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18Sep

It appears that the continuing rise in house prices and numerous reports on affordability have not deterred first-time buyers from entering the market.

According to new research from Connells, 49% of all property purchase valuations carried out in July were made on behalf of first-time buyers, a figure which has risen 6% on the five-year average.

The latest Survey and Valuation report from Connells detailed a considerable rise in transactions from first-time buyers as it showed 36,000 loans taken out in the month of June, this is the highest number seen from the demographic in 11 years with a huge 22% month-on-month rise and 6% year-on-year.

Corporate Services Director, John Bagshaw, commented on the findings of the report, stating that “Demand from first-time buyers is supporting the housing market at the moment. People are eager to get on the property ladder, with record high employment and competitive mortgage rates. But this doesn’t mean it’s an easy task to get a foothold in the market. Economic conditions are still tough”

Bagshaw suggests that while many first time buyers are eager to get on the housing ladder, the market can still be tough and feels they should receive further assistance; “With the value of a typical property rising £10,000 in a year, first-time buyers still need help. Perhaps they could be given an exemption from stamp duty”

This recent report also shows that there has been a small drop in new landlords entering the market, and suggests that “Government policies, including the stamp-duty surcharge and reduction in buy-to-let mortgage relief” have most likely made potential new property investors slightly hesitant to get involved in the buy to let market.

“People are still investing in the buy to let sector, but they’re typically existing landlords looking to expand their portfolio and increase profits to offset increasing tax bills. But the stamp duty surcharge, combined with the reduction in buy to let mortgage tax relief is potentially dissuading new small scale, amateur landlords from entering the market,” Bagshaw added.

The property market has also seen a rise in remortgaging to 36%, 10% higher than the five-year average as consumers are securing more long-term fixed rate deals as they take advantage of the competition amongst lenders when refinancing their home.

08Sep

If you’re interested in renting a property, you’re not alone. More people than ever have chosen to rent homes or flats rather than buy them. Over the past few years, the letting market has been changing constantly. In a changing market, staying ahead of the trends is the secret to success. The Guild's agents weigh in on the trends they’ve seen in the rental market over the past few months. 

1. Well-presented properties are letting faster than budget options

If you’re a landlord, it may be time to consider updating your rental property. According to Sawyer & Co. Lettings Negotiator Kerry-Anne Holland, “the rental prices in properties in Brighton and Hove have dropped slightly this year. However, quality well-presented properties tend to be let a lot quicker than something than is cheaper and less desirable (i.e. dated properties).” While an update will require a financial investment at the outset, letting property that is highly desirable means that you’ll have more potential tenants, and could potentially raise the letting price. 

2. Smaller properties are more popular

Smaller properties for single-occupants are becoming very popular, and for good reason. A one-bedroom or studio means fewer tenants, making rental agreements easier for landlords and tenants alike. Phillip Jackson, the Director of Maguire Jackson in Birmingham, has noticed this trend, saying that “recently, there has been an increase in demand for smaller properties, like one beds and studios.” Kerry-Anne of Sawyer & Co. agrees, noting that “one-bedroom flats in the city always tend to be let very quickly, more so than the two bed or studio properties.”

3. More tenants are renting properties while they search for homes to buy

This year, more tenants are looking for places to rent while they search for a home to buy. Many people look for contracts with six-month breaks, but find permanent homes sooner. Nick Goodwin of estate agency John Goodwinweighs in, saying “this year, we’ve had experiences with people wanting to ‘buy’ themselves out of a tenancy agreement. When they sign up for a tenancy, it is explained this is a six-month fixed term let. However, when they find a property to purchase they no longer require the property and so want to get out as quickly as possible. Same when people fall out during the fixed term, they no longer want to stay. Some find they don’t like the accommodation as much as they thought, so we sometimes find that six-month tenancies turn into just a few months.”

4. Tenants are paying more for access to prime locations 

While prime locations have always had a hefty price tag, tenants have started paying more for areas with easy access to prime locations. Robert Leight, Lettings Director at Victorstone, attributes this new trend to shifts in employment. According to Robert, “tenants are willing to pay more for a location that offers easy access to both London’s Docklands, City and the West End. This is largely down employment changes. Whether it be a career change or job security, accessibility to prime locations is paramount. When tenants are unable to plan ahead regarding their employment with long term tenancies, at least their worry of rent increases, protracted negotiations, admin fees and of cost the cost of moving is all but diminished.”

5. 
Demand for high-end flats has decreased

While quality, well-presented flats are seeing increase popularity, the demand for luxury lets is decreasing. Phillip of Maguire Jackson defines a high-end let as one that “costs more than £2,000 per month. We really haven’t had a high demand for high end rental properties in Birmingham recently.”

6. Unfurnished properties remain more popular than furnished ones

There’s a great debate about furnished properties versus unfurnished ones. Furnished properties allow tenants to move in quickly, and can cost a bit more than their unfurnished counterparts. However, unfurnished properties give tenants free reign to make the property their own. Kerry-Anne of Sawyer & Co. says, “when it comes to the furnished/unfurnished debate, unfurnished properties still tend to be more popular than those that are furnished, with furnished properties not being of any more value than those that are not.”

7. More quality housing is becoming available

James Kimmitt, Director of Kimmitt Lettings, has noticed that homes of high quality are coming on to the market. James says, “better accommodation is becoming available as sellers opt to rent out their homes rather than sell, so above average accommodation becomes available but on a reduced timescale. Stamp duty increases are causing evictions for good tenants who want longer than 3-year tenancies.” If you’re viewing a high-quality property in pursuit of a long-term tenancy, check with the landlord to see if they are considering selling the property. 

8. ‘Accidental landlords’ are becoming a thing of the past 

Robert Leight of Victorstone has noticed plenty of change in the lettings landscape, particularly with landlords. According to Robert, “today’s current market sees the return of large investors’ interest in the market with a view to expand their portfolios. Whilst smaller ‘accidental Landlords’ appear to be looking to off load their properties. The number of “new” properties coming the market for let appears to be low at this stage, however demand is steady and increasing. The result of this will inevitably be an increase in rent prices as more people want less property.” James agrees, saying that “many self-maintained landlords have now come to us asking us to manage their properties for them.”

9. Long-term tenancies are becoming more common
 
While many people rent for the short term to keep their living situation flexible, long-term tenancies are becoming more popular. Robert of Victorstone has noticed that “students, whether they are under- or post-graduates, are quite keen to let long-term as long as there’s a possibility to re assign the tenancy should one their flat mates wish to vacate early.” Many professionals with stable jobs are also willing to enter long-term letting agreements. “I personally think it is win-win for both the tenants and landlords as the Private Rental market has become very competitive, especially with increasing number of properties remaining on the market for sale that are now being offered for rent. Long term tenancies offer landlords security of regular income without the need to source new tenants and the costs that are associated with it.”

10. Most tenants are offering six months’ worth of rent in advance

If you’re trying to gain a competitive edge in the lettings market, you’re not alone. Many tenants are offering six months’ worth of rent to landlords before the tenancy begins. Nick of Jon Goodwin comments on this trend, saying “there are a great many tenants opting to offer six months’ rent in advance, (still subject to satisfactory references) but feel they can make this offer to be ahead of other suitable applicants. This is mostly made up of people selling and requiring a property to live in while they look around for another property to purchase as it gives them bargaining power for a purchase. Other cases are people relocating from abroad where they have no credit history here, or older people selling to enjoy their capital.” 

Are you thinking of letting or renting a property? Get in touch with us on 0115 9141122.

07Sep

 Whilst your tenancy agreements may not differ too much from one agreement to the next, no two tenants are the same.

The priorities of one cannot, and should not, be taken to be the requirements of them all. To do this would be very dangerous, as it could lead you to become disconnected and alienated from what your tenants really want and need from you.

New research carried out by Upad, an online letting agent, sheds some light on just how far the chasm between expectations of tenants’ needs and their actual needs can be.

The results speak for themselves… 
Unsurprisingly, the study found that the most popular priority among tenants was the allowance of pets. In total, 1 in 4 survey participants would be willing to pay more rent - or a greater deposit - for the approval of their favourite pooch or feline friend in their rental property.

Pet ownership is a notoriously sore spot for many landlord-tenant disputes. Yet for landlords, this could mean up to an additional £50 per month, according to Upad’s report.

The next highest-ranking priority was a garden, with 18% of the total vote, and guaranteed parking as a close third with 17%. For these amenities, tenants would be happy to pay £69 and £50 extra per month, respectively.

Furnished properties also demonstrated a high demand with 15% of the overall vote, and with tenants willing to pay an average of £163 a month more.

The remaining percentage of voters opted for the following features as their top priority; other (12%), high-speed internet (6%), house cleaning services (4%), balcony (3%), satellite/cable TV (3%), and bike storage (1%).

Reassess your approach

Are there certain rules that mean less to you than they once did, and would you concede on them if it meant making your tenants happier, or if it could increase your property’s worth in their eyes? These are just a few of the questions that you need to be asking yourself the next time that your rental property is back on the letting market. 

Pets, gardens, parking, and furnishings. Granted, some of these cannot be as easily amended as others! Nevertheless, that does not mean that you cannot re-evaluate your tenancy agreement, or have an open a discussion with your future tenants about their individual priorities.

Whether you decide to alter your rental rules or not, think about how you can show your tenants that you are interested in making their experience with you a positive one.

What this means…

The bottom-line is that you pay for what you get, and tenants are becoming increasingly aware of this. In this day and age, people expect speed, efficiency, and a tailored service, and they are much more willing to pay additional fees for an easier life than you might think.

07Sep

Propertymark, the go-to consumer organisation which helps people buy, sell, rent and let their homes, today launches its first national television advertisement to highlight the importance of using an agent who is ‘Propertymark Protected’.

 

The advert will appear across popular channels such as More 4, Home, Good Food, Eden, Discovery, Sky Sports News and Sky Living reaching approximately 30million adult viewers.

 

We are proud to be a member of Propertymark, which unites the know-how and experience of the five leading membership organisations1 for services in lettings, sales and auctions. The organisation creates a single voice which promotes professionalism and integrity among those working in the property industry. By holding its members accountable and by empowering consumers with knowledge and advice, Propertymark protects consumers and their money during their property transactions. 

 

 

Val Shakespeare from Royston and Lund comments: “By displaying the Propertymark logo in our agency window we’re letting consumers know they’re in safe hands and their money is protected.  The launch of the television advert will help to raise further awareness of the work Propertymark is doing to support consumers and we hope as a result, people will proactively look for the ‘Propertymark Protected’ logo when choosing an agent in the future.”

 

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive, and Mark Hayward, NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive, said: “At present, consumers don’t know where to go for property advice or can’t be sure if they are dealing with a professional. Propertymark is changing this by acting as a stamp of approval for consumers when they seek property expertise. With the help of our members, some of whom participated in the filming of the advert, we’re encouraging consumers to look for the ‘Propertymark Protected’ logo. This means they’re dealing with a professional who has opted for regulation in an unregulated sector and will ensure their money is protected.”

04Sep

It appears that house hunters in the UK are prepared to pay considerably more for a house with a beautiful view located in a major town or city.

According to new research from HouseSimple, buyers are willing to pay an additional 30% for a nice view, which on average, adds approximately £78,400 to the price tag of the home.

The research found that in large urban areas where public green spaces are quite scarce, such as Sheffield, Liverpool, Cardiff, Glasgow and Middlesbrough, a great view can almost double the price of the home.

Properties that featured a view of Sheffield’s popular Endcliffe Park, were valued at a massive 121% higher than the city average. Similar statistics were seen in Liverpool, as homes with a view of Sefton Park saw property prices that were 112% higher than the city average. 

Also, as expected, greenery in the country’s capital fetches a high price, with properties with a view of Hyde Park selling for 97% higher than the London average.

Although there were some areas throughout the UK in which being close to a major park had little to no effect on the price of the home, it’s clear that for most buyers, it seems to be near the top of their wish list.

These stats come as no surprise as only last month it was reported just how essential a bit of greenery is for home buyers, with almost half of them stating that they wouldn’t even consider a home that didn’t feature a garden.

CEO at HouseSimple, Alex Gosling said “In large urban areas where many properties don’t have a garden or access to a communal garden, living near public parks or green spaces is often one of the top wishes amongst buyers

“That high demand inevitably impacts on the price people will pay, but many buyers may not realise just how much of a premium they could be paying. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good value properties around some of the UK’s urban green spaces, but for real value, it’s probably worth looking at roads that are a short walk away”.

Some examples of available properties with views:

Trent Basin, Nottingham £395,000 - http://www.royston-lund.co.uk/property-for-sale/nottingham-portside-street-nottingham/ng2-4ds/1005078

Princeton House, West Bridgford £119,950 - http://www.royston-lund.co.uk/property-for-sale/nottingham-princeton-house-west-bridgford/ng2-7rf/1900778

Riverbank House, The Embankment £249,950 - http://www.royston-lund.co.uk/property-for-sale/nottingham-victoria-embankment-victoria-embankment/ng2-2jy/1680127

Boundary Road, West Brigdford £825,000 - http://www.royston-lund.co.uk/property-for-sale/nottingham-boundary-road-west-bridgford/ng2-7by/1886173

Melton Road, Tollerton £375,000 -  http://www.royston-lund.co.uk/property-for-sale/nottingham-melton-road-tollerton/ng12-4en/1832588

Gotham Road, Kingston on Soar £765,000 - http://www.royston-lund.co.uk/property-for-sale/nottingham-gotham-road-kingstononsoar/ng11-0df/1531495





29Aug

Our residential lettings department in West Bridgford are currently recruiting for a motivated and enthusiastic Weekend Assistant. 

Duties will include;

Meeting and greeting the general public, answering and assisting with our busy phones for both the lettings and property management sectors.

Arranging viewings and valuations on a computerised diary system and dealing with minor property repairs as well as general office tasks.

Applicants must have first class communication skills and an excellent confident telephone manner.  Computer knowledge of Windows is required.

Working hours:- Saturdays 8.45am – 4.00pm & Sundays 9.50am – 12.00pm

Please email your CV for consideration, with a covering letter to Stephanie Caine

Email: stephanie.caine@royston-lund.co.uk

 Closing date for applications: Monday 11th September 2017


25Aug


We had a great response from our recent colouring competition with some lovely feedback from all who took part!  Congratulations to Louis Wass aged 6 and Seb Riggott aged 7 who both won two passes each for Astroworld.

The prizes were collected this week by both boys who were already planning their trips!

Enjoy boys!



24Aug

Please note that our offices will be closed this coming Bank Holiday Monday 28th August.  Normal office hours will resume on Tuesday 29th August.


Lettings/Property Management department - For our 'Managed properties' for out of hours emergencies please contact: -

•           Mark Adamson                                    Tel: 07973 659775 General Builder

•           Linton Vickers                                      Tel: 07800 532269 General Handyman

•           Heightley-White Plumbing                    Tel: 07403 330745 Chris - Plumber and Gas Engineer

•           Matthew Heather                                  Tel: 07879 897437 Gas/Boiler & Heating Engineer/Plumber

•           Steven Rollason                                     Tel: 07948 406537 Blocked and over flowing drains

•           Lambley Electrical Services                 Tel: 07805 246943 Paul- Electrician   

•           ARB Electrical Services                      Tel: 07966 246727 Andy- Electrician

Please understand that any call out attendance is at the discretion of the contractor as to whether they deem the remedial as requiring immediate action, as this is the agreement with all 'managed' landlords. Unfortunately, any call out that becomes clear as being of a non-urgent nature could result in the call out cost being transferred on to the tenant for payment.  Please make sure you leave a detailed message including the property address, your details and the nature of the urgent remedial for the contractor to return your call.

NB: Please note that our contractors are not key holders for the office. So, if you have lost your keys or locked yourself out of the property, please contact a local Locksmith as your landlord is not responsible for this.

Thank you for working with us. 




18Aug

According to a recent study, the UK property market has seen a sharp increase in demand over recent months.

New data from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) suggests that the gap between supply and demand continues to grow as the supply of properties took a slight fall between the May and June of this year.

The study from the NAEA found that on average the number of sales agreed per branch rose from 10 in May to 11 in June.

In addition to this, the number of first time buyers also saw growth in the month of June as 30% of sales completed were buyers who were jumping onto the property ladder for the first time, the highest number of first time buyers that we’ve seen all year.

Demand for homes is also on the rise as the NAEA reported a 10% increase in the number of registered buyers per branch in the same month, rising from 350 to 384 potential buyers per branch throughout the UK. This is also a 16% increase in the number of buyers per branch in the same month in 2016 showing a consistent rise over the past year.

While demand continues to climb, supply has gone slightly in the other direction, with the average number of properties per branch falling from 40 to 37.

Chief Executive at the NAEA, Mark Hayward, offered his comments on the findings stating, “In May we saw a period of political uncertainty, with new buyers stalling their house search until after the election. In June however, it seems the market has bounced back, with the number of house hunters rising.

“Although we have seen a decrease in the number of houses available per branch, we have seen a rise in the number of sales which is typical of this time of year as buyers and sellers push through their property transactions ahead of the quieter summer months.”

14Aug

Our Residential sales department in West Bridgford are currently recruiting for a highly motivated and enthusiastic full time Sales Negotiator. Experience is preferred although not essential.

You will be working within a team of negotiators and the role will include registering new applicants, booking property viewings and negotiating offers between applicants and vendors as well as dealing with sales progression.  Daily duties will also include meeting with and welcoming clients, managing and dealing with to telephone, website and email leads and using internal software.  Therefore being able to provide excellent customer service at all times is essential.

If you are organised with excellent communication skills and have a passion for the residential property industry, this opportunity could be for you!

Hours of work: 8.30am –5.30pm weekdays, and 9am-4pm every 3rd Saturday on rota 

In order to apply for this position, please e-mail your cv with covering letter to val@royston-lund.co.uk or contact Val Shakespeare for more information on 0115 9811888.