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Budget Comment – SDLT removal is good news for sellers!

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Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the removal of SDLT (Stamp Duty) on all sales to first time buyers under £300,000 in his autumn statement. This is clearly great news for first time buyers, especially those paying the full £300,000, who pocket a tidy £5,000 towards their new home.
More realistically, the saving made by the average first time buyer, who typically pays around £163,000, is just £760.
However, while this support for first time buyers is admirable in theory, any experienced estate agent will tell you that this move is likely to have little effect on transaction volumes and is actually likely to be inflationary – not what the government had in mind at all!
The reason is that if you put money back into the hands of the buyer, then they have more to spend on a property, as do other first time buyers competing with them. In a market where good first homes get snapped up in days, this can only add to the pressure of demand and hence price inflation.
So i…

"Buying on Instinct"

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Recent research concurs with our own view that most buyers buy on instinct, typically viewing their eventual home no more than twice before making a decision to buy. Buying a property certainly appears to be a decision of the heart over the head. In other words, the “I’ll know it when I see it” approach turns out to be quite reliable.
Despite the detail offered about their property by sellers when they instruct us to market their home, buyers actually register their preferences with a very broad brush indeed. They seldom, if ever, ask what type of boiler is at the property, or if there is a double wash basin in the bathroom or an aerial point in the sitting room before viewing it. These are small details which have little bearing on whether the buyer will find the property to be a suitable home.  
Once certain non-negotiables, such as price, minimum amount of accommodation, and  the general location of the property have been satisfied, buyers are primarily influenced by “How does it fee…

Grays Buy-to-Let Properties - Getting The Best Return & Yields - 2.8%-7.9% per year

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The mind-set and tactics you employ to buy your first Grays buy-to-let property needs to be different to the tactics and methodology of buying a home for yourself to live in. The main difference is when purchasing your own property, you may well pay a little more to get the home you (and your family) want, and are less likely to compromise. When buying for your own use, it is only human nature to want the best, so that quite often it is at the top end of your budget (because as my parents always used to tell me – you get what you pay for in this world!).
Yet with a buy-to-let property, if your goal is a higher rental return – a higher price doesn’t always equate to higher monthly returns – in fact quite the opposite.

Inexpensive Grays properties can bring in bigger monthly returns.

Most landlords use the phrase ‘yield’ instead of monthly return. To calculate the yield on a buy-to-let property one basically takes the monthly rent, multiplies it by 12 to get the annual rent and then di…

"Knocking Through?" | Creating Space by Removing Internal Walls

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Many people buy a property that is generally well suited to their needs, but could be improved with the removal of one or more internal walls.
The removal of an internal wall can not only open up additional space by combining two otherwise small rooms, but it can also let in more light, give access to better views, allow larger furniture, and provide more flexible living accommodation.
But can you just knock a wall through with a big hammer?
Well yes and no. Probably no! Certainly some non-load-bearing stud partition walls can indeed usually be removed quickly and painlessly, although dust is always an issue – cover everything!
However, in most situations, the advice of a structural engineer should be sought and is not generally expensive. The engineer will calculate whether the wall is load-bearing, and if so, what size of RSJ (reinforced steel joist) will be required to support the upper walls. RSJs usually leave a protrusion below the ceiling and it is often worth paying the moderate …

“Move by Christmas?”

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With Christmas already in sight, if you’re serious about selling it would be worth your while to do something about it now, rather than waiting until the Spring.
For many, Christmas is a time for home making and buyers currently thinking of moving tell us they would love to be in by mid-December – and this is by no means unrealistic. Indeed, sellers can take advantage of this sense of buyer urgency and expect to conclude a satisfactory sale when both marketing and price combine to attract the right buyers. 
Even if you don’t achieve a sale this side of December we would certainly recommend that you avoid falling into the trap of waiting until the Spring to sell. If everyone did this (and many do) the sheer volume of properties flooding on to the market at the same time creates an imbalance of supply over demand and prices can weaken.

"Far better to sell your property when everyone else is beginning to think about slowing down for Christmas."
Some competing properties may well…

Interest Rate Rise - Market Comment - The first interest rate rise in a decade

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The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has just announced a rise in the Bank of England base rate of 0.25% - the first increase in over a decade.
The base rate is the figure on which mortgage rates in particular are based and a whole generation of aspiring homeowners will be wondering what to make of it. Well panic not – although the base rate has effectively doubled, 0.25% remains a very small increase and simply returns us to the same 0.5% rate that had been in force between March 2009 and August last year, when it was dropped in response to the Brexit referendum result.
While those on a variable rate or tracker mortgage will notice a small increase in monthly payments, those who chose a fixed rate mortgage will not feel any effect at all.
If this new rate is passed on to mortgage interest rates, as it almost certainly will be, the monthly commitment of new buyers will be around £37.50 extra per month on a £180,000 mortgage. This is unlikely to have any direct effect on the…

IS THE SOUTH OCKENDON PROPERTY MARKET IN DECLINE?

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This week I have had a couple of my Vendors phone me concerned about what they see is the decline in the South Ockendon & Aveley property market.  They are both avid watchers of what happens on Rightmove and had set themselves up alerts so they could judge their property against others in the same price bracket and of similar criteria.
It does seem that they are right in that there have been numerous price reductions across the board in the South Ockendon & Aveley property market, the question is why?  Is it that the property market is in decline or is it that the instructed Agent is finding it difficult to find potential buyers?  Has the number of buyers decreased?
It has always been important for me in writing my articles to be impartial.
There are three areas that I looked at:-
1)What Agents are price reducing their properties on a regular basis and what is the time period on when the property comes on the market to when a price reduction occurs?
Having the ability to look at w…

“Change for the Better”

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It is often said that people don’t like change. Don’t you believe it! They love it. Why else do we constantly upgrade our mobile phones, why do we eat at a variety of restaurants, why do we always want to see the latest films or drive the newest car? Because we like change! Or rather – improvement.
In our search for a better way of doing things, we often find that different is better, so we embrace change. As an estate agency committed to moving the industry forwards, we have found, created, and developed aspects of difference which we believe you will find refreshing.For example, we like to think that our website is more upbeat, contemporary and informative about local issues than the average estate agency,
But why should this matter to you? Isn’t it just window dressing? Well, yes and no. Because when you put your home up for sale, you are putting it in the spotlight. And presentation is critical.
In short, we showcase your property in the very best light and with the most effective …

“Ask the Expert!”

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There are numerous surveys and research that seek to prove how various home improvements add a certain percentage to the value of a property.
There has recently been a marked increase in the number of people undertaking improvements whose motivation is specifically to increase the value of their property prior to a sale. If you are considering such improvements, you should approach such surveys with caution.
For example, the public’s response to a recent survey as to which home improvements were most likely to add value were at odds with the view of a panel of property valuation experts and Chartered Surveyors. The public’s view was that a new kitchen would add more value than either a loft conversion or an extension. Certainly, whilst a new kitchen might be the most impressive of the three and has the greatest initial impact, we would agree with the expert view that an extension, closely followed by a loft conversion, would generally contribute more to a property’s value than a new k…

“Should We Accept The Offer?”

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When you are planning to move house it can be tempting to accept the first buyer who comes along with an attractive offer. However, buyers come in all shapes and sizes, and it is important to assess your purchaser’s ability to perform before accepting any offer, especially in this market.   
We often receive offers from people who themselves have a property to sell that is not yet under offer. Depending on the circumstances, our advice to our seller generally would be not to accept such an offer. The main reason is that by doing so, you would effectively be linking - and possibly reducing, the saleability of your own property to the saleability of theirs. Their property may not be as saleable as yours, so you would need to check this out first. Whilst they might tell you that it is likely to sell quickly because of its immaculate presentation, unique architecture or stunning views, these attributes do not necessarily make it a saleable proposition if the price is too high. If, of cours…

“Location, Location”

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Location is clearly the most fundamental aspect of property. But what is it about location that attracts? This is a complex question that means different things to different people, and is usually driven by the motivation for the move. Many agents overlook the driving forces behind a decision to move, yet it holds the key to why people buy, and where.   
For example, many people move because they need more space, perhaps because of a growing family and the requirement for more bedrooms and a larger garden. Clearly space comes at a premium, and it may be that in order to satisfy this requirement a cheaper location may have to be considered if the finances are to balance. Then of course there is the issue of school catchment areas, which in itself can have the effect of significantly price-loading an area.
Perhaps the move is prompted by a job promotion which has enabled the buyer to fulfil the aspiration of living in a “better” area. But what does better mean? Leafier, attractive archite…

“Holding the Sale Together”

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It is well documented that, nationally, around 30% of all sales arranged fail to reach a successful exchange of contracts.
However, the sales cycle can be frustratingly slow and the longer the sale takes, the greater the chance of it falling through. This makes it particularly important that your estate agent handles your sale with kid gloves. So we typically advise our sellers as follows:
·Preparation – Make sure your solicitor has called for the deeds and prepared a draft contract in anticipation of finding a buyer.
·Be serious - Only accept a serious offer. Does the buyer have anywhere to sell, a mortgage agreed in principle and a solicitor lined up? Ask to see details. A serious buyer will be prepared and won't want to delay.
·Don’t accept an offer exclusively from someone with a property to sell. By doing so you limit the saleability of your property to the saleability of theirs, and you lose control.
·Bridge – Bridging finance can provide a solution if you are caught between s…

Market Comment – August 2017

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August is a tricky time to comment on the property market. The market is usually understandably subdued during prime holiday season, but this is often a self-fulfilling prophesy.
This is because those sellers who would have liked to have entered the market during the summer delay doing so, in the belief that the hottest spring buyers have probably found somewhere by now, or are on holiday.
This is one of the greatest faux-pas a seller can make. Serious buyers are serious buyers, and they will probably put their house-hunting activities way ahead of any holiday plans for this year at least. Spring 2017 was hardly deluged with fresh stock and many buyers remain active. This is one of the reasons that prices have generally been upheld during this apparently quieter period, with the average house price now being reported by the Land Registry as £223,257, a respectable 4.9% annual increase.
Interestingly, Rightmove is reporting a slowdown in asking prices at just 3.1% against this time las…

Grays Buy-to-Let Return / Yields – 2.8% to 7.9% a year

The mind-set and tactics you employ to buy your first Grays buy to let property needs to be different to the tactics and methodology of buying a home for yourself to live in. The main difference is when purchasing your own property, you may well pay a little more to get the home you (and your family) want, and are less likely to compromise. When buying for your own use, it is only human nature you will want the best, so that quite often it is at the top end of your budget (because as my parents always used to tell me – you get what you pay for in this world!).
Yet with a buy to let property, if your goal is a higher rental return – a higher price doesn’t always equate to higher monthly returns – in fact quite the opposite. Inexpensive Grays properties can bring in bigger monthly returns. Most landlords use the phrase ‘yield’ instead of monthly return. To calculate the yield on a buy to let property one basically takes the monthly rent, multiplies it by 12 to get the annual rent and t…

Great investment opportunity with this two bedroom flat in South Ockendon

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This two bedroom ground floor flat which has just come on the market with an initial asking price of £190.000 is situated on the popular Danbury Crescent Development which has been a real favourite with investors, tenants and first-time buyers over the years.
http://tinyurl.com/yd8wbt3f
The flat is being sold with no onward chain and benefits from a modern kitchen and bathroom as well as being double glazed! 
The lease is currently standing at 77 years, but the current owner is happy to enter into issuing a Section 42 Notice in order to extend the lease,. It gets even better! The owner will accept a reasonable offer from anyone wishing to extend the lease.
Properties of this type and location are currently renting out at £875 - £900 p.c.m. So why not give M&P estates a call on 01708 851999 and take a look for yourself.



Regards

Paul