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

Once again, it continues to be a busy time in the property sector. The property market is inextricably linked to wider economic issues, so it’s no surprise that government decisions and the pandemic will affect what’s happening locally.

As far as we are concerned, we continue to be busy and we’re still seeing lots of interest in the Gloucestershire area.

At TG Sales & Lettings, we always keep up to date with the property market, so here’s a helpful roundup of some of the property market news over the past couple of weeks.

Don’t forget, if you want to know more about the local market in particular, drop an email over to us at rachel@tgres.co.uk.

It’s A Moving Business

We often talk about property – which is obvious since it’s our line of business – but we thought we’d start this month’s news update with talk from the removals industry.

Today’s Conveyancer recently ran an interview with a couple of businesses in the removals sector which interestingly stated that for one particular company, stats showed “registrations for their removal services in August 2020 didn’t hit the same peaks as they had done in 2019. However, their data showing the first couple of months of 2021 have shown that demand for the services is indeed still at an all-time high.”

This is good news for the sector and correlates with the market we are seeing, which has faced some uncertainty over recent months.

Market Dips, But Prices Stable

The Halifax House Price Index shows that prices in February 2021 were 5.2 per cent higher than the same month a year earlier. The bank says that the market dipped slightly in February but prices remained stable, with the average property price being £251,697.

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, is quoted as saying: “In the longer-term, the performance of the housing market remains inextricably linked to the health of the wider economy. The pace and extent of recovery are still highly uncertain, and much will depend on the ongoing success of the UK’s vaccination roll out.”

We agree that the market is linked to the economic situation, but at the moment, it’s a buoyant market in Gloucestershire.

Stamp Duty Holiday Extension Welcomed

Perhaps one of the most eagerly-anticipated news items of March was the extension of the temporary stamp duty holiday (in England and Northern Ireland), which now runs until the end of June.

The announcement came as a relief to many homebuyers, especially those mid-transaction, and there is little doubt that the holiday gave the market the shot it needed. Indeed, Rightmove’s property data expert Tim Bannister said that the extension “should give tens of thousands of home-movers the chance to complete before the new deadline”.

Echoing these thoughts was Zoopla, the property portal, which said that buyer demand soared, but warned that supply remained tight, thus pushing prices upwards.

Eviction Ban Extended

One for the landlords here, as many news outlets reported, the ban on tenant evictions has been extended. Zoopla says that under the ban, “bailiff-enforced evictions will not be allowed except in the most serious circumstances, such as cases of fraud or domestic abuse”.

Additionally, “the requirement for landlords to give their tenants a six-month notice period before they can evict them has also been extended until the end of May”.

Good news for tenants, but for landlords who have issues with a tenant, it may not be so welcome. If you need help managing your property portfolio, we’re happy to assist. Just get in touch and we’ll have a chat about what we can do to help alleviate the stress.

Key Info To Be Shared Earlier?

This is an interesting one, reported on by Property Wire. The Law Society and its partners are looking at making “key information for home buyers and sellers available at a much earlier stage in the conveyancing process”.

If the pilot currently being rolled out proves to be successful, it means information normally sourced after conveyancers have been instructed will be available earlier in the process via the TA6 form. This is typically information relating to the property to be purchased, for example, parking arrangements, Japanese knotweed and flooding risks.

This could definitely change how things are done and makes a certain amount of sense, informing a potential buyer of the information they need to make an informed decision .

We’ll keep you updated as this progresses.

In the meantime, if you need help buying or selling, in Gloucestershire then please get in touch on 01452 300822 or email us at rachel@tgres.co.uk.

We’re here to help you get moving.

 

Rishi Rubber Stamps Homes Duty Holiday Extension!

It’s happened – after lots of rumours, and arguments for and against the continuation of the Stamp Duty Holiday in England and Northern Ireland, Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday announced that the Stamp Duty Holiday will be extended until the end of June… and then there will be a further extension to September with different terms.

We firmly believe the news from this week’s budget is great for homebuyers in Gloucestershire who may have been concerned that their transactions would not complete in time to take advantage of the savings – and of course, it also means that some pressure will be lifted on conveyancers, surveyors and lenders.

The original Stamp Duty Holiday in July 2020 was a shot in the arm for the property market with homebuyers positively flocking to take advantage of it.

It was a major boost to the whole market and now this further extension and also the introduction of the new mortgage guarantee scheme will further boost the property sector.

Stamp Duty Holiday Extended

Stamp Duty is a tax on property, with certain amounts needing to be paid dependent on the price of a property. Back in July last year, Mr Sunak told homebuyers that they no longer needed to pay it on the purchase of a main home up to £500,000.

This was fantastic news and boosted the market across the UK – something that was very much needed during these uncertain times.

As the budget approached, there has been much speculation and even petitions calling on the Stamp Duty Holiday to be extended – and finally it has been, until June 30, 2021.

And there’s more!

After June, the price point at which you need to pay Stamp Duty will be £250,000 (originally it was £125,000). After that, from October 1, it’s back to normal and down to £125,000.
This should reduce worries about whether purchases agreed will miss the original deadline for the nil-rate tax.

We believe that Stamp Duty should be due for a more comprehensive overhaul long-term, so expect this to remain in the news over the coming months! Meanwhile, if you’re thinking of selling your property in Gloucestershire, there’s still time to get moving.

Mortgage Guarantee Scheme from April

In addition to the headline-grabbing news about Stamp Duty, Chancellor Rishi Sunak also announced that the Government would guarantee 95 per cent mortgages for property purchases up to £600,000.

This is stellar news because lenders should now have the confidence to lend as the Government will back portions of the mortgages. If you are a first-time buyer wanting to get on to the property ladder, it means you do not have to save quite as much money for a deposit.

This is excellent news for first-time buyers, who want to get on the property ladder and for existing homeowners who want to re-mortgage to release equity or to trade-up.
Give our office a call on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk if you are considering moving in the Gloucestershire area.

What’s Happening in the UK Property Market

And so, we are at the end of February already, and what a busy month we have had at TG Sales & Lettings.

Hot News: Stamp Duty Holiday To Be Extended

The Stamp Duty holiday has caused a huge increase in people wanting to move in the Gloucestershire area before the deadline on 31st March. Unfortunately, conveyancing back-logs and delays in land searches have led to the probability of some buyers missing out.

However, as part of his budget plans, Rishi Sunak is now poised to move the deadline from 31st March to the end of June to avoid people scrambling to complete their transactions by the end of March.

This is good news for the property industry as it will help keep the market buoyant, but it remains to be seen whether this is simply just delaying the inevitable.

For now though, it looks like Gloucestershire buyers will have some further relief.

Lockdown Demand Still Evident

This series of lockdowns over the past year has certainly made home movers think more about where they want to live and what type of property they want to live in.

We are seeing demand for bigger gardens, and for houses with extra bedrooms, studies or garden offices in particular.

Conversely, other home movers are thinking about whether they actually need the space they have currently and whether they could downsize. This all makes for a buoyant market which has certainly seen some big changes over the past year!

Market Attraction for Landlords

According to reports in the Buy Association, the Stamp Duty holiday, combined with relatively low interest rates has seen more and more investors look to the buy-to-let sector.

The research particularly highlights the fact that it is the small companies and the first-time landlords that are being attracted to the opportunities.

If you are interested in investing, we have suitable properties waiting!

Positive News for First Timers

Moneyfacts reports that “the number of mortgage deals available to those with a 10% deposit increased by 117 during the first six weeks of 2021”.

The website, which is very useful if you are interested in finance and money-related matters, says that this is very positive news for first-time buyers. The report goes on to say that the “number of lenders offering mortgages to those with a 10% deposit – at a 90% loan-to-value (LTV) – has also increased from 32 to 47 during this same period”.

With more mortgage deals available, now could be a great time to step onto the property ladder for first time buyers.

House Prices Cooling?

According to the Halifax bank, house prices fell slightly in January, so does this mean there are early signs that the property market is cooling?

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax, said: “The average UK house price slipped by -0.3% in January, the biggest monthly fall since April last year. Whilst this pushed the typical property value down to its lowest level since October, at just under £252,000, prices are around £13,000 higher than a year ago.”

At TG Sales & Lettings we are finding that properties are not remaining on the market for long and are selling for close to asking price. There are fluctuations in the market of course, but we’re pretty confident you can achieve the price you want!

Rental Enquiries On The Up

Research from Paragon Bank shows that residential landlords reported increased levels of enquiries last year.

According to Property Reporter, Paragon’s research showed that “tenant demand reached a five-year high during last year – the highest level since the first quarter of 2016 – as almost a third of landlords reported rising levels of enquiries for rental accommodation”.

This is good news for landlords, and for those thinking about becoming a landlord. Get in touch and we’ll give you some pointers to the type of properties that are good to let out – and with good yields too!

If you want to know our thoughts or you are looking to buy or sell a home, then please get in touch. We love to help – it’s what we do best.

Call us on 01452 300822 or email us at rachel@tgres.co.uk.

 

Government announces new protections for renters

news - Government announces new protections for renters

As the pandemic continues the Government has announced new measures for the Private Rented Sector which includes updates to the COVID-19 guidance on home moving and the possession action process.

Here are the key information points:-

  • Renters will continue to be supported during the new national restrictions with an extension of the ban on bailiff enforcement of evictions for all but the most serious cases for at least six weeks –up to the end of 21 February 2021 – with measures kept under review.
  • There are exemptions for the most serious cases which are illegal occupation, false statement, anti-social behaviour, perpetrators of domestic abuse in the social sector, where a property is unoccupied following death of a tenant and serious rent arrears greater than 6 months’ rent.
  • Court rules and procedures introduced in September in response to the pandemic remain in place and courts will continue to prioritise the most serious cases such as anti-social behaviour, illegal occupiers and those committing domestic abuse offences in the social sector.
  • All landlords will continue to be required to give six month notice periods to tenants until at least 31 March except in the most serious circumstances.
  • As well as this, a new mediation pilot will further support landlords and renters who face court procedures and potential eviction from next month (February). It will offer mediation as part of the possession process to try and help landlords and tenants to reach a mutual agreement and keep people in their homes.

 

Commenting on the announcement, Isobel Thomson, safeagent Chief Executive, said:

“As we continue to battle the pandemic, it is right that government look for ways to support those who need it most. The announcement of the mediation pilot is a welcome move, formalising what many of our agents have been successfully doing since the start of the outbreak, supporting landlords and their tenants experiencing financial hardship. By working with both parties and helping agree payment plans, agents have played a crucial role in ensuring tenancies are maintained. 

“While there is help for tenants, it is no less important that we also consider landlords who themselves may be suffering. If they go under who will house their tenants? We want to see support for every part of the sector – landlords and tenants – to ensure that the important role the PRS plays in providing a home to 20% of households in England is able to continue.”

Source: SafeAgent January 2021

Christmas Opening Hours & Protocol

tgres christmas hours

INFORMATION FOR MANAGED TENANTS – WINTER PRECAUTIONS, INFORMATION & CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS

 

Dear tenants

Winter precautions, office opening hours & protocol for emergencies during the festive period

As we are now within the winter months and approaching the festive holiday period, we wish to take this opportunity to contact all tenants to remind you of the precautions required to ensure that your home is safe and secure during the winter months.

Please ensure that your home is heated sufficiently during the cold months and we also advise that bathrooms and kitchens are adequately ventilated when in use to prevent the build-up of condensation/mould.

Should you have an outside tap in your home please ensure this is securely covered with insulation to stop the tap / pipework from freezing, which could result in a burst pipe damaging your home and contents.

As the festive period is a prime time for people to be away from home, we strongly request that if you are planning on leaving your home empty please ensure the heating is left on sufficiently to keep the property from getting too cold resulting in burst pipes.  The recommendation is that boilers are left on, on a permanent setting no lower than 10 degrees to help prevent pipes from freezing.

We would recommend that you arrange for a neighbour/friend to check the property on your behalf should you be away for more than two consecutive days during the winter months to ensure the landlords Building Insurance and your own Contents Insurance does not become void.

Should you have an emergency issue out of our office hours for the festive period, we do have local contractors on call who will attend to EMERGENCIES ONLY (damage to property or danger to life) at their own discretion. As the office will not be manned over the festive period then please email in to info@tgres.co.uk as this will be monitored regularly.  Please understand that there are limitations on what contractors can do over the festive period when suppliers/merchants are closed.

Please ensure that you are experiencing a true emergency (damage to property or danger to life) and that the issue cannot be resolved during our office opening hours. Please remember that if a contractor is called out as an emergency when this is not justified, you will unfortunately be liable for all costs which will be charged at bank holiday rates.

  • If you have a water leak then please TURN THE WATER OFF AT THE MAINS IMMEDIATELY. Please ensure you know where this is.
  • If you have a gas leak then please call TRANSCO IMMEDITATELY on 0800 111 999.
  • If you have total loss of water or electricity then please check your supplier’s website first as it may be a supply issue.

 

OPENING HOURS

Christmas Eve                   9am – 1pm

Christmas Day                   CLOSED

Boxing Day                         CLOSED

27th December                  CLOSED

28th December                  CLOSED

29th December                  9am – 3pm

30th December                  9am – 3pm

31st December                  9am – 3pm

NEW YEARS DAY               CLOSED

Saturday 2nd January       9.30am – 1pm

 

 

EMAIL: info@tgres.co.uk

 

 

 

 

I LIVE IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE, CAN I STILL MOVE HOME IN TIER 2?

As we enter Tier 2 restrictions many people are wondering if you can still move home. The answer is Yes!
Yes, you can still move home. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said that estate and letting agents, and removals firms, can continue to operate.

In a message issued to the housing industry, he also announced that home-hunters are still allowed to go on property viewings, show homes and sales suites can remain open, and mortgage valuations and surveys can take place.

However, all parties involved in the home moving process must follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing and wearing a face covering. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

 

Can I book a removals firm?

 

Yes, removals firms are still able to do their jobs, but again, providing that all parties follow the safety guidelines. It’s advised, however, that you do as much of the packing as you can yourself, and if at all possible, give your belongings a quick spray or wipe-down with a disinfectant before they’re handled by someone else.
When the removals’ team is around, do your best to maintain distance and wash your hands regularly. Unfortunately you won’t be able to offer them refreshments – which of course they’ll understand.
It’s also recommended that you book your removals company as early as possible. In many areas they’re very busy and it may be a challenge for you to find one available at a short notice.

 

I’m in the middle of buying a home, should I expect any delays during lockdown?

 

It’s possible that in some areas the conveyancing process will be slower than usual right now.
This is because some solicitors and agents may be operating at limited capacity, or are very busy working through deals that have stacked up since earlier in the year.
If you’re about to enter into a legally binding contract, you should discuss the possible implications of one of the parties being affected by having to self-isolate or quarantine.  Ask your legal representative if they can include provisions to manage these risks in the contracts.
If someone in your household – or the other party’s – began to show any flu symptoms just as you’re about to complete, you’ll need to postpone things by a few weeks. The government says we should all remain flexible in this sort of scenario, so it would be ideal if your contracts can reflect that.

 

Can I go on a property viewing?

 

Yes, if you’re looking to move home, you can continue going to viewings. If you can, try to do a virtual viewing first though. It’ll reduce the number of viewings agents do, which also minimises the spread of germs. It could also save you time, because you’ll have a better idea of whether a house is worth seeing or not.
When viewing a property in person, make sure you wear a face mask, avoid touching surfaces, and wash your hands or use sanitiser before and after. There shouldn’t be more than two households within the property at any one time, and viewings should only be arranged by appointment, so ‘open houses’ aren’t happening at the moment.
If you’re selling your home and are having interested buyers come around to have a look, open all the inside doors beforehand so they don’t have to touch the door handles. It’s recommended that you’re not in the property during the viewing, and that you disinfect all surfaces after.

 

Let us help make your NEW YEAR 2021 dreams come true and get you moved to your new home!
Give us a call or email to book your FREE PROPERTY APPRAISAL.
No obligation but you might be suprised what your home is worth!
Call 01452 300822 (Gloucester Office) or 01453 243333 (Stonehouse Office) and get booked in.
http://www.tgres.co.uk/valuation

Courts will Re-open for Housing Possession Hearings Monday 24th August 2020

courts

The government has confirmed that the evictions ban is to end on the 23rd August and that the courts will re-open for possession hearings the next day, Monday 24th August. The announcement was made by Lord Greenhalgh;
“This is an important step towards ending the lockdown and will protect landlords’ important right to regain their property.

Work is underway with the judiciary, legal representatives and the advice sector on arrangements, including new rules, to ensure that judges have all the information necessary to make just decisions and that the most vulnerable tenants can get the help they need when possession cases resume.”

This last paragraph is a reference to the pre-action protocols that the government has been working on in recent weeks that will require landlords to work much more closely with financially struggling tenants before a judge will allow a possession hearing to be granted.

Covid-19 Update 13th May

covid 19 update

The announcement last night that the restrictions have been lifted on the property market is great news, which is vital to restarting the economy, but it does come with a huge responsibility for agents. Guidance has only just been published today by Government and we are waiting on more specific notes, which are expected today.

 

We are working hard behind the scenes to ensure we can work safely for us and our customers. We will not be reopening the office doors to the public but we would still love to talk to you and if you have something to sell or rent we are here to help………..

………we are just trying to work towards the new “normal” and adhering to Safety Guidance is paramount.

Please call us on 01452 300822 or email info@tgres.co.uk.

Stay Safe.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52641373

Coronavirus Procedure

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IT IS BUSINESS AS USUAL! However, due to Government Guidelines for social distancing our offices will be closed to the general public for the time being.

If you are due to move into a new home, we have systems in place to ensure this is not disrupted so please call us for more information.

If you are a tenant and have a maintenance issue, please email to the contact below or call 01452 300822 and this will be dealt with as usual.

PLEASE SEE A LIST OF EMAILS BELOW FOR SPECIFIC CONTACTS

MAINTENANCE – info@tgres.co.uk

ACCOUNTS – info@tgres.co.uk

SALES – info@tgres.co.uk

LETTINGS – info@tgres.co.uk

 

We are trying to run the business and keep things as normal as we possibly can, but also taking advice from the correct partners to ensure we have everything in place to limit any potential disruption to the tenants, landlords and vendors. However, this is a rapidly developing situation so things may change quickly. In the meantime, if you have any queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.

We thank you for your co-operation and understanding at this time.

Team TG

 

 

Finally! The Electrical Safety Regulations are to become Mandatory

Electrical Testing

The first and second full working weeks of January 2020 have already been super busy and we see some new legislation coming into force with an announcement from Government that  is The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020

 

What does this mean for landlords?

In short, there will no longer be this “should we, shouldn’t we test electrics” attitude. Understandably, it is difficult for anyone to understand that if legislation is not in place, why should they be forced to carry out testing. But, with the best will in the world, letting agents explain over and over, that should an accident or fire (electrics related) occur, the landlord WILL be liable. This has been the case forever.

 

Time Frames – Another Transitionary Period

With the approval of the Houses of Commons and Lords, landlords and agents will need to ensure electrical installation inspections and testing are carried out for ALL NEW tenancies in England from 1 July 2020 or from 1 April 2021 for EXISTING tenancies. This helps with planning and preparation for landlords, agents and of course, electrical engineers.

Every fixed electrical installation will be inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person.

 

What about the Electrical Certificate ?

As per the regulations landlord is required to obtain a report of the results of the inspection and test, supply it to each tenant within 28 days and retain a copy until the next inspection is due.
A copy of the most recent report must be supplied to any new tenant before they take occupation, or provided to any prospective tenant within 28 days of a request from the prospective tenant.
If requested, the report must be provided to the local housing authority within 7 days.

 

Enforcement

The Regulations will require local authorities to enforce the regulations. The local authority will have the power to arrange and impose remedial action.

 

Breaches, if proven, can result in a financial penalty of up to £30,000.