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May 28, 2015

‘Tis the season to be…sneezing

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — JSS London @ 2:28 pm

td60956It’s May, which can only mean one thing…Spring has well and truly sprung and along with it, so too has hay fever season, bringing the misery of constant sneezing and stinging eyes to people throughout the country.

In the heart of London’s Theatreland, Noel Coward’s seasonally titled ‘Hay Fever’ has started its run at the Duke of York’s Theatre through until the mednoel_coward1summer, featuring Felicity Kendal as a member of the unconventional Bliss family. Coward himself was born on Waldegrave Road in Teddington, where our local Jackson-Stops & Staff office is currently marketing a lovely, newly refurbished cottage on nearby Victor Road, located adjacent to Waldegrave Road. For those suffering from hay fever, the property features a low maintenance garden with no grass and very few plants…ideal to keep those symptoms at bay over the coming months. Please contact Mark Birch and the lettings team on 0208 943 9955 arrange a viewing.

 

 

May 27, 2015

Boats, Property, Teddington

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — JSS London @ 8:31 am

td57449fLast week saw the start of the 75th anniversary of the Dunkirk  landings, with a number of the original boats sailing from Kent.

 

In May 1940, one hundred boats set out from Tough Boatyard, adjacent to the Tides End Cottage Pub in Ferry Lane, Teddington.

 

If you’re looking for somewhere special to keep your own small boat in Teddington, Jackson-Stops & Staff has just the property for you – located in Broom Water, a newly extended riverside home, complete with its own mooring at the end of the garden.

 

For more details about this very special property, please contact Mark Birch on 0208 943 9955

May 26, 2015

Dentists, Denizens & Dynamics

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — JSS London @ 3:49 pm

WimbledonWimbledon is well renowned for its sporting accolades, as well as its deep and rich architectural history. In amongst the high-rises and office blocks lies a plethora of innovatively designed modern buildings and historic listed mansions.

One such property lies at 89 Wimbledon Park Side, a Grade II listed building, which has been sympathetically restored and subsequently converted into a collection of houses, maisonettes and apartments. Fairlawns boasts a grand entrance, complete with 3-bay Ionic colonnade, leading from an ‘in and out’ drive with well-kept gardens and many original period features.

The house was created by notable gardener and accomplished architect, Joseph Paxton. HistoryPaxton is known predominantly for his Crystal Palace, rendered physically possible by the technological advances made in the manufacture of both glass and cast iron, made financially possible by the lowering of tax on glass at the time. Employing these learned techniques on other projects in later years, Paxton achieved much success in the planning and creation of many country manors, notably Mentmore Towers, Chateau de Ferrieres and of course Fairlawns. Interestingly, the property was commissioned by Edwin Saunders, dentist to Queen Victoria, Albert, Prince Consort, and other members of the Royal family. Fairlawns was also the place where he passed away in 1901.

Jackson-Stops & Staff is delighted to have both 9 Fairlawns & 10 Fairlawns listed for sale through its Wimbledon Village office.For further information, please contact Stuart Mills on 020 8879 0099 or stuartmills@jackson-stops.com.

We often take the long and colourful history that surrounds us for granted,the heritage contained within the bricks and mortar that some of us are fortunate enough to call home. For properties with a past, present or future please do contact Jackson-Stops & Staff Wimbledon, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Written by Oliver-Tristan Barker

May 20, 2015

A word from Harry Buchanan

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , — JSS London @ 4:07 pm

Harry Buchanan BW

Here in Pimlico we have seen a positive start to 2015 and more recently April and the new financial year. With the outcome of the general election now finalised it is still too early for us to draw any immediate conclusions on its effect, but I would comment that top end stock continues to see a reduction in interest – that said, for many buyers there is a logic in that when others pause to draw breath it is precisely the time to push forward and snap up a perfect property. Our tips for sellers would include advising them to get everything ready in terms of documentation…there is nothing worse than losing a buyer due to not being ready to move in time; if you need to sell in order to buy it is so important to find a buyer first in order to be chain free; finally, take pride in your presentation – first impressions count!

For a free, no obligation, market appraisal in SW1 please do call Harry Buchanan at Jackson-Stops, 020 7828 4050, harrybuchanan@jackson-stops.com

 

 

 

 

May 11, 2015

Post-Election Confidence

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — JSS London @ 5:47 pm

Following the momentous outcome of the General Election last week, our JSS London group is already sensing a return of confidence to the London and Surrey residential property market. With the sense of anticipation now over, we are speaking to buyers who are keen to simply get on and move, armed with a clearer sense of housing policies over the next few years. This is  particularly true of those who would have been affected by the introduction of a mansion tax; with that threat now abated, buyers from home and abroad are feeling more decisive and confident about investing at this higher level. Our friends at Investec have provided the following graph to us, which indicates the strength of the UK pound against the US dollar on the day of the election result:

GBPUSD

Investec

At present the pound remains stronger at $1.5415 against the US dollar, and €1.3812 against the Euro, which again is a good indicator to foreign investors that the UK remains a stable arena to invest in.

For a more detailed look at the London property market please do get in touch with your nearest Jackson-Stops & Staff branch office, we would be delighted to hear from you.

May 8, 2015

“The clouds over the London property market have now dispersed” – Nick Leeming on today’s Election results

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — JSS London @ 6:42 pm

Nick Leeming, Chairman of national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff, with 44 offices nationwide, comments on today’s Election results:

“With the Conservatives looking set to win the majority, the clouds that have hung over the London property market have now dispersed. Having seen the number of property transactions slow down sharply over the last six months, as the prospect of mansion tax loomed on the horizon, with today’s result, we expect to see greater activity in the London market from now on. High valued properties, whilst still affected by some of the more recent tax changes, should see more stable demand and the resurgence of international interest. Now that London is open for business again we expect the wider markets to respond accordingly.”

OnTheMarket.com goes from strength to strength announcing 10 million visits in three months

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Taylor @ 8:50 am

17_Stacked_Member_RGBOnTheMarket.com – the new property portal launched as a rival to Rightmove and Zoopla where Jackson-Stops & Staff is listing all of its properties – is pleased to announce it has achieved 10 million visits to the site with 90 million page views in just three months.

OnTheMarket.com launched on January 26, 2015, and features hundreds of thousands of properties for sale and to rent at all price points across the UK.

In April alone, OnTheMarket.com received 3.5million visits with an average of 9.31 pages viewed and an average of 6.5 minutes spent on the site by each user.

As a new portal, OnTheMarket.com is focused on attracting currently active property-seekers who are likely to represent a fraction of the total traffic to more established portals.

The source used by OnTheMarket.com to gather its traffic information is Google Analytics, a market leading website tool.

OnTheMarket.com has recruited more than 800 estate and letting agent offices this year alone and now has a membership of more than 5,000 which consists of more than 2,500 firms.

OnTheMarket.com is pleased to announce over 27 per cent of its member offices are choosing to upload their new to market properties exclusively to it ahead of any other portal.

In the first hundred days since it launched, OnTheMarket.com’s TV advert has been aired more than 5,000 times and watched by 44.8 million people. Across print media, more than 100 press adverts have run and our online adverts have generated around 155 million impressions, while our pay-per-click campaign has delivered some 55 million more. This powerful marketing campaign will continue unabated over the coming months.

David Parris, Group Operations Director of Jackson-Stops & Staff said: “It is great news that OnTheMarket.com is growing at such an impressive rate and it will continue to expand as the property-seeking public realises it is the first place to find some of the latest homes that come to market.”

Ian Springett, Chief Executive of OnTheMarket.com, said: “We are confident in becoming the number two property portal by the end of January, 2016 on our way to achieving our medium term objective of becoming the market leader.

“We are experiencing impressive levels of returning visitors as well as a high percentage of new ones, while consumers and agents tell us the website is clean and fresh and they are impressed by its lightning speed and by its responsive design (unique among the major portals). This allows it to adapt to the screen size of whatever device is being used to view it.

“We have achieved a huge amount in a very short space of time and with so many of our offices uploading their properties to OnTheMarket.com ahead of any other portal, it is essential that anyone seriously searching for property visits OnTheMarket.com and sets up a free property alert.”

 

May 1, 2015

Property as a political see-saw must stop

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , — JSS London @ 8:25 am

Leading property Nicholas Leeming today called for an end to all the major political parties exploiting housing and the property market as a political see-saw – as the latest figures from the Land Registry shows a monthly price decrease of 0.8 per cent.

Nicholas Leeming, Chairman of national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff, with 44 offices nationwide, blamed the cooling in the London market on political uncertainties and the risk of higher value property taxation. London saw a monthly increase of 0.2 per cent, although the annual increase is the highest at 11.3 per cent.

He said: “Our politicians are indulging in see-saw politics, causing confusion and uncertainty among homeowners and investors. Many vendors are failing to adjust to current market conditions with unrealistic guide prices and this has resulted in the number of property transactions reducing substantially. International buyers are showing caution and some will not commit to purchases for as long as the outcome to the election remains in doubt.”

Nicholas Leeming welcomed the news that the economic upturn is continuing to deliver good news to areas outside the capital. He said:” The market outside London is seeing increased activity with values up by an average of 0.8 per cent in the South-east as the regional economies prosper, the cost of mortgages remain low and confidence feeds through into this sector.

“Higher value properties outside London are also affected by political uncertainties: sales of between £1 – 2m and above remain slow with values reflecting more limited demand.”

April 29, 2015

De-clutter your home for a quicker sale

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , — JSS London @ 11:12 am

Thinking of moving house?
Summer is traditionally the best time of year to sell your house, and Shurgard, the self-storage expert, wants to help make the process as easy as possible.

The ideal move sees you wave goodbye to your old property and walk straight into the next. The reality is that there is usually a limbo period where paperwork and legalities are waiting to be finalised.

Making the most of your home by de-cluttering before the move could mean the difference between a quick sell and months of uncertainty during an already stressful process.  A clutter free home could also result in a higher sale value.

House to rent Towpath, Shepperton, Surrey TW17 9LL

House to rent Towpath, Shepperton, Surrey TW17 9LL

De-clutter
People like to think of the house they are viewing as their home… not yours. Therefore consider moving some of your more personal items and leaving just the bare essentials. Less is more, so be as minimalist as possible.  Although photos, ornaments and trinkets may be to your taste, they might not be to potential buyers.

De-cluttering adds to the sense of space, which should make the house feel bigger, lighter and brighter.

Getting started
Tidy away all knick-knacks. From kitchen counters to bathroom surfaces everything should be clear. Don’t hide things in cupboards or in the loft; a perspective buyer may want to really nosey around and you don’t want them to stumble across a big pile after seeing such a clutter free home! Pack these bits, along with additional bulky items like extra furniture, and arrange to store them at Shurgard for the duration of the house views.

Leave no room unturned
First impressions count! And the hallway is usually where the tour starts so move shoes, coats, keys and umbrellas. The same goes with paintings and family photos. An entrance hall should feel big, open and neutral to allow visitors to visualise how they would decorate the house.

As everyone knows, kitchens and bathrooms sell homes so move your shampoo and conditioner, novelty toaster and fridge magnets before booking any viewings. Think clean and minimal.

The garage is another space that is often full of old gear; bikes, sports equipment, tools and junk. It is not uncommon for new buyers to look at the garage as an opportunity to create an extra living space – a bedroom, study or utility room. Show off its potential by clearing it to really show buyers how much space they would have to work with.

How Shurgard can help
With 20 years of expertise, Shurgard offers a convenient, safe and flexible solution throughout the moving process, keeping treasured possessions, seasonal items and household goods secure. To

Detached House for sale Park Road, Kingston KT2 5LE

Detached House for sale Park Road, Kingston KT2 5LE

make things easier, when putting items away label each box with the room it came from and ensure they are put into your storage unit facing out, so they can be easily retrieved when the move is complete.

Location
Shurgard has 22 stores across London and the Thames Valley so wherever you are in the capital you’ll never be far from a store or your belongings. Just pop your postcode in online to find your nearest store location.

Size
Whether you need to store one box or a mansion house full of them, Shurgard offers units from 10 to 240 square feet.

Security
Shurgard knows how important every single item in storage is. Each facility has PIN code entry into the buildings and car parks, 24hour CCTV coverage and customers have sole access to their unit.

Value
Moving is an expensive business, and Shurgard isn’t going to charge the earth to store your items. For first time users, various promotions and discounts apply, including £1 storage for the first month.

Flexibility
If the move takes longer than expected, or you only need extra space for a few weeks in-between a move just let Shurgard know and they will be happy to accommodate your needs.

For advice when planning a move check out http://www.shurgard.co.uk/ or call 0800 368 0420 or please call our any of our London Offices.

April 24, 2015

It felt like a marathon!

Filed under: Latest News — JSS London @ 1:11 pm

IMG_5178The Virgin London Marathon on Sunday marks the pinnacle of months of cold, wet, wintry mornings spent hammering the pavements around the UK, as dedicated runners make their way to the capital for this momentous event. We are delighted that our very own Camilla Molyneux, Mayfair Lettings Manager, will be taking part and we wish her every success. Camilla was delighted to receive some energy drinks from one of her valued clients this morning and we are sure they will give her the boost she needs!

We have several properties for sale and rent along the route of the marathon,  Bride Court, EC4Y, Skyline Court, SE1, Queens Quay, EC4V, Hertford Street, W1J, and  Penthouse Hertford Street W1J,  so if you’re looking for a perfect place to watch the event next year please do get in touch. In the meantime, the link below will give you all the details you need to make the most of this special day in London.

The Virgin London Marathon

Good luck to all the runners!

Capture2

 

April 23, 2015

International currency remains strong in London

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , , — JSS London @ 11:46 am

Overseas demand for property in London and currency implications

Foreign demand for London property has been significant for decades. However, since the financial crisis in 2008 overseas investment has been a notable key component of the property market’s aggregate demand.

London is regarded as a global focal point and the reasons behind the influxes of foreign capital can be considered in two aspects:

Personal use: Work and employment needs, historic appeal, friends and family connections, education and the idea of a trophy asset.

Investment: Comparatively stable political and economic environments, few legal restrictions, long history of price growth and further potential capital growth, escape from domestic wealth taxes and diversifying portfolios.

Both reasons typically overlap and amplify one another to create a strong incentive to buy property in London.

world map

Where our buyers originated in 2014

The diagram to the left shows the percentage of the significant purchases that came from overseas in 2014 through our London offices.

We saw demand emanating from all continents with the strongest interest from Europe and the Middle East and countries including China along with the USA.

 

 

Proportion of overseas purchasersJSSMAP

In 2014 a majority of our purchasers were from overseas in central London such as Mayfair (80%) and Chelsea (81%) whereas further out in Richmond a quarter were from overseas and in Teddington only domestic applicants bought a property.

 

Outlook for foreign demand

Economic slowdowns in countries such as China will reduce the ability of further investment into London. Recent tax changes including the increase in Stamp Duty Land Tax along with a higher rate for companies and investment vehicles, the extension of Capital Gains Tax to include non-residents and an Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings have all made investing from abroad less attractive. The threat of a ‘Mansion Tax’ depending on who wins the impending General Election, is also weighing. However, whilst these factors may slow the rate of interest from overseas in the short run, particularly from an investment perspective, the World’s wealth is still increasing with London only growing in attraction. We are still experiencing good levels of demand from abroad and anticipate this continuing going forward.

Currency and its significance on property purchases

The first half of 2014 saw the UK’s economic recovery exceed expectations, causing the Pound (GBP) to appreciate against many currencies as markets bet that a UK interest rate increase was not far away. This Sterling strength further increased the price of London property for international clients, highlighting the risks of not accounting for Foreign Exchange moves during international property purchases. In the 2nd half of 2014, the run up to the Scottish independence referendum in September created significant market uncertainty. Inflation moderated even further, and with it expectations of a near-term UK interest rate rise fell, such that sterling lost a lot of strength against many currency pairs – much to the relief of international clients moving funds to the UK towards their property purchases.

 

GBPEUR Graph, 150415GBPUSD Graph, 150415

 

 

 

 

 

GBP has had an interesting start to 2015, gaining significant strength against the Euro following the announcement and start of Quantitative Easing in the Eurozone, political uncertainty in Greece and the Swiss National Bank removing its peg against the Euro (EUR). GBPEUR (currently 1.3935) is over 11% stronger than last summer (1st July), having cooled in recent weeks from a 7 year high in March (above 1.42). This has hugely affected European clients looking to buy property in London, and to put this in perspective, a £1m property purchase today would cost a European client around €145,000 more than last summer, purely from a currency perspective.

Conversely, we have lost a lot of ground against the US Dollar, following continued progress in the US jobs recovery such that the US unemployment rate is now not far from levels the Federal Reserve would view as consistent with the ‘longer-term’ rate. This leads the Fed to adjust (and adjust again) its policy guidance, moving expectations of a rise in near term US interest rates to the forefront of minds, certainly sooner than in the UK. Consequently the pound is 13% weaker against the US Dollar since 1st July, so that a £1m purchase would today cost a US Dollar holder around $232,000 less than in the summer. Similar positive trends can be seen for buyers moving funds from the UAE, Hong Kong, China and to a lesser extent Singapore.

If the above demonstrates anything, it is that currency plays a very important role in UK property purchases for international clients. Often overlooked, movements can make a huge difference to the final amount your property costs in your local currency. Just as relevant are those selling property in the UK and transferring the proceeds back overseas.

Looking forward

The coming months promise to be interesting with much of the focus on the upcoming UK General Election. Opinions polls are too close to give any clear indication of the likely shape of any UK government after the 7 May vote and we expect a lot of uncertainty as we approach the big day. This uncertainty may see GBP weaken against major currencies, bringing further relief to international clients. Another key consideration will be the UK’s approach towards an interest rate rise which is now generally expected for 2016. However any change in sentiment or MPC language to indicate an earlier rate rise will see further stimulus for the pound.

Investec’s Private Client Foreign Exchange team works with internationally-focused property investors to provide competitive exchange rates, a personal currency expert and access to tailored protection from exchange rate movements. If you would like to discuss any cross-currency purchases or sales, please contact James Glynne-Percy and he will be happy to help.

Any figures, commentary and opinion published in this report is for general information only and in no way intended as financial advice and should not be relied upon in any way. Jackson-Stops & Staff and Investec Bank plc assume no responsibility for any loss from the use of any material in this report. Currency figures and graphs are accurate as at 15/04/2015 and subject to change continually with movements in the currency market.

Investec                                                                                                   Jackson-Stops & Staff
James Glynne-Percy                                                                               Robert Butterworth
Private Client Foreigh Exchange                                                             Research Department
james.glynne-epercy@investec.co.uk                                                     research@jackson-stops.com
020 7597 3695                                                                                         020 7581 5881

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 18, 2015

Valuable Vinyl and Period Property

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — JSS London @ 12:26 pm

td59105Today is Record Store Day.  Sales of Vinyl Records in the United Kingdom untitledrecently recorded an eighteen year high with people’s appreciation of the tactile nature and quality of sound which records give.

This weekend is national record day where leading local  independent record shops offer the public exclusive deals and music to fans with numerous artists making unscheduled visits.  I may be worth supporting your local record shop as you never know who might turn up.td59105d

As Teddington’s leading independent local estate agent we are pleased to present to the market this period house in Teddington Park which boasts an integrated music system throughout the property allowing you to enjoy your music from the kitchen to the bathroom.  To view this period property, please call Mark Birch and the lettings team on 0208 943 9955

 

April 14, 2015

London Market Update

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — JSS London @ 12:56 pm

Activity in the residential property market in London has been suppressed since last summer for a variety of reasons but the most commonly quoted is the uncertainty caused by the impending General Election.

The Election is having a significant impact. Economic activity is heavily affected by political uncertainty, amplified by housing policy being high on each Party’s agenda. The main concern is over potential polices that may be introduced by a Labour government including rent controls, minimum-term tenancy agreements, a Mansion Tax along with other implications for the higher end of the market and overseas owners.

This uncertainty has affected market activity in London which has seen reduced transactions. Sales volumes were 20% lower at the end of December 2014 compared with the previous year. It is interesting to note that at the higher end, the number of properties sold at £2m+ has seen a lower than average reduction in volume with only a 10% fall in demand. However, the impact of higher Stamp Duty (in effect from 4/12/14) and extending Capital Gains Tax to non-residents (in effect from 6/4/15) are being increasingly cited by purchasers at the top end of the market and it will take time for these to be reflected in price movements before volumes increase. Therefore it is likely that prime London transactions will be significantly reduced over this year’s first two quarters.

Despite the reduction in the volume of market transactions, prices, according to the most recent information published by the Land Registry, show an average increase of 13% in London between February 2014 and February 2015.

Graph

The average increase masks varying increases across the London boroughs which have ranged from 7.8% to 18.7% over the year to February 2015 recorded by the Land Registry.

Capture

Despite the decrease in activity, buyer sentiment remains broadly positive. A vital component to continued activity and price growth is buyer expectations. The Halifax price optimism index increased to 60 in March (it was 20 in 2012) showing that expectations are sufficiently conducive to prices rising. The Bank of England has reported that there were 61,760 mortgages approves for house purchases in February, the highest level in six months. This is additional evidence to support a growing market ahead. Post-election we should see activity swiftly resume, providing clear policies are formed by the new government.

Rental values are reported to have increased slowly in central London over the last few months according to the main residential indices. Jackson-Stops & Staff’s London group’s figures for the last financial year show that the number looking to rent a property is 12% higher than the year before with those looking to let out their property increasing by 8%, suggesting a slight upward pressure on rents. Uncertainty in the sales market has prompted more to rent than buy of late as prospective purchasers hold off until after the election. However, post-election the sales market could strengthen negating this boost to rental demand. Fundamentally however, it is London’s strong and stable economic conditions which is why rental prices are increasing.

April 13, 2015

Georgian Grandeur

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — JSS London @ 5:44 pm

15

We’re delighted to have just brought a newly refurbished Georgian 18th Century townhouse to the market to rent, situated on a cobbled street in the heart of Mayfair. Interestingly, Derby Street is on land which, until the middle of the 18th Century, had formed open fields adjoining Hyde Park, known as Great Brook Fields, with part of the freehold being owned by George Augustus Curzon, 3rd Viscount Howe. The street is thought to have been part of the open land upon which the annual May Fair was held and from which event the area took its name.  Do call us on 0207 644 6644, if you would like to rent a property ensconced in some fascinating local history!

April 9, 2015

Why Choose an Agent that is ARLA Registered?

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — JSS London @ 1:03 pm

ARLA, the Association of Residential Letting Agents, promotes itself as being the only professional self-regulating body to be concerned solely with lettings and letting agents.   As such, it provides a professional trading standards’ platform for letting agents, tenants and landlords alike.  From a landlord’s point of view, there are a number of reasons why you should choose an ARLA registered agent; here are just five:

A

1.  When you choose an ARLA registered agent, you can be sure that your agent is bound by the ARLA Client Money Protection Scheme.  This means that if your agent goes bankrupt or deals on the wrong side of the law, your money remains safe and recoverable (conditions apply).

2.  An ARLA agent must hold Professional Indemnity Insurance, which means that, as a landlord, you have peace of mind when it comes to potential negligence, bad advice or a whole host of other misdealings.

3.  ARLA agents are required to be trained and qualified and to follow a structured programme of Continuous Professional Development, in order to keep their skills up to date.  This means that the advice you are given is based upon solid, up-to-date specialist knowledge.

 

4.  All ARLA agents adhere voluntarily to the Code of Practice and Rules of Conduct of their professional body, which means they trade to the highest professional standards possible.

5.  If something does go wrong with an ARLA agent at any stage of the letting process, you are safe in the knowledge that you can redress the situation by taking the matter up with ARLA.

March 30, 2015

Spring has come early to the mid-market

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — JSS London @ 2:50 pm

People Property Places - CopySpring has come early to the property market for houses under £1 million, in contrast to high-end properties where a pre-election chill prevails, according to national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff.

Movement has increased in the low to mid level of the market as buyer confidence returns, owing to low interest rates, favourable long term mortgage deals, stamp duty reform and positive employment growth.  In contrast, sales of properties over £1.5m remain slow, with the more nervous sellers choosing to sit tight until after the General Election in May.

Nicholas Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops & Staff, with 44 offices nationwide in London’s smartest districts and across the cathedral cities and market towns of England, said: “The positive effects from the stamp duty reform later last year are now starting to be felt, with activity levels increasing for properties priced below the £937,500 mark. Coupled with low interest rates, improving regional economic recovery and investment in infrastructure, it appears that Spring has come early for this section of the market.

“At the top end of the spectrum, owners of homes priced at £1.5m and above are treading carefully, as fear of increasing property taxation, regardless of the political colour of the next government, continues to dominate. Transaction levels have slowed in London, with a distinct lack of stock in certain prime areas such as Mayfair. International buyers who have purchased property in the capital are holding on to their investments.”

Activity in the mid-market has been felt across a number of regions in the South East, with Alastair Hancock, Director of Jackson-Stops & Staff’s Sevenoaks office, reporting that well priced mid-level properties are “selling very quickly.”

He says: “Stamp duty reform has boosted the market at the low-mid level where we have seen lots of activity – although we are still burdened by a lack of new stock. Well priced property in commuter towns continues to sell well and while the threat of mansion tax is looming at the upper end of the market, the effect has not been too detrimental. People whose children have secured school places for September will move after May regardless of the election outcome.”

The Cotswolds market has also enjoyed a busy start to the year. William Leschallas, Director of Jackson-Stops & Staff’s Burford office, says: “We had an incredibly busy January and February to the year but activity levels have started to wane with sellers becoming anxious ahead of the election. We have a good supply of buyers from all over the UK, not just London, waiting to pounce when the right property comes up at the right price – but properties must be well presented as buyers are incredibly choosey at present.”

The early spring has also come to East Anglia where Nigel Steele, Director of Jackson-Stops & Staff’s Norwich office says that the increase in confidence comes as welcome news following a slow winter.

He says: “It looks as if the ripple effect of rising property prices in in London and the commuter belt is finally making its way up to Norfolk, we anticipate an improving market as the year progresses.  Norwich itself and the nearby market towns are performing well, as there has been a marked increase in those looking to relocate back to more urban areas to avoid travelling and for the convenience of being within walking distance of shops and good schools.”

Tim Dansie, Director of the Ipswich office, said: “There is no doubt that the changes in stamp duty have helped the market below £1,000,000 and we have seen good interest and strong trading through January and February for this section of the market.  The upper end in excess of £2,000,000 is wary of the possibility of the introduction of mansion tax, although three of our sales above this figure did go through even allowing for a significant increase in the amount of stamp duty paid and the possibility of mansion tax in the future.

“The signals from London are that the market in the capital is slowing down.  There has been a bull run for nearly 10 years in London and, as a result, vendors have been reluctant to sell and move to the country.  Now that this market has stalled it has allowed vendors to consider their position in London, to see what their property is worth and then relate it to the country market which now looks very good value.  We saw a number of our high end properties sell in the last 6 months to buyers who were selling in London close to £3,000,000 and buying in the country for under £2,000,000 with significant change in the bank.

“The Essex/Suffolk borders is a popular place to buy with attractive villages and countryside close to Colchester and Manningtree stations and anything of quality here sells well.  The hotspots on the coast remain the same with a very strong market in Woodbridge, Orford, Aldeburgh and Southwold.”

Tim Sherston, Director of Jackson-Stops & Staff’s Newbury and Goring offices says: “Transaction levels so far this year have been reassuring, and the percentage of London based buyers on our mailing list has also risen significantly, due to the current wide margin between London and country prices, which is likely to decrease as country prices eventually catch up. Crossrail is already a key point of discussion in and around Reading with many predicting that we are due a price lift – although this is yet to be felt. The market for properties priced at £1.5m plus is on pre-election hold, with buyers and sellers waiting to see the outcome of the General Election before committing to a move.”

In Dorset, political uncertainty is also impacting the market with both buyers and sellers sitting on the fence, resulting in limited new stock levels. James Wilson, Director of Jackson-Stops & Staff’s Shaftesbury office, also highlights that buyers are increasingly unwilling to take on renovation projects, he says: “Buyers are more reluctant than ever before to take on projects or indeed properties where overheads are likely to be high.”

In West Sussex,Nick Ferrier, Director of Jackson-Stops & Staff’s Midhurst office, has also seen more interest in properties with turnkey appeal. He commented: “Appetite for property in immaculate condition appears to out-perform property with ‘potential’, with buyers seeking something that they can move into without carrying out any work.”

He adds: “Overall, we are shaping up to be on a positive trajectory for 2015. We expect that the market will continue to liven up but as expected, election jitters are at play, with numerous enquiries about stamp duty, mansion tax and the perceived price correction in London. We are already seeing an increase in registrations from London based buyers.”

In Northampton, homes under the £600,000 level are moving quickly as the impact of stamp duty reform becomes apparent. Quentin Jackson-Stops, Director of Jackson-Stops & Staff’s Northampton office says that there are a number of additional factors helping to boost the market at this level: “Positive employment outlook combined with low interest rates has resulted in greater buyer confidence, with strong levels of activity at the middle of the market. Despite this, stock levels remain generally low.”

In the country house market, the threat of mansion tax is a concern for owners of listed buildings.

Dawn Carritt, Director of Jackson-Stops & Staff’s country house department, says: “There is a case for listed buildings to be exempt from mansion tax. Many of these properties fall into the £2 million bracket, yet are not large enough to be open to the public (at the moment any listed building open to the public commercially  is exempt from ATED) meaning that the owners face a heavy tax bill.  It will also potentially stop owners embarking on expensive restoration programmes which could take the value of the property over the £2 million mark, let alone restoring redundant outbuildings and putting them back into use.”

Click here for a full list of offices and contacts.

 

March 23, 2015

A runaway success

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — JSS London @ 12:12 pm

2015 team_Home Start ElmbridgeHuge congratulations to the Oatlands School PTA runners who all completed the Brooklands Half Marathon in Weybridge on Sunday morning, raising a fantastic amount of sponsorship for their incredibly worthy causes – Oatlands School itself and Home Start Elmbridge, a wonderful local charity that works to support children and their families within the community.

Eugene Kinghorn, a local Oatlands school father, commented that ‘all of this was never meant to be a competition to see who can run the fastest or raise the most money – it was only about using our legs (a lot!) to make a difference, directly to our community via Home Start Elmbridge and indirectly via giving our school the best chance to provide fantastic education to children.’

Of course there’s still time to donate if you would like to, simply by clicking on the link below:

http://mydonate.bt.com/events/brooklandshalf/204990

Congratulations to all the runners who participated and we wish your tired limbs a speedy recovery.

 

March 13, 2015

London goes green – for St Patrick’s Day

St-Patricks-Day-300x257There’s no doubt about it, the Irish know how to throw a decent party. So it’s no surprise that us Londoners are so keen to celebrate St Patrick’s Day every year.

The festival of Ireland’s patron saint actually takes place on Tuesday 17 March but there’s no need to wait until then to start enjoying the ‘craic’. London’s official shindig takes place on Sunday 15 March when around a quarter of a million people will join the St Patrick’s Day parade through central London.

Headed by former boxer Barry McGuigan, the procession of floats and marching bands starts in Green Park, before making its way along Piccadilly and Whitehall to Trafalgar Square. In the square there will be a celebration of all things Irish. As well as lots and lots of people dressed in green you’ll find Irish music, a food market, a children’s theatre and a comedy festival. For more information go to www.london.gov.uk.

For something a little different, dance the night away at what’s being billed as the highest St Patrick’s event in Europe. The Shard is hosting a St Patrick’s Day Silent Disco on its Level 69 viewing gallery. The choice of music from the resident DJs will include one channel that only plays Irish folk and ceilidh music. The evening kicks off with a glass of Jameson Irish whiskey and ginger ale to get you in the mood and there’s also Guinness on tap in case you start flagging.

If all that dancing sounds far too energetic, why not visit one of London’s traditional Irish pubs for a glass of the black stuff?

The tiny Harp pub in Covent Garden is renowned for its beer having recently been voted CAMRA National Pub of the Year. On a grander scale entirely is Covent Garden’s Porterhouse, the London outpost of Dublin’s Porterhouse Brewing Co. This vast pub is set over 12 levels and sells a range of beers including no less than three stouts. If stout’s not your thing try their Brain Blasta, which they describe as a ‘strong’ ale. At 7%, when they say strong, they mean strong.

The Tipperary at 66 Fleet Street dates back to the 15th century and claims to be the first pub to serve Guinness outside the Emerald Isle. This pub has all the charm of a traditional Irish boozer and sells no less that 16 Irish whiskeys.

We hope you enjoy your St Paddy’s Day. You’ll know you’ve had a good one when you not only wake up the following morning wearing something green, you also look green, too.

Happy St Paddy’s Day from all at Jackson-Stops & Staff

March 10, 2015

Oakfield, Misprision and the ‘rise’ of Somerset House.

wi60091Over the years Wimbledon has been home to some of England’s most notable members of royalty, businessman and socialites. As such, it is the backdrop to some of the most distinguished mansions, homes and estates in south west London, noted for their grand architectural styles, sprawling gardens and progressive building methods. One such estate was that of Oakfield’s, its name accredited to the mansion house built there in 1852 by acclaimed English medical publisher, John Morss Churchill.

John Churchill was in residence at the manor house until 1860; prior to his time living at the house he published his well-known book, entitled ‘Robert Liston’s Practical Surgery, 1837,’ of which there were many repeated editions. This text, however, is not known simply for its informative approach to surgery in the 18th Century, but also for its involvement in misleading the entire medical society the world over.

 

299px-Caduceus_svgInterestingly, Churchill’s printer’s mark was that of a caduceus, a symbolic object that represents the physical manifestation of the Roman God of Mercury, Hermes, which represents trades, occupations or any undertakings associated with the God himself. Due to its circulation around the USA it has been suggested that this particular printer’s mark was adopted by sheer misprision, as a symbol of medicine rather than the Rod of Asclepius, which represented the Greek God Asclepius and, by extension, healing and medicine.

Oakfield and its residents are a paragon of the interesting and diverse nature of Wimbledon and the people who have called it home over the decades. Indeed, knowing the history and the stories behind any particular property is an important part of understanding a modern market and its clientele. This interesting anecdote is just a small insight into the rich history that lies behind the Oakfield estate.

Since we opened many years ago in Wimbledon Village, Jackson-Stops & Staff has dealt with a multitude of properties in and around the Oakfield estate. One such recent instruction is a rare opportunity to purchase a spacious, light-filled apartment with two exceptionally large paved terraces in a private, award-winning freehold development with four acres of communal landscaped grounds adjoining the Bathgate Road conservation area and the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Please do take this opportunity to come and view not only a lovely local property but a piece of English history.

wi60091g

Please pop into our Wimbledon Village office at 17-21 Church Road, Wimbledon Village, SW19 5DQ
or call 020 8879 0099
… our Wimbledon team are here to help!

 

 

 

February 25, 2015

Surrey is one of three counties outside London to record double digit house price growth

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — JSS London @ 10:16 am

NEW LOGOLondon is not the only winner in the housing market this year, as Surrey, Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire all recorded double digit house price growth, topping the county league tables outside of London, according to new research for national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff, with 44 offices nationwide.

Surrey recorded price growth of 10 per cent, coming fourth in the overall league table behind London at 16 per cent, Oxfordshire at 15 per cent and Hertfordshire at 12 per cent.  The remaining top ten performing counties all recorded eight per cent or nine per cent annual average price inflation and included Wiltshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, East Sussex and Buckinghamshire.

In the top 10 table for price growth for detached homes, North-west London was first at 15 per cent, with Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire close behind. Greater Manchester showed growth of 10 per cent, along with Dorset and Cambridgeshire.

The research into the performance of house prices by county in 2014 in England and Wales for Jackson-Stops & Staff, which has more than a century of experience in the prime property market, showed that Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and Surrey are the top performing counties across all price ranges outside London, with double digit average price growth and strong price inflation across the whole range of property stock. In Hertfordshire, average asking prices reached £636,368 in December, up from £569,870 the previous year whereas Oxfordshire has seen year on year price growth of 15 per cent, just below Greater London at 16 per cent. Surrey meanwhile, has seen average asking prices rise to £732,235.

Counties including Wiltshire, Cambridgeshire and Berkshire all displayed nine per cent annual average price inflation, highlighting wider levels of recovery throughout southern England, with strong price growth beyond London and the Home Counties. This is a positive message for those counties outside of the traditional commuter belt, with steady growth recorded in Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire.

While Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire performed well in all property sectors, the top performing counties differed depending on property type and bedroom count. In terms of first time buyers of one or two bedroom properties, there are six counties appearing in the top 10 for both property types – Hertfordshire, Warwickshire, Berkshire, West Sussex, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire, excluding London. Berkshire saw a 12 per cent and 18 per cent rise in asking prices for one and two bedroom properties respectively, whereas West Sussex recorded 11 per cent and 10 per cent respective price growth.

While Wales and Northern England have seen stagnation or deflation of up to -3 per cent, price growth is slowly dispersing across the UK with levels of steady growth beginning to creep into the Midlands and beyond. The area is set to see rising property values and economic Nicholas Leeming - BWgrowth, thanks to Government plans for increased investment in infrastructure, which should have positive repercussions in the next few years.

Nicholas Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops and Staff, comments: “The economic recovery remains on track but is still fragile in areas of the country well away from London and the south east. Although there  is clear evidence of a slowdown in some parts of Central  London, this research shows much to be positive about in 2015. Some counties in south-east England have recorded growth just shy of the levels experienced in London and this is having a knock on effect further afield, with counties such as Dorset, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, outside of the traditional commuter belt experiencing steady levels of growth.”

The data was sourced from home.co.uk December 2014 by Insight Advantage for Jackson-Stops & Staff and is based on average asking prices.

www.jackson-stops.co.uk/London

 

 

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