LATEST PROPERTY MARKET UPDATE JUNE 2024

During June we’ve seen the UK property market continuing its path of cautious optimism. While the fast growth seen in previous years has eased, a sense of stability is emerging, underpinned by rising buyer demand and a potential shift in interest rates.

Let’s delve into the key trends shaping the market this month.

Market Recovery Gathers Momentum

The good news for buyers and sellers is that the property market is experiencing a steady recovery. After a period of uncertainty, house prices are showing signs of growth again. According to Nationwide Building Society, May 2024 saw a 0.4% increase in average house prices, bringing the annual growth rate to 1.3%. This indicates a market that’s found its footing and is on an upward trajectory.

Regional Variations Remain

While the national picture is one of growth, it’s important to remember that the UK property market is a patchwork of regional variations. Scotland continues to lead the pack with a significant 6.7% annual increase in house prices, while England and Wales are seeing more modest rises of 1% and 1.3% respectively. Northern Ireland has also shown steady growth of around 4%. Understanding these regional differences is crucial for both buyers and sellers when making informed decisions. If you would like to know more about the Gloucestershire region, please call us on 01452 300822 to discuss.

The Interest Rate Question

A significant factor influencing the market is the ongoing speculation around interest rates. With inflation falling closer to the Bank of England’s 2% target, a potential base rate cut is on the horizon. This could be a game-changer for the market, making mortgages more affordable and potentially boosting buyer demand. Economists predict the first cut could come as early as August 2024. The impact of this on house prices remains to be seen, but it’s likely to contribute to a more vibrant market.

Election Jitters or Business as Usual?

The upcoming general election in July has caused some to wonder if it will stall market activity. However, experts suggest this is unlikely to happen. In contrast to past elections with significant policy shifts, the current political landscape doesn’t propose drastic changes impacting the housing market. The first interest rate cut, however, is expected to have a more significant impact on market activity this year.

Supply and Demand: Finding Balance

The good news for buyers is that there are signs of a healthy increase in the number of properties coming onto the market. This increased supply is expected to keep house price inflation in check throughout the year. While significant price hikes might be off the table for now, the steady flow of properties ensures buyers have more options in a balanced market.

What Does This Mean for You?

Landlords: The rental market continues to see high demand, with rents rising at a slower pace than the previous year. Zoopla reports an average increase of 6.6% for new lets in April 2024. While this presents an opportunity for stable returns, it’s important to remember tenant retention is key. Focusing on good communication, responsive maintenance, and ensuring your property remains competitive in terms of rent and amenities will be crucial for attracting and keeping quality tenants.

Buyers: With a potential interest rate cut on the horizon, affordability might improve in the coming months. However, with increased competition due to rising demand, it’s still a seller’s market in many areas. Being prepared with a well-researched offer and a strong financial position will be key to securing your dream property in Gloucestershire.

Sellers: While significant price rises are less likely, the market conditions remain favourable for sellers. At TG Sales & Lettings we suggest focusing on presenting your property in its best light through minor improvements, home-staging and competitive pricing to attract buyers quickly in a market with more options.

The Bottom Line

The UK property market is moving towards cautious optimism. House prices are showing signs of growth, with regional variations offering opportunities for both buyers and sellers. The potential for a base rate cut later this year could be a major driver of market activity. With an increased number of properties coming to the market, a sense of balance is emerging. Whether you’re a buyer, seller, or landlord, staying informed and seeking expert advice will be crucial for navigating the market effectively.

TG Sales & Lettings are your local estate agents in Gloucestershire. We are delighted to bring you our property market updates each month. If you are thinking of buying, selling or letting a property in Gloucestershire, please get in touch.

Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

LATEST PROPERTY MARKET UPDATE MAY 2024

With headlines in the news about stagnating house prices and rising mortgage rates, May has been a challenging month, with the cost-of-living crisis still biting homeowners. However, it’s not all doom and gloom! Owning a home is still beneficial, offering long-term living and financial stability.

Big News!

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that we’re heading to the polls on Thursday, July 4th, 2024.
This forthcoming general election could finally bring some stability to the property market, which is great news for buyers and sellers who’ve been dealing with a shaky few months. With inflation nearing the Bank of England’s target and a potential interest rate drop on the horizon, things are looking up. Expect a busy second half of the year for property deals!

How Can First Time Buyers Get on the Property Ladder?

The end of April saw the release of the BSA (Building Societies Association) report which confirmed that first-time buyers currently face the most challenging conditions in seven decades to get onto the property ladder, with an increasing reliance on the Bank of Mum and Dad, or having two high incomes.

The report highlights that home ownership among young adults has been declining for twenty years but, while saving enough money to put down a deposit has long been difficult, the squeeze has been tightened in recent months because of mortgage interest rate increases.

It’s not hard to see why more young people are opting to move back in with their parents, with this now being the most commonly reported living arrangement for those aged 18-34. This is in stark contrast to the figures for 1997 which showed that those in the same age bracket were most likely to be living as a couple with children!

Many first-time buyers are undeterred though, with recent Bank of England figures showing that over the past three years, over a million mortgages extending beyond the state pension age of the borrower have been taken out. Many of those loans have been approved for applicants under the age of 30 as high mortgage rates lead people to opt for extended repayment periods to keep their costs affordable.

Twice the number of homeowners under 30s with ultra-long mortgages can be seen today when compared with two years ago, while the number of under 40s has also seen a 30% increase. It’s also clear that first-time buyers are adapting to higher borrowing costs by targeting smaller, more affordable properties. This adjustment is helping to maintain activity levels in the market with a steady flow of new buyers entering the market.

Base Rate Held at 5.25% – Good News or Bad News?

The Bank of England most recently held the base rate at 5.25%, despite predictions that there would be a cut.

Meanwhile, three of the UK’s top lenders announced they would be raising their rates on fixed deal mortgages. NatWest, Santander, and Nationwide are the latest three to follow their rivals who increased mortgage rates after expectations about the speed and extent of Bank of England interest rate cuts were scaled back. That’s the bad news!

However, a rate cut is expected, followed by further cuts later in the year. That’s the good news!

In more good news, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced that the rate of inflation dropped to 2.3% in April, its lowest level in almost three years.

A Month of Ups and Downs!

May 2024 was a month of ups and downs in the UK lettings market! The rental market remains robust, with high demand pushing average rents to record levels which is positive for landlords and investors. However, some tenants are still struggling with the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and its knock-on effect on the number of homes available to rent.

Some good news for landlords has been released in Propertymark’s latest insights report , which shows signs of the rental market beginning to stabilise after a rocky period towards the end of 2023 which saw the percentage of arrears peak at 4%.

This month’s report reveals that since the start of the year, the number of tenants in arrears has been falling, and has now reached a low point of 2.5%, indicating that landlords can start to breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to less frustration over rent collection.

Has There Been An Increase In Landlord Confidence?

In a recent report from PayProp, their latest Rental Confidence Index revealed that an astonishing 54.5% of the landlords involved in their survey were going through the process of selling their properties!
It’s not surprising, then, that half of all tenants who have moved during the last year have done so because their landlord took the decision to sell up. By contrast, the percentage of tenants who left their homes due to eviction stood at under 12%.

However, the announcement of amendments to the Renter’s Reform Bill has led to positivity amongst UK landlords. In a further poll commissioned by PayProp, the number of respondents who reported a negative view of the private rental sector fell compared with those asked the same question in 2022. Over half of landlords are now feeling more positive about the sector’s future.
In a smart move by first time buyers, 66.7% of properties being sold by landlords are being snapped up by first timers. But this does mean that the number of private rentals is dwindling – an issue that is now seeing prospective tenants fiercely competing to offer on properties.

This year we are already seeing increased demand for sustainable homes. Energy-efficient features and eco-friendly designs are becoming more sought-after, alongside smart security, energy management tools and automated heating systems.

TG Sales & Lettings is delighted to bring you our property market updates each month. If you are thinking of buying or selling a property in Gloucestershire please get in touch on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk.

INTERIOR TRENDS May 2024

INTERIOR TRENDS: FURNITURE, COLOURS AND STYLES FOR YOUR HOME IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Are you planning on giving your Gloucestershire home a makeover? Maybe it’s time to ditch that tired old rug and sofa you’ve been hanging on to for years and drag your home into a brand new year?

For inspiration, here are some of the top interior trends that we absolutely love!

Vintage

Homeowners are increasingly looking for ways in which to make their homes stand out, instead of the usual mass-produced, flat-pack furniture that’s functional but not unique. Think antique sideboards and cabinets in dark shades of brown.

And the more unique the story is behind it, the better! Mooch around antique shops to find that perfect quirky piece.

Sustainable

As a society, we’re more aware than ever of the damage that’s being done to our planet, and that’s reflected in the growing trend of buying individual items of furniture, instead of mass-produced products.

This also ties in with the vintage trend. Furniture that was built 50 years ago not only has its own story, but it will also have been built to last. A few scratches add to its character and it won’t fall apart and get discarded so easily.

Multi-Functional Space

With the huge increase in people working from home, our houses have increasingly become our offices too.

For those who aren’t lucky enough to have a dedicated space for a home office, the demand for multi-functional furniture is increasing.

Consequently, items such as storage ottomans are perfect for using as both a footrest at the end of a long day and also a place to store your laptop and any paperwork out of sight in the evening.

Minimalist

Not only have people been working from home more, they’ve also been spending more time at home in general, with many living rooms serving as an office, gym and bar at times, often on the same day!

As a result of this increased time spent indoors, the desire to declutter and make more use of the space available will be a growing trend.

This also relates to the trend of having multi-functional furniture and space.

Natural Materials

Furniture that’s made from natural materials is also set to be a big hit, with designers constantly coming up with new ways of combining natural materials.

This can be anything from wood and marble to ceramics and metals as designers combine textures and styles.

Earthy Colours

One of the biggest trends set to drop is the use of earthy colours such as mustards, greens, beiges, blues and browns.

Colours that we associate with nature and the outdoors are going to be popular as people continue to reconnect with the outside environment and try to bring it into their homes.

Shades of Pink

Love them or hate them, soft and neutral shades of pink are another top trend when it comes to colours.

It’s light and airy, which gives rooms a more spacious feel, and it goes with most other colours, so finding furniture to complement the colour scheme will be easy.

Ocean Waves and Distant Shores

The increased time we’ve all spent indoors has heightened many people’s longing to get away and take a break, and that’s reflected in the trend for colours that relate to soft sea blues and cloudless skies.

Blue is also a very tranquil and calming colour, so it’s perfect for anyone who’s spending more time indoors and looking to destress.

House Plants

Following on from the trend for earthy colours, indoor plants are also back in fashion.

Not only do plants add colour and life to a room, they also freshen the air and bring the outdoor environment into the home.

And with such a wide variety of plants to choose from, there’s something suitable for any room in the house.

Individuality

It’s not just vintage furniture that’s trending, any items that could be considered unique and individual are currently in fashion.

As we’ve been spending more time in our homes and less time in the office and out socialising, there’s a noticeable shift towards stamping our own imprint on our homes. Rather than go for the tried and trusted functional furniture that we might have previously chosen, there’s an increasing trend towards individual furniture that reflects our own personalities.

Think animal-shaped lamps and tropical theme light shades for example, or bright and bold statement rugs.

 

APRIL 2024 PROPERTY MARKET UPDATE

With the first quarter of the year now behind us, last month brought a positive forecast as some of the uncertainty of the past 12 months is starting to ebb away. Thanks to the latest developments in the economy, the property market is looking brighter for the next few months as we move forward towards summer.

Inflation Set to Impact Mortgage Rates

According to the Office for National Statistics, March saw the Consumer Price Index fall to 3.2%, taking the UK’s economy ever-closer to the target of 2% set by the government. This looks like good news for the property market, thanks to the influence it will have on mortgage rates.

The most up-to-date data from the Bank of England shows that the flurry of initial activity seen at the beginning of the year has now begun to calm. February saw a significant increase in the number of mortgage approvals as mortgage rate cuts prompted market activity. However in March, the number of agreed sales dropped to 2% above 2017-2019’s average, down from February’s 13% above.

Since mortgage rates now are almost back to the same level as seen in late December, it looks unlikely that the pace of activity seen so far this year will be maintained into the summer months.

Potential Action on Leasehold Maintenance Contracts

Homeowners locked in private new-build communal area maintenance contracts have a glimmer of hope on the horizon as over 40 Conservative MPs call for a ban. As the Leasehold Bill slowly works through Parliament, the Housing Secretary is now under pressure to include a “Fleecehold” ban to help the millions of people living under this model and facing steep estate fees.

The CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) has also recently recommended bringing an end to this model too, putting forward a proposal that local councils be required to adopt new housing estate public amenities once complete. According to the housing minister, the government is now paying careful consideration to this report, which also suggests introducing a property agent regulatory body to address leasehold issues and raise standards across the industry.

With news of homeowners facing shocking increases as high as 274% in their annual service charge bills for 2024, the prospect of the some positive change in the status quo can only be cause for cautious celebration.

Potential Stamp Duty Cut on The Cards?

The Government is allegedly considering lowering stamp duty in the Autumn Statement as part of its bid!

A recent report in The Times suggests that the Treasury is considering moving the stamp duty threshold from £250,000 to £300,000. This would mean that nearly half of all people buying homes would have no stamp duty to pay, saving up to £2,500!

New stamp duty plans were rumoured to appear in the spring budget statement, however, plans were removed due to worries about fuelling inflation.

However, as inflation is now expected to fall, Government officials could now be reconsidering this as a “pre-election giveaway” to drum up support ahead of the general election.

A year is a long time in politics though, so it’s important to understand that current stamp duty will remain in place until March 2025. Current fees mean that home purchases under £250,000 will not be subject to stamp duty, a 5% fee applies to homes from £250,001 to £925,000 5%, 10% for homes up to £1.5m and 12% for homes thereafter. This gives some certainty for homebuyers in the short term.

Watering Down of Renter Reform

The news isn’t so good for renters, though, as the government set out changes to the planned protections in England for renters following concerns from a number of Conservative MPs that the original proposal would be too much of a burden for landlords.

The latest alterations include requiring tenants to commit to at least a 6-month contract rather than being able to end their tenancy with 2-months’ notice from day one and, most controversially, delaying the no-fault eviction ban on existing tenancies pending the outcome of the justice secretary’s assessment of the court system’s ability to handle repossession claims.

One positive proposed change, however, is the introduction of a right to local council homelessness support for tenants who find themselves evicted under the new grounds for possession.

While this watering down of the Renters (Reform) Bill is sure to be received negatively by those tenants who are aware of its existence, recent research published by the TDS Charitable Foundation shows that a surprising 83% of people who are currently living in a rental property lack any awareness of the Bill’s proposals. Of those who know about the proposed reforms, most are pessimistic about their ability to result in tangible changes. 42% believe the Bill will change little about the rental sector, while 37% believe it is unlikely to be implemented at all.

Good News for Landlords as Tenants Stay Longer

While tenants may be less than thrilled with the latest developments in the property market, things are looking up for landlords as The DPS (The Deposit Protection Service) released its research that revealed tenants are staying in their properties for a third longer than in 2020.

Today’s typical tenancy is now lasting for 924 days, a significant increase over the 706 days seen four years ago. It appears that a combination of the cost-of-living crisis, high rents, and a competitive market for new rental properties are leading to renters remaining for longer periods in their homes.

In further positive news for landlords, Octane Capital reports that the typical buy-to-let property yield has now increased to 5.8%, up from 4.9% over the last two years, and while running costs have gone up over the same period, landlords are still enjoying attractive net profits overall. This report, paired with the proposed delay in the no-fault eviction ban, is likely to encourage existing landlords to remain in the market for the foreseeable future.

As we move further into the second quarter of the year, time will tell how the property market will develop. Traditionally, spring sees more homes being listed for sale, so we will wait with anticipation to see what May has in store!

What Next?

We are delighted to bring you our property market updates each month. If you are thinking of buying or selling a property in Gloucestershire, please get in touch with us at TG Sales & Lettings on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk.

CAN THE COLOUR OF YOUR FRONT DOOR HELP SELL YOUR HOME FASTER

When people come to look around your property, they make very fast judgements. One of the first impressions they’ll see of your home is the front view, and this will either be on our website, property portal, or as they drive past and see the ‘for sale’ sign. That’s why kerb appeal is so important, as it helps get buyers in the right frame of mind before they actually view your home.

You may be surprised to learn that research suggests that the colour of your front door could play a part in the sale of your home too, so pay attention to the little details when your property is on the market.

Choosing the perfect front door

Many property experts believe that the front door is extremely important when it comes to selling a house. When you arrive at a property, you’ll notice that most estate agents will chat to you on the front step before opening the door, so in fact, quite a lot rests on the humble front door that you take for granted, when it comes to making a first impression.

However, whilst your front door is important, there’s not one single colour of front door that will specifically make your home sell faster, instead, it’s down to picking a colour that complements your home and the kind of style buyers in your area will want.

For example, when it comes to rustic country homes, natural wood with a bit of varnish will suffice, as potential buyers are likely to be looking for a stripped down, natural look. If your property is near the coast, then seaside colours work well in your décor, so you could try and incorporate a maritime theme for example, and have a blue front door.

City dwellers tend to like bold colours for their front door. If you walk around big cities like London or Manchester, you’ll see Victorian terraces with bright red or blue doors, or sleek and sophisticated black doors. These are often finished off with shiny letters and numbers and a vintage brass knocker, adding instant sophistication to the property.

If your house isn’t period and doesn’t have a particular style, then stick to the basics such as blue or white. Just make sure the door has been power-washed or painted so it looks nice and clean.

Other ways to boost kerb appeal

If you want to boost the kerb appeal of your property in general, you don’t have to stop at your front door. If you’re renting a power-washer, use it on your windows, window frames, paths, driveway, and anywhere else that’s a little bit tired or grubby. This will instantly make your home look more cared for and cheerful.

Concentrate on your garden too. Don’t just mow the lawn, make sure you trim the edges, cut back shrubs and do some weeding. A scruffy front garden will make people assume that the rest of your home is also unkempt. Just an hour spent in your garden doing these chores can mean you garner much more interest.

Tidy up your home’s exterior

When you’re selling your home in Gloucestershire, you’ll no doubt spend a lot of time on the inside putting things in boxes or throwing them away, and this kind of decluttering makes your home far more attractive. Unfortunately, a common mistake is not spending as much time on the outside of your home. If you have wheelie bins outside your home, hide them away. Either invest in a bin tidy or store them down the side of your house, so visitors don’t have to see or smell them when they walk past.

You should also complete any DIY jobs that need finishing off around the exterior of your property. Fix any guttering, broken fences or gates, so your home looks neat and tidy when it’s time for us to take the photos.

Add some greenery too

A couple of plant pots flanking your front door can make for a welcoming entrance, and if you’re an amateur gardener, then minimal plants can make a big difference to the look of your home. Keep them well-watered and neat, so that you don’t end up with a front garden full of dried out or dead plants, and they can be an excellent investment when you’re trying to sell.

While there’s no magic colour or style of front door that will sell your home, sorting out its kerb appeal in general will make it more likely to catch the eye of a potential buyer. If you’re looking to sell your home in Gloucestershire, have a drive around your area and look at other properties that are already displaying a ‘sold’ sign. You can take a peek at how they look from the outside, giving you an insight into what will interest local buyers.

For expert buying and selling property advice, contact our team of professionals at TG Sales & Lettings on 01452 300822 or call into our office.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TENANTS IN COMMON AND JOINT TENANTS?

It’s Important Not To Overlook The Sometimes Dull But Essential Details That Go With Purchasing A Property

If you’re buying a home in Gloucestershire with your partner or a friend, you may be very excited about the process. But it’s important not to overlook all the dull but essential details that go with it.

Joint ownership brings legal implications along with it that you should address straight away, and one key question is whether you’ll be holding your property as “Joint Tenants” or “Tenants in Common”. At TG Sales & Lettings, we’ve realised that many prospective buyers have no idea what the differences are between these two terms! So, here is an overview of everything you need to know.

What Does “Joint Tenants” Mean?

If you are “joint tenants”, you each have an equal right to the entire property. As many as four owners can hold joint tenancy of a property, but it does raise some potential legal issues. Legally, you’re deemed to be a single individual, so you need just one mortgage, and when you want to sell the property, it must be a joint decision.

If one joint tenant passes away, the other joint owners are automatically left the property under a rule called “Right of Survivorship”. Since you can’t pass on the property in a will as a joint tenant, that’s a major consideration to keep in mind when choosing how you’ll hold the property.

What Does “Tenants in Common” Mean?

If you hold the property as “tenants in common”, each party will own their own separate share, which may differ in terms of size. So, as an example, one party may own 20%, one may own 30%, and one may own 50%.

When you sell the property, all parties must agree, but if you’re “tenants in common”, you can leave your share of the property to somebody other than your co-buyers in your will. Although legally speaking you can technically each have your own mortgage for your share of the property, few lenders offer these mortgages.

An Overview of The Similarities and Differences Between Tenants in Common and Joint Tenants

Agreement to Sell – Both joint tenants and tenants in common must agree with each other when it comes to selling the property.

Ownership Division – Joint tenants have an equal right to the entire property while tenants in common hold their own share.

Bequeathing the Property in a Will – Joint tenants cannot pass on the property in their will; their share passes automatically to the other joint owners, while tenants in common can pass their share to anyone they choose.

Joint Mortgages – joint tenants must have a joint mortgage for the property. Although tenants in common are not legally required to do so, they may find it difficult to find a lender who is prepared to split up the mortgage between tenants.

Is It Best to Be Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common?

You need to decide whether tenancy in common or a joint tenancy is best for your individual circumstances. In general, couples who are buying a home together find that holding the property as joint tenants is the best option for them, while people who are buying with friends or as part of a group of buyers usually find that a tenancy in common is the right choice for them.

If you’re ready to buy a property with your partner or friends in Gloucestershire, send us an email at rachel@tgres.co.uk or give us a call on 01452 300822 now. Our friendly team at TG Sales & Lettings are looking forward to helping you find the right home for you.

LATEST PROPERTY MARKET UPDATE MARCH 2024

Now that we’re moving into Spring, the UK property market is looking set for a buoyant year to come. Home movers appear to be more active as we enter the new season, which is a cause for cautious optimism, although pricing homes realistically is still going to be essential for some time to come.

Asking Prices On The Rise

According to figures from Rightmove, the first two months of 2024 have seen typical new seller asking prices rise by £3091, equivalent to 0.9%. That means average prices have gone up year-on-year by 0.1% following the annual falls that have been experienced since summer 2023. This takes the average asking price for a UK property to £363,839.

Yet, while this appears to be a promising indicator of a return to buyer confidence, it is important to keep in mind that price-sensitivity is still strong amongst prospective purchasers. Moneyfactscompare.co.uk reports that currently, it is taking 16 days longer for sellers to secure a buyer when compared with this time in 2023, since buyers are taking extra time to consider all their options carefully.

On the upside, though, plenty of properties were listed on the market over the past few weeks. In fact, the figure is up on last year’s numbers by 7%. Not only that, but buyer enquiries have also increased by 7%, which suggests a boost in market activity is on the way.

Mortgage Rates Falling

Stability is wavering in the mortgage marketplace, with mortgage products’ typical shelf-life having seen a dramatic fall from a high of 28 days at the beginning of last month – the highest number seen since this time last year – to just 15 days at the beginning of March – the lowest figure seen for 6 months.

Furthermore, as lenders are adjusting the deals that they are offering on a regular basis, the average interest rates for five-year and two-year fixed mortgages rose over the last month for the first time in six months, bringing the run of consecutive drops to an end. Currently the typical 2-year fixed rate has gone up to 5.76% from 5.56%, while the typical 5-year fixed rate has gone up to 5.34% from 5.18%. The Bank of England has also announced that the base rate will hold at 5.25% for a fifth consecutive time.

More Mortgage Products On The Table

The good news for borrowers is that fixed rates are still lower in March than they were at the beginning of the year and there is no shortage of good options on offer. In fact, the number of mortgage deals now available is at the highest level seen since early 2008. At the beginning of this month there were no less than 6004 different products to select from. This is up from 5787 a month ago, and 4372 this time last year.

For borrowers looking for a high LTV deal, there are more products to choose from today than at any other time in the last four years. Those who have a deposit of 10% can select from 761 products, while those who can afford a deposit of 5% have a selection of 318 products.

Rental Instructions Up But Costs Stay High

According to latest figures from Zoopla’s Hometrack Report, while there are 20% more properties available on the rental market nationwide than there were this time last year, the current supply remains below the average number before 2020’s Covid pandemic. Rental affordability also remains at its highest point for a decade, and it’s unlikely to improve any time soon without further expansion in the rental supply.

More than 50% of all private rental properties are now costing tenants over £1000 a month, which is close to double the number seen 5 years ago. In 2021, no local market outside Southern England had rents that were more than £1000 per month. Now, the only region where this still holds true is in the Northeast of England.

On the upside for prospective tenants, though, the recent drive to “Build To Rent” is creating new rental markets in city centres. More than 90,000 homes have been built under this initiative nationwide in the past few years, and more are in the pipeline. Hopefully, this may ease some tension in the rental market and help to curtail rental inflation in the near future.

Disappointing Budget Does Not Deter Buyers

Recent studies showed that just over 80% of prospective buyers were holding off on their decision to purchase a property until after the Spring Budget in the hope that some kind of pro-buyer announcement would be made. Sadly, despite rumours of the return of the 99% mortgage, no such policy found its way into the chancellor’s speech.

Nevertheless, despite the discouraging news from number 11, buyers haven’t been deterred from the housing market. 78% of would-be purchasers are still saying that they plan to carry on with their homebuying plans, even if Jeremy Hunt didn’t deliver the goods this time. Only 14% are now choosing to delay their decision, while just 8% are cancelling their plans completely following the government’s disappointing news according to propertyreporter.co.uk.

Looking Forward To Easter And Beyond

As Spring gets underway, the market is looking increasingly positive. Metrics for sales, new instructions, and buyer demand are all looking good, and buyers are enjoying a greater range of options, since more properties are being listed. As long as serious sellers present their properties to their best advantage and price them realistically, they should be able to secure a purchaser for their home this Spring.

What Next?

We are delighted to bring you our property market updates each month. If you are thinking of buying or selling a property in  Gloucestershire, please get in touch with us at TG Sales & Lettings on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk.

A GUIDE TO REMOVALS COSTS

There is a vast array of criteria to consider when budgeting for an upcoming house move in Gloucestershire.

Removal costs are often a forgotten expense. However, it is essential to account for them, preventing any nasty surprises.

How do Removal Companies Charge?

There are a variety of ways companies bill for their services. Most will charge hourly, which means the quantity of items you require moving is generally a good indicator of how much the job will cost.

Try to give the removals company the most accurate description of your home and belongings to obtain the best quote.

No two homes will look the same, and basing your move on the number of bedrooms can mean you estimate completely wrong. Underestimating the number of items you need moving will only lead to a larger than expected bill, a frustrated workforce, and a more stressful process.

Which day of the week you chose to move will affect the cost. Fridays and Saturdays are generally the busiest, and therefore the most expensive day to move to a new house.

Beware of simply choosing the company with the lowest rates. Remember, they are transporting your possessions, and the last thing you want is any hiccups on the final hurdle of the moving process.

Long Distance Moves

Most removal companies will charge a minimum fee, equating to their rate for two hours. However, this flat fee is generally not a cause for concern. Even the shortest of moves usually take longer than this when loading and unloading the van is considered.

Long-distance moves are generally much more expensive due to the time required to drive between properties. You may, therefore, be tempted to hire a van and move yourself. However, by doing so, you could be adding a great deal of unwanted and unnecessary stress to your day.

Packing Services

You may also choose to hire the removal company to pack and unpack your belongings. This can further help reduce stress in the lead up to the move.

However, this service comes at a cost. Expect to pay anywhere from £150 for a one-bedroom property towards the £500 mark for a three-bedroom home.

Although this is an extra expense to add to the process, it can be worth it if you lack the time or inclination to get involved with these tasks. You will be impressed with the efficiency with which the professionals work.

Be sure to discuss whether materials (packing tape, boxes, bubble wrap) will be provided by the team when calculating the expense.

Many removal companies will also offer a dismantling service. Perfect for any flat pack furniture that you wish to rebuild in your new home, helping with the logistics of moving between rooms. These services generally start from around £100, depending on the item and the company.

Special Care Items

If you have any particularly delicate or precious items you want to be handled with more care, you will pay more for the removal company to deal with them.

This may include using specially designed crates for expensive electronics such as televisions and computers or carefully wrapping any delicate art pieces.

Extra Equipment Required

The removal company might need to use extra equipment for any particularly heavy or challenging items you own. Some pieces may not fit up or down the stairs, meaning they have to be removed through windows. This process will undoubtedly add to the total bill.

Delays

Unfortunately, delays can occur when it comes to moving home. If your move is delayed by a matter of hours, there may be a waiting charge to pay to the removal company to cover the time they have lost.

If your move is delayed to a completely different day, there may be a cancellation fee payable. Consider other factors that may be included, such as the price of storing items or funding accommodation for yourself should the move become disjointed.

Insurance

Insurance is one of the most significant benefits of choosing a removal company over attempting the task yourself. Good companies will offer a range of insurance plans, starting from as little as £20, ranging up to insurance covering you for £50,000 worth of damages.

Insurance is always recommended to give you peace of mind during the moving process.

Final Thoughts on Removal Costs

It is tough to place an accurate figure on how much your move will cost. There are many factors that will need to be considered, including the number of items you have, the level of support you require and the distance you are moving. So it’s best to do your research and gain quotes from multiple companies.

TG Sales & Lettings are your local property experts for the Gloucestershire area and are in contact with some fantastic, reliable removal companies.

Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team

 

LATEST PROPERTY MARKET UPDATE FEBRUARY 2024

As we reach the end of the second month of the year, the UK property market seems to be settling into a positive pattern, with buyer confidence continuing to rise and mortgage rates coming down.

A recent Dataloft Poll of Subscribers found that 85% of surveyed estate agents noticed an improvement in buyer confidence over the last three months, while the consumer confidence level has reached its highest point since January of 2022.

With hopes high for a reduction in interest rates on the horizon, we are moving towards spring with strong potential to see recovery in 2024’s housing market.

Biggest Increase for A Year in House Prices
The average house price has risen significantly throughout the UK according to both Halifax and Nationwide as we move into spring 2024. Average properties are now worth approximately £257,656, representing a rise of 0.7% according to Nationwide, while Halifax, the largest provider of mortgages in the UK, reports that an average home now has an asking price that is 2.5% higher than that from January 2023. This price hike is the biggest experienced since 2020, over double the 0.6% 20-year average. We can put these increases down to falling inflation, improvements in mortgage rates, and growing strength in the labour market.

More Buyer Enquiries Show Increased Market Activity
Prospective homebuyers are now starting to look at taking another step up the property ladder, with January looking set to be Rightmove’s Agreement in Principle service’s busiest month since its initial inception in 2022. The increase in demand is being met by equal enthusiasm from sellers, with 15% more new properties coming onto the market when compared with this time last year.

New agreed sales are up by 13%, showing that sellers and buyers are becoming increasingly aligned on pricing. Yet as a fifth of sellers are still accepting over 10% below their asking price to secure their sale, it remains clear that attractive pricing is still crucial.

Mortgage Rates Falling but Base Rate Is Holding
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee held a meeting on 8th February at which a majority decision was made to keep the base rate steady at 5.25%. This is the highest base rate seen since 2008’s Financial Crisis, yet instead of building societies and banks retaining higher interest rates on their mortgages, we are starting to see prices falling in February’s mortgage market, indicating that lenders are viewing the choice to hold rather increase the base rate as a positive sign from the Bank of England.

Moneyfacts now reports that both the current lowest fixed 2-year mortgage and fixed 3-year mortgage stand at 4.20%, with the lowest fixed 5-year mortgage having an interest rate of 3.93%. The number of available mortgage products for buyers to choose from has also increased for the sixth month in a row, with 5,899 different options currently on the table.

Growth In the Rental Market
During the last year, growth in the UK’s rental market was 8.3%, representing deceleration over the past three months from 8.8%. Yet, despite this drop, the growth rate remains at a historic high, with the 0.4% monthly growth comparing rather unfavourably to the 0.1% average between 2017 and 2019.

Currently, the average amount of rent tenants are paying in the UK each month comes in at £1,200, with renters in London paying the highest typical rent at approximately £2119 and those in the North East paying the lowest amounts at just £695.

London’s growth is slowing down as rents are hitting the affordability ceiling. It is now expected that rental growth will continue to slow down as affordability worsens, keeping demand firmly in check. Landlords appear to be taking a more realistic approach to rental pricing, perhaps taking the cost-of-living crisis into consideration as they set new rates, which is good news for those who are still unable or unwilling to purchase their own property.

Heading In the Right Direction for Spring?
With the start of 2024 seeing signs of success in the property market, it appears that we could be heading in the right direction for a positive Spring. Tenants and homebuyers alike are likely to see improvements as we move forward, making this an excellent time to start looking for a new home. As March is traditionally the month during which properties are most likely to secure a buyer, now is the perfect time for anyone considering selling to make moves towards finding an estate agent.

What Next?
We are delighted to bring you our property market updates each month. If you are thinking of buying or selling a property in Gloucestershire please get in touch with our friendly team at TG Sales & Lettings on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk.

LATEST PROPERTY MARKET UPDATE: JANUARY 2024

2024 is upon us already, and the property market is already making a strong start in January. Both the rental and sales markets are thriving as the year begins, and landlords and homeowners alike look set to benefit. So, what’s happening in the UK property market? Read on to find out.

A Rise In Monthly Average Rents

Since January 2023, there has been an increase of 9% in the average monthly rent. This has added approximately £1200 to a typical annual bill over the course of the past 12 months. It looks as if the start of 2024 is still going to be difficult for tenants, who now have to find the equivalent of a month’s average rent on top of their previous annual bill. On the other hand, this is good news for landlords, who are enjoying good profits from their investments.

The average monthly rent nationwide as we enter 2024 is now £1200, with almost double that amount being typical in the capital. It’s worth noting, though, that rental growth is predicted to start slowing down as the months go on since worsening affordability is likely to keep the demand under control. Some markets are already showing some resistance to high rents, so landlords should keep this in mind when considering any further price hikes.

House Price Increases Since December

Homeowners looking to put their properties on the market this January could benefit from house price increases. There have been predictions of 3% increases over those from the end of last year, as the prospect of potential cuts in the interest rate alongside more affordable mortgages are likely to result in more transactions taking place.

After 2023 saw sustained falls in house prices, it was forecast before the year end that 2024 would experience a further drop of 4%. However that now appears to have been a premature estimate. An increase in the number of mortgage approvals being received over recent months is now believed to translate into a minimum increase of 10% in transactions over this year.

Since December, new sellers’ asking prices have increased by approximately £4571, which represents the largest growth for this time of the year since pre-Covid times. Although overall prices are still 0.7% lower than those from a year ago, experts say that this year’s start looks quite promising as buyer demand is growing, and 15% more properties are coming onto the market. According to Rightmove, the beginning of the month saw a fifth more sales being agreed than this time in 2023 which indicates buyer confidence is returning.

Forecasters have also predicted that house prices are unlikely to drop significantly before the end of the year, with a decrease of only around 1% nationally being expected by December 2024 thanks to an underlying strong level of buyer demand.

 

Competitive Pricing Crucial For January Sellers

Although the increase in asking prices is good news for January sellers, it’s important to bear in mind that competitive pricing will be crucial when it comes to finding a buyer. Even though the month so far has seen growth in buyer activity, the amount of properties being listed on the market is still outpacing the number of purchasers making enquiries. That means realistic and accurate pricing for the local area lies at the heart of securing a sale, and sellers should resist the urge to over-optimistically price their UK property.

Cheaper Mortgage Deals

Although Howard Davies, chair of NatWest sparked criticism with his statement earlier this month that it wasn’t “that difficult” to get onto the property ladder, buying a home will still be unaffordable for a significant number of prospective purchasers in 2024. Yet there is some promising news on this front.

Mortgage deals are already becoming a little cheaper, with 5-year fixed-rate mortgages now averaging at 4.86%, down from a peak of 6.11% last July. Rates are also expected to reduce further in the weeks and months ahead, with the best deals now coming in under 4%. It has been predicted that borrowing costs will be cut by the central bank from its existing 5.25% rate to under 4% by this time in 2025, and that should reduce the cost significantly of taking a mortgage out.

Mortgage Time Bomb Potentially On The Horizon

Although those taking out a new mortgage may benefit from reduced costs, a mortgage time bomb could potentially be on the horizon for the millions of UK property owners who are coming to the end of their cheaper deals. Around 1.5 million homeowners will face a considerable increase in the amount they have to repay every month, and that could mean an average family having to find an extra £1800 a year to cover their housing costs.

A Strong Start To The Year

With growth in the market thanks to more affordable mortgage deals and an increase in UK property prices, 2024 is getting off to a buoyant start this January. As we head towards Spring, it will be interesting to see just how well the experts’ predictions pan out, and whether February will be an equally positive month for landlords and sellers alike.

What Next?

We are delighted to bring you our property market updates each month. If you are thinking of buying or selling a property in Gloucestershire please get in touch with the team at TG Sales & Lettings on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk.