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.

What Do I Need To Do For End Of Tenancy Cleaning?

What Do I Need To Do For End Of Tenancy Cleaning?

When you’ve been letting a property, whether it’s been for just six months or six years, the tenant should make sure the place is clean and tidy before they leave.

A good landlord will require the property to be in a tip-top and sparkling condition ready for the new tenants so we often get asked; “What do I need to do for end of tenancy cleaning?”

By setting the standards high from the start, you’re more likely to attract the right kind of tenant, one who is likely to keep the property nice and clean in future.

So, how do you go about cleaning your property?

We are experts at letting and managing properties in Gloucestershire and we have bags of experience when it comes to advising landlords about this very topic, so we’ve put together a seven point checklist for you as a handy guide.

Don’t forget, if you need any advice, get in touch with us by email at rachel@tgres.co.uk or call us on 01452 300822.

Step 1: Check Over the Whole Property

After your tenant has left, and you’ve done the checks to make sure nothing is damaged or needs to be replaced, walk through the property and make a checklist.

Start at the front door and work your way around, noting down what needs to be done. Being methodical will help you to get it all done efficiently.

Take a photo of each room, as then you will have a record of ‘before’, ready to compare with the ‘after’ shot.

Step 2: Wipe Down Doors and Sills

Wipe down the tops of doors, the skirting boards and window sills. Give everything a good scrub and get any thick dust off. Then you can use polish to buff up to a real shine. Open the windows to let in the fresh air too.

Use quality cleaning products because they will ensure a better job done!

Step 3: Clean Sockets and Switches

Plug sockets are in most rooms and are where you’ll often find a layer of dust. Sometimes the plastic coverings will need a good clean too to get rid of grubby marks. This also goes for light switches which attract dirty finger marks.

Don’t forget that electrics can be dangerous, so take extra care when cleaning sockets.

Step 4: Scrub the Kitchen

The kitchen is the most used part of a home and is the area most likely to need a good, thorough scrub.

Make sure that not only do you clean the surfaces and cupboard doors with disinfectant and anti-bacterial products, but that you also clean inside the cupboards and drawers too.

Vacuum them first to pick up the crumbs, then wipe them down. You can use a specific anti-bacterial spray to make sure they are super clean and fresh.

When it comes to the oven and hob, you can of course clean these yourself, but we think this is an area where you should consider getting a professional in. They will use powerful cleaners and put the elbow grease in to make them come up super clean.

Step 5: Freshen the Bathroom

This important room of the house is often kept nice and clean and hygienic. But, it will still need a good anti-bacterial spray and bleach to make it spot on.

From the taps to the shower, and from the toilet to the bath, go over everything thoroughly. In fact, you may want to use a toothbrush to get into all those tight spaces in the shower unit, around the taps and in the grouting.

Ensure the light covers are clean and any bulbs replaced if necessary. Also, either vacuum or wash the grills of the vents too as these can often get clogged up with dust.

Step 6: Utilise the Vacuum!

When you are using a vacuum cleaner, you’re obviously going to be cleaning the floors, carpets, tiles or vinyl. But, also use a vacuum to get annoying cobwebs out of ceiling corners or in lampshades. Vacuum behind furniture, along the skirtings and any furniture itself too.

You may want to consider getting professional carpet cleaners in if you don’t want to hire a machine.

Step 7: Clear Your Drains and Gutters

If your property has drains and gutters, make sure they are cleaned out and water can run freely. This will stop debris from building up and causing blockages, which can be costly to fix. This job is particularly important in Autumn and Winter.

We have many years of experience in letting and managing properties, and we also know some fantastic tradespeople in and around Gloucestershire so we can recommend them.

Email us at rachel@tgres.co.uk or call us on 01452 300822.

 

Latest News: What’s Happening in the UK Property Market April 2021

April-2021-Property-Market-Update copy

The past few weeks have seen a very busy property market, especially here in the Gloucestershire area. The weather has certainly changed, and lockdowns have eased, adding to a general feeling of confidence and a theme of “getting on with things”.

But what’s it been like across the country? Well, if you look at the statistics, it’s been very good news across the board. House prices are up, and a lot of transactions are being lodged.

It also seems that conveyancing companies and solicitors have been taking on more staff to cope with demand.

Several stories have caught our attention this month, and so we feature them in this month’s news round up. Don’t forget, if you want to know more about what’s happening locally, just get in touch with us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk.

Prices are on the Up

House prices in March had a bit of a resurgence, according to the figures collected by the Halifax in its House Price Index.

The HPI reported that “on a monthly basis, house prices in March were 1.1% higher than in February”, and that “in the latest quarter (January to March) house prices were 0.3% higher than in the preceding three months (October to December)”.

This is good news for the sector, after what some might say was a sluggish start to the year.

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said: “Following a relatively subdued start to the year, the housing market enjoyed something of a resurgence during March, with prices up by just over 1% compared to February. This rise – the first since November last year – means the average property is now worth £254,606, a new record high.”

There’s no doubt, if you’re looking to sell your Gloucestershire home, that now will be a good time to get a great price.

Hidden Equity Revealed

Research from Zoopla, the property data website, says that “almost half of UK homeowners are undervaluing their home, with their properties worth nearly £50,000 more than they realised”.

Essentially, Zoopla’s inaugural Hidden Equity Survey looked at how much homes had been sold for or had had their homes valued at, against how much people thought their properties were worth.

The results show that only “three out of 10 people have an accurate idea of how much their home is worth, with 45% undervaluing and a quarter overvaluing their property.”

Transactions not Taking a Holiday

Many outlets are reporting that March was a bumper time for housing transactions. HMRC released figures that showed how UK residential transactions in March 2021 had been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and also the so-called holidays for Stamp Duty, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and Land Transaction Tax.

Figures show that the “provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential transactions in March 2021 is 190,980”. This is double the number of transactions in March 2020 and 32.2% higher than February 2021.

Additionally, the “provisional seasonally adjusted estimate of UK non-residential transactions in March 2021 is 12,530”. This is 53.0% higher than March 2020 and 24.5% higher than February 2021.

These really do show that the property market has been hugely impacted by the holidays and means more people than ever are buying homes.

Location for Renting Divides the Age Groups

This is an interesting one that we have seen reported and it’s based on a Deposit Protection Service (DPS) survey of tenants who moved in the six months up to January 2021.

The results show that when you look at who is moving where, older people are more likely to be heading to rent in the countryside while younger people are moving to the towns.

Matt Trevett, Managing Director at The DPS said: “The lifting of Government restrictions on house moves following the first 2020 lockdown led to significant shifts across renting demographics as respondents reassessed their needs during the second half of the year. There seems to be a much stronger demand among younger tenants for properties in towns rather than cities and rural locations, which we believe was partly provoked by more widespread working-from-home policies.”

If you would like to know more about sales or lettings in the Gloucestershire area, call us on 01452 300822.

 

 

Home Working: 5 Budget-Friendly Home Office Ideas

5 Budget-Friendly Home Office Ideas

Five budget-friendly tips to help you set up your home office

Working from home is now a major part of people’s lives. For some, working from home has been the norm for many years, while for others the concept is still a little confusing.

What’s important though is that your home office is somewhere you feel comfortable, can work competently and efficiently. Work has to be done, whether it’s in a purpose-built office or in a spare room.

So what should you be thinking about when setting up the perfect home office?

Do you need to separate work life from home life?

Do you need space to make calls, write, use the computer, analyse data?

For most, both of these things will be important, so think about where your space is going to be. Is it a corner in the dining room or kitchen, or will it require the spare room, garden shed or integrated garage to be completely transformed?

Once you’ve decided this, then you can look at what you’re going to do with the space. Make a list of what you need or want in your office space, and then prioritise the items.

  1. Refurbish and repurpose

Setting up a home office doesn’t mean breaking the bank. Do you already have a desk or table in the garage that simply needs to be repainted? Do you have a few jars in the shed gathering dust and cobwebs? These could easily be washed and cleaned and used for pencils and pens and other stationery items. Make the most of what you already have to hand.

  1. Don’t get hung up on buying expensive prints

Here’s an idea, instead of going to big chain stores and buying prints to hang on the wall, print out a favourite photo and buy a frame in which to put it. Not only is this a cheap way to furnish your office, it’s also more personal. Instead of spending a ton of cash on prints of New York skylines or forest glades, you could have an image of a favourite family holiday instead. These will look great and they will be inspirational too!

  1. Be thrifty

If you think you need an office desk, or filing cabinet, then you could be thinking ‘expensive’. But wait. There is no need to hot-foot it to your local office furniture shop. Why buy new when you can find what you need simply by asking around?

It might be that a local company has moved or scaled-down its office operations and is giving things away or getting rid of them cheaply.

A friend or family member might have something you can make use of. Why spend a lot of money when you can find something cheaper or free? Keep an eye out on social media in particular and don’t be afraid to ask.

  1. Use blackboard paint

Feeling creative? If you are one of those people who needs to draw up creative ideas, or throw ideas on a mind map, then blackboard paint is for you.

For just around £7 a tin, you can paint a blackboard area on part of a wall. You can then write on the wall with your creative ideas or formulae, and then simply wipe it clean afterwards. You will save on having to buy any equipment, and paper too, so you’re also doing your bit for the environment.

  1. Double the size with mirrors

Working from home can often mean working in a smaller space than you are used to, but have you thought about mirrors?

A cleverly sited floor-standing mirror will make your space immediately look bigger. Wall-mounted ones will also do the trick, as long as the frames are quite thin. It’s a trick that interior designers and retail outlets use so you should also make use of it. A floor-standing mirror from IKEA will cost from £50 upwards, and large frameless mirrors are only around £15 or £20.

Designing and realising a home office is a personal thing, so get creative. Minimalist or packed with items, with a little thought, creating your home office doesn’t have to be an expensive project.

If you’re thinking of upsizing instead and treating yourself to a property with a ready-made study, call our friendly team at TG Sales & Lettings on 01452 300822 or email us at rachel@tgres.co.uk and we will be delighted to assist you.

 

Plant Life: The Top 5 Best Indoor Plants for Your Home

Interior design trends come and go with the seasons, but there are few trends that stick around long enough to be considered staples in home decorating. Houseplants are one of those evergreen (no pun intended) trends.

Not only do they give a breath of fresh air into your home by bringing the outdoors in, but they also make it look like you’re ‘adulting’ the same way a fully stocked bookshelf does. It shows some level of care and responsibility more than other decor does, which can actually add to the feel of the whole room. Think about your friends’ places who have plants and how you feel when you visit their homes. You’re a bit more impressed and oddly relaxed, right?

Why not recreate that feeling in your own home and take advantage of the other benefits houseplants can offer? A plant is more than just a piece of decor – it’s a living thing that requires care, and in turn, makes you feel more relaxed, along with other mental health benefits one gets from taking care of a living thing.

If you aren’t a plant expert though, this may sound like hard work. Bringing something into your home that requires effort and caring for may just be too much trouble. Therefore, this list is here to help you find the perfect plants for even the most minimal amount of work needed to help them thrive and look great in your home.

Here are the top five indoor plants for your home, regardless of your gardening expertise.

  1. Zamioculas Zamiifolia (ZZ Plant) 

The Zamiculas Zamiifolia or ZZ plant is the perfect plant for anyone who usually (and unintentionally), kills any plant they bring home! These plants are easy to care for as they require such a minimal amount of commitment that you could practically ignore this plant and it would be just as happy. You have probably seen them in places like offices that have low natural light – a good sign this plant can take some neglect.

ZZ plants are well known as the Zanzibar Gem because of how shiny their emerald green leaves are. There’s also a variegation of the ZZ plant that has black leaves called the raven ZZ plant, so if you want a more dramatic plant, you could opt for that version. Both variegations require indirect sun but can tolerate low light, so they are great options for areas of the home that don’t have a lot of natural light like a bathroom or tucked away in a corner. The less light this plant gets, the slower it will grow, but it’ll hang on as-is regardless.

They also don’t need a lot of water since they store moisture in their bulbous roots. If it’s sitting in a spot with indirect sun, you can probably get away with watering it thoroughly once a month and letting it completely dry out between waterings. If it’s sitting in a spot with very little light, it needs even less water.

  1. Monstera Deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)

One of the most recognisable plants, monsteras are super trendy right now and so easy to keep happy. This plant isn’t for anyone with a tight space, however. The split leaves can grow pretty quickly and seem to double in size whenever a new one pops out. If you’ve got the space for it, it can take over and be a focal point of the room, turning your room into an indoor jungle.

  1. Sanseveria (Snake Plant)

This plant is practically invincible and much like the ZZ plant, it can grow in almost any condition and only needs minimal water. There are different varieties of snake plants (dwarf, sword, striped, twisted sister, cylindrical, Kenya hyacinth, golden bird’s nest, etc.), so potentially you could just have a massive collection of them and not have the same two types.

Sanseveria plants are also perfect to fit into smaller spaces since, unlike other houseplants, they grow upwards and not outwards. You won’t need to worry about trimming them back because they also grow incredibly slowly.

  1. Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)

Peace lilies are another easy to care for plant that doesn’t need too much light to thrive, although the more light you can give it, the faster it will grow and bloom those gorgeous white flowers they’re known for. They can grow relatively quickly in medium or low light as well, making them ideal for any room with minimal light. The best part about peace lilies is their tendency to let you know when they need a good drink of water. Their leaves will wilt and flop over, making it look like it’s dying, but if you give it a healthy amount of water, in a few hours the leaves will perk right back up again.

  1. Epipremnum Aureum (Pothos Vine)

For anyone who wants a fast-growing plant that takes up whatever amount of space you give it, a pothos vine is the way to go. They’re easy to care for in the sense that they won’t put up a fuss if neglected for a little while but do require intermittent watering and a medium amount of indirect sun. They work best as hanging plants because their vines grow quite quickly, so giving them room to trail down makes any space look like an indoor garden.

With this in mind, if your property is on the market in Gloucestershire, consider the addition of one of these top five houseplants to help transform your rooms in an instant, by bringing your space to life.