Property in the UK takes on average 102 days to sell

It now takes, on average, 102 days to sell a property in the UK, according to Post Office Money.

Its latest ‘City Rate of Sale’ report, developed with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), looked at the average time it takes for a property to sell in 35 major UK cities. Overall, the average seller had to wait one week more before receiving an offer – increasing from 96 days in 2017. Continue reading

New build property values are now exceeding value of existing properties

The value of new-build properties is beginning to outstrip the value of existing properties, according to a study by DJ Alexander Ltd.

The property management firm found that over the last year the average value of new build properties in the UK has increased by 8.5% at a time when existing property values only rose by 2.9%.
This was most prominent in Wales, where the value of new builds increased by 10.2% over the last year, while Northern Ireland was the lowest at 4.8%. The greatest increase in average value for existing properties occurred in Scotland, where prices rose by 4.4%, while England was the lowest at 2.8%. Continue reading

Uncertainty over Brexit leads to many British expats returning home

The number of British expats living in Spain has dropped by 40%, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.

What’s more, between 2012 and 2017, the number of Britons leaving Spain outstripped those who arrived. This exodus is being blamed on the uncertainty caused by Brexit and worries over what will happen once the UK has officially left the European Union, as well as the price of sterling falling against the euro, which has made living overseas more expensive than ever. Continue reading

Decision to scrap Severn Bridge toll leads to property price boom in South Wales

There has been a dramatic rise in property prices in south east Wales since last year’s announcement that the Severn Bridge toll would be scrapped, research by online estate agents Housesimple.com has revealed.

Figures from Land Registry examined by Housesimple.com show that average sold house prices across the three Welsh local authorities closest to the Severn Bridge – Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen – have increased by 13.2% since the decision on the toll bridge was made in the summer of 2017. This equates to over four times more than the rise in average prices across the UK over the same time period. Continue reading

Ireland still Europe’s number one buy-to-let hotspot

Ireland has retained its position as Europe’s most attractive destination for buy-to-let investors for the third year in a row, according to research by WorldFirst.

In the third annual European Buy-To-Let League Table from the international payments firm, Ireland was top of the pile in Europe for investors looking to maximise rental returns. An average rental return of 7.69%, continued economic growth, consistent demand for rental properties, the stability of the euro and reasonable property prices has all helped to keep Ireland top of the table.

Cyprus, meanwhile, was the biggest climber – rising from 9th to 2nd place – while Belgium slid down the table from 6th to 12th. Sweden, which had finished bottom for the last two years, rose one place, with France replacing it at the foot of the table. Continue reading

Rents rise rapidly in areas surrounding Elizabeth Line stations

New research has revealed that average rental growth around the stations of the Elizabeth Line (excluding zone 1) has been more than double the London average since 2012.

Rents along the line have increased by 16.38% in comparison to the London average of 8.20%, according to the findings by Landbay. One of the UK’s largest transport infrastructure projects, the £15 billion Crossrail scheme has been well known in recent years for the ‘Crossrail effect’ – with many areas along the line experiencing an economic boost, significant regeneration and upped house prices and rents.

The Elizabeth Line, which was set to be completely operational by December this year, will now open fully to commuters in the autumn of 2019 following a delay to the original planned opening date. A spokesman for Crossrail Limited said that more time was needed to complete ‘final infrastructure and extensive testing’ and make sure a safe and reliable route was delivered for passengers.

It’s hoped, once complete, that the Elizabeth Line will offer a boost to London and the South East by lowering commute times and improving access to jobs located in the centre of the capital. With the project only a year away from completion, the Landbay Rental Index has examined the impact it is already having on rental growth along the new rail network. Rents in the areas surrounding the 38 stations analysed along the Elizabeth Line (discounting zone 1) rose from an average of £1,193 in January 2012 to £1,376 in June 2018.

On average, then, tenants have had to pay out an extra £2,196 this year compared to when construction began in 2012. The largest rent increases have been witnessed in areas to the east of zone 1, with average growth of 17.22% since 2012. Meanwhile, areas to the west of zone 1 have seen rental growth of 15.38%. This contrasts starkly with London as a whole, which has mostly experienced a slowdown in rental growth over the same time period – only rising by 8.20%.

Certain areas have experienced more growth than others. Three areas surrounding Elizabeth Line stations have witnessed rents grow more than 30% since 2012, with Southall seeing the biggest rise (up by 38.19%). Southall was closely followed by Manor Park and Romford, which have witnessed rents growing by 37.24% and 30.47% respectively.

Since 2012, rents rising between 20-29% has also been seen in the surrounding areas of eight stations on the incoming line, including Abbey Wood (26.51%), Ilford (27.24%), Seven Kings (26.09%), Goodmayes (25.18%) and Chadwell Heath (27.35%) on the eastern section, and Burnham (26.02%), Iver (28.03%) and Hayes & Harlington (21.05%) on the western section.

Just three areas surrounding Elizabeth Line stations have seen rents decline since 2012, with rents in Taplow falling by 2.02%, by 0.9% in Canary Wharf and by 6.51% in Maryland. “The Elizabeth Line will improve access to the centre of London for thousands of commuters, but it comes at a premium for renters,” John Goodall, chief executive of Landbay, commented.  “The prospect of better transport links is creating higher demand for property in these areas. As a result, house prices and rents alike have increased, which for many landlords is an attractive proposition due to the prospect of extra return on investment.”

Home-movers warned to act now to move by Christmas

Average asking prices of newly-marketed property show a fall of 2.3% in August as new sellers launch a ‘late summer sale’, according to Rightmove.

Slightly bigger than the drop last year, this decrease likely stems from the more subdued market in London and the South East. With the two regions excluded, the rest of the country would have a monthly drop of 1.5%. “Sellers who come to market in the peak holiday month often have a pressing need to sell and price down accordingly, and are offering ‘summer sale’ prices to entice holiday-
distracted buyers,” said Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove. Continue reading

Midlands property market thrives while London market cools

Despite a significant drop in purchase activity in Central London, landlords are still picking up property in the East and West midlands, according to Paragon.

In a recent survey of over 680 landlords carried out by BDRC on behalf of the firm, it was revealed that buy-to-let mortgages for property purchases have fallen by around 40% overall since 2015.
Landlords in the Midlands, however, seem to be bucking the trend, amplified by strong economic growth in the region, a thriving higher education sector and successful regeneration of Birmingham.

There is also a boost from the relocation of head office and operational functions outside of London to Birmingham by financial service firms – including HSBC and Deutsche Bank – with heightened activity ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

What’s more, 42% of landlords in the East Midlands and 33% of landlords in the West Midlands said tenant demand was increasing, compared with just under a quarter of all landlords (24%) who indicated rising demand. Rental yields for landlords operating in the region were also strong, with landlords in the East Midlands reporting average yields of 6.7% and those in the West Midlands achieving yields of 6.2%.

The research also found that landlords operating in Central London were least likely to be buying property, with a net 16% saying they had sold some property in the first quarter. “These findings highlight a big regional difference in landlord experience and buying habits,” said John Heron, managing director of mortgages at Paragon. “Some Central London landlords appear to be scaling back a little while landlords in the Midlands continue to invest on the back of a positive outlook.”