Property News

Property News

Property Prices Rise at Fastest Rate on Record

Rightmove has reported property price increases from December 19 to January 20 of 2.3%; representing the largest-ever increase in prices over a 4-week period since it began its asking price index almost two decades ago. With the property market starting the year in such good health, 2020 is poised to be a strong year all round for housing.

In the 4 weeks from 8th December to 11th January, asking prices increased by over 2%, with the general election result having a strong positive effect on the market, thanks to the certainty of a majority government.

It is not just vendors who have returned to the market, with Rightmove also recording a 15% jump in enquiries over the same period, when compared to January 2019.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, comments: “The housing market dislikes uncertainty, and the unsettled political outlook over the last three and a half years since the EU referendum caused some potential home-movers to hesitate. There now seems to be a release of this pent-up demand, which suggests we are in store for an active spring market.”

He continues: “The early birds are on it, with over 1.3m buyer enquiries to agents since the election, up 15 per cent on the same period a year ago. Some buyers are even further ahead and have snapped up a property already.”

Which Property Type has Performed Best over the Last Decade?

Now that we are in 2020, looking back at the previous decade can help to shine a light on what we are to expect next in the property market. New research from Proportunity – a new equity loan startup firm – has shone a light on which properties have increased the most in value from 2010 to 2020.

Surprisingly, terraced properties have seen the greatest rate of growth nationally – with an average growth of 3.05%, compared to 2.9%, 2.35% and 2.33% for semi-detached, flats and detached properties respectively.

London has seen the highest rate of growth with the region’s averages outperforming most other parts of the country, with terraced properties in the capital of the country proving to be an outstanding investment decision. In the year 2000, the average price for a terraced property stood at £127,833 in London, however by the end of 2019 this had risen to £499,178 – a startling 290% increase.

“The 2010s were marked by the after-effects of the financial crisis, and then by Brexit uncertainty,” Vadim Toader, founder and chief executive officer of Proportunity, says:

“Despite these headwinds, we have largely seen growth across the board, but the clear winner is terraced housing – or more specifically, terraced homes in London – with buyers likely attracted to their historic characteristics and charm, as well as their limited supply, compared to new builds.”

If you are considering investing into a property this year, then there are three key aspects to keep in mind in order to be successful;

1) Plan for success; know exactly who your audience will be when you let the property out, or sell it on.

2) Gain a mortgage in principle; this will enable you to move quickly as investment properties will often have heightened levels of competition around them.

3) Work with a good estate agent; a reputable agent will be able to advise you on everything from the right area to invest in, to the potential yields you will be able to reap.

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Buyer Demand Soars

Recent data released by Zoopla has shown that 2020 has started in supreme fashion for the property market; with buyer demand up 26% when compared to the same period in 2018 and 2019. With such an influx of buyers, those thinking of selling their property have timed it well.  

Hometrack, the data research arm of Zoopla, have demonstrated just how much of an effect the general election and the promise of political stability have had on the property market; with demand increasing by over a quarter and house price growth across the major UK cities also hitting nearly 4%, the highest in two years.

Richard Donnell, Hometrack’s research and insight director, says: “This is partially due to fading political uncertainty; households who were holding off moving are now starting to return to the market and this momentum has been supported by low mortgage rates.

“The cities with more affordable house prices, such as Sheffield and Leeds, have seen the greatest increase in buyer demand as house hunters continue to focus on value for money this year.”

Statistics from HM Revenue show that the increase in buyer demand also had a positive impact on December’s property market, with an 11% increase in property transactions when compared to December 2018.

The research goes on to look at the strongest prospects for price growth throughout 2020, with Nottingham ranked as the number one location for prospective price increases. Edinburgh and Glasgow are ranked second and third respectively, and the traditional North South divide is set to narrow.

Tips for buyers and sellers looking to move

It’s the start of a brand new year in the market, with buyers and sellers alike preparing to fulfil their New Year’s Resolutions and make their move. Market conditions appear to have stabilised after December’s general election brought with it a majority Conservative Government, but what can you do to give yourself the best chance of a successful transaction? Read our top tips for Buyers and Sellers below.


Research, Research, Research
As clichéd as it sounds, buyers who prepare sufficiently are more likely to end up with a better deal for the home they’re looking for. Once you’ve made the decision to begin house hunting, look into sale and listing prices for properties in the local areas that you’re interested in; this will give you a rough guide as to how much you can expect to spend.

Prepare your mortgage
If you’re house hunting in a competitive area where properties are quickly snapped up, then getting a mortgage agreement in principle will give you an advantage when you find the property that you want. Having your finances in order and prepared can save time and prove invaluable if the home you want is likely to generate significant local interest.

Survey the house
Once you’ve had your offer accepted, carry out a survey of the house to flag up any major issues or elements of the property that require attention, such as urgent defects or structural concerns. Depending on the age of the building, you could find yourself a wildly fluctuating amount of work to carry out, especially if previous owners have neglected its upkeep. Either way, a survey will provide valuable piece of mind in any outcome.


Research, Research, Research
Preparation is key for sellers, too! Make sure you know your property’s true value before it’s listed; carry out a full appraisal of your home with a trusted agent and not just an instant valuation to get a clear idea of what your property is worth. Inviting valuers into your home can also provide you a fresh set of eyes which can be useful in flagging up any existing issues or reminding you of a few flaws that could require attention before going to market, too.

Find ways to add more value
If you’re looking for ways to add more worth to your property, then carrying out home improvement projects will certainly aid you. These can be relatively simple tasks, such as installing double glazing or adding extra insulation to your loft, or bigger jobs such as renovating your kitchen. Whilst the cost associated with these projects may be off-putting, it will pay off when it comes to increasing your home’s value.

Declutter and organise
Take a look at each room in your house and you’ll likely find a few easy ways of decluttering and making extra space. This is vital for the viewing process as potential buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in this space, and in some rooms it’s as easy as clearing a few worktops or mantelpieces.

In today’s market, preparation really is key whether you’re buying or selling. Carry out your market research, get your finances and paperwork and make sure you utilise a knowledgeable and local agent to help you through the process.

The Rise in First Time Buyers

Throughout 2019 there has been a steady increase in first time buyers jumping onto the property ladder. Aberdeen buyers have benefitted the most, with some first-time buyers managing a real steal to purchase a house at a lower price than in 2013. However, the majority of Britain has seen first-time buyer prices retain an average cost which remains similar to the main market. The fair price has supported the first-time buyer market in having a fair shot at beginning their property journey. However, there are other aspects of the housing market that have also worked in favor of new buyers which are detailed below.

Brexit Bounce

It would be careless not to consider the effect that the upcoming general election and Brexit have had on the appetite of prospective buyers. But surprisingly, the number of first-time buyers has continued to rise and has been constant throughout the year, which is particularly impressive within this climate of uncertainty. The economic outlook is hard to predict due to a lack of decision making on Britain’s future from the country’s leaders, but what this has allowed is lower mortgage rates and favorable fixed rate deals. That, in turn, has opened a window of opportunity for first-time buyers who have snapped up this option.

A Helping Hand to Buy
The extension of the Government Help to Buy scheme is another enticement for first-time buyers with the deadline for opening a Help to Buy ISA extended to the end of November, allowing a last-minute spike in applications. It has encouraged the younger generation to consider home owning as a real possibility with the scheme allowing contributions until 2029.

According to HM Treasury data, a total of 234,074 property completions have been support by the Help to Buy ISA scheme. It has also resulted in reducing the median age of a first-time buyer from 30 years old to 28 years old, indicating that younger people are now entering the property market and reaching the milestone of buying a first home. This age is set to reduce further as more first-time buyers save for their deposits, so it’s clear that the scheme has been a real success as well as being a great help for buyers to help make their dreams become a reality.

Variety in the market

Finally, it’s worth noting that there is a greater variety of homes available on the market, which has only accelerated the stream of sales to first-time buyers. Survey findings concluded that younger buyers understood and appreciated period style features such as high ceilings, fireplaces, and bay windows which is something usually associated mostly with more mature buyers.

These characteristics have been described by those surveyed as extravagant and interesting. As such, these features are beginning to be incorporated into new-build developments which ensures that the character of British property is maintained with the continuing demand from all potential buyers looking on the market.

Guide to designing a Children's Room

Designing a child’s room can be tricky; there are a number of factors to consider so it is hard to know where to begin. Design trends are forever changing and your child is constantly growing, so it is important that you consider a few things before starting.

Striking the balance between fun and practical is a challenge and designing something that your child does not grow out of too quickly is not easy, but by taking the time to think it over, you can save yourself a lot of hassle and create a space that is fun for them and easy for you to manage.

Draw Up A Floor Plan

Before you start buying all sorts of cute and colourful furniture, it’s important to remember that depending on your child’s age, this room could have a variety of functions.

Have a think about what the room will be used for and draw out a plan. If the room just needs to be a comfortable place to sleep then you should have plenty of freedom, however, if it also needs to be an area to play and study, you’ll require a good amount of floor space and maybe a dedicated little corner for a desk.

Everyone’s home and preferences are different but you want to get as much out of the space as possible, so take a moment to consider the role that the room will play and how it may change over the next few years.

Choose The Right Colour

It may be tempting to simply ask your child what their favourite colour is and then start buying paint or wallpaper.

While it is a good idea to include your child in the design of their room, if their favourite colour resembles a highlighter pen, then your best option is to go with the more neutral shade of that colour.

Your best strategy is to aim for a colour palette that nicely blends with a variety of furniture and will not look so childish once your child turns into a teen. Save yourself a redecoration job in 18 months by picking a colour that will age well with the rest of the ever-changing décor.

Decide On The Flooring

When it comes to flooring you have a few options, all with their pros and cons, so you just have to decide which will be best for you.

Carpet helps keep the room a little warmer but is vulnerable to stains. Hardwood is much more durable and easy to clean but does not provide much cushion for a child that is a little more clumsy than most. You could also opt for rubber flooring that does offer the benefits of both carpet and hardwood; however, it is the most expensive option of the three.

The flooring that is best for you is dependent on the age of your child, but research your options while keeping your budget in mind and make sure your choice of flooring compliments the room and doesn’t break the bank.

Getting The Furniture Right

There are two key things to keep in mind when choosing your furniture, functionality and lifespan.

We’ve already established that space is a valuable commodity so finding multifunctional furniture can be a real lifesaver.

Beds that have storage built in underneath are quite easy to find and the extra storage they provide can go a long way, as well as free up more of the room for other essential items. This also gives you an opportunity to get a little creative and look for ways to combine 2 items into one such as adding some padding to a desk or dresser so that it also can be used as a changing table.

The other consideration for furniture is its lifespan. There is a lot of cute miniature beds, tables and chairs that might look great, but you must remember that they will grow out of it quicker than you think. A good strategy would be to buy some furniture that they can grow into. Their small clothes may not justify full sized dresser just yet, but it will not be long before you are looking for extra storage space and their feet are hanging out of the end of the bed.

Add Character Through Accessories

Now that your room has been planned out, you have chosen your colour palette, had the flooring fitted, assembled and placed the furniture, it’s time to add character.

The great part about this phase of designing the room is that because the rest of the room's features were kept neutral and timeless, you can now give your child a good amount of freedom to add their own personality to the room from accessories.

Whether it’s action figures, bed covers or posters, you can basically style the room however you want and the best part is, these accessories can be easily replaced and changed over the years at the same rate as your child’s taste in décor shifts from one thing to the next.