have the same effect as a fixed term assured shorthold tenancy.

The council appealed against ...

Buying a leasehold property is not as easy as a freehold

Increasing property prices and a high population density make property development a profitable enterprise in these areas – which has led to an increase in the number of leaseholds as houses are split into flats and new apartment blocks are built.

More than half of homes in London and almost half of those in Manchester are leasehold with parts of Liverpool, Birmingham and Newcastle almost devoid of freehold homes. In fact, in London’s ...

When Brent meets Chelsea: How buying property in all 32 London boroughs over the last 20 years would have made a savvy investment

Instead, the estate agent investigates how investing across all London’s 32 boroughs over the period would have helped maximise the returns but minimised the risk.

According to Knight Frank this method of calculating the most beneficial trade-off, called the Sharpe Ratio, shows that investors should have put 13.8 per cent of their portfolio in Brent, north London, followed by 12.4 per cent in Kensington and Chelsea and 10.6 per cent Tower ...

Mortgage affordability sees 'significant improvement'

New research from Halifax has found that, since the pre-crisis peak of 2007, there has been a noticeable improvement in mortgage affordability across the majority of all local authority districts.

The data revealed that mortgage affodability has improved by 18% since 2007. Typical mortgage payments for both FTBs and homemovers at the average LTV ratio stood at 30% in Q4 2016 compared to the peak of 48% in Q3 2007.

Halifax says that ...

Demand for homes sees 7.8% rise in January

The market has becomes less efficient this month, as the despite a decrease in transactions, the number of viewings that took place in January has risen, meaning that buyers are choosing to view more properties before they buy.

The average purchase price for first-time buyers has fallen in January, by 3.8% on the month and by 2.1% annually. Despite falling prices, the number of new first-time buyers entering the market has risen by ...

Is equity release a good way to pay off your home loan?

The City watchdog has identified 2017-18 as the first of three “peak periods” when large numbers of interest-only mortgages will mature. It estimated that about 85,000 of these home loans are due for repayment this year, and then the same again next year. This has in turn prompted claims that the equity release market stands to benefit hugely.

The Financial Conduct Authority has previously warned that many of those with maturing ...

Bank promises to pay first-time buyers' stamp duty - so what's the catch?

High stamp duty is a barrier to many first-time buyers who spend years saving up a house deposit and struggle to raise the extra amount to pay the upfront tax.

Seven in 10 buyers are now affected by the tax, which applies on to properties costing more than £125,000, and the cost of paying it on the average property is now £1,603.

The mortgage is available for first-time buyers or home movers with a 20pc deposit, and comes at a ...

Robust start to the year for rental market

New listings ‘To Let’ Properties ‘Let’

January 17 - 50.8% January 17 - 47.1%

January 16 - 43.6% January 16 - 46.1%

January 15 - 39.8% January 15 - 44.7%

The number of properties ‘let’ last month also remained true to trend at 47.1%, which marks a major ...

Inspiration Wednesday - Wembley

Less than half an hour out of Central London, Wembley has grown from a small town outside London to an extension of the city itself. The stadiums, Outlet Village, variety of restaurants and hotels and the ease of accessibility from outside London mean that the area is always a constant hub of activity.

Another great thing about living in Wembley is the property prices and location. Sat outside of Central London, you can get more for your ...

Gross mortgage lending at nine year high

CML senior economist Mohammad Jamei said: "Overall mortgage lending continues to hold up pretty well, but we seem to have a twin-track market. Weakness in buy-to-let and home movers has been offset by an increase in first-time buyers and remortgage lending.

A continuing acute shortage of homes being offered for sale is one aspect of a broken housing market, that looks unlikely to resolve in the near term."

Jeremy Duncombe, Director, ...

£100k equity boost for second steppers

Today’s typical second steppers bought their first property in 2012, when the average price of a first-time home was £140,004. Based on the latest house price figures, selling their home now for the average first-time buyer house price of £205,723 would provide them with an average equity of £105,068 – around two-thirds of which has been boosted by house price growth over the last four years, with the rest coming from the initial deposit ...

What is stamp duty tax and why do we pay it? the property transaction tax explained

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is paid on any property purchase of more than £125,000.

History

Stamp duty was introduced in England in 1694 during the reign of William and Mary as a transaction tax to raise money for war against France and was raised on goods including hats, newspapers and patent medicines.

Although it has been adopted in many countries around the world, an attempt to enforce the levy in the then British colonies in ...

New Art Deco-inspired homes in St John's Wood: residents will have Regent's Park and Lord's Cricket Ground on their doorstep

St John's Wood revels in its low profile. Low-rise, lateral living is the hallmark of this coveted inner suburb, a discreet, leafy and unblighted enclave with a giant back garden called Regent's Park. And, of course, it has a rather well-known local playing field, Lord's Cricket Ground.

The Compton, a new Art Deco-influenced block moments from these two local landmarks, brings 49 elegant apartments and arresting ...

How mortgages work: Your essential guide to paying for a home

Why you need a mortgage

Successfully applying for a mortgage is, for most people, the crucial step towards securing their dream of owning a home.

A mortgage is a loan from a bank or building society that you use to purchase a property and then steadily pay back over many years.

You agree to pay a chunk of the property's price, known as your deposit, and the bank agrees to fund the rest over a set period of time, usually 25 to 30 ...

Government schemes for first-time buyers in 2017: will shared ownership, Help to Buy, starter homes and new ISAs help you get on the housing ladder?

Shared ownership is only one option to help first time buyers afford their first home - and it may not be the best option.

The title to the long-awaited White Paper, Fixing Our Broken Housing Market, promised a lot, but mainly repeated the Government’s existing policies, while new proposals appear to miss the mark.

Halifax data show the average price of a first-time buyer home broke the £400,000 mark last year. The mortgage required to ...

Crossrail for Kensal Green?

If districts were people, Kensal Green might be described as a cool and rebellious young upstart with ideas above its station. Station, arguably, is the operative word as Transport for London is considering building a Crossrail station on a derelict gasworks by the Grand Union Canal.

A new station is likely to spark huge regeneration, bring up to 5,000 new homes and put the zone 2 area on a par with fashionable Queen’s ...

London’s homes hotspots 2017:

An independent coffee shop — complete with an earnest barista explaining the difference between Guatemalan washed and artisanal blends from Sumatra — is the modern marker of a London area on the up.

A new study shines a spotlight on London’s Coffee Shop Top 20, revealing the hotspots where coffee shop numbers have burgeoned in the last three years.

A third are in south-east London, while south-west and west London can only muster three ...

London's first-time buyers:

With a full-on schedule as a rising star of the Royal Ballet, Yasmine Naghdi had only one priority when it came to selecting her first home: the journey to Covent Garden.

“I spend well over 12 hours a day at the Royal Opera House,” says Yasmine, 24. “I needed an easy commute.”

She found such a super-swift journey from Wembley, where she bought a two-bedroom flat in Barratt London’s Wembley Park Gate development.

Revealed: where ...

Top tips for using cobalt blue in your home: opt for an electric sea of colour with striking paint and bold furniture

Add a shot of cobalt blue to your home decor this spring and enjoy a cocktail of electrifying colour — it’s a key shade for the season.

Yves Klein, who in 1960 developed International Klein Blue is one of five artists synonymous with the striking shade that inspired Screenshot, a new project from fabric house Dedar.

By designer Martino Gamper and artist Brigitte Niedermair, it comprises large fabric wall panels printed with blocks of ...

HOA Step-by-Step Guide to Buying a Home

Decide if buying a home is right for you

Although 86% of people in the UK want to own their own home, it’s not always right for everybody all the time – some people end up with big regrets. See Is buying right for me? There are a number of things you need to think about before setting off on your home hunting quest – not least whether you can actually afford it. See Can I afford to buy a home? 2. Decide if you should sell first

If ...

Apple guru and design legend Ross Lovegrove is selling his Notting Hill home for £12 million

A dramatic spiral staircase is just one of the iconic features of the design guru's home. Inset: Ross Lovegrove. Celebrated technology designer Ross Lovegrove is selling the home where he helped create the Sony Walkman and Apple computers.

Lovegrove, whose iconic technological output is exhibited at MoMA in New York, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and London’s Design Museum, has used the Notting Hill mews house as a live/work space for ...

Property Doctors: how can we raise capital quickly to fix our roof?

We are in desperate need of a new roof, which will come at a sizeable price (between £15,000 and £40,000, depending on the execution). We have £10,000 to put into the works but need to raise the capital to fund the remainder. Banks are unwilling to offer a business loan for building works.

We pay a monthly service charge which could be increased, but shareholders are reluctant to go above £100 per month (currently £80 per month). We could ...

OUR BLOG _ INTERVIEW WITH JAMES ALTMAN MANAGING DIRECTOR

How are you finding your new role? Could you talk a bit about the challenges you had to face?

I am enjoying it. It's a balancing act with the main criteria being keeping clients happy with informative discussions and solutions and empowering the team to be able to maximise their potential. That is ultimately is my biggest challenge.

It is an evolving business. We are trying to move away from the previous structure and image and become ...

OUR BLOG_WHY UPDATING UTILITY PROVIDERS ON BEHALF OF YOUR TENANTS IS A GOOD IDEA

At the start of a new tenancy there are so many things that a landlord needs to take care of, carrying out reference checks to ensure the chosen tenants can meet their financial obligation, and then schedule a check in inventory to have an accurate record of the condition of the property.

You also need to navigate a multitude of legal obligations that must be in place including: right to rent checks, a current gas safety ...

OUR BLOG_INTERVIEW WITH CAESAR MATTHIAS SALES DIRECTOR

How did you find the Property market in June in terms of Sales?

Historically June is a busy month but activity was down this year by 28%, which the market is attributing to the election. When there is an election, the market does cool off whilst people are voting and then waiting to see the outcome. This does then have a ripple effect for a couple of weeks after the result before the market stables and activity increases ...



Services

Property Valuations
We offer a free, no obligation valuation service. We prepare and research thoroughly before we visit your property - always by appointment. We know the correct valuation for your property because we are local experts and, in any case, the more valuations we do, the better our guide will be. Please contact us to see how we can help you.
Quality Marketing
Marketing your property starts with appealing visual imagery. Our main goal is to add a personal touch to our property photos. We have our own in-house photographer who does all our photoshoots and allows us to truly represent our vision. We make sure you get the highest possible quality so that your property stands out from the crowd.
Property Management
Let us take the strain and anxiety out of managing your property with our hands-on approach. Our landlords can be assured that we will act on their behalf and with their best interests at heart. To ensure a fast, efficient and informative service for our landlords, we have installed the latest computer technology so that clients' payments can be made by electronic transfer, followed up with a detailed statement of accounts.
Legal and financial advice
Moving house can be one of the most stressful times of your life. However we know that by using our friendly, recommended law firm, Curry Popeck, that your conveyancing work will be dealt with speedily and efficiently. Stonehouse Financial is our recommended partner for mortgages & Enra Group for second charges, investment funding or bridging.
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Relocation Assistance
We are proud to be affiliated with Aussie Man & Van removals who are a market leading relocation firm covering the whole of the UK. They provide reliable relocation services and are fully insured by the BAR to give you the utmost peace of mind while your belongings are being moved.
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Maintenance
Our maintenance partner is APS Maintenance Ltd (APS) who have many years’ experience in residential property maintenance and building. With fully certified employees on call 24 hours a day, they provide an unparalleled service and speedy response to all maintenance issues.
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