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April 21, 2016
Happy 90th Birthday to her Majesty the Queen
April 5, 2016
Zoe Mercer, Associate Director, Residential Development & Investment
Zoe joined Jackson-Stops & Staff in 2008 and manages the sales of our central London new homes projects from our Residential Development office in Mayfair. She started her career in residential agency in the late 1990’s and has a wealth of new homes experience, having worked on a diverse range of development projects across central London.
In her spare time, Zoe enjoys sharing the delights of Central London life with her young son, followed by a pint of Guinness at the end of the day!
March 26, 2016
Georgina began working for Jackson-Stops & Staff back in 2006 and since then the team has gone from strength to strength. We believe this is largely down to the established working relationship that Georgina enjoys with her colleague, Harry Buchanan, Director of Sales.
The pair share strongly-held values about the way they like to do things and have built a reputation for providing an excellent, trusted and highly personal service to their clients. Georgina is passionate about the area in which she works – everything from the beautiful architecture to the friendly community spirit.
A country girl at heart, Georgina has recently purchased a rural ‘bolt hole’ in Wiltshire where, like many of her clients, she loves to balance the pace of Pimlico life with the wide open spaces of the beautiful countryside.
Congratulations on your ten years, Georgina!
March 24, 2016
Andrew Simpson, Group Residential Development Director
Andrew is responsible for the operation of the Residential Development departments for the London offices of Jackson-Stops & Staff and its sister firm, Frank Harris & Company.
Andrew has desks in our Mayfair head office and in our regional Residential Development office in Weybridge. He specialises in the sale and acquisition of development sites and has extensive experience acting for a wide range of developers and landowners.
Andrew lives with his family in West Sussex; in his spare time, he loves skiing and restoring classic cars. To discuss any of your property needs, please call Andrew on 01932 821160.
March 22, 2016
There is a lovely little red brick building on the edges of Westminster and St. James which was home to the former Blewcoat School, built in 1709 by a London brewer to provide education to poor children in the area. The school acquired its name by the distinctive uniform worn by the pupils, which included entailed long blue coats. Since 1926 the building has served as a military store, a Girl Guides club and a National Trust shop. Today it is now the home to the famous wedding dress designer, Ian Stuart.
We are currently marketing a lovely flat in Artillery Mansions just around the corner – fit for a designer. Do get in touch with the Pimlico team to discuss your property requirements with us, we would be delighted to help.
March 14, 2016
Buying a home is perhaps the most important purchase you will ever make and the Jackson-Stops & Staff Residential Development team will offer you all the support you need throughout the purchase process.
There are 4 key stages in buying a new build home:
Stage 1: The Reservation Process
When you have chosen your property, you will usually need to complete a reservation form. This will clearly set out the agreed price for the property and the time by which contracts must be exchanged. The reservation will also be subject to paying a reservation fee, at which point the chosen property will usually be removed from the market and a period of exclusivity granted. However, if you fail to exchange contracts within the stipulated time frame the property may go back onto the market and you may lose your deposit and incurred costs, such as legal fees.
Ensure you have received a copy of the Consumer Code for Home Builders, as this sets the mandatory requirements that all Home Builders must meet in their marketing and selling of New Homes and their after-sales customer service. It also sets out the terms by which any deposit will be held.
Stage 2: The Conveyancing Process
NB. This assumes a 28 day exchange deadline
Stage 3: Exchange Contracts
During the reservation period, your solicitor would have undertaken the entire necessary due diligence to enable you to be in a position to formally exchange contracts. When all parties are happy with the agreements, the contracts can be formally exchanged at which time you will sign the contract and pay the deposit, which is usually 10% of the purchase price. After exchange of contracts you are legally bound to purchase the property.
Stage 4: Completion
At the time the initial reservation deposit is paid, an approximate completion date will have been given. This is often nothing more than a season in a given year (ie. summer/autumn) or an approximate date in the future. Depending on the timescale of the development, you may receive a revised target date for completion after exchange of contracts.
You will be served with a completion notice via your solicitor which will formalise the date you will be expected to complete. The period of time between this notice and your completion date will have been set at exchange of contracts.
During this period you will need to:
March 7, 2016
Well, it’s felt like a long, cold and wet winter at times, but finally the start of many people’s favourite season is in sight, beginning on Sunday 20th March. Indeed, it seems that spring has come early for many of the plants most often associated with this season of renewal. Lizzie Leigh from our Marketing Department was able to capture these pretty photographs close to our Weybridge office on Queens Road this week; the daffodils were out in all their glory as Lizzie took her dog, Monty, for a favourite walk of theirs along the beautiful Weybridge towpath. With the lighter evenings ahead of us, spring truly is the perfect time to show your property off to maximum effect. Do contact your local branch of Jackson-Stops & Staff to arrange an up to date appraisal of your property and to discuss how we can help.
March 4, 2016
The elegant, well-regarded gallery is situated on Clarendon Cross, just a stone’s throw away from our Holland Park office on Portland Road. The evening provided a wonderful opportunity for members of our team to chat to residents from the local community over a glass of wine and delicious canapés, whilst taking in the beautiful artworks adorning the walls.
If you live close by to our Holland Park office, do pop in to find out details about the next event they are hosting, they would love to see you.
March 1, 2016
We are delighted to welcome the newest members of our Chelsea Sales team, Toby Whittome and Judy Wykeham, who will be working alongside our successful Lettings team, Stephen Pamnani and Chloe Cooper, at our Cadogan Street office. Toby and Judy have worked together for many years and bring with them a wealth of Sales experience within the Chelsea property market.
Introducing Toby Whittome, Sales Director, Jackson-Stops & Staff Chelsea:
Toby has worked in Prime Central London for nearly 20 years and has a superb knowledge of the local area, specialising in Chelsea and Belgravia. Toby’s experience includes acting for clients at all levels for both the sale and acquisition of London properties. Before joining Jackson-Stops & Staff, Toby was a Partner at another major Central London firm where he became well known for his very personal approach and careful attention to his clients’ requirements as well as his in-depth knowledge of property, the market and ability to achieve the very best prices for his clients.
After studying ancient history and philosophy at university, Toby went on to develop his love of sailing. Indeed, this particular passion has seen him sail approximately 6,000 miles across the Pacific from French Polynesia to Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Borneo and across to Singapore; he has also sailed across the Mediterranean. Toby lives with his wife Emma and two daughters, Millicent and Eva, on the same farm in West Sussex where he was brought up. At the weekend he loves to spend time with his family as well as working on the farm and enjoying many of the usual country pursuits, including shooting and fly fishing. Toby himself comments that “I am extremely excited about joining Jackson-Stops & Staff – it is a highly respected brand with a long established office in Chelsea which is ideally placed to provide clients with a very personal and tailor made service.”
Introducing Judy Wykeham, Sales Manager, Jackson-Stops & Staff Chelsea:
Judy began her career in property about 17 years ago and witnessed many exciting changes in the prime central London property market; during that time, she learnt how certain areas attracted certain types of purchasers with varying demands and saw new build developments standing next to refurbishment projects of Victorian flats or houses – sometimes on a dizzying scale. Judy believes it is London’s deserved reputation for being a safe, international city with strong infrastructure, great educational facilities and fabulous shops and restaurants, combined with the world renowned museums and parks, which have always made it the best city to live and work in, with the Borough of Chelsea and South Kensington being particularly desirable.
Judy brings a valuable international perspective to her role, as she hasn’t always lived in London; she was born in Singapore and grew up in Malaysia, with a sojourn of some fourteen years in the Netherlands. As an expat through and through, she believes it is this which has stood her in good stead with international clients and that being able to understand the complexities of moving house and country – and swapping into different educational systems – has proven invaluable. Besides property, Judy has a real passion for fast cars – in particular, pre-1964 sports cars, having had the privilege of racing a Cobra 289 for a number of years… she can confirm that it’s not as easy as it looks. As Judy herself says, ‘I’m hugely excited about my new role at Jackson-Stops & Staff in Chelsea and very much look forward to racing around the Borough on behalf of my clients and buyers – but never above 30 mph’.
Both Toby and Judy will be in the fortunate position of being able to call upon 37 years of estate agency experience in the form of Charles Puxley. Charles has been a highly respected, popular member of the Jackson-Stops & Staff Chelsea team for many years and is now stepping into a Consultative role within the office, where he will continue to deal with the sale and acquisition of properties within the area.
Do pop in to meet the whole Chelsea team, they would be delighted to discuss your property requirements with you; L-R: David Williams, Head of Sales; Toby Whittome, Director, Chelsea Sales; Judy Wykeham, Sales Manager; Tracey Cumming, Head of Lettings; Stephen Pamnani, Lettings Manager; Charles Puxley, Sales Consultant; Harriet Morris, Central Administrator; Chloe Cooper, Lettings Negotiator; Jordan Kennedy, Central PA
February 19, 2016
Yaffingales is one of the oldest of the 36 houses on Blackhills. The elegant Tudor style is particularly resonant of the architectural fashion of the 1930s. The name ‘Yaffingale’ comes from a green woodpecker; which is depicted in a beautiful deco style stained glass panel in the reception hall window of the house.
The house dates from the 1930s but has been designed to feel like a much older property, it is a bit of a labyrinth of a house, but the character of the rooms make it feel like it belongs in a story tale.
The area was used in the Sixteenth Century by Henry VIII as his hunting grounds and the area continues to be hugely popular with celebrities.
The Borough of Elmbridge is surrounded by a number of parks and there are commons and golf clubs saturating the area. There is excellent shopping, not just provided by Esher with its boutique shops and fabulous restaurants (it even has an everyman cinema), it is also local to Cobham, Weybridge, and Walton-on-Thames. In fact, ‘Elmbridge’ was labelled ‘The Beverly Hills of Surrey’ by newspaper The Daily Mail due to it reportedly offering the best quality of life in Britain.
February 18, 2016
Tim Firth, Director, Weybridge Sales writes: “Now that we are fully in the throes of 2016, I anticipate that the market will continue to rise at sustainable levels throughout the year. The national economic picture backs this up along with the desirability of the Elmbridge location, the only potential hiccups being the prohibitive stamp duty over £2m that may stall the market top down and a potential interest rate rise towards the end of the year that many of our potential ‘upsizers’ have yet to experience in their property lives. The overall picture, however, remains positive as long as the low levels of property stock do not diminish further.
That well-known saying, ‘location, location, location’, has been an overused term for buyers’ property requirements for some time but what does it really mean? In Weybridge it could easily stand for the train links, excellent schools and green space. A commuter town of the highest order, with quick, frequent and direct trains to London, a choice of quality schools for all ages and easy access to the green spaces of Surrey countryside. The mix of property also lends itself equally well to the upwardly mobile and the downsizer: from newly built mansions on the many private Estates, to Victorian and Edwardian villas on residential roads behind the high street, through to large lateral apartments offering secure and convenient living. The safety net of strong property prices is another big bonus; the last recession showed that whilst activity may have slowed prices held their own and have been moving steadily upwards for the last few years.”
February 16, 2016
Our Wimbledon sales team is delighted to be able to bring Haselbury House to the market and we couldn’t help but smile when we saw that it was situated on Herbert Road. The name ‘Herbert’ holds particular resonance for us all at Jackson-Stops & Staff, as it is the name of our company founder, Herbert Jackson-Stops, who, in 1908, at the age of 24, opened an office practicing as an Estate Agent from the Town Hall in Towcester. Haselbury House is a wonderful detached Victorian house dating back to 1875, which means that Herbert would not have been born at the time when it was built; however, it’s interesting to think that as a young boy he was perhaps himself growing up in a Victorian-styled property which might have shared some of the same beautiful period features of Haselbury House – the high ceilings, fireplaces and cornicing so beloved of the Victorians. To quote one of our favourite company mottos, ‘times change, standards endure.’ Please contact our Wimbledon Sales team for further information and to arrange a viewing of Haselbury House.
February 15, 2016
Predicting market movements is always more of an art than a science but there are aspects of the property market which provide good indicators for future trends. Our Chief Executive Officer, Nick Butterworth, explains his expectations on how the London property market will perform in 2016.
Last year the prime central London market was dampened by a series of events starting with the uncertainty surrounding the General Election, followed by tax changes introduced in the post-election budget. Commentators and agents now universally agree that the significant increases in Stamp Duty Land Tax and other tax changes affecting overseas owners and corporate ownership of property have had a marked affect on demand. Latest figures from Land Registry show that prices increased by 3.6% in Kensington and Chelsea and by 6.1% in Westminster, significantly down on previous years. Notably, in the higher value market there was a 30% decrease in the number of properties sold above £5m in central London. We anticipate that those fiscal changes will continue to effect demand in prime central London where we forecast only marginal price increases of 1% to 2% this year. Looking at the wider market beyond the core, the imbalance in supply and demand will continue and we expect house prices to increase by approximately 5% across Greater London.
Since the start of 2016 we have seen an increase in registrations from both prospective purchasers and tenants in all our London offices and that continuing demand needs to be measured against supply. 2015 saw 47,000 units under construction in the capital, some 90% up on the last peak in 2007 according to EGi’s London Residential Research. With no sign of any significant concentration in supply, other than in certain locations such as the Vauxhall & Nine Elms Regeneration Area or further out in Croydon, demand is likely to exceed supply. Such demand is encouraged by the historically low interest rates and while there is constant talk of the inevitable increase in borrowing rates, the latest indications are that the Bank of England is not likely to raise rates before 2017. Other factors we take in to account when forecasting market movements include the strength of sterling which has been losing strength against a number of currencies in the last few months and maxes UK property increasingly attractive to purchasers from overseas. To put this into context, transferring £1m to the UK today would cost a purchaser from the US $148,000 less than it would have in June 2015. Similar positive exchange benefits would apply to purchasers from Hong Kong, Singapore and the Middle East. Finally, employment and population growth are important factors to consider and data for both indicate decreasing unemployment and population growth across London this year.
With pricing and taxation reducing demand in prime central London last year, areas that have benefitted from an outward movement of purchasers included Richmond, Wimbledon and Weybridge. Those and other areas that showed a high level of activity and annual price growth in 2015 are likely to remain popular this year. These include the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Enfield, Lewisham and Merton.
In terms of lettings, the average rent should remain pretty stable in 2016. We anticipate a continuing softening in demand for high-value rented property with reduced requirements from the corporate sector but an increase in rent of between 3% and 5% for mid-range properties, where demand is greatest. The most in-demand properties are one and two bedroom apartments in Pimlico, Wimbledon and Teddington. Demand will continue for apartments in the City of London and we anticipate increased interest in areas such as Bloomsbury and Covent Garden. Traditionally we would have seen students dominating the rental market in these areas but we are now seeing more professionals moving in to take advantage of these excellent central locations. In terms of supply, new developments in Kings Cross, due to be completed this year will serve to satisfy demand and thus limit price growth in the locality.
While the global picture is concerning with the continuing distress in the Arab world, economic slowdown in China and renewed fears about the economic recovery in the Eurozone that have contributed to significant fluctuations in world stock markets, we see property in London remaining the safe haven that it has been for many years and demand albeit moderated from overseas combined with continuing domestic demand will support activity and prices but at lower levels than we have seen in recent years.
February 9, 2016
Members of the JSS (London Residential) group were delighted to join their national colleagues from across the Consortium last week, when they gathered at a location just outside Milton Keynes for the Jackson-Stops & Staff Annual Conference, The Big Picture.
The day was an excellent opportunity to hear from a number of our London department heads, including: Annabel Smith, International Sales Manager; Tracey Cumming, Head of Lettings; Simon Quinn, Head of Property Management; Ben Babington, Director, Residential Development; Tim Nicholls, Director, Valuation Group.
There were also some excellent, motivational presentations about the latest property industry thinking and an insightful talk from Ian Springett, Managing Director of property portal, OnTheMarket.com, who was excited about the progress made by the portal during its first year; the day was all wrapped up with a fascinating overview from our National Chairman, Nicholas Leeming. After an incredibly useful and thought provoking day, attendees from across the national Consortium then changed from their business attire into black tie and evening dresses to enjoy an evening of cocktails and dinner with colleagues.
February 5, 2016
New homes are right at the top of the government’s political agenda and given the continued insatiable appetite for property, 2016 is set to be a very active one from a residential development perspective. We’re not even out of January and there are already several important trends emerging.
Developers spread their wings
Whilst the land market remains buoyant, we have seen a trend of developers looking to move outwards from more established, high capital value and high value per square foot areas into neighbouring postcodes where there is greater affordability and naturally higher levels of demand.
Developers who previously focused on prime central London locations are now spreading their wings and setting their sights on residential developments in areas including Fulham, Peckham and Vauxhall. Developments recently launched, or soon to be launched, in these areas have attracted a good deal of interest from local people.
However, the majority of developers we are working with are maintaining the same or very similar levels of specification as they migrate on the proviso that they want to maintain their brand positioning and the belief that buyers will be happy to pay a premium over the local norm for a higher quality specification and finish.
New London locations
This year will also see the growth of new residential locations in London as the desperate need for new property supply means developers are looking at previously untapped locations in order to satisfy demand. The ‘North Bank’ – the oft overlooked sister of the South Bank across the river – is now experiencing an increase in residential development. And it’s a gem. With exceptional transportation links and property costing up to 40% less per square foot than at Covent Garden, just a stone’s throw away, the North Bank will soon be a mainstay of the common vernacular.
Year of the owner / occupier
Any reduction in demand from investors in 2016, due to tighter regulations around buy-to-let, is likely to benefit owner occupiers where sentiment remains strong. With interest rates likely to stay at historically low levels for the short to medium term, high levels of employment, widespread confidence in price stability and strong demand from owner occupiers, 2016 has all the hallmarks of ‘the year of the owner occupier’ and that is no bad accolade. It does however mean that agents and developers will have to alter their sales and marketing strategies to capitalise on the prevailing market conditions.
19 Buckingham Street has recently been converted back to residential use and apartments are on the market with Jackson-Stops & Staff starting at £2,750,000.
Ben Babington, Director of Residential Development
January 13, 2016
“I envisage property prices in Weybridge will continue to rise at sustainable levels throughout the year, with property in the Surrey area set to experience growth of 6 –10%. The national economic picture supports this, along with the desirability of the location which plays host to a great choice of quality schools, easy access to the green spaces of Surrey and a train station which provides quick and frequent transport into London.
“The prohibitive stamp duty will dampen demand for houses over £2million and will also deter current owners of such homes from moving. Eventually houses in the price brackets below this will have nowhere to step up to, thus stalling the market top down. However, the overall picture remains positive as long as the low levels of property stock do not diminish further.
“The mix of property in the Weybridge area lends itself to both the upwardly mobile and those looking to downsize, with a combination of newly built mansions on the many private estates and Victorian and Edwardian villas on residential roads, to large apartments offering secure and convenient living. The safety net of property prices in this area is of course another big bonus, with the last recession showing that whilst activity may have slowed, prices held their own and have been steadily moving upward for the last few years.”
January 11, 2016
Instructing a regulated agent is more important than ever now, with the raft of new legislative changes that have been introduced to the Lettings’ industry over the last 6 months. The most recent change has been the implementation of the Immigration Act 2014 whereby the law has introduced a requirement from 1st February 2016 that all landlords have to carry out Right to Rent checks for new tenancy agreements starting after this date. Essentially it is the responsibility of the landlord and/or agent to ensure that any tenant who is not a British Citizen, or a European Economic Area [EEA] citizen or a Swiss national has the necessary documents in place and therefore the Right to Rent in the UK. These checks are not just required at the outset but follow up is needed prior to the expiry of these documents. In the absence of receiving a renewed visa the Landlord/agent is obliged to report their tenant to the Home Office to avoid heavy fines. Ensuring our clients are complying correctly with this law is particularly important in the Mayfair lettings market as the majority of tenants are not UK nationals and stringent checks are therefore required.
Prior to this change we also saw the introduction of The Deregulation Act 2015 which became effective from October 2015. This legislation has introduced the largest amount of changes to the industry and restricts a landlord’s right to serve a s21 notice on a tenant to gain possession if certain pre-conditions have not been complied with. These pre-conditions include providing tenants with prescribed wording and information relating to their deposit protection, a valid energy performance certificate, a valid gas certificate and a government published ‘How to rent guide’. In addition to this we have seen the introduction of a law relating to the installation of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in October 2015 which has added to the already long list of pre-tenancy compliance. Keeping up to date with these changes and all the compliance issues surrounding setting up and managing a tenancy is of strong importance to us to ensure our clients are fully protected and informed to avoid troublesome tenancies.
December 4, 2015
Nicholas Austin, who looks after our Mayfair Sales office, was delighted to be invited back to his old school last Saturday to talk to students of Stowe School who are considering forging their own careers within the property industry. Jackson-Stops & Staff is proud of its historical association with this world renowned school. At the age of 37 and with a relatively small staff, our company founder, Herbert Jackson-Stops, was entrusted with the 18 day sale of Stowe House and its contents. This has subsequently been regarded by Country Life as one of the two great sales of the 20th Century, the other being the sale of Mentmore, which took place some 60 years later. Nicholas thoroughly enjoyed his time back at school, which served to link our past, present and future association to the institution; pupils showed a keen interest in the world of agency and we hope that in time there might be some more Stowe alumni working alongside Nicholas at Jackson-Stops & Staff.
November 27, 2015
Residential property implications
Stamp Duty Land Tax
The Chancellor announced in the Autumn Statement an additional levy on residential purchases. An acquisition of a property that will not be a main residence, whether it be a second home or for buy-to-let purposes, will incur a further 3% placed on the Stamp Duty Land Tax.
The Stamp Duty rates were changed in December 2014 introducing a graduated tax encompassing various bands for which a progressive percentage duty applies. Each band will now rise by three percentage points when buying to let or holding another home.
Commercial investors and funds holding over 15 properties are likely to be exempt.
Capital Gains Tax
Capital Gains Tax, if applicable, will now have to be paid within 30 days from completing on a property, however this will not be enforced until April 2019.
Help to Buy
The Chancellor will be extending the Help to Buy scheme to 2021 and providing funding support for first time buyers through an ISA and interest-free loans of up to 40%.
400,000 new homes are targeted to be built in the next five years and the government will make financial provisions for developers and housing associations to spur the additional house building.
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 assumes no responsibility for any loss from the use of any material in this report.