Property Market Update: What’s Happening In The UK Property Market: April 2022

The housing boom is showing no signs of slowing down, while an ONS report has revealed the number one factor when it comes to property prices and the staggering rise in prices since the pandemic started. Read on to find out more, plus the latest news on rising rental costs.

Demand for property continues to outstrip supply

Despite several increases in interest rates in recent months, along with a sharp rise in the cost of living, demand for residential property continues to remain extremely high, with no immediate signs of a slowdown any time soon.

While Spring is traditionally the hottest time of year for the property market, there’s been no significant surge in demand so far, as the market has remained at a particularly high level.

Such demand has continued to push prices up, with Halifax reporting an average price rise of more than £28,000 in the past year, which is roughly equivalent to the average annual salary of a typical UK worker.

Many experts are predicting a slowdown in the coming months as the soaring cost of living begins to bite, but if the first quarter of 2022 is anything to go by, it won’t be a sudden drop in demand or prices.

Key factor which drives house prices revealed

A report released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed the most important factors which drive house prices in towns across England and Wales.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, top of the list is a town’s proximity to London, or more importantly, how commutable to the capital the town is.

Second and third place by some margins was the availability of local jobs, while the fourth spot was the level of income deprivation in a town.

The distance to London as the key factor isn’t a huge surprise, given that towns within easy reach of the capital have always had a premium attached to them, however, given the events of the past two years and the significant increase in remote working, it’s surprising just how important this factor still is.

For context, the report showed that the London factor was more than twice as important as the availability of local jobs, and around 10 times more important than the level of income deprivation.

The study also showed that for every 30 miles a town is from the capital, there was a £50,000 reduction in property price, although, after 125 miles, this figure becomes irrelevant, perhaps suggesting the maximum distance commuters are willing to travel.

Two-year house price rises revealed

One major lender has revealed the increase in property prices across the past two years, and the figures make for startling reading.

According to Halifax, the average property price in the UK has increased by £43,577 since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020.

This represents an 18.2% rise, which has taken the cost of a typical home to more than £282,000, with house prices increasing at nearly twice the rate of flats for the period.

The lender’s stats show that the price of a detached house has risen by around 21%, with flats increasing by 11%, as the demand for more space has become apparent since lockdowns were first introduced due to the pandemic.

Rents reach record highs

Data revealed by the property portal, Rightmove, has revealed record high rental costs for tenants outside London.

National rents outside the capital have reached an eye-watering £1,088 per month on average as demand has continued to far outweigh supply.

Annual rental growth reached 11% over the past year – the first time on record that rents outside London have exceeded 10%.

With rental demand up by 6% and the number of rental properties available being 50% lower than at the same point 12 months ago, the rental market is the most competitive it’s ever been.

In other news…

Possibly the UK’s smallest detached house has gone on sale on the grounds of Grimston Park, Tadcaster in North Yorkshire.

From street level, the tiny Georgian gatehouse appears tiny, with the space above ground measuring just a little over 10sq ft.

However, scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find a more spacious, 306sq ft living area lurking in the basement.

The one-bedroom, Grade II listed property is for sale for £215,000.

For more property news and updates and a more detailed overview of the Gloucestershire area, get in touch with TG Sales & Lettings. We are your local property experts. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk.

 

Smartphone Apps for Homeowners

There are over two million apps available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, so of course, there are apps out there for every purpose. There are all kinds of apps, such as scheduling apps to help you manage your time, coupon apps to help you find deals, and language apps to help you learn a new language. What you may not have thought of before are all the apps that exist for homeowners, including those that can help stay on top of chores, apps for DIY projects or interior design inspiration, and apps to help you sell your old belongings for cash.

With so many to choose from, it can be daunting trying to search through and find the ones that are the best and most helpful, so here’s our handy guide to the top smartphone apps all homeowners in Gloucestershire should consider.

HomeSavvy (free)

This app is basically like having an assistant to help you with everything to do around the house. All your chores can be organised within this app so you don’t lose track or forget to do them. You can customise your notifications too, so the app sends you alerts to remind you to get your tasks done. You can also customise your schedule so that you can create a plan that fits around your life, making it even easier to stick to your chore list and get everything ticked off. HomeSavvy even has a directory for local businesses in case you need to run to the shop and grab some tools or supplies to help get the job done.

Bills Reminder (free, in-app purchases for premium content)

If you are forgetful, then this is the app for you. There’s no fear of missing important payment deadlines with this ‘bills reminder’. Paying late fees is the worst, so Bills Reminder helps you stay on top of your payments. It allows you to organise your bills in categories and by due date and sends you alerts when it’s time to pay them. You can also use it to make automatic payments if you set it up with your banking information, and it has expense tracking capabilities as well.

Centriq (free)

This lifestyle app is perfect for those who throw out or lose product manuals and directions after buying and building a new appliance or furniture. Centriq will store all of this for you and is so easy to get set up. All you have to do is take a picture of the product label or nameplate of your new piece of furniture or appliance and this app takes care of loading it and saving it for you. It also offers information about parts, product recalls, and DIY videos if you need to do a simple repair.

Colour Capture (free)

Planning on renovating or redecorating? Don’t do it without this handy app. If you see a colour anywhere, whether it’s in a shop, at a friend’s house, or in a restaurant, you can take a picture of it with this app and it will match it as closely as possible to a Benjamin Moore paint shade. It’s also useful if you’re undertaking a painting project as you can create colour palettes easily in the app.

The Family Handyman (free)

For fans of DIY projects around the home, this is the perfect app. There’s a catalogue of over 4,000 tutorials and tips to help you with any projects you’re working on so you can get them done quickly and correctly the first time. Although it’s primarily American, there are plenty of handy hints, tips and tutorials for you there.

Bubble Level App and Stud Finder App (free)

Why go digging through your tools for a spirit level or a stud finder when you can just use your smartphone? The stud finder app is so useful when you are trying to hang something on your wall. Simply install the app, calibrate it, and then move your phone along the wall until it beeps, thus detecting where the studs are. The Bubble Level app is also so handy. It’s not just a spirit level, but also a ruler and has metal detecting capabilities to help you find wires behind your walls. These two apps are a great combination for simple DIY projects that every homeowner should have in their phone.

Shpock (free)

If you’re trying to declutter and sell some old belongings but shudder at the thought of holding a car boot sale, Shpock is the perfect app. It’s essentially like having a virtual car boot sale without having to do all the work involved in setting it up. All you have to do is take a picture of the item you’re selling, post it to the app, and wait for interested people to message you.

We’re always interested to learn about new home and property apps that are useful to homeowners, so do let us know here at TG Sales & Lettings if you have a favourite!

 

How to Decorate a Rental for Christmas

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Since most landlords aren’t too fond of tenants decorating their rental homes, marking walls with blu-tack and drilling holes to hang Christmas decorations isn’t always great for getting your deposit back.

But with rentals becoming long-term homes for many people, making it feel Christmassy at the end of the year is important!

To add the festive spirit to your rental property in Gloucestershire, here are seven rent-friendly ways to decorate for Christmas.

1. Create a Festive Window Display

While you may not be able to hang lights outside, that doesn’t mean you can’t light your place up like a Christmas tree from the inside! Using solar lights, holly garlands and pinecones, you can create a festive window display that makes your rental look Christmassy both inside and out.

2. Wrap Garlands to Staircases

No nails are the key to decorating a rental for Christmas. By wrapping a festive garland full of ribbons, holly and winter berries around your staircase, you can make your entrance look warm and cosy from the moment you walk in! If you need to secure the garlands to the stairs, use invisible string so it’s unnoticeable and doesn’t leave any marks.

3. Go All-Out With Your Dining Room Table

If you can’t do much with the interior walls of your rental, make your dining room table the cosiest it’s ever been! Create your own festive centrepiece with candles, holly or scattered baubles and set the table with crackers, champagne glasses and other Christmassy things.

4. Use Floor Space

One of the best ways to decorate a rental for Christmas is to use your floor space to add Christmas cheer. Forget about hanging garlands on the walls and instead add freestanding ornaments, trees with stands, piles of dried kiln logs or oversized lanterns to your floor space.

5. Add Festive Smells

Nothing makes a home feel more like Christmas than the smell of fresh cookies, warm gingerbread or sweet cinnamon! A great rent-friendly way to decorate for Christmas is to invest in candles or essential oils that make your home smell merry.

6. Switch Up the Normal Things

Another easy way to decorate a rental at Christmas is to switch up the normal things in your home for something jollier. Add red covers to your cushions, change your bedspread to something festive, and drape white blankets over your sofa for a snowy look. It’ll add a warm, cosy and Christmassy vibe!

7. Use Sticky Hooks

If you really need to hang things on the walls, use command strips or hooks that stick to the wall and leave ‘no mess’. Just make sure you’re using them on recommended surfaces that won’t create any damage to the walls.

Looking For a New Rental?

Are you looking for a new rental in Gloucestershire? Here at TG Sales & Lettings, our friendly team can help you find a rental you love living in all year round.

Check out our listings at https://tgres.co.uk or give us a call on 01452 300822 for a chat with our team about what you’re looking for.

 

Property Market Update: What’s Been Happening In The UK Property Market – November 2021

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The UK property market has seen a drop in sales, but prices continue to rise. Meanwhile, the happiest place to live in Britain has been named in a survey, and one mortgage lender has launched an extraordinary new fixed-term product.

These are just some of the headlines this month in November’s UK property market update. Read on to find out more.

House Sales Fall 52% In One Month, But Prices Continue To Rise

Figures released by HMRC have shown a significant 52% drop in property transactions across the UK for October, following the end of the government’s stamp duty holiday.

There were just under 77,000 transactions completed as buyers rushed to get their purchases completed before the 30th September. This made it the slowest October since 2012 and signalled a 28% drop in transactions from the same month last year.

Despite the slowdown in sales, prices continued to rise across the UK, with Halifax reporting a 0.9% increase in average property prices, which was the fourth consecutive month they’ve risen. Their data also confirms that the average property price in the UK has crept above £270,000 for the first time, while fellow lender Nationwide also reported an increase of 0.7% on the average price.

40-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Launched

In a very rare move, one lender has recently launched a fixed-rate mortgage for up to 40 years.

Specialist lender Kensington Mortgages has taken the highly unusual step as they seek to capitalise on growing uncertainty among buyers and homeowners who are anticipating an increase in interest rates.

Although some lenders already offer a 10-year fixed term mortgage, Kensington’s new deal will allow borrowers to sign up for anything from 11 to 40 years.

The interest rate will vary depending on the size of your deposit and the length of the mortgage term, but for those fixing between 36 and 40 years, the rate currently starts at 3.34%.

The Bank of England’s interest rate is currently at a record low of 0.1%, but an increase is expected in the coming months, which will make the prospect of a 40-year fixed term deal attractive to many homeowners.

Rent Increases Hit 13-Year High In Major Cities

Increased demand for rental properties in major cities across the UK has led to the cost of rent reaching its highest point for 13 years.

Some cities have seen demand double in their central zones, squeezing would-be renters out of town and forcing prices up.

According to leading property portal, Zoopla, average rents across the UK have risen by 6% in the past 12 months, with the South West seeing a 9% increase as demand for properties has continued to outstrip supply.

It’s a similar picture across the UK, with only London failing to see the same kind of increases, although prices have still risen 1.6% in the year to September, but they’re 5% lower than they were pre-pandemic.

Britain’s Home-Selling Hotspots Revealed

Research from leading property website Rightmove has revealed the country’s 6 top hotspots for sellers.

Grays in Essex and Mangotsfield, Bristol share the number one spot, with 84% of the homes listed for sale on the website already sold subject to contract.

Following closely behind, Eastleigh in Hampshire and Redditch in Worcestershire both have 83% of properties sold subject to contract, while Yeovil in Somerset and Hythe in Kent complete the top 6, with 82% of properties sold STC.

Perhaps rather tellingly, none of the top 6 are city-centre locations as an increase in remote working since the pandemic has led to employees having more options when it comes to where they live, and buyers are increasingly looking for more bang for their buck.

Britain’s Happiest Place To Live Revealed

Leading property portal Rightmove has released the results of their annual ‘Happy at Home Index’, which reveals that Hexham is the happiest place to live in Britain.

The market town in Northumberland scored highest overall based on factors like the friendliness of neighbours, its sense of belonging, the quality of local amenities, and the availability of open space.

It’s a return to the top spot for the North East town, which was also number 1 in 2019’s survey.

Richmond upon Thames was the happiest place to live in London for the 7th year in a row. The affluent borough in the southwest of the capital, where average house prices are just under £1.2m, came second overall in the standings.

Harrogate in Yorkshire rounded off the top 3, while 2020’s winner, St Ives in Cornwall came 8th.

TG Sales & Lettings are your local property experts for the Gloucestershire area. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to find out how we can help you buy a new home or sell your property.

Property Market Update: What’s Been Happening In The UK Property Market July 2021

Property Market Update: What’s Been Happening In The UK Property Market July 2021

The Gloucestershire property market is continuing to enjoy a boom, with prices also reaching record highs nationwide. With demand far outweighing supply, many buyers are increasingly paying more to secure their dream properties.
Read on to find out more, with some of July’s key headlines across the UK property market:

UK Prices Reach Record High In Buying Frenzy

The average asking price of a UK home has reached a new high according to the property website Rightmove.

Figures that are due to be released shortly will show a new peak, surpassing the previous record that was set back in May.
Rightmove also confirmed that the first six months of 2021 have been their busiest since 2000 as buyers rushed to complete their purchases before the phasing out of the stamp duty holiday.

The pricing boom has partly been caused by a shortfall in properties on the market. Rightmove confirmed that 140,000 more sales were agreed in the first half of the year than the long term average, however, there were 85,000 fewer new listings, leading to a shortfall of 225,000 properties, which has put sellers in the driving seat when it comes to negotiating as demand for properties continues to outweigh supply.

Stamp Duty Holiday Winds Down

The government’s stamp duty holiday is now winding down.
The scheme, which was introduced to stimulate the housing market during the Coronavirus pandemic has been an overwhelming success, with savings of up to £15,000 for some buyers.

That saving has now ended, however, buyers can still save up to £2,500 on stamp duty if they complete before the 30th September.
And the housing market is expected to remain strong, despite the ending of the stamp duty holiday.

Biggest Rent Rises In Coastal And Commuter Towns

Property website Rightmove has announced the towns and cities with the highest rent increases in the past year with coastal and commuter towns seeing the biggest jump.

Rochdale, Farnham and Folkestone have all seen average rents increase by more than 25% as tenants look for more space away from the major cities.
However, the recent easing of Covid restrictions has also seen some of the UK’s major cities begin to make a comeback, with renters looking to move back to city life.

Prices have risen 6.8% in Nottingham, and 3.8% in Liverpool compared to a year ago, however, in London and Edinburgh, rents are still lower than 12 months ago, at 6.8% and 4% respectively.

Self-Employed and Furloughed Workers Refused Mortgages Over Covid Grants

Self-employed people who have received government grants during the pandemic are being refused mortgages by many high street banks.

NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland have confirmed they’re not accepting applications from anyone who applied for a self-employment income support grant after 14th July 2020, while employed people who have been on furlough are also not having their applications accepted by many major lenders.

Self-employed workers are also being asked to come up with a higher deposit by some of the major high street banks. Metro Bank has confirmed that a deposit of at least 20% is required, while Santander wants a minimum of 25% before lending to self-employed workers.

It’s not all doom and gloom though as interest rates remain low!

The North West Continues To Lead The Housing Boom

Prices in the North West of England have risen by more than 15% over the past year, making it the area that’s seen the biggest increase across the UK.
Wales and Scotland aren’t far behind, having seen 10%+ increases too, but London has seen the smallest rise in prices, at an average of 5.2%, as buyers have increasingly looked to move away from the city to find more affordable properties with additional space.

Some Homebuyers Still Face Lengthy Search Delays

Homebuyers in some areas are still facing lengthy delays for council land searches. Increased demand has left some buyers facing an average wait time of 55 days for searches to be completed when the target is 10 days. Conveyancers and local councils are playing catch-up after the stamp duty holiday rush.
If you are considering buying or selling, TG Sales & Lettings are your local property experts for the Gloucestershire area. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

Sell Your Home: 6 Signs of a Great Estate Agent!

Sell Your Home: 6 Signs of a Great Estate Agent!

Whether you’re selling your home in Gloucestershire or looking to rent or buy, choosing a great estate agent is a hugely important part of the process. Pick the right agent and your transaction is much more likely to go off without a hitch. You’ll be able to find the house of your dreams or get your property off the market much more quickly.

The question is, how do you distinguish between a great estate agent and a mediocre one? It can be hard to tell at the initial stage when the agent will be on their best behaviour trying to pitch their services to you. Luckily, there are some signs to look out for. Read on to find out how to spot a great estate agent:

  1. They’ll have excellent online reviews

Thanks to Google, it is no longer possible for any service provider to get away with lousy service. Customers and clients can easily leave bad online reviews which will affect their future business. Look online before you decide on an estate agent. If they don’t have their own reviews section, Google Business usually has honest reviews from customers.

Search for reputable estate agents that have verified reviews. If they’ve delivered exceptional service in the past, it’s likely, they will again. The same applies to those who have delivered bad service and have poor reviews – avoid them!

  1. They’ll often come recommended

One of the best ways to start your hunt for a great local estate agent in Gloucestershire is to ask around for recommendations. If anyone within your friends and family circle is personally vouching for an estate agent, they’re likely to provide excellent service. It also adds an element of credibility, as the recommendation is coming from someone that you know and trust.

  1. They’ve been doing this for a while!

Find someone equipped with the experience you need to navigate the property market. Gain an understanding of how much experience your estate agent has before choosing them for your home move.

The more experience an agent has navigating the housing market, the more easily they’ll be able to spot any issues and help you circumvent them. They may also have partners that they can recommend to help you with your move, such as independent surveyors and removal companies. If you’re buying or renting, we’d recommend opting for someone just like us as we have great local knowledge of the Gloucestershire area.

 

  1. Their average selling time speaks for itself

One of the signs of an effective estate agent is how quickly they can work to move your property off the market. While you want to ensure that they don’t rush the process and achieve a good price for your property, you also don’t want to wait too long when you’re ready to sell your house. A great estate agent will be skilled on how to market your property and will be able to find interested buyers and line up viewings until they get your house sold.

So, how do you find out whether your estate agent will be effective at selling your property? Ask them what their average selling time is. Beware of those with very short selling times, as this could have been done at the expense of price.

  1. They offer a fair property valuation

To value a house accurately is a lot more work than you may think. All estate agents know that the property valuation you offer them could lead to you choosing to hire them or not, and they may adjust their valuation accordingly. Some agents may decide to overvalue the property to tempt you into working with them, only to reduce this to a more realistic valuation once you’ve chosen them. Opt for an estate agent that gives you a realistic valuation from the start that is aligned with the market value.

It’s perfectly okay to ask an agent to explain their valuation if you think it’s too high or too low. A great estate agent will happily explain their reasoning for their valuation and break down why they’ve given those numbers.

  1. They have good communication skills

This is less easy to ‘measure’, but it’s one of the most important things that make up a great estate agent. They should be friendly and communicative so you can be sure that you will be kept informed throughout the process.

Suss out their communication style with a simple phone call or video call, although keep in mind that all agents will be putting their best foot forward at this stage!

If you are planning on moving to the Gloucestershire area soon, why not get in touch. We’ll be happy to advise you on all our available properties in the area. Contact us on 01452 300822 for more information and an expert, friendly service.

 

How to Limit Your Risks When Viewing Properties Virtually

The pandemic has certainly revolutionised the way many industries operate and in particular for estate agents and lettings agents in Gloucestershire.

So while many of us will be glad to see the end of the current restrictions, some new working techniques are undoubtedly here to stay for us – one of those being virtual viewings!

What Is a Virtual Home Viewing?

As the name suggests, a virtual home viewing is where a potential buyer, or tenant, views a property via a video tour rather than visiting in person.

Virtual home tours are not a totally new concept – many estate agents have been videoing properties for years. However, they were previously used sparsely and mainly aimed at overseas buyers.

The stay-at-home orders issued by the government throughout the pandemic meant that the property industry has had to adapt, and so came the evolution of the virtual viewing.

Virtual viewings involve connecting you, the viewer, through a video call and walking you through the property. Virtual tours can show every detail of the property.

If you, as the potential buyer, are happy with the property at this point. You can then choose to book a physical viewing or place an offer based on what you have seen.

What are the Benefits of Virtual Viewings?

A virtual property viewing offers substantially more flexibility for both the buyer and seller. Especially for buyers who are relocating, being able to view a prospective new property without physically being there is logistically much more straightforward.

The current property market is still moving at a blistering pace. This is due to several factors, including the recent stamp duty holiday and the 5% deposit scheme. So, virtual viewings allow potential buyers and tenants to view houses and place offers in record times. Viewers who prefer to visit in person may risk missing out on those properties altogether.

Not only is virtual viewing more convenient, but it can save you money too. Fuel costs and train fares are no longer needed, meaning viewers can afford to ‘visit’ many more homes than they might have otherwise.

Viewing Virtually? Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

The concept of viewing a home virtually can seem strange at first. However, you must ask the same questions you would consider if you were viewing in person.

Remember to ask about the local area and the neighbours, which will give you a better idea about the property. Also, ask the agent or owner to turn on a tap or the shower to demonstrate the water pressure. And don’t be afraid to ask other questions as the virtual tour progresses.

Always View The Exterior of the Property Too

Ensure you ask the agent to take the camera outside, showing the front of the house and the street. You will then be able to gain an understanding of how busy the road is.

Also, ask to see the gardens and any outbuildings or summerhouses. The photos are often very flattering, but a video will give you the most accurate representation.

Ask for a Video Recording

Many agents will send you a video of the property before the virtual viewing. This will generally be a full tour of the home, which details every room and the garden. These videos are often beneficial and will show the house from the best possible angle.

You can Offer ‘Subject To a Physical Inspection’

Thousands of buyers and renters across the country are more than happy to place offers on homes based on a virtual viewing. However, understandably, many are not.

It may be the case that you have virtually viewed a home that you love but are simply not prepared to part with your cash until you have physically stepped into the property.

In this case, buyers are within their rights to place an offer ‘subject to a physical viewing’.

If the landlord or owner is happy to proceed, they will hold the home for you until you can view it in person. However, you must be aware that the housing market is moving rapidly, and therefore the second viewing will likely need to be within a few days.

What is the Future of Virtual Viewings?

It is undeniable that the housing industry in Gloucestershire has been altered dramatically by the restrictions of the pandemic.

Virtual viewings became popular due to necessity, but it looks like they will stick around for good. Moving forward, we expect virtual viewings to supplement the physical alternative rather than replace it.

This means all agents will be able to cater to the needs of all buyers and sellers, regardless of whether restrictions are in place.

TG Sales & Lettings are your local property experts for the Gloucestershire area. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

 

Property Market Update: What’s Been Happening In The UK Property Market June 2021

Phew! It’s been a crazy busy one for us and indeed most agents throughout the UK. The UK property market is continuing to enjoy a boom, with prices still rising in most areas, although with the first stamp duty deadline looming, prices may begin to plateau slightly. Meanwhile though, this has led to record house prices and a skills shortage in the construction industry.

Read on to find out more, with some of June’s key headlines:

Half-Price Homes Scheme Launched

First-time buyers could soon be benefiting from a 30%-50% discount on a home under a new government scheme.

The First Homes initiative is being aimed at local and key workers, including nurses, teachers and supermarket staff, and it will help them to get on the property ladder with a minimum discount of 30% on new homes that are part of the scheme.

The same discount would then be passed on to future buyers in order to keep the homes available to members of the local community at below market rate.

The homes will also be available with just a 5% deposit, as major high street lenders such as Nationwide and Halifax have agreed to offer 95% mortgages on properties purchased under the scheme.

The scheme launched in the Bolsover district of Derbyshire in early June, with further sites to be announced in the coming weeks, and an additional 1500 homes joining the scheme this autumn.

The government has also pledged to add a further 10,000 properties to the scheme every year as part of a major initiative to provide affordable homes to locals.

Click here to find out more about the First Homes scheme.

Average House Prices Reach Record High

The average selling price of a UK home reached a record high of £261,743 in May, and it’s predicted to continue rising according to one of Britain’s biggest mortgage lenders.

The report from Halifax says that the average house price has increased by £22,000 since May 2020 – that’s an annual increase of 9.5%.

This follows similar findings from Nationwide, which reported an increase of 10.9% across the same period.

And with the stamp duty holiday still in place, albeit on a reduced rate, until October, along with the traditionally busy summer period, there could well be further increases to come.

Over 50% Of Homeowners Live In Homes That Fail To Meet Their Needs

A recent survey by property listings website Zoopla has found that more than half of homeowners are stuck in properties which don’t meet their needs.

Most of those quizzed pointed to a lack of space either in the home, or outdoors, while over 25% said they live in an area that they don’t want to be in.

The study of 2,400 homeowners also found that the average person required a home worth an extra £125,000 in order to be suitable for their needs.

It was also revealed that people typically stay in their home for more than four years after realising it’s not right for them.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to many homeowners reassessing where they live, with extra outdoor space and office space being two of the key things people are now looking for from their next home, as they increasingly spend more time living and working in their properties.

Renting Now Cheaper Than Buying

Research by estate agents Hamptons has found that the cost of renting is now cheaper than buying for the first time since December 2014.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, buyers with a 10% deposit would be better off than renters by £102 per month.

By last month however, private tenants are better off by an average of £71 per month compared to homeowners.

Only four areas of the UK currently buck the trend – the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber, and Scotland.

The trend of higher rents is not expected to continue in the long-term though, with the gap expected to close towards the end of the year before reverting to normal in 2022 when the housing market is forecast to slow down again following an exceptionally busy few months in 2021.

Increased Demand Leads To Construction Industry Boom

Increased demand for home improvements, driven by the pandemic, has led to a boom in the construction industry.

However, a shortage of tradespeople means thousands of extra workers are required, with a report by the Construction Skills Network concluding that an extra 9,250 workers are needed by 2025, just in Wales alone, in order to meet demand.

It’s a similar picture across the UK as a whole, with construction work set to grow by 4.4% on average until the end of 2025.

If you are considering buying or selling, TG Sales & Lettings are your local property experts for the Gloucestershire area. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

 

Plan and Prepare: Your Moving Home Checklist Courtesy of TG Sales & Lettings

Plan and Prepare: Your Moving Home Checklist Courtesy of TG Sales & Lettings

Moving home! The very thought of it is probably enough to send shivers down your spine and cause you to break out in a cold sweat, and this is unsurprising as moving home is right up there with divorce and death when it comes to heightened stress levels!

The fact is though, that any kind of ‘change’ creates stress and whether you are moving home within Gloucestershire or relocating from further afield, plenty of planning and preparation will be required.

Moving home, and especially relocating to a new town or city, represents one of the biggest changes you may make in your life and so naturally brings a great deal of stress along with it. This in turn can lead to a double whammy, as stress can often lead to a lack of energy and motivation. So how are you expected to plan and prepare for your home move during one of the most stressful periods in your life?

Stay focused!

When preparing to move home there will be an element of multi-tasking required as there are such a lot of elements vying for your attention which need to be done. At TG Sales & Lettings we understand this and genuinely want your move to run super smoothly, so with this in mind, we have compiled a handy moving home checklist to help you remain stress free.

At first glance, some of our suggestions may appear to be common sense, but you will be surprised at just how often the simplest of tasks is overlooked or forgotten when the dreaded stress strikes!

Moving home calls not only for exceptional organisational skills, but also proactivity. Grabbing the bull by the horns and completing certain chores well in advance of their deadlines will go a long way to helping you stay ahead of schedule, so the aim of this home moving checklist is to help you accomplish that by concentrating on the basics of planning and preparation.

Get rid of everything you don’t need

One thing you can accomplish efficiently is to sort through all of your ‘stuff’ and get rid of the things you don’t need. Moving unwanted items from your current property to your new property is a great waste of time and effort, so don’t do it! It’s surprising how much more in control you will feel once you start narrowing down your inventory. Getting rid of unwanted items can be done through a car boot sale, selling on eBay or donating to charity.

File important papers and documents together

Since moving home is hectic to say the least, you need to be aware of the exact location of all your important items. These are the things that you absolutely must not misplace and should be hand carried on moving day, not placed in a box for the removal company to transport.

Make sure all of the following paper items are kept together in one secure place such as a document wallet:

  • Address Books
  • Birth Certificates
  • Passports
  • Bank Statements
  • Insurance Policies
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Credit Cards and Statements
  • Medical and Dental Records
  • Irreplaceable Memorabilia
  • Photos and Photo Albums
  • Vehicle Documents
  • Pet and Vet Documentation
  • Wills
  • Any other important or legal documents
Prepare well in advance for the move to your new location

There are many things you can organise before you reach your new home that will help smooth out the bumps of the moving process. In particular, make sure you contact utility companies and arrange for your new services to be connected. These can include:

  • Cable TV
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Oil
  • Telephone
  • Internet access

Contact your insurance companies too as you will need to have your policies amended ready for moving day:

  • Car insurance
  • Home & Building Insurance

Prepare change of address forms for all of your correspondents:

  • Credit card companies
  • Banks
  • Vets
  • Kennels/Cattery
  • Insurance companies
  • DVLA
  • Magazines and other subscriptions
  • Family and friends

Register for new medical providers such as a new doctor and dentist if necessary.

Keep a ‘little black book’

Keep all your important phone numbers written clearly and legibly in a diary or notebook, for both your old and new contacts. This should include banks, doctors, emergency contacts, family members, friends, estate agents, removal companies, pharmacies, schools, storage facilities and utilities.

With proper planning and preparation, the whole moving process will be smooth, and you won’t frantically be searching for a new doctor, pharmacy or important information at the eleventh hour.

With proper planning and preparation, you will have your important documents at the tips of your fingers at all times and you will endure minimum chaos and clutter.

Keep this handy moving checklist safe and get organised or for more home moving planning and preparation advice, drop in and talk to the expert team at TG Sales & Lettings or telephone us on 01452 300822 and we will be happy to ensure your home move runs smoothly.

The Conveyancing Process Explained – A Step by Step Guide for Home Sellers in Gloucestershire

The Conveyancing Process Explained – A Step by Step Guide for Home Sellers in Gloucestershire

Selling a property can be a very confusing and lengthy process but having a good solicitor or conveyancer will help it to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Here is an easy step by step guide to the whole conveyancing process.

Find a Conveyancer

The conveyancing process formally starts when you’ve accepted an offer on the property.

However, it’s recommended that you have a conveyancer in place before accepting an offer so that they can get the process started immediately and avoid delays.

When it comes to choosing a conveyancer, speak to two or three and get some quotes before deciding who to go with. Speak with our team at TG Sales & Lettings as we will be able to recommend too. Alternatively, if you have friends or family who have recently moved, find out who they used and if they were happy with them.

Don’t just go for the cheapest option, it could cause major issues further down the line if they cut corners!

Sign the Conveyancer’s Letter of Engagement and Verify Your Identity

Once you’ve chosen a conveyancer and discussed the fees involved, you’ll need to sign their letter of engagement. It’s only at this point that you commit to using their services. You will also need to verify your identity and address in the form of a passport or driving licence and supply a mortgage statement or utility bill for example.

Complete Questionnaires

Your conveyancer will send you some forms to complete, including a Property Information form and a Fittings & Contents form.

It’s vital that you complete these honestly, as failure to do so could lead to delays later in the process.

The Property Information form is where you tell the buyer about any changes that have been made to the property, such as extensions, solar panels or a loft conversion. You’ll also need to provide any supporting documents you have, so if your double glazing is still under warranty or you have paperwork to show that your boiler has been serviced in the last 12 months, you will need to provide copies.

When it comes to fittings and contents, you don’t need to decide what you’re leaving behind at this point, you can confirm later or leave it open to negotiation. Your conveyancer will be able to advise how to complete the form if you get stuck.

Speak to Your Mortgage Provider

Assuming that you have an outstanding mortgage on your property, you will need to contact your mortgage lender and inform them that you’re in the process of selling. They’ll be able to advise you about paying off your outstanding balance when the sale goes through, or porting your mortgage, which essentially means transferring it to your new property.

Draft Contracts

When your conveyancer has received your completed forms, they’ll draw up a draft contract to send to the buyer’s conveyancer.

The contract will outline which fixtures and fittings are to be included, along with copies of all the supporting documents you’ve provided.

It will also give a date for completion, which is typically around two to four weeks after the exchange of contracts.

The draft contract stage is usually the point where most of the negotiations take place, including the final price of the property.

It’s also at this stage where you’ll need to allow for the buyers to have a surveyor come in and inspect the property. Depending on the answers you’ve given in the questionnaire the buyer may also want other professionals to come in and carry out inspections, such as a plumber or electrician.

They may also request that you pay for the costs of any further inspections or repairs, but you will be under no obligation to agree to this. However, it’s at this point that a buyer may try to renegotiate on the final price of the property to take the extra costs into account.

Exchange of Contracts

Once the buyer is satisfied with the condition of your property and a final agreement has been reached on the price, including all fixtures and fittings, your conveyancer will exchange contracts with the buyer’s conveyancer.

Between Exchange and Completion

At this point both you and the buyer are fully committed to the sale of the property. You’ll receive the buyer’s deposit and if either party pulls out, they’ll open themselves up to legal action.

Completion

This is the day on which you hand over the keys to your property. The completion date is usually around two to four weeks after the date of exchange, but you can ask for this to be extended, or in some cases, shortened.

The date of completion is also the date on which you’ll receive the outstanding balance for the property from the buyer.

If you are planning on selling in the Gloucestershire area soon, why not telephone us on 01452 300822. We’ll be happy to advise you and help with your conveyancing needs.