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9 Tips to Improve Your Chelmsford Home for Under £100


Overhauling your Chelmsford property can be a lengthy and costly task.

Limited time and finances often mean we renovate our homes at a slower pace than we would like, but of course, this also allows for careful consideration to go into each room.

Improving your home in Chelmsford doesn’t have to be expensive though. There are many budget tricks you can use to spruce up your home.

Here are 9 of our favourites with their approximate costs.

1. Tidy Up the Front Door

Whether preparing your house for sale or simply trying to smarten the family home up, a fresh front door is always a good idea.

You don’t need to invest in a whole new door. With some decent paint and a little elbow grease, you can completely transform your existing door. The front door is the first thing your guests or viewers will see, so a little TLC will go a long way. Cost: £30

2. Add a Coat of Fresh Paint

Although an obvious solution, repainting your walls can have a considerable impact on your property’s overall finish. It is not until you begin to paint, that you will realise quite how many scuffs and marks are covering the walls.

Painting is especially relevant when your home is on the market, with fine margins separating you and the local competition.  

When trying to sell your home, be sure to freshen up bathrooms and kitchens as a priority and stick to a neutral palette to attract the broadest range of viewers. Cost £50-£100

3. Convert a Dedicated Office Space

With so many of us now working from home, there has never been a better time to turn an unloved space into an office.

The initial transition to home working left many of us hunched over our kitchen tables. But, buyers are now expectant to see a dedicated workspace in every home they visit.

A fresh coat of paint and a proper office desk and chair can transform any space. While a brand new office set up can often amount to hundreds of pounds, instead, search second-hand stores and online marketplaces to stay within your budget. Cost: £100

4. Revamp Your Handles

Fitting new door handles throughout your house can give your property a cohesive and stunning finish.

The choices are endless, and you will be sure to find a style that matches your home’s personality. If you love the vintage look, check Facebook Marketplace and eBay, where you can find some hidden gems for significantly less.

Alternatively, revamp your drawers and cupboards by simply replacing the handles. Carrying this idea through to your kitchen can give your cabinets a whole new lease of life, transforming your kitchen at a fraction of the price. Cost: £20-£50

5. Tidy Up Your Garden

When selling your home in Chelmsford, the garden may be the first glimpse of your house that viewers get, leading to immediate make or break decisions.

There are a few simple tasks you should carry out in the garden that cost next to nothing.

Ensure any decking or patio areas are jet washed and free from weeds. Trim back any shrubs or conifers that border the property, and give the grass a good cut. This is particularly important in the spring, when the garden has been neglected over the winter months. Consider also planting some bright edging flowers that will add life and vibrancy to any garden. Cost £10

6. Add a Budget Stair Runner

New stair carpets are expensive.

If you are lucky enough to have decent floorboards lurking beneath a tired staircase carpet, pull it up and add an inexpensive runner to completely transform the space. Cost: £100

7. Consider Your Home Security

This might be as simple as having the locks on your front and back door changed to more secure options.

Alternatively, improving your home security may involve purchasing motion sensor powered lights for around the perimeter of your home. This can be a clever and inexpensive deterrent for those looking to take advantage and a plus for potential buyers looking at your home. Cost: £25 – £100

8. Replace Tired Curtains or Blinds

Providing you have had blinds installed before, the cost of new ones should not break the bank. Replacing your tired blinds with some fresh new ones can drastically brighten up the room. Sales are constantly on rotation, so keep an eye out to grab yourself a bargain. Cost: £50-£100

9. Replace Your Kitchen Backsplash

Protect your walls and inject a new lease of life into your kitchen with a budget backsplash in the form of stickers. These can simply be applied over your existing wall or tiles and are a fun way to add colour and pattern to a bland room. For something a little more permanent, a solid backsplash can be purchased. These are easy to install and look surprisingly luxurious, considering the relatively inexpensive nature of the product. Cost: £20-£50

Thinking of selling your home in Chelmsford? Call Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466 or email us at to arrange a free valuation.

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Sellers moving into rentals to break property chains: Rightmove


A growing number of home sellers appear to be moving into short-term rentals in order to put themselves in a stronger position as chain-free buyers.

Figures from Rightmove show that the proportion of properties listed as “chain-free” on the site has increased from 15 per cent a year ago to 21 per cent now.

 In February the number of buyers searching for properties with “no chain” in Rightmove’s keyword sort tool was 72 per cent higher than in February 2020 in the rush to cash in on the stamp duty holiday before March 30 when it had been originally set to finish.

The trend is most defined in London where the percentage of chain-free homes has jumped from 12 per cent this time last year to 21 per cent now. 

Rightmove points to corresponding strong growth in rental demand of over 40 per cent in the neighbouring regions of the South East and South West as some people choose to sell up and rent outside of the capital.

There are also some landlords selling up in the capital due to falling rents.

Some may be trying to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday to improve their chances of getting a good price

Rightmove director of property data Tim Bannister says: “We know that one of the reasons sellers are often hesitant to come to market is because they can’t find somewhere that they want to buy, but with record buyer demand and the stamp duty holiday being an added incentive for prospective buyers there seems to be a group of people who are choosing to sell up now and rent temporarily.

“The flexibility of renting gives people the chance to ‘try before you buy’ in a new area and so those who have chosen to move to the countryside may be selling their house chain-free to then rent and take time to decide if the good life is definitely for them.

“Selling chain-free is perhaps something some owners hadn’t considered as a possibility before now, but with the competitive market and stock shortage we currently have they’re trying to put themselves in a more attractive position when their dream home comes along. 

“In the capital there are also some landlords who are selling up now, which could open up an opportunity for some first-time buyers looking for their first home.”

Chestertons chief executive Guy Gittins says: “Over the past year there has certainly been a marked increase in the number of people that are selling without an onward purchase through our London offices. 

“One of the most common reasons is that the family house market is incredibly competitive in London and many sellers are willing to break the chain in order to become chain-free buyers and place themselves in the best position to secure a property when the right one comes up. 

“With many people now working from home, these sorts of buyers have more flexibility in where they live in the short-term, and many are choosing to move back with family temporarily, or even moving further out of London for the short-term.

“There are a number of other reasons as well, including a number of landlords selling their buy-to-let investments due to falling rents, second home owners deciding to cash in on some of the additional value that has built up in their property, and sellers making their property more attractive to buyers who want to meet the stamp duty holiday deadline.”

Strutt & Parker’s senior associate director in Exeter Oliver Custance Baker adds: “This is definitely something that we’ve seen particularly as current stock levels aren’t quite meeting levels of buyer demand. 

“In the Tiverton area we have numerous buyers who are sitting in rented accommodation, not only so they can try out the area and the lifestyle on offer, but to make sure that they’re first in the door when something that ticks their required boxes comes onto the market.”

Original Article from Mortgage Strategy 26/03/2021

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How to Keep a House Chain Progressing Smoothly

House chain

Buying and selling a property in Chelmsford can be a super stressful time, and our responsibility is of course to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.

Perhaps you’re ready to move, but the people buying your house need their buyers to get up to speed. And those buyers also need their buyers to press the pedal down on the transaction!

Before you know it, suddenly you’re getting into a long old property chain, and we know that sometimes chains can break, taking with them your hopes of a move into a dream property.

This can be absolutely heartbreaking. Consumer body Which? surveyed 2,000 homemovers, and discovered “around three in 10 (28%) people have experienced a property purchase falling through”.

There are several reasons why a property chain breaks. But, the good news is, you can do something about it and play your part in making sure the chain keeps moving.

So, here are our top seven tips on how to keep your house chain moving. 

1. Choose a Chain-Free Buyer

This sounds so simple, doesn’t it? You may get a few offers on your house, but only one may not be part of a chain. This means they don’t need to rely on something else happening in order to move. So, if you are lucky enough to get two or three people offering on your property (and the price is right), choose the one who you think will cause the least trouble!

Top Tip: This is where you can rely on us, your trusted estate agent in Chelmsford to do our job and find out more about your potential buyers.

2. Set Goals

When you are right at the beginning of the process with a potential buyer, make sure you stipulate, through your estate agent, your preferred timescales. Things may not always stick to plan, but if you are all aware of a date you are working towards, it will focus minds.

Top Tip: Be realistic. You may want your move to progress at lightning speed, but selling your home can be a complex process and take so much longer than you anticipate.

3. Be Prepared

When you’re thinking about property chains, it’s easy to think about what all the other parties are doing, and focus on how they can stop your chain from breaking. But don’t forget, you’re part of the chain too, so don’t be the one who holds things up! Make sure your paperwork is in order, finances organised and mortgage offers are on the table.

Top Tip: Make sure your paperwork is to hand to refer to, whether you’re at home or in the office. If a query arises there won’t be a delay in you responding. 

4. Respond Well

Keeping the chain moving takes good communication from all parties, and that includes you. Your conveyancer may need information quickly or an email response before close of business on a particular day. Be accessible, and make sure everyone has the correct contact details for you.

Top Tip: Respond to any queries promptly to avoid delays in clarification. If you need to seek out information that you don’t have to hand, don’t put it off!

5. Use Experienced Professionals

You’re selling your house – probably your biggest asset – so you should ensure that you have professionals doing the job for you. Choose your estate agent, not necessarily on their fees, but on their experience and ability to keep things moving. You want them to be progressing and chasing where necessary, and making the calls and sending the emails.

Top Tip: Draw up your shortlist of reputable, local estate agents and speak with each of them. You need a good relatiosnhip with your agent so making sure you are on the same wave-length and you get a good vibe is important. Remember, how they act with you is also how they will act with potential buyers!

6. Think Outside the Chain

If there’s a problem with the house chain further up, consider selling your property and renting somewhere to live until the right property comes up for you rather than risk losing your own buyer. This might not work, of course, if you’ve got your heart set on somewhere in particular, but it could be an option.

Top Tip: Renting doesn’t have to be forever. You can usually enter into a short-term tenancy agreement which will give you time to look around and find somewhere new to call your own home.

7. Be Agile

Should a property chain break, and you lose the property you were going to buy, make sure you can move quickly when it comes to other alternative properties. Is it possible for the chain to discuss the issues and come to an agreement, perhaps to negotiate on prices? 

Top Tip: If you’re ready for all eventualities, then a broken chain may not lead to your heart breaking too. It really doesn’t have to be a dead-end.

If you want expert help on buying and selling or any advice regarding being in a property chain, then simply get in touch with us, Essex Homes And Lettings. Call us on 01245398466 or email to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

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7 Home Selling Myths…Busted!


When it comes to selling your home in Chelmsford, there’s a lot of overwhelming information and old wives tales out there, and it can sometimes be difficult separating the fact from the fiction.

Advice often comes from well-meaning friends or family members who are just trying to be helpful, but in reality, they are not property experts!

Our team at Essex Homes And Lettings are all experienced property professionals with many years of experience between us. So, to ensure you are in possession of the correct information, here are seven home selling myths you’re likely to hear and why they’re not to be believed.

1. Overpricing Your Home Will Lead to Better Offers

Unfortunately, many sellers believe that by overpricing their house to start with, it leaves more room for negotiation and ultimately a better offer. That’s why we often see sellers marketing their properties with the agent who has simply come in with the highest valuation! 

However, this is entirely false.

When buyers are looking at properties, they’ll search within their price range. If your property price has been inflated, then it’s going to be competing against other properties that appear to be far better value for money, rather than sitting in the price bracket it should be in! This potentially means it will sit on the market for longer.

Buyers whose budget doesn’t stretch to the higher price range will miss out on seeing your property altogether as they’re not even looking in that price bracket.

You’ll attract more offers and sell your property more quickly if it’s been priced fairly. It gives it a chance to stand out among other properties in its price range, rather than being a poor relation in the higher price category. And you’re more likely to see interested parties competing upwards rather than knocking you down.

2. Getting an Immediate Offer Means it’s Priced Too Low

If you’ve resisted the urge to overprice your home and an offer comes in straight away, it’s tempting to think that you’ve missed a trick by not marketing it at a higher price. After all, if you had done, then you’d be a few thousand pounds better off surely.

Again, this is false. Most buyers scour the market for a couple of months, waiting for the perfect property to come up, and there’s a good chance that they’ve jumped in immediately to avoid missing out.

Remember too that if you’d overpriced it, there’s a chance they wouldn’t have found it in the first place.

3. A Better Offer Will Come Along if You Wait

This is another all too familiar trap that sellers fall into. After all, if you’ve had an offer on the very same day your home has gone on sale, then surely there’s likely to be a whole queue of buyers lining up for it?

No, not necessarily. You might just have been lucky enough to have the right buyer come along at the right time. If you receive a fair offer, then it’s usually best to accept it whether your property has been on the market for hours, days , weeks or months.

4. The Estate Agent With the Lowest Commission is the Best Option

While you’ll naturally want to earn as much money from your property sale as possible, it doesn’t mean you should sign a contract with the estate agent who offers the cheapest fees.

Selling a property can be a very stressful process. A good estate agent will help make it run as smoothly as possible while communicating effectively and providing outstanding service, so it’s crucial you weigh up what’s included in their fee.

Although it’s tempting to cut costs as much as possible in the short term, you might come to regret it over the longer term, especially if your property isn’t selling.

5. Major Renovations Will Offer the Biggest Return on Investment

Many homeowners are under the impression that if they spend a few thousand pounds on a conservatory, a swimming pool or a landscaped garden, they’ll just be able to add the cost of it to the house when they come to sell.

Sadly, it’s not quite as simple as this. Not all buyers will want to maintain a pool or require the space that a conservatory ultimately takes away from their garden, for example. Many buyers prefer to start with a blank canvas too, so they can add their own renovations.

That’s not to say that a major renovation is a bad idea, but if you’re only doing it to see a return when you come to sell, then it might be worth considering the type of renovation or extension that will bring you the best returns.

6. It’s Not Worth Fixing the House up at all

If you’ve decided to sell your property, it’s understandable that you won’t be thinking about spending even more money on it. After all, it won’t be you seeing the benefits long-term.

This logic is flawed, though, and it could cost you when it comes to getting the full asking price. A property that’s well maintained and looked after is far more appealing to buyers. Fixing broken fences and gates, tidying the garden, replacing broken windows or doors and giving any tired rooms a fresh lick of paint will go a long way towards selling your property for its true value.

7. Online Valuations are 100% Accurate

Online valuations are a fantastic tool and we are most definitely in favour! However, a quick online valuation of your property should be used as a guide. Online tools don’t always take into account the condition of a property or the extra value you may have added. They’re simply using other similar sized and types of properties in your area as a guideline.

The best way to get your property valued is always to contact an experienced, local estate agent who will come and value your property in person.

Essex Homes And Lettings are your local property experts for the Chelmsford area. Call us on 01245398466 or email to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

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Online lettings model the big winner from the pandemic – claim

online viewings

A veteran lettings expert says most rental activity will soon be online and conducted outside office hours – a further boost to the online business model.

Apropos, a UK-wide lettings firm, states that half its transactions now occur outside office hours with more people willing to view properties and agree contracts in the evening and at weekends.

The trend has been moving this away before the pandemic but has gathered pace in the past year according to David Alexander, joint chief executive of Apropos.

“Just as more people are consuming everything in their lives online, the property market is going the same way. A year ago, most in our industry would have doubted that potential buyers and renters would have been willing to only view properties remotely whereas now it has become the norm” says Alexander.

“They are happy to view remotely, deal and discuss the property remotely, and sign the contracts remotely. We are living in a digital age and the acceptance and trust that people hold for digital transactions is now extremely strong.”

He continues: “The recent mergers in the property market reflect these changes as large firms try to consolidate their positions through cost cutting measures. 

“A larger firm will have lower overall costs through administrative savings, but they will also need to close underperforming or duplicated branches in favour of the more profitable. 

“But the bigger picture is that the High Street is undergoing major reorganisation and the need for a bricks and mortar presence is lessening as the years go by. In five years’, time will every High Street have several estate and letting agents? I seriously doubt it.”

Alexander says whatever ‘normal’ is for the lettings market in future has yet to be identified, but he believes the online business model has been the big winner of the last year and will continue to grow. 

“Buying and renting property will be conducted mainly online for the bulk of the process at any time of the day or night or period in the week. Local advisors will need to be available to provide face to face advice, but it is unlikely that a UK-wide network of outlets will be required to service the sector in the future.”

Original Article from Letting Agent Today 12/03/2021

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Surge in online property searches following stamp duty holiday and 5% deposits announcement


Rightmove saw an immediate spike in activity on Budget Day following the chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement of an extension and tapered ending to the stamp duty holiday and the introduction of 5% deposits, as the portal recorded its busiest day ever.

Rightmove says that visits to its website on Wednesday 3rd March surpassed 9 million for the first time, overtaking the previous record of just over 8.5 million visits recorded last week.

In total, home-hunters spent a record 71 million minutes on the Rightmove website.

There was a significant increase in the number of potential purchasers contacting estate agents on Wednesday, up 82% on the same day last year.

Currently the average time for a seller to find a buyer is 65 days nationally, and Rightmove estimates that it is currently taking a further 126 days to go through the legal process to completion.

Based on this, sellers should be looking to come to market by Tuesday 23rd March if they want to make sure their buyers can make use of the tapering end to the stamp duty holiday by the end of September, according to the portal.

In some areas of the north 99% of properties are up for sale for £250,000 or less, compared to just 5% of properties in London available for £250,000 or less.

Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister said: “It’s clear from our record-breaking traffic numbers that the Spring Budget has introduced buyers into the market who were not perhaps able to consider moving until now or who were waiting to hear what was going to happen to stamp duty.

“The stamp duty holiday extension, coupled with the introduction of 5% deposits, has given many people the certainty they have been looking for to press ahead with their home-moving plans. We expect this to help spring market activity and could encourage more sellers to come to market especially in the areas where property prices are lower.

“Many people who may have been delaying a move for a whole multitude of reasons now have the impetus and encouragement to take their next life step – whether it’s getting a foot on the property ladder as a first-time buyer or trading up for more space and a bigger garden.”

Areas in England where there are at least 99% of properties up for sale at £250,000 or less

LocationAreaAvg asking price% of properties up for sale for £250,000 or less
WalkerNewcastle upon Tyne£115,940100%
KimberworthSouth Yorkshire£137,54099%
BentleySouth Yorkshire£114,23399%
GortonGreater Manchester£144,57199%
BeestonWest Yorkshire£119,81599%

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 05/03/2021

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BUDGET 2021: Stamp duty holiday extended

stamp duty

The chancellor’s decision to extend the stamp duty holiday beyond the end of this month has been welcomed by most homebuyers and estate agents.

A phased end to the stamp duty holiday will turn “generation rent” into “generation buy”, Rishi Sunak claimed yesterday.

The scheme was due to come to an end on 31 March but now there will be a tapered extension until 30 September.

The tax break introduced last year will continue to apply to properties for sale up to a threshold £500,000 until 30 June. Rishi Sunak added that the nil rate band for stamp duty would subsequently drop to £250,000 until the end of September, returning to the standard cut off rate of £125,000 from 1 October. Sunak said the decision would help many buyers who would not meet the original deadline and to continue to stimulate the property market.

Yesterday’s stamp duty extension is not just welcome news for thousands of homebuyers-in-waiting and agents, but also provides “a tonic” for thousands of conveyancers, according to Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen.

“Conveyancers have been under pressure to complete due diligence on an industrial scale against a pressing deadline, and risking burnout at a time when businesses are still under government instructions to work from home,” he said. But he also warns that extending the stamp duty deadline is delaying the inevitable cliff edge.

The stamp duty holiday has once again shown the flaws in traditional working practices and flagged the need to future-proof the property market with a data-driven approach to drive transactions through to completion.

While the stamp duty holiday extension gives current buyers more time to benefit from the tax relief, Miles Robinson, head of mortgages at online mortgage broker Trussle, is urging the government to consider adopting a more tapered ending to the scheme from September. “This would guarantee the stamp duty holiday to buyers who have received a mortgage offer before a certain date,” he said. “Not only would this prevent a shock to the market, it would also shield buyers from the damaging costs of a collapsed purchase. A late stage collapse costs on average £5,439.80 in estate agent fees, valuations, surveys and legal costs.”

While it is positive to see the government listen to the views of agents and conveyancers on the coalface, as well as the property-buying public, more consideration should have been paid to calls for a more specific tapered end to the tax cut, according to Bryan Mansell, co-founder at Gazeal.

Original Articles used: Property Industry Eye, Best Advice, Mortgage Strategy

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How to Get Your Chelmsford Property Photo Ready


Photographs are an essential step when selling your home in Chelmsford and are integral to an effective marketing strategy.

Your photos need to look fantastic and stand out in a busy market. The images need to be an accurate and honest representation of the property, which is why staging your home before the professional photographer arrives is crucial.

If you are not hiring professional home stagers, there are some simple steps you can take to prepare your home in the best possible way before we send our professional photographers out to capture your home at its best!

Pay Attention to the Front of The Property

Even the nicest of cars cause distraction. Remove your vehicle from the driveway to give the viewers the full impact of the outside space and an unobstructed view of the front of the property. Additionally, ensure garage doors are closed. Small changes will make a significant impact on the overall quality of the photography.

If you usually keep the bins at the front of the property, ensure they are hidden away out of any shots. Thoroughly clean windows and windowsills to provide that the all-important front image of the home is immaculate.

Take some time to tidy the front garden, giving the best first impression. Mow the lawn, trim back any hedges and remove any empty plant pots that may be lying around.

Make Your Gardens Attractive

Gardens are often a huge draw for potential buyers, both those who are breaking free from the rental market and those climbing up the property ladder. Gardens are subject to personal taste, but neat lawns, clean decking, smart patios and clearly defined eating areas are what buyers want, so take time to prepare them before the arrival of your photographer.

Showcase Your Bedrooms

Remove any signs that may be stuck on bedroom doors, especially common for children’s rooms. Store away any children’s toys which may eliminate part of your target audience. If you don’t have the storage room, hide them in the car while the photographer is working!

Make all the beds and plump up the pillows. If any cushions are looking past their best, hide them out of shot. Items like this can do more harm than good and make the whole room look tired.

Add Sparkle to Your Bathroom

Bathrooms and kitchens are the main rooms that can really draw viewers to a home. Simple hacks in the bathroom can drastically elevate your photographs. Simply make sure the toilet seats are down, and mirrors are sparkly clean with no watermarks or smudges.

As bathrooms are often small, create space by being as minimal as possible. Store away cosmetic items such as shampoo, lotions, or razors. The bright colours of the bottles can be unattractive and distracting when photographed.

Remove Kitchen Clutter

Kitchens are the heart of the home, and a beautiful kitchen is often the factor that convinces unsure potential buyers. Clear all surfaces, leaving minimal appliances in view. This will prevent clutter from causing distraction and give the illusion of a bigger and fresher space with plenty of work surfaces.

Don’t Distract with Electronics

Turn off the TV and any computers and make sure there are no loose electronic devices left on countertops, which are distracting for people viewing the images. The last thing you want to see are beautiful images of your home with a distracting TV show in the corner of the otherwise perfect image.

Let in The Light

Open curtains and blinds wide to let the natural light flow through the home. Your photographer will then be able to manipulate the light to show your home in the best, most natural way possible. If you have blinds, open them tilted upwards. This will push the natural light towards the ceiling, allowing it to illuminate without being too harsh for photography.

Give Your Pets a Day Out!

Although you love them, it is best to keep pets out of your listing photographs whether it is a cat, dog or hamster, if possible, remove the pet from the home for the whole day, as this will give you an excellent opportunity to clean, ready for staging, and prevent them from getting in the way of the photographer.

In addition to the pet itself, make sure any pet toys, food bowls and beds are out of shot. Furthermore, tidy up the garden, ensuring no waste or pet toys are lying around.

Call the friendly team at Essex Homes And Lettings now on 01245398466 – we use professional photography as standard!

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Buyers plan to renegotiate purchase price if they miss stamp duty deadline

house prices

More than half of existing property buyers with an agreed deal in place plan to try and renegotiate the purchase price if they fail to complete the transaction before the stamp duty holiday ends, according to a fresh poll.

The study, undertaken by Knight Frank, found that 52% of respondents to its latest market sentiment survey would attempt to renegotiate the price of the property they have agreed to buy if they miss out on the stamp duty tax saving.

The survey of more than 500 clients also found that 35% of respondents would not pull out of a deal if it was not going to complete before the stamp duty holiday ends on 31 March.

Nevertheless, 87% of respondents unsurprisingly want the chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the stamp duty holiday in the Budget next month, while a quarter of those who think the holiday should be extended suggested it should be tapered to afford extra time for buyers to complete.

Just 12% of buyers will pull out of their transaction if it does not complete in time for their stamp duty exemption, according to the research.

Other survey findings show that 36% of respondents are more likely to move in the next year as consequence of the latest lockdown, with 19% are less likely to do so.

Some 37% of people think their house value will rise between 1% to 5% in the next year, while 42% of respondents said they would use virtual viewings more often as part of their property searches even after the requirement to do so ends.

According to the poll, the latest lockdown appears to have reinforced trends that emerged after the market reopened last May, with the search for space, more open green space and the ability to work from home remaining at the forefront of people’s minds.

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 23/02/2021

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Government set to announce 95% LTV mortgage guarantee scheme


The government is set to announce a new mortgage guarantee scheme during Wednesday’s Budget.

The scheme will offer incentives to lenders which have “virtually disappeared” during the pandemic, the Treasury said.

The scheme is set to launch to lenders from April and will allow both first-time buyers and current homeowners to purchase properties up to £600,000 with a 5% deposit.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Owning a home is a dream for millions across the UK and we want to help as many people as possible. Saving up for a big deposit can often be difficult, and the pandemic has meant there are fewer low deposit mortgages available.”

The government first announced plans for a new scheme to increase the number of 95% LTV mortgages last October. Boris Johnson reportedly asked ministers to design the plan, which he said would involve removing stress tests for mortgage applicants, instead extending “a form of state guarantee” to lenders to de-risk the loans.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, commented:“Turning ‘generation rent’ into ‘generation buy’ has been a focus for Boris Johnson for a while so the return of 95% LTV mortgages for first-time buyers doesn’t come as a complete surprise. This, coupled with the extension of the stamp duty holiday, will result in a Budget which is a real boost for buyers.

“It is positive news for first-time buyers, particularly as it is not restricted to new homes, although critics may argue that it will only aid house price inflation. But without such a scheme would developers be so keen to put spades in the ground? The supply of new housing is nowhere near where it needs to be to satisfy demand.

‘”For those with little in the way of deposit, finding a 95% LTV mortgage has been pretty much impossible in recent months. The odd building society here and there has offered them, with Saffron building society launching at 95% in June but it only lasted a matter of days. Furness BS also has a selection of 95% products but these are restricted to certain postcodes.

“The only other current option to obtain a mortgage at this level is to call upon a third party, typically a parent, to provide extra security in the way of deposits or equity within the ‘guarantor’ property. Not everyone is in a fortunate position to do so.

“The last time there was a mortgage guarantee treasury scheme was via Help to Buy. The mortgage guarantee offering closed to new loans on 31st December 2016 (the equity loan continues, albeit in a revised form today) but by then, many of the high-street names had removed themselves from the scheme and ‘self-insuring’ their 95% offerings.”

Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser at NAEA Propertymark, added: “A government backed mortgage guarantee scheme will help first -ime buyers get on the housing ladder at a time when for many owning a home seems an impossible dream. Alongside the potential extension of the stamp duty holiday that we have been calling for, this new scheme will go some way in giving some hope to first-time buyers at a time when the size of deposits required means they fall at the first hurdle.”

Original Article from Financial Reporter 01/03/2021