An agency has analysed sold prices since the first lockdown in March 2020 and February this year – and has found detached houses have outstripped the rest of the market.
Across England the average price paid for a detached house has increased from £349,995 to £375,000 since the start of the first lockdown, a 7.1 per cent increase.
At the same time, sold prices for all other property types have increased by 5.7 per cent from £210,000 to £222,000 – that’s 1.4 per cent lower than detached homes.
The research – using HM Land Registry data – has been by Manchester-based agency Ascend Properties which claims it is the North West where this trend is most obvious.
Prior to lockdown, detached houses sold for an average of £280,000 across the North West, while other property types averaged £147,000 – a gap of 90 per cent. However, since lockdown detached homes in the North West have sold for an average of £299,995 compared to £153,000 for all other property types, meaning this price gap has now stretched to 96 per cent.
The South West ranks second, with detached homes up 6.8 per cent since lockdown, 2.3 per cent more than the rest of the market. Yorkshire and the Humber has also seen one of the biggest uplifts in detached property prices when compared to the rest of the market, with an increase of 5.4 per cent.
“There may well be an exodus of homebuyers leaving the capital in search of larger homes, but the figures show that the North West is actually leading the way where this trend is concerned” claims Ascend managing director Ged McPartlin.
Original Article from Estate Agent Today 08/04/2021
Data from agency Knight Frank suggests the number of UK exchanges last month was the highest in 10 years – well above even the late 2020 previous peak.
The figure for March 2021 was nine per cent above the second-highest month – December 2020 – and 12 per cent higher than March 2016, when panic buying was going on ahead of the three per cent additional homes stamp duty surcharge.
The records weren’t limited to exchanges, says Knight Frank.
The number of new prospective buyers registering in March was also the highest in 10 years, possibly encouraged by a deferred stamp duty holiday deadline, while the number of offers accepted in March was also the highest such figure in a decade. March was also the second-highest month in a decade for the number of offers made. Despite social distancing and wariness amongst some to leave their homes, the agency says March 2021 was also the fourth highest month in 10 years for viewings.
“In broad terms, the strengthening economy and gradual return to normality are playing a key role” explains the agency.
“The UK housing market is in the middle of a perfect storm” according to Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank.
“Sellers who hesitated in the first two months of the year because they were home-schooling or had concerns about missing the stamp duty deadline are now listing their property. Meanwhile, the prospect of summer holidays means a spring surge in activity is more discernible this year, buoyed in many cases by high levels of personal savings accrued over the last year.
“The successful vaccine roll-out and encouraging economic indicators are providing the mood music” he continues.
For these reasons, he says the surge seen last month is likely to continue until at least the summer.
Original Article from Estate Agent Today 08/04/2021
Taking your first step onto the property ladder can seem like a daunting prospect, especially considering that a typical deposit is usually between 10% and 20% of a property’s value.
We often get asked by first-time buyers: “How do I get on the property ladder” and we always tell them that it is achievable with some patience, hard work and dedication to make it a reality.
If you are a first time buyer, our useful tips on how to get on the property ladder could help you make your dreams a reality sooner than you think!
Start Saving Early
The sooner you start saving, the sooner you’ll be able to get your foot on the ladder. And not only that, but the earlier you start saving, the more it will become a habit, meaning you’re less likely to take lump sums out of your account for impulse purchases.
A great way to maintain consistent savings is to set up a direct debit from your bank account to your savings account every month. Try to achieve a regular transfer of a specific amount each month on payday. That way, you won’t miss the money each month as you stash it away!
Stay With Your Parents if you can
It can be tempting to move out and be independent at the very first opportunity, and of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
However, if you’re serious about owning your own property, then forking out at least a few hundred pounds a month on rent is not the best idea. Those monthly payments could instead add up to a substantial deposit over time.
So if you’re still living at home then don’t be in too much of a hurry to leave, as staying with Mum and Dad could help you buy your own place much quicker.
Make Sacrifices and Prioritise
Be sensible about how you spend your money. If buying a property is your focus, then you may need to make a few small sacrifices to reach your goal.
It could just be missing the odd night out, or not buying an expensive pair of trainers you’ve got your eye on. Any chance to save money is an opportunity to get a little closer to the first rung of the property ladder, so think twice before making any impulse purchases.
Be Realistic and Flexible
It’s unlikely that your first property will be your dream home, or your forever home, and the location might not be your first choice either. However, if you’re serious about buying a property, there needs to be some room for compromise.
It might be that you choose a smaller property, for example, a one bed flat instead of two, or you find an ideal sized property but with a slightly longer commute than you’d like.
When it comes to your first property, the most important thing is just getting on the ladder.
Speak to a Mortgage Advisor Before you View any Properties
When you’re in a position to put down a deposit, arrange meetings with a couple of mortgage advisors to find out exactly how much you can borrow.
Mortgage calculators on banking websites aren’t always an accurate indicator, and you may be able to borrow slightly more or less than you think. Therefore, it’s essential to know exactly what budget you have to work with so that you don’t view the perfect property, only to find that it’s out of your reach.
Save Your Money Wisely
Keeping your savings in the right place can make a big difference to the time it takes to achieve your deposit.
It’s best not to keep your savings in your current account. Not only will you gain little or no interest, but you’ll be far more likely to dip into them when you fancy a treat.
Instead, consider opening a Lifetime ISA. These accounts allow you to earn a 25% annual bonus from the government up to a maximum of £1000.
So for every £1000 you save, you’ll receive a £250 top up until you reach the maximum savings amount of £4000 per year.
Look into all Your Options
There are many different initiatives available to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder, and while some of them might not seem ideal solutions, they can help you get there more quickly.
Help to Buy is one example of a government-backed scheme that allows you to buy a property with just a 5% deposit, with the government lending you 20% interest free for five years.
Alternatively, you could look into shared ownership. This allows you to own a percentage of the property while paying rent on the other part.
Again, it’s worth speaking to a mortgage advisor first, who will go through all the options with you.
Essex Homes And Lettings are your local property experts for the Chelmsford area. We can also recommend mortgage experts to help you with your finances.
Call us on 01245398466 or email email@example.com to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says the market should prepare itself for a glut of new supply thanks to the stamp duty holiday extension.
In its latest monthly sentiment survey of members’ views on the market, RICS says many would-be vendors sat tight over the late winter while they waited for news of the expected stamp duty holiday extension.
RICS expresses its market snapshot in terms of the balance of opinion amongst members responding to the survey.
So it reports that the number of new buyer enquiries has fallen in the past month, with the net balance coming in at minus nine per cent in February – much better than the minus 29 per cent of January.
There was a broadly flat trend in the volume of sales agreed.
RICS’ monthly measure of house prices showed 52 per cent of members seeing rises last month – slightly higher than the 49 per cent in January.
Prices and sales volumes are both predicted to be strong in the second quarter of the year, RICS says.
“The [stamp duty and guaranteed 95 per cent mortgages] measures announced last week … should help support the housing market over the coming months with concerns around a cliff-edge end to the stamp duty break eased” says Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist.
Original Article from Estate Agent Today 12/03/2021
Understanding how to prepare your property for rent is an important part of the process for landlords. Getting the preparation right can make all the difference if you want to find a tenant quickly.
Our extensive experience and knowledge of the property rental market in and around Chelmsford will help you prepare your property for rent stress-free.
Remember, if you’re a landlord, we can help you market your property, and we can manage it too. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01245398466.
Make Sure Your Property is Clean
This sounds basic, but you need to give your property a good clean. From the carpets to the kitchen cupboards, and from the oven to the bathroom, go through the property and make sure the standards are high. You want the place looked after so you need to get it right at the start so that you attract the right type of tenant.
Top Tip You could do the work yourself and save money, but you might want to get the professionals in, particularly if the place is really in need of a deep clean.
Get Your Certificates in Order
As a landlord, you have legal responsibilities to the tenant. You will need to make sure the property has:
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
A Gas Safety Certificate
An Electrical Installation Condition Report
These tests must be done by proficient professionals, registered with the regulatory bodies – failure to get these certificates means you could be fined.
Top Tip Ask around to see which qualified plumbers and electricians are recommended. They must be competent of course, but you also want tradespeople who will do an efficient job at the right price (particularly if they have to make necessary repairs).
The Devil is in the Detail
When you find a tenant, you hope they will stay in your property for a while. But, when they do move out, you want to be sure that they haven’t damaged or disposed of any of your items. The best approach is to use a professional to complete a full inventory of the property. This will save you time and money at the end of the tenancy.
Top Tip Put your mind at ease by taking photos of the interior and exterior of the property or recording a video on your phone. You’ll have a record of the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy.
Complete all Repairs
Carry out all repairs before a tenant moves in. Get the place decorated if need be. It will be someone elses home, but it’s your asset, so look after it.
Top Tip You should expect to make repairs as a result of wear and tear, but, if the repairs are required due to the result of a tenant’s actions, you can claim the money back from their deposit.
Put Insurance in Place
When letting your property in Chelmsford, make sure it is insured properly. Cover the rebuild, and the contents if you are letting the property furnished. Speak with an insurance broker who specialises in landlords insurance. If your property has been empty, notify the insurer that someone is moving in as your policy may need to be changed.
Top Tip Getting the paperwork in order is absolutely essential to the successful running of a property, whether it is a buy-to-let or a home you’ve inherited. Be organised and diarise when insurance needs to be renewed.
Choose a Letting Agent
You’ll need to choose a lettings agent, but first you need to decide what you want them to do for you.
Is it just to market the property and find a tenant?
Do you want them to deal with right to rent and financial checks too?
Do you need them to manage the property for you too?
Top Tip Seek recommendations and look at online reviews on social media and Trustpilot to find the best letting agent in Chelmsford.
Consider the Profitability
Do you know what the rental income will be?
Have you worked out the yield?
Have you got a mortgage on the rental property and need to make a certain amount?
These are all questions that need answers. You need to have done your homework on similar properties nearby and your expectations should be based on reality, and not on a rent you are dreaming about!
Top Tip Work with a lettings agent who knows the area, knows the market, and knows the right kind of tenant for the property.
Get your property up to scratch, and you’re more likely to attract the sort of tenant you want in your property. Being a landlord can be rewarding but there’s paperwork to get right and responsibilities too.
We are local lettings experts for Chelmsford. Speak with as we can help you through the process of finding a tenant and managing your property. Email us at email@example.com or call us on 01245398466.
If you’re looking to sell your home in Chelmsford, the first question you might have is, ‘how much is my home in Chelmsford actually worth?’ Technically, the answer is whatever someone is willing to pay for it, but that answer may not be satisfactory, because you have to put a price on your property once it is listed for sale and you don’t want to undervalue it. The answer you’re probably looking for is what the value is, based on the market, or what an estate agent says. But why not also calculate it yourself to see if it compares? If you know the value of your own home, it puts you in a better position to sell, as well as refinance or tap into the equity of your home. It also helps you understand your financial health overall, and if you’re selling your home, it can determine the kind of new home you can purchase on your budget.
Here are some tips on how to find your home’s value.
Remember, It’s Not an Exact Science!
Managing your expectations for your home’s valuation is important so you can properly consider all the aspects surrounding the value. There are many factors that can affect the valuation, including:
Freehold versus leasehold
The size and layout of your home
What kind of repairs or upgrades have been completed recently or are needed soon
Neighbourhood crime rates
Risk of natural disasters, like flooding
What amenities are nearby, including transport
‘Hidden factors’ can also affect the value, like the home’s wiring, the state of the boiler, any plumbing issues, or any other problems that are not obvious right away. In general, the more improvements you make to your home, the more the value is likely to increase.
Research the Homes in Your Area
Use property portals to check out listings in your area, and if possible, specifically on your street, to see what the going rate is and to get an idea of what the houses in your area are selling for. You can also monitor these properties to see how fast they sell, and whether or not they sell at asking price or more. If a property on your street that is comparable to yours is listed at a certain price and sells within a week, and for more than the asking price, you can gather that the market is hot, and that particular property is either in-demand or may have been undervalued. This gives you an idea of where to start for your own home.
If you want to take your research further, visit an open house in your area, if possible. Compare the state of that property to your own, including if the layout is similar, if any upgrades or renovations have been made, and what kind of differences there are that may affect your home’s value against theirs. This is a great way of getting first-hand information about where to start valuing your home.
Use Tools Online
A quick Google search of the term, ‘how much is my home worth?’ will give you pages of results of home value estimators that you can use online, as well as services you can hire to come to your home and get a third-party opinion. If you’re using an online home valuation tool, also called an automated valuation model or AVM, the only information you may be asked for is your postal code, how many bedrooms your home has, and what type of property it is. The valuation given to you is estimated based on information available from public land registry data, so keep in mind it’s only a guide to help give you a starting point to get the right market value.
Get a Valuation from a Professional Estate Agent
The best way to determine the value of your property in Chelmsford is to enlist the services of an estate agent who has excellent local knowledge. An estate agent will come to your home and conduct a market appraisal ensuring you get a thorough, accurate valuation.
When you instruct a market appraisal through Essex Homes And Lettings, we will evaluate the current market, your property and comparable properties to give you a good overall picture of where your valuation comes from.
To book a valuation on your property in Chelmsford, contact our friendly team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466.
If you’ve been thinking about buying a house in Chelmsford, you’ll be daydreaming about how many bedrooms you need, what the garden is like or if it’s in the right school catchment area and has a garage.
These are all important factors when deciding on a new home, and it’s probably the case that the emotional heart will rule.
But, sit back and work out the financial implications of moving house – it may be the head rather than the heart in this case, but it’s important as you plan the next chapter in your life.
Here at Essex Homes And Lettings we have the expertise to take you through some of the critical factors when thinking about the money side of moving house in Chelmsford.
The Legal Fees
Aside from the actual cost of the house and the mortgage repayments, one of the first things to do is think about the legal fees. Conveyancing companies and solicitors are the ones who focus on property. Many have almost instant conveyancing quotes on their website. You will need to key in basic financial figures, and they’ll tell you roughly how much it will cost in legal fees.
They will also look at searches that will be needed, such as local authority searches, existing planning permissions and specific things such as mining reports and building regulations. Your legal people should also highlight other costs such as the Land Registry fee which comes in when the property is registered in your name.
Estate Agent Costs
If you’re selling your house, then your estate agents’ costs will need to be factored in. The fee varies, depending on the level of service that will be delivered to you or whether you choose an internet-based agent, but you can expect to pay between one per cent and three per cent of the sale price plus VAT which is 20 per cent. Call us on 01245398466 for our competitive fees.
The chances are that you will need a removal company to help you, particularly with the big items. The cost of this will vary because companies will calculate such things as how many bedrooms, the distance between houses, and whether specialist services are required. It could be as little as £400 to well over £1,000. Our advice is that you decide precisely what you need and then shop around to get quotes and see what the customer service is like. Have a look at online review sites too as these could give you a good indication of how good a company is.
If you buy a property or land in England that’s over a certain price, you have to pay Stamp Duty. How much you pay depends on several factors, but you should expect to pay a certain percentage of the value of the property. For example, a £255,000 property would mean a Stamp Duty payable of £2,750. There are a number of websites that offer a Stamp Duty Calculator, and the Government website (www.gov.uk) will tell you what it’s all about. If you need help, we’ll help you work out how much to “set aside”.
Most people will have to obtain a mortgage to buy a house. Rates and payments will vary depending on the lender, but there are a number of typical costs associated with a mortgage. There will be booking fees and arrangement fees, and because the lender will need to know the value of a property, you’ll need to arrange for an independent valuation too. Booking fees can be between £150 and £300, arrangement fees might be around £2,000, and a mortgage valuation fee could be anywhere between £150 and £1,500 depending on the lender and the property. It’s worth noting that low rates might not mean low fees, so be careful to look at the details.
When you’ve completed, chances are you’ll quickly get the keys. It’s an exciting time, and you’ll have packed everything, the removal van will be ready, and you probably can’t wait to get in. Something you need to do straight away though is the insurance. Once the property is yours, it needs to be insured. You’ll need buildings insurance to cover the bricks and mortar, and contents insurance too as this will cover your belongings and possessions. The cost of this will vary because no two properties are the same, and you will have different possessions. The key is to do your research and get everything in place before the day, and then it should be a case of pressing the button.
For no-obligation advice on buying or selling a home in Chelmsford please contact our expert property team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466. We look forward to assisting you.
The process of selling your home in Chelmsford can be daunting, simply because there is so much to consider and plan. It can be especially stressful if you aren’t getting enough viewings on your property, and when you’ve had your home listed for sale for a while, that stress can rise.
Homes that are well-marketed and presented will get more viewings, and therefore receive offers from interested buyers. The longer your property stays on the market without any offers, the less chance you have of getting any without taking drastic measures such as reducing the price of the property. So, before it reaches that point, there are some steps that both you and the team at Essex Homes And Lettings can take to entice people to view and to get your property sold faster. With this in mind, we have created a handy guide to help you attract more property viewings.
Improve Your Kerb Appeal
The kerb appeal of your property, i.e., the first impression made when standing on the kerb, plays a big role in garnering interest for potential buyers, not just for those who are passing by in person, but for people browsing your listing online. How your property looks on the outside can either deter or encourage people to continue looking at the listing and help them decide whether or not to come and view in person.
You can improve your kerb appeal by taking care of your lawn and front garden. Make sure the grass is cut, weeds are pulled, and flower beds and shrubs are tidy and groomed. Also, make sure to remove any debris like leaves or fallen branches. Fixing any damages can help, too, like repairing roof tiles that have blown away, mending broken gutters, or fixing window shutters. A fresh coat of paint on any woodwork may also be required if the paint is peeling or worn, as it makes the home look refreshed and clean.
Use Professional Staging and Photos
It’s important to keep in mind that potential buyers are looking for a property they can see themselves in and call home. A house empty of furniture doesn’t evoke much in the way of imagining a lifestyle, and similarly, a messy or dishevelled home can give off a bad impression. Clearing away clutter and having a professional stage your furniture can do wonders for your potential buyers trying to imagine a life in their new home.
It’s also common for people using online agencies to attempt to take their own photos of their property for the listing, and ending up with dark, dingy, or even blurry images. Without the right equipment or photography know-how, the photos won’t stack up against other listings. Your photos are a crucial part of the marketing of your property, and they need to be eye-catching and attractive. Your home should be accurately captured in these images; otherwise, nobody will be interested in taking the time to come and see it in person. The investment in professional photography to help sell your home is worth it and here at Essex Homes And Lettings we ensure we always cover the best angles and showcase your property to the highest standards through our photos.
Make Your Property Listing Look Flawless
The fundamentals of your property listing when it is seen online are so important in attracting viewers. At the most basic level, your listing should look perfect – photos should be sized properly for the website, titles should be typo-free, and descriptions should be filled out in full. Furthermore, the title and description need to be well-written and free of marketing jargon.
We understand that interesting and compelling descriptions can make all the difference alongside a strong call to action which will encourage viewers to click to read more or call us to book a viewing.
Consider Premium Listings
People scrolling through property listings are often drawn to the ones that look different or are highlighted, meaning they get more viewings and a higher chance of receiving offers. We invest in premium listings on the property portals which can increase the number of viewings you receive. They will also appear at the top of the search pages, giving your property a consistent chance to be seen before any others.
At Essex Homes And Lettings we work with our clients to ensure we maximise viewings on every property we have the pleasure of marketing. If you would like more viewings on your property in Chelmsford, call us today on 01245398466.
It’s exciting preparing to find a new home and embarking on the next stage of your property journey, but of course, there are many factors that must be considered along the way as you find your perfect home in Chelmsford.
It’s likely you will view many different properties before finally settling on the right one for you. It’s also likely that you will have certain criteria to fulfil and plenty of boxes to be ticked. These might include the need for your chosen property to be situated in a location of your choosing and its ability to meet the demands of your lifestyle, whether that be in close proximity to good schools, shopping facilities, or if you are a social butterfly, close to cafe culture and a vibrant nightlife.
At Essex Homes And Lettings our aim is to help you make the correct choices and best decisions when it comes to finding your perfect home in Chelmsford so to make the experience straight-forward and stress free, we have compiled our top tips to ensure you make the right decision.
Research is the key to the door
What type of property do you require? It’s important to scope out the local area so that you can judge what type of properties are available in which locations and at what cost. For example, Victorian properties may be located at one end of a town, whilst new builds are predominantly at the other end! With this in mind, if you are searching for a large Victorian property in location A, your research may indicate that you may only be able to secure that particular type of property in location B. So, the question is, will you be happy to compromise?
This is the reason it’s vital you research the market thoroughly so that you not only have realistic expectations but are aware that you may need to adjust those expectations in order to find your perfect home in Chelmsford.
Top Tip: Think about what you truly need from your home rather than extras you simply desire, and be honest about it! For example, if you work from home, an office will be a need. If you have children, a garden will be a need. If you have a large family, multiple bathrooms will be a need. Whereas a desire could be a log burning stove, a decked area in the garden, solid wood floors or a conservatory. All of the latter can of course be added to a property with good planning and little hassle.
Location, location, location
Do you need to be close to your place of work, your children’s school or your extended family? Or are you willing to compromise on proximity in order to purchase your dream home in Chelmsford? Think about whether you are prepared to make concessions on some of your specifics, perhaps with a trade-off being a slightly longer commute, living closer to a busy road or a little further from amenities. These factors matter and it’s important you are clear about what is imperative to your happiness in your new home.
Top Tip: The right location is often more important than the right house. You can always alter a house and turn it into your home – however, you cannot change its location. Consider this when seeking compromises!
Enlist the help of an expert local estate agent
Finding your perfect home can be challenging so please don’t attempt to do so alone. Your local estate agent will be able to help you scope the area, arrange viewings of properties that match your criteria, shortlist the properties you love, offer expert advice regarding local schools and businesses in the area and of course assist you through making an offer and negotiating the best price on your dream home.
Essex Homes And Lettings are here to help you
By registering with us and letting us know your preferred location and the type of property in Chelmsford you are looking for, you’ll receive updates as soon as properties matching your criteria become available and you will never need to worry that you’ll miss out on your dream home.
At Essex Homes And Lettings we take on new properties in Chelmsford and the surrounding areas daily, so register with us today and let us assist you in finding your dream home in Chelmsford.
We are ready to help you start the process of finding your perfect home and look forward to welcoming you to our office. Simply call us on 01245398466 to arrange an appointment or drop in and speak with a member of our friendly team. We look forward to seeing you soon.
UK housing market on track to exceed 1 million sales this year, the latest figures suggest.
Fresh analysis of data from TwentyCI by Savills shows that the level of residential property sales being agreed have dropped by around 12% since their highs over the summer and early autumn, which in part reflects less fresh stock being brought to the market at this time of the year. However, they still remain well above levels seen in the same period last year, particularly in the market over £500,000.
HMRC data released last week revealed that 121,740 residential sales were completed in the month of October alone, 24% up on September’s figure and 14% higher than the same month last year.
The figures, which are non-seasonally adjusted, point to the highest monthly level of transactions since March 2016 when investors rushed to beat the 3% stamp duty surcharge, and the highest figure since November 2007.
That suggests the experience of the second lockdown has reaffirmed people’s changed housing priorities, which is likely to support activity through to the end of the stamp duty holiday, according to Savills.
Lucian Cook, Savills head of residential research, said: “The numbers of sales now reaching completion reflects the high levels of sales that were being agreed between the first and second lockdown, when the market was being fuelled by a combination of pent up demand and substantially increased activity from those looking to trade up the housing ladder given their experience of living and working from home.”
Cook added: “While transactions in the year to date are 18% below last year, it now looks as though they will exceed 1m for the year, something pretty much unthinkable six months ago.
“The extent to which progress in securing a successful vaccine impacts on some of the behavioural changes behind the surge in activity levels remains to be seen. That will ultimately depend on the lasting impact of Covid on our lifestyles.”
Original Article from property Industry Eye 04/12/20