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December 13, 2017

Hull is named as Santa’s 2017 Sweet-Spot

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 2:43 pm

Our Chairman, Nick Leeming, reveals why a dense population and abundance of chimneys make the ideal homes for Santa’s deliveries:

To get you in the festive spirit, our latest research has found that homes in Hull are the most ‘Santa-friendly’. With chimney and fireplace infrastructure crucial for Father Christmas to enter a home easily, and densely populated areas allowing for Saint Nick to fly him and his reindeers between properties with ease and deliver more gifts, more quickly – it’s a case of the Goldilocks effect in practice. The perfect areas for Kris Kringle are somewhere in the middle – they have to be just right and Hull hits the sweet-spot.

The Manor House is Santa-ready, with a fireplace situated in the large living room, and a sturdy slate and tile hip roof. Call our Northampton branch on 01604 632991 for more information.

We analysed 150 local authorities across England, examining the dual factors of population density and the prevalence of fireplaces and chimneys, to reveal a country-wide ranking of local authorities that allow Santa to deliver his gifts. Hastings and Stoke-on-Trent also made it into the top three, thanks to their prevalence of period properties with chimneys, corresponding fireplaces and reasonably dense populations.

On the other end of the spectrum however, Three Rivers, Bracknell Forest, and Surrey Heath are the worst areas for Santa Clause to deliver, as they are sparsely populated and the homes situated here tend to lack chimneys and fireplaces. There are no London Boroughs in the top 10. Although homes in the Capital are densely populated, the prevalence of apartments, which naturally do not have chimneys, reduces their Santa-friendly nature.

Christmas 2017 will indeed be particularly tricky for Santa making deliveries. The completion of 183,570 new homes across 2016/2017 is good news for prospective homeowners, but Father Christmas will not doubt have noticed the lack of chimneys associated with these homes – meaning his access options are limited.

If you want to attract more than just Santa this Christmas, the winter season can be a really good time to draw in a select group of serious buyers, as many are looking to proceed quickly in order to be in their next home as close to the start of the year as possible. To get winter buyers through your door, remember the importance of accurate pricing, photography and first impressions to make your home the most welcoming and sellable it can be. New year, new start rings true in winter!

November 30, 2017

The future of the country property markets

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 3:20 pm

Our Chairman, Nick Leeming, shares his insight on what we should expect to see in the country homes property market:

Our country branches expect to experience steady growth in the middle market next year (homes valued at £500,000 to £1 million). Some branches in the West Country are predicting prices to increase around 4% across 2018, but the overall sentiment in the South East is much different, with prices already at a peak and predicted to remain stable in 2018. Those seeking a swift and smooth sale in the South East will need to set pricing at realistic levels; buyers in the current market are too savvy to pay over the odds.

The Clock Tower is a magnificent 5 bedroom Grade II listed home, available through our Burnham Market branch for a guide price of £1,600,000.

Smaller, family-friendly homes will continue to experience an increase in demand as competition between families and downsizers continues. Overall, there is strong demand from families moving out of London in 2018, reflecting the trend of a desire for a more peaceful, tranquil lifestyle in the countryside. City workers are more willing to commute longer distances three to four days a week, especially if they can get a seat on the train and work on the journey, as well as work from home once or twice a week. This is expanding the commuter belt further, beyond the traditional Home Counties, even to the villages between Cirencester, Cheltenham and Stroud.

The Cotswolds remains a hotspot for families with parents wanting to increase the amount of time they can work from home, and give their children the best possible environment to grow up in. As for the traditional commuter locations, villages in East Anglia and the South East will remain favourites among families. However, with a limited supply of homes, competition between families and downsizers, who have the same dream home in mind, will be intense.

The new homes market in the country continues to be driven by buyers looking for high quality and well-sized new homes, valued between £250,000 and £750,000. Homes that require very little maintenance are particularly sought-after by downsizers in the South West. However, there is currently a scarce supply, due to planning policy, which favours new homes in urban extensions or new towns as opposed to the country.

November 24, 2017

First-time buyers celebrate stamp duty cut – but is this enough to fix our broken housing market?

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 4:05 pm

Our Chairman, Nick Leeming, shares his insight on Chancellor Philip Hammond’s stamp duty announcement in the Autumn Budget:

It may have been a long time coming but Chancellor Philip Hammond has finally addressed the UK’s call for stamp duty reform, with the prohibitive tax abolished immediately for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000. To help those in London and other expensive areas, the first £300,000 of the cost of a £500,000 purchase by all first-time buyers will be exempt from stamp duty, with the remaining £200,000 incurring a 5% tax. For those first-time buyers who have been struggling to save enough to take their first step on the property ladder, this is a positive step in the right direction, particularly in addition to recent boosts from the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. In the most expensive parts of the country a typical first-time buyer home can attract a stamp duty land tax liability as high as £10,000, money that can now be entirely, or in large part, ploughed into a deposit or spent on making essential renovations in the vast majority of cases.

However, I do feel the Chancellor has missed a trick by failing to reduce stamp duty levels across the board and his decision to cut stamp duty for first-time buyers was more of a quick fix, as opposed to a long-term plan to help mend our broken housing market. High levels of stamp duty, particularly to the top end of the market, caused sales levels to fall by 8% in the last financial year, according to the HMRC’s Stamp Tax Statistics 2016 – 2017.

This fall in market activity can no longer be ignored and the Government must view the property market through the eye of the homeowner – particularly now The Bank of England has announced an interest rate rise. First home owners generally want to move up the ladder, to larger homes as their circumstances change and families expand. Stamp duty levels have acted as a brake across the entire market, preventing the likes of downsizers and second-steppers from making their moves. It is therefore very disappointing to have not seen a more comprehensive stamp duty reform, which would have inevitably increased overall fluidity to the benefit of all buyers.

November 15, 2017

The future of the London property market

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 2:06 pm

Toby Whittome, Sales Director at Jackson-Stops London, shares his insights on what we should expect to see from the London property market next year:

With 2018 fast approaching it’s that time of year again when we offer up our London property market predictions for the next 12 months. It will come as no surprise when I say that punitive stamp duty levels and economic and political uncertainty have taken their toll on the Capital’s property market in 2017, but as we move into 2018 we do expect house price growth to remain stable. If Chancellor Philip Hammond fails to address stamp duty reform across all levels of the market in his upcoming Autumn Budget, high-value home owners (£1 million and above) will continue to feel the strain and sales levels and average prices will remain immobile. It is worth remembering that stamp duty land tax is not just causing issues for the top end of the market. Most people aspire to move up the property ladder and if owners of larger, more expensive homes are reluctant to sell up it can really stymie upward progress.

 

Located on the doorstep of Harrods, this two bedroom apartment is available for £3,150 per week through our Mayfair branch

Turning our attention to the rental market, we predict prices will overall remain the same, but with a possible increase of around 1%. A ‘magpie market’ is currently affecting the London rental market, with tenants parting with more money in exchange for well-located, exceptional quality rentals. This is having a knock-on impact on the lower end of the market, with properties remaining vacant as landlords are either no longer financially able or willing to spend time renovating. With Brexit negotiations underway, we can also expect to see an increase in young professionals currently renting in London becoming hesitant about renewing their contracts, as their employers start to seriously consider relocating their staff to locations such as Dublin and Frankfurt.

 
In more positive news, now is a good time to be a new home purchaser in London, and we expect this trend to continue into 2018. Although there is uncertainty around Brexit negotiations and the impact of the interest rate rise, such factors are unlikely to influence the ‘man on the street’s’ decision to buy a pristine, previously unlived in, new home. In central London, we will start to see listed housebuilders dominate supply, focusing their time on acquiring new sites where resales are under £800 per square foot. This suggests we may start to see a shortage of new homes over £1 million launching to the market, with buyers having to compete to bag their dream London home.

September 15, 2017

Homebuyers do like to be beside the seaside

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 3:12 pm

Our chairman, Nick Leeming, shares his insight on our latest piece of research which reviews the price premium associated with seafront homes.

Owning a seafront home with uninterrupted waterside views or access to the beach has long been an aspiration for the British buyer. Whether it is someone’s full-time residence or a holiday home to enjoy during the summer months it is clear from our latest research that buyers are willing to go the extra mile to secure their dream home by the sea.

We analysed 30 prime seaside locations, ranging from super-prime hotspots to traditional holiday resorts, and found that buyers are paying on average 33% more for the privilege of living on the front row, compared to how much they would pay for a property just one street further back.

Aldeburgh in Suffolk boasts the highest seafront price premium out of any location analysed, with such homes selling for, on average, 89% more than homes elsewhere in the area. It is a renowned seaside hotspot and the residential property market is currently very strong here, driven by a high demand from both holiday home buyers and those looking for a full-time residence. Complete with all the amenities holiday makers desire, such as the classic east coastline, pubs, restaurants, a tennis club, a golf club and a yacht club, the only thing that would make living in such as area better is having an uninterrupted sea view.

Seafront homes in Padstow in Cornwall generate a 70% price premium and the front row homes in Torquay in Devon are available with a 69% price premium. More traditional seaside resorts also experience this trend, with seafront homes in Bournemouth 67% more expensive than other properties in the town. The price premium on seafront homes in Southend-on-Sea is 36%, while Blackpool’s is 34%.

The lifestyle benefits associated with living by the seaside means that it comes as no surprise that waterside homes generate a strong price premium, regardless of their distance from the beach. Sailing, surfing, swimming, and taking in the fresh sea air, are all favourite British past times for families and downsizers alike. Yet, there is something very special about being able to look out of your kitchen window or step outside your front door and be immediately greeted by sandy beaches and the rippling of the tide.

Top 10 seaside locations with the largest seafront house price premium.

 

September 1, 2017

Jackson-Stops & Staff unveils new look

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 8:55 am

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, gives his insight on why now is the right time for a rebrand.

After a detailed consultation period, which included a UK-wide client survey, we have decided to rebrand as Jackson-Stops, dropping ‘& Staff’ from our name. This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We have been operating under Jackson-Stops & Staff for more than a century so it was incredibly important to us that our clients, who admire our traditional values, were able to voice their opinions on the potential rebrand.

Established in 1910 by Herbert Jackson-Stops in Towcester, ‘& Staff’ was added to our name to engender true family spirit. However, our survey found that most of our clients are not aware of this historic link.

With additional feedback from the customer survey showing that many of our clients already refer to us as ‘Jackson-Stops’, it only secured as further evidence that now is the right time for a change.

As part of the rebrand, we have also taken the opportunity to refresh the look and feel of our logo and the wider brand. This will be rolled out across all of our branches, on social media and in our marketing materials, which includes brochures, sales boards and displays.

Although our name is more succinct we will continue to operate as we have always done with our high quality values and service at the forefront of everything we do.

Each of our 45 branches will adjust to the new brand name, with all phases expected to be completed by mid-2018.

August 21, 2017

The impact of noise when selling a home

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 12:47 pm

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops & Staff, provides his insight on our latest research which examines the impact of different noise pollutants on prospective home buyers.

While many sellers are primarily focused on what their house looks like when preparing it for sale, a huge consideration to potential buyers is the surrounding noise they may encounter on viewings.

We surveyed 1,000 people across England and Wales on the impact noise would have on their decision to move, and found that, on average, 43% wouldn’t move into a property at all because of surrounding noise.

Our research showed that those selling a home may come particularly unstuck if their neighbours don’t keep noise to a minimum. Almost 70% of house hunters would be unwilling to move to their dream home if they were aware loud music with a heavy bass was played regularly next door, while almost two-thirds (63%) would not put up with neighbours engaging in noisy activities like DIY and parties at least three times a week – no matter what the discount. Interestingly, when asked if they would move in if they were able to negotiate on price, 24% of all respondents said ‘yes’ – they would be prepared to suffer through loud music, increasing to 29% when it came to noisy neighbour activities.

‘Pleasant’ noise like church bells ringing or farmyard animals are most likely to be overlooked by house hunters entirely, proving that not all noise is vexatious. Noises from these natural and spiritual neighbours are far less of an issue for sellers looking to achieve the best sale price. The sound of church bells in the morning is the most appealing to prospective buyers, with 36% happy to move straight in to a home affected by this with no discount, rising to 46% for those located in rural parts of the UK. This is followed by the sound of cockerels crowing every morning – 31% of potential buyers would happily move in next door to an animal alarm clock, without a discount on price.

Noise from party-goers leaving a nearby nightclub is far less appealing. More than 62% of respondents would refuse to move in, rising to 72% for rural homebuyers and 82% for over-55s.

Only 26% of 18 to 24 year olds wouldn’t move into a home near a lively pub or nightclub however, proving that age certainly plays a significant factor in the acceptance of different types of noise near the home.

For those struggling to sell because of a particular din, it is worth targeting the marketing of their property to specific age groups. Whatever the sound disturbance, our research shows there will likely be a buyer out there happy to accept it, which goes to show that a savvy marketing plan, supported by detailed knowledge of a home’s benefits including local amenities, is all the more important for properties impacted by noise pollution.

July 13, 2017

The great British tradition: English village living

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 12:14 pm

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops & Staff, provides his insight on the price premium for an English village home:

Village life has always been an attractive prospect. From local pubs and quaint tea rooms, to traditional churches and independent shops, villages ooze community spirit. It is no wonder then that quintessentially English homes now come at a premium.

Our latest research shows that when it comes to typical village homes, including farmhouses, old rectories and barn conversions, the parochial property pecking order is still very much in play.

The apex of the village, the centre of all local life, is the manor house. They command the highest average sale price at £1,427,292, which is over six times greater than the average UK house price of £218,000. Manor houses benefit from both glamour and prestige, spacious living accommodation and manicured grounds, which is why they continue to boast a healthy premium on the property stage – and will do for many years to come. Despite their chunky price tags manor houses do offer the best value for money per square foot of space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cottages on the other hand, with their quintessentially diminutive proportions, are the least expensive with an average sale price of £607,465. However, this is still almost three times more expensive than the average UK home.

In terms of price per square foot, barn conversions were the most expensive, coming in at £325, pipping the humble chocolate box to the post by £5 per square foot. Farm houses rank in third position when comparing property types on both a square footage and overall sale price basis. This type of property is nearly six times more expensive than an average UK home, with an average sale price of £1,257,918.

Regardless of location and proportions, interest from those looking to become part of English village life is often sparked by a name alone. Properties called The Old Rectory are particularly popular and draw interest from potential buyers before they have even had a glimpse of what the home looks like.

There are currently many buyers in the market craving to move to a classic English village, and the prospect of living in a characterful property in such an area is extremely appealing. They provide buyers with the opportunity to purchase a unique piece of history, in which they can spend many years and make memories they will remember for many more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 3, 2017

Surprise hung parliament result fails to deter sellers and buyers

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 1:04 pm

Our chairman, Nick Leeming, provides an update on what Jackson-Stops & Staff’s national network of branches experienced on the ground two weeks on from the hung parliament result.

An analysis of the market, two weeks on from the shock General Election result, shows that home sellers and buyers remain undeterred. More than half (55%) of our branches reported no change in the level of sales instructions from 12th to 26th June compared to the two weeks prior. This would suggest to us that buyers with a long-term view of buying a home remain largely unfazed by the result.

Of course, the General Election did not bring about the strong Government that either we or Mrs May had hoped for, but fewer than 30% of our branches reported that clients have expressed any concern. Shrugging off the political result was a much more popular response, with 72% of our branches reporting that clients are continuing with the process of buying.

This Grade II listed former Vicarage is located in the historic village of East Farleigh and is available through Cranbrook branch for £1.25 million.

Some branches (7%) have actually seen an increase in the number of new instructions following the result, while our London Residential Development team said a hung parliament could lead to a softer Brexit, which would be better for business than a harder Brexit.

Overall, it is quite apparent that personal drivers, such as the need for a larger home, a shift in lifestyle or a yearning to be in a new location, is what is driving the market. Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on high value properties is by far a much greater threat to the property market than the General Election result. With more than 80% of branches saying that higher levels of SDLT on £1 million plus homes is an inhibitor on their local market, we are now placing our trust in the new housing minister to address this. It should be a key priority for Alok Sharma to improve fluidity and the level of supply in the UK housing market.

 

June 27, 2017

Festival season is upon us – and homeowners are the true winners!

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 11:22 am

Our Chairman, Nick Leeming, provides an overview of our latest research report, which shows how the most iconic festival towns and villages are exceeding their wider areas when it comes to property price growth.

The UK’s love of festivals has never been greater. From musical to literary, they draw in huge crowds from across the country and are often an opportune time for would-be sellers to capitalise on the associated hype. Our latest research, which analysed exclusive Rightmove asking price data, shows that festival locations are thriving when it comes to property price growth compared to their wider areas over the past seven years.

Pilton in Somerset, home of the Glastonbury festival (and an additional 200,000 people at the weekend) has seen 24% house price growth since 2010 – equivalent to £101,510. Meanwhile the average house price in the county of Somerset as a whole increased by just over £60,000.

Henley, host town of the namesake Henley Festival, has seen house prices increase by 45% over the last seven years, outperforming Oxfordshire as a whole quite significantly, which has seen growth of 31%.

Other star locations include Glyndebourne, also in Somerset, which hosts the Festival Opera, has seen incredible growth (52%) over seven years, far exceeding growth across Somerset as a whole, and Hay-On-Wye, home of the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, which experienced property price growth of 36% since 2010, the equivalent of £102,080.

The inward investment festival-goers bring to an area contributes to improved infrastructure and amenities, which, along with other factors, all help add to the value of local homes. With festivals drawing people to different parts of the country many homeowners can also reap further benefits by renting out their homes during the event. It is a great way of drawing in extra income through holiday letting and can attract a significant premium over these festival weekends.

We would say that is a win-win situation, wouldn’t you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1:  House price growth in festival locations compared to their surrounds. Source: Jackson-Stops & Staff + Rightmove

NB: figures in the body of the text on page 1 and 2 are rounded to the nearest ‘10’ for ease (but not in the table)

*As compared to the county / unitary authority they reside in.

 

April 28, 2017

General Election announcement fails to ruffle UK property market feathers

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 3:30 pm

Our Chairman, Nick Leeming, provides an overview of what Jackson-Stops & Staff’s national network of branches are experiencing on the ground following the General Election announcement on April 18th.

This impressive Grade II listed country house is available through our Chester branch for £1,975,000. Call 01244 328361 to arrange a viewing.

One week on from Theresa May’s surprise speech, the vast majority of our branches (93%) have reported no change in the level of sales instructions in the week from 18th to 25th April compared to the week prior. This suggests to us that sellers continue to have confidence in the UK property market and want to get on with life.

Of course, opinions are rarely unanimous. Over a third (38%) of branches reported at least one client had raised their concerns about the market and more than one in ten (16%) reported mutterings from buyers thinking of holding back from entering the market until post-General Election. Our clients in Chester for example are largely welcoming the General Election, and like many in other areas, they believe a win for Theresa May will unite our country and engender confidence in the economy.

All markets react badly to uncertainty and significant political events such as this normally do impact activity levels quite significantly; this particular snap General Election announcement is different however. With a far shorter time-frame and following a succession of referendums and elections, political uncertainty is fast becoming the norm and there is only so long that you can delay a move when needs must!

Six weeks is a blink of an eye in property market terms, so for the vast majority of buyers and sellers it’s business as usual and the personal drivers that are causing them to enter the market remain the overriding consideration.

We expect to see restraint perhaps in the week of the election as buyers and sellers await the outcome, however 84% of branches agree that a clear majority for Theresa May will actively benefit their local housing market thereafter so we look forward to moving past this temporary distraction.

April 26, 2017

Century old Waitrose signage uncovered at Pimlico branch

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 1:39 pm

Nicholas Butterworth, Chief Executive of Jackson-Stops & Staff’s London Group, explains:

Whilst recently undertaking renovations at their branch on Sussex Street, the Jackson-Stops & Staff Pimlico team removed their current signage to uncover not just one but two historic Waitrose signs which are thought to date back up to 100 years. These dates have now also been verified by Gavin Henderson, the Partnership Archivist at John Lewis.

The historic signage has been carefully removed and donated to the John Lewis Heritage Centre. The shop is one of the 10 original Waitrose stores bought by the John Lewis Partnership in 1937 when they were acquired from Wallace Waite. Waitrose first appeared on the high street in 1904 when Wallace Waite, Arthur Rose and David Taylor opened their shop in Acton. Today over 350 branches of Waitrose exist around the country.

I think we can all agree that it is really exciting to have revealed the history of the beautiful building and to have found such well-preserved signage. All of us at Jackson-Stops & Staff are passionate about preserving our wonderful built heritage and this is a fantastic reminder of the histories that exist in many London properties. It is also a reason why many of our clients come to us in search of a property with significant character and a story that will continue to endure for years to come.

March 9, 2017

The latest trend in the London property market

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 3:04 pm

Toby Whittome, Jackson-Stops & Staff’s Sales Director in Central London, discusses the latest trend in the London property market:

It is universally acknowledged that the best way to make a big decision is by considering long-term benefits instead of short-term ones. This advice again proves true when considering our latest analysis of London’s residential property market – reverse property price ripple effects are in full swing in London.

 

21 Stanhope Mews South is an extremely charming one bedroom property, set over two floors, which also has access to a roof terrace. It is on the market for £1,275,000 – please get in touch with our Chelsea branch if interested to find out more (02075815881)

I want to begin by clarifying that a ‘double reverse ripple’ is not in fact a new flavour of ice cream – it is instead the term coined for the trend in London whereby price trends have been flipped not only in terms of the high value vs. low value borough contrast, but also in terms of geography. It supports the idea that investing in high-value London boroughs is still a smart move, no matter how tempting the recent significant price growth seen in the lower value boroughs may be.

Take Kensington and Chelsea for example: the annual price increase in November 2016 was less than 1% (about £8,700), but the 10-year price increase is nearly 107% (about £673,372). In a reversal of this situation, the low-value, outer London borough of Barking and Dagenham has seen a 17% price increase in the last year, but its 10-year price increase is significantly weaker at about 68%. While the double-figured annual growth seems tempting, on a long term view growth is well behind the higher-value boroughs.

 

This beautiful blue terraced four bedroom house on Selwyn Avenue is just half a mile from the heart of Richmond. It is on the market for £1,900,000 – please get in touch with our Richmond branch if interested to find out more (020894506789)

Buyers and sellers need to take an important message from this: a long-term view of the property market is essential to the decision-making process. For example, between January 2008 and January 2009 (during the height of the financial crisis) Kensington and Chelsea saw average prices briefly fall by up to 17.5%, or more than £140,000, before rapidly bouncing back. However the long term trends speak for themselves, with high value London boroughs massively outperforming the rest of the UK. Annual fluctuations in prices caused by macro-economic and political issues, as we are seeing right now, should not obscure the big picture.

It is important to note as well that certain central areas are outperforming in both the short and the long term. Southwark and Lambeth especially stand out – their stellar performance is a result of an ideal central location alongside recent and rapid programmes of regeneration.

If you have the budget and desire to live in the high value London boroughs you will undoubtedly gain significant lifestyle benefits including access to the Capital’s business centres, cultural and shopping hotspots and excellent transport links. Given that prices here have been weaker recently, but have stayed strong in the long term, now is the perfect time to invest in these iconic areas of London, particularly for those buyers from abroad who can take advantage of the weaker pound sterling.

 

February 24, 2017

Nearly a decade since the global financial crisis, how is the Exeter property market coping?

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 3:21 pm

Richard Addington, Director at Jackson-Stops & Staff’s Exeter branch, comments on this month’s House Price Index figures (Office for National Statistics) and how they relate to the long term trends in the property market.

While it has been nearly a decade since the global financial crisis and subsequent fall in most markets (including the property market in the West Country) these events still hold relevance in the market today. The events of that time can now, with the benefit of hindsight, be seen to be the beginnings of a fundamental change in attitudes towards property. This month’s review of house prices by the ONS and Land Registry helps to confirm some interesting trends and long term changes to the housing market.

The ONS headline figure proclaims that national average prices rose 7.2% in the year up to December 2016. This figure masks massive differences around the country as well the differing price bands. While the ONS data does not break down by price band or geographically more locally than the figures for local authority areas, it becomes obvious when looking across the country (outside of London and the South East) that the areas that have increased in price fastest are the urban areas such as Bristol, Southampton, Oxford and Cambridge, which are up to 40% ahead over the last decade. In the West Country, average prices in Exeter are up 20% but in local authority areas that don’t have large urban centres of population, such as Torridge, West Devon and Mid Devon, average prices are still at (or slightly less than) where they were a decade ago. In Devon, house prices are now only about 8% ahead of their peak in October 2007 although they rose on average 6% last year.

What does this tell us about the long term trends in the market? At Jackson Stops & Staff, we have noticed anecdotal evidence of the trend that is borne out by these figures. That is a trend facing away from the countryside to instead look at, urban or close to urban, village living.  What is not shown by the figures is a move towards more modern styling and away from older (and more expensive to maintain) properties. It is worth noting that I can currently think of three vendors who are either moving or planning to move from a larger and older country house to plots on which they will build their own homes.

These two influences on the market tie in with the demographic movement of the average age of home owners and their changing requirements. The overwhelming equity in national housing stock is owned by the over-60s, so it is the requirement of this age group, which is driving the fastest growth in the market. They are fuelling the demand for urban property, where amenities are more on hand, and for easily managed property which is more likely to be new or modern. This demographic movement is also affecting the price bands that are seeing the strongest demand. Those trading down have the strongest buying power so it is the market just below “the top” where there is most demand and competition. This effect is indeed so strong that the gap between “the top” and the next rung down is closing and has already started to disappear altogether in some instances.

February 8, 2017

Housing White Paper: SMEs, ISAs and a lack of SDLT changes

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 3:16 pm

Our chairman Nick Leeming comments on the Housing White Paper:

I don’t think I was the only one who experienced a sense of déjà vu yesterday. The content of the long-awaited Housing White Paper didn’t come as a shock to the property industry and that’s because we have heard many of these policies before. Frankly, it isn’t the catalyst for a housing revolution that it could have been, but it does show that this Government is taking the issue seriously. Whether this is too little too late will become clearer once the consultation period is over – and hopefully the final plans have some teeth!

The White Paper did however mark a shift in tone and the Government has now well and truly thrown in the towel on the UK as a nation of homeowners. The heady days of home ownership enjoyed by the baby boomers and Generation X are now behind us, to be replaced by an age of tenure neutrality. It was disappointing that the Government decided not to address stamp duty. It would have been refreshing to see, for example, a stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers to aid overall affordability or (even better) an easing across the board of stamp duty levels, which would have given the property market the boost it needs. High value property continues to suffer, which impacts fluidity at all levels.

Yet it is not all doom and gloom.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s Government has a real drive to build more homes, which we haven’t seen in a while, and I believe this drive will continue as we move further into the year. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, reminded us in his speech that an average 250,000 new homes need to be built each year to meet demand. In this vein it is positive to see further support for developers, in particular SMEs. It is vital that small and medium-sized housebuilders have the right tools to grow.

With backing from government SMEs are in the perfect position to get the vital support needed from stakeholders to build new homes quickly, efficiently and to the standard and design the local community want. Given their flexibility, SMEs are able to embrace new designs for homes that sensitively reflect their surroundings while also providing local communities with a platform to share their thoughts on the look and feel of new developments. I am confident this will help speed up planning and delivery to get much-needed new homes on the market.

Despite a move away from home ownership as an overriding focus, the Paper also brought some welcome news for first-time buyers. Launching in April, the Lifetime ISA will help young adults save for the future, while Help to Buy and Starter Homes schemes continue to be a great helping hand for those looking to get their foot on the property ladder. With so many first-time buyers unable to take that first step onto the property ladder, it is imperative that we continue to increase support if we are to start to overcome the housing crisis, but at the same time a major increase in the number of homes in the UK is vital.

December 30, 2016

What’s next for the UK Property Market?

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 10:50 am

Last week’s article provided a forecast for the London property market in 2017. Nick Leeming, our chairman, now provides his predictions for the rest of the country.

As last week’s article looked ahead to the London property market in 2017, it is only right that we see in the New Year with another predictions piece – this time a wider look at what’s in store for the rest of the country.

I anticipate minimal change next year to the equation that has governed the national property market in 2017: demand will continue to outstrip supply, which will drive up average property prices. House price inflation won’t be as high in 2017 as it has been in recent years, with some buyers and lenders impacted by Brexit, macro-political and economic uncertainty and recent property taxes in the short term. This means that the 2017 property market might turn out to be one that so many have craved in recent years, with more moderate price growth helping affordability.

This beautiful Grade II listed thatched Devon farmhouse is on the market for £1,100,000. For more information, call our Taunton branch on 01823 325144.

This beautiful Grade II listed thatched Devon farmhouse is on the market for £1,100,000. For more information, call our Taunton branch on 01823 325144.

While there have been a patchwork of commitments from government to increase housing supply over the next Parliamentary period, it will take some time for the results of these actions to come through and so we will not see the true impact in 2017. David Cameron built the least homes of any Prime Minister since 1923 and so it won’t be an overnight fix that turns this trend on its head. The Housing White Paper, which looks set for publication in January, will hopefully provide a blueprint for tackling the UK’s housing crisis.

Turning to our country branches specifically, professionals and families moving out of the city will continue to have a considerable influence in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, which will remain ‘go to’ areas for those seeking respite from the city. This enduring popularity and lack of supply in the region means we anticipate an average price growth of around 5% across 2017. In addition, areas such as Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells will

This charming Grade II listed Oast conversion, located in Kent, is on the market for £1,100,000. To arrange a viewing, please get in touch with our Sevenoaks branch on 01732740600.

This charming Grade II listed Oast conversion, located in Kent, is on the market for £1,100,000. To arrange a viewing, please get in touch with our Sevenoaks branch on 01732740600.

also continue to attract young families from London. These buyers will choose to be based in the towns, rather than rural areas, in order to have the best access to amenities including schools, shops and transport links. We also anticipate that buyers will favour contemporary country properties, rather than older more traditional homes, with factors of low maintenance and comfort outweighing the charms of a ‘fixer-upper’.

The country homes market will see continued price growth at the lower end, by which I mean properties in the region of £400,000 to £1 million, but there will be a lack of quality homes coming onto the market and certainly not enough to satisfy demand. However, the top end of the market will continue to be held back by prohibitive stamp duty rules. It was a real shame that these weren’t reformed in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. If Philip Hammond had done so, it would have created more fluidity in the property market at all levels.

December 22, 2016

What’s next for the London Property Market?

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 4:26 pm

Nick Leeming, our Chairman, looks to the future, sharing his predictions for the London property market in 2017.

1

This unique two-bedroom property on Sussex Street is on the market for £1,225,000 – get in touch with our Pimlico branch if interested to find out more (02078284050)

 With Christmas and the New Year nearly upon us it feels appropriate to offer up some 2017 predictions for the London property market. In relation to the rest of the UK, it is clear that London has been more acutely affected by both the strain of stamp duty and the global political/economic uncertainty ignited by Trump’s presidency, Brexit and the Eurozone political turmoil.

Greater London will still experience house price growth in 2017, but it is expected to be way below the significant levels seen in the last eight years (growth halving from 10% in 2016 to around 5% in 2017). While stamp duty land tax increases will continue to slow the top end of the London market, some savvy investors will see 2017 as a good time to invest, with the pound’s depreciation in value making London property ripe for the picking.

Located in the heart of Holland Park, this beautiful four bedroom maisonette is available to rent for £2,250 per week. Contact our Holland Park branch on 02077275222 for more information.

Located in the heart of Holland Park, this beautiful four bedroom maisonette is available to rent for £2,250 per week. Contact our Holland Park branch on 02077275222 for more information

This year there has been a marked difference between prime central markets, which have seen considerably less price growth than average, compared to prime outer London areas such as Weybridge and Richmond. This trend is set to continue next year.

I expect rental prices to increase by around 3% next year; there will be uncertainty amongst financial services tenants driven by concern over job security, but a rise in tenants from high growth sectors such as tech, media and telecommunications.

Prime central London rental prices, such as in Mayfair, Holland Park and Chelsea, have not appreciated with a significant number of homes on the market, however areas such as Kings Cross, Pimlico and Richmond have increased in price due to higher demand in those areas and this is set to continue into 2017. Tenants will see more choice of homes in a variety of locations next year than in previous years and prospective tenants will also be much shrewder when it comes to pricing.

 

 

November 25, 2016

Lettings fees, housing funds and stamp duty black holes

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 10:07 am

Our Chairman, Nick Leeming, comments on the 2016 Autumn Statement:

Wednesday’s Autumn Statement announcement was good news for the new homes sector. The Government is now prioritising housing for those who need it most with a huge funding boost of £2.3 billion to support the building of more new homes – but the statement didn’t go far enough. We won’t see the Housing White Paper until the end of the year, but it was disappointing that stamp duty was not addressed in Philip Hammond MP’s speech.

Our recent research shows there has been a 14% reduction in housing transactions year on year as a result of stamp duty changes, and a £400 million shortfall in stamp duty revenue from residential property transactions against predicted revenue this financial year. A cut in current prohibitive stamp duty levels would help get the market moving at all levels and give welcome relief to first-time buyers, who are having to grapple with a multitude of costs including saving for a deposit and it is a shame that Government does not see them as a priority. With so many first-time buyers unable to make that first step onto the property ladder, a reform would have resulted in a chain reaction at all levels – allowing them to join the housing market.

One of the biggest housing announcements to come out of yesterday’s Autumn Statement was the abolishment of lettings fees. This appears to be good news for renters on first look but experience shows that any savings to the tenant will likely be passed on to the landlord who in turn could then pass them back on to the tenant through increased rent as they seek to cover their costs. This could prove yet another challenge to landlords who have faced a number of increased costs over recent months, including the additional 3% SDLT levied when they purchase a rental property and also the abolishment of mortgage interest rate relief which is set to commence in April next year.

Although the ban on lettings fees still requires a Government consultation before it is implemented, its impact on the UK housing market could be far reaching. Affordability issues which surround purchasing homes means that for many, the only option is to rent. We’ve seen a consistent reduction in the number of landlords buying investment properties since April this year which means that fewer rental properties are now coming on to the market. A better solution would have been to create a more competitive fee environment to ensure landlords are not further discouraged from the market.

November 22, 2016

Back to business as usual as Brexit clouds of uncertainty disappear

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 6:10 pm

Ahead of the 2016 Autumn Statement, our Chairman, Nick Leeming, talks property transactions and what we hope Philip Hammond will address in his speech tomorrow afternoon.

The impact of the Brexit vote and the implementation of the additional 3% stamp duty surcharge on the purchase of second homes left the property market in a potentially turbulent position in 2016. I was therefore pleased to see activity levels in many of our 45 offices pick up in the months that followed the UK’s historic vote in June.

Our Group has reported that in the months between July and September, the number of new applicants looking to buy rose by 50%, while the number of new instructions rose by 29%.

Viewings, which were up in September by 28%, are also translating into actual sales, with branches reporting a 9% increase in the number of properties which exchanged contracts.

Despite this sunnier outlook, the market in properties that would typically make second homes and properties priced upwards of £1.5 million are facing difficulties, so it is our hope that in next week’s Autumn Statement, Mr Hammond addresses this. In my opinion, removing the additional 3% stamp duty levy will encourage more movement in the market at the upper end. Additional measures to support both downsizers and first-time buyers, such as increased support in helping them gain access to low-deposit mortgages and perhaps a stamp duty tax holiday, should also be implemented if we are to start to overcome the housing crisis.

September 20, 2016

We do like to be beside the seaside

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 10:20 am

Our Chairman, Nick Leeming, provides an overview of our latest research report, which shows ocean views attract that greatest premium of any waterside view in the UK.

As we make the most of the last of the September sunshine, what better place to do so than by the water? Our latest report shows that many buyers are prepared to pay a considerable premium of almost a third for a home with an ocean view, more than 23 per cent for a home by the river and almost 18 per cent for a canal-side property.

The aspiration of owning a home with a view across water and living near features such as the ocean, rivers and canals has long been embedded in the British psyche. As an island we are surrounded by water and as a population our demand for living near the water is insatiable. As such all views across water in all the locations we investigated generated a strong house price premium for the homes they benefit – without exception.

We analysed more than 30 of the UK’s most sought-after and popular waterside locations, including Brighton, London and Bridport and found properties with a river view in Burnham Market in North Norfolk attract the greatest premium. Now often referred to as ‘Chelsea-On-Sea’, we found that a property with a river view in the popular village will be on average 86.9% more expensive than properties without this boon.

 

Type of water view Average price without view Average price with view Property price premium
No view £295,746 N/A N/A
Ocean view N/A £475,486 30.4%
River view N/A £315,453 23.6%
Canal view N/A £276,172 17.6%

 

Table 1: Top performing water views in terms of property price premium. Source: Jackson-Stops & Staff.

However, homes with views of the ocean generated by far the greatest uplift – boosting a property’s value by just shy of a third, compared to homes without this benefit. But it’s not just about the views; these homes generate substantial premiums because of the lifestyle benefits that accompany them. Walking, sailing, surfing and swimming are favourite British pastimes and, with a renewed focus on healthy living in recent years, never before has it been more in vogue to live near the water.

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