When is the best time to sell a house?

When is the best time to sell a house?

Selling a home has long been known to be one of the most stressful experiences you can go through. However, with a little bit of research, it is possible to increase the saleability of your home and make life a little easier.

What time of year do homes sell quickly?

If you’re deciding whether to sell your home and would like to know the best time to sell, a quick chat with anyone who works in the property industry will reveal that there two periods each year that are considered the best time to sell. But why is this?

Those who are lucky enough to live in countries with a warm climate and dependably long days often don’t realise how good they have it. In the UK, the colder weather and varying hours of sunlight are a huge hurdle for those who are trying to present their home in the best way possible1.

Similar to attempting a sale at an exhibition, your house is a product as well as an asset, and to engage a consumer – or in this case, a potential buyer – it’s always important to get the lighting right and portray your home as a product worth buying. The problem is that British winters appear to go out of their way to shroud your home in darkness 18 hours a day – making any effort you invested in increasing its aesthetic power feel like wasted time1.

With longer hours, the number of viewings you are able to fit into a single day increases, and the more willing potential buyers will be to attend them2.

As a result, many within the industry prefer to choose their optimal selling times based on the season.

Is there an optimum season for selling?

Spring is widely considered to be the best time to sell a house. This is thanks to the mental boost many people experience as they head out of the colder months and towards the warm embrace of summer. This seasonal shift has, in the past, been known to act as a catalyst for buyers and sellers alike to spring into action – and the resulting increase in sales, and increase in house prices across the UK reflects this3.

While it is entirely possible to sell a home in winter, if you need to sell your home fast, you may be in for a disappointing result – this is not to say that you can’t sell your home fast but you may be forced to accept an offer below that which you expected4.

Many people – wrongly – believe that summer can be a great time to sell their home, which is understandable given the extra hours of daylight. However, summers are often an inconvenient time for buyers to look for a home thanks to the likely increase of spending on holidays and outdoor activities – and if they have children, dealing with a house move during a school holiday can often be too much stress to bear5.

While autumn is the best ‘runner-up’ with regard to seasonal selling, it still pales in comparison to spring in terms of the number of active potential buyers5.

Is there a best month to sell a house?

The worst month to sell a home is undoubtedly December due to the added complications that arrive with the festive period1. With shorter, darker days combined with school holidays and the extra expenditure on meals and presents – few buyers will be considering a purchase until the new year is in full swing6.

Obviously, you can place your house on the market during December but by time February rolls round, many potential buyers will find themselves asking why your home has been on the market for two months without a sale.

In a buyer’s mind, if a house has been on the market without a sale – then it’s not worth taking a chance on unless the sold house price is substantially lower than it was originally4.

The best months to sell a house, however, arrive as winter draws its last breath – and with so many things in life, it appears to be the early bird who catches the worm6.

Winter comes to an end towards the latter half of March, so those who make sure that their house is listed with an agent and displayed on a property portal such as RightMove are likely to enjoy higher levels of success than those who bide their time5.

In fact, there are industry professionals who believe that you should begin to advertise your home as early as late February, although the general consensus for the best month to sell your home is either March or April.

At this time of year, children are in school, the clocks have just gone forward and buyers are preparing to hit the market hard. And thanks to the number of properties available to them, purchases tend to happen faster than you might think, which is why it is vitally important to make sure your own home is listed.

In June there can often be a dip in market activity once the first wave of completed sales has occurred, rebounding somewhat for a brief period in July.

Of course, market conditions can fluctuate from year to year – but traditions do not – so if you want to have the greatest volume of potential buyers attending viewings, go with the crowd and stick to March or April.

Is there a best day to sell a house?

Interestingly, yes there is.

While a single day from any given month can not be pin-pointed as being ‘the best day to sell a house’, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that the day of the week you choose to put your house on the market can make a huge difference to the time it takes to sell.

In 2017, Which? Money analysed 12 months of data from the Land Registry and found that houses placed on the market at the beginning of the week were selling up to a month faster than those placed on the market at the weekend7.

In fact, properties that were listed on a Monday sold after an average of 176 days – whereas homes that were listed on a Sunday took an average of 213 days7. But why is this?

Many people try to make the most of their weekends, and therefore tend not to spend as much time in front of their phone, tablet or computer browsing properties as they would during the week1. This means that if you publish a listing over the weekend, once the masses start searching for properties after work on a Monday, your home is likely to become buried beneath the newer listings from if a user decides to sort by new.

But why is it important to sell your house fast?

In essence, the longer your house stays on the market, the less saleable it is, and the more likely you are to have to reduce your asking price in order to compete with the fresher listings that have appeared8.

When is the best time to sell your house?

Of course, while biding your time for the perfect moment to sell is great if you aren’t in a rush – life can often throw you a curveball, forcing you to sell as soon as possible.

In these situations, many individuals have found themselves benefiting from the services of house buying companies such as National Homebuyers.

National Homebuyers specialises in expediting the house buying process in order to help those who are unable to wait for a sale through the traditional house selling process.

The benefits of using a house buying company is that you will always receive a non-obligatory offer, regardless of location, situation or structural condition – helping you to bypass the established delays associated with valuations and Homebuyers Reports, allowing you to move on with your life9.

Selling a home is never an easy task to undertake, but it is important to remember that there is an immense amount of luck involved in marketing your house. It often depends on your property’s visibility in the marketplace via your agent and accompanying internet portals such as Rightmove, as well as being lucky enough to have the appropriate users in the market for a home such as yours at any one time.

If, however, you are not compelled to sell as a matter or urgency, following the advice in this blog should give you the best chance to sell in as shorter time frame as possible.

Need to sell right away? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property before it’s too late.

Sources:

1 Brazg, G. (2016). When Is The Best Time To Sell Your House?. Available: https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/house-selling/best-time-to-sell-house/. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

2 Butterworth, M. (2016). What is the best time of year to sell your home?. Available: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/property/article-3628998/When-best-time-sell-home.html. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

3 Clark, Ele. (2019). What will Brexit mean for house prices?. Available: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/10/what-will-brexit-mean-for-house-prices/. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

4 Osborne, H. (2012). Would a reduced house price deter you from buying?. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/mar/14/reduced-house-price-deter-buying. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

5 Anon. (2016). When is the best time to sell my home? . Available: https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-selling/when-is-the-best-time-to-sell-my-house/. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

6 Chandler, D. (2018). What’s the best time of year to sell a home?. Available: https://themortgagereports.com/44135/whats-the-best-time-of-year-to-sell-a-home. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

7 Calver, T. (2017). The best day of the week to put your house on the market. Available: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2017/03/the-best-day-of-the-week-to-put-your-house-on-the-market/. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

8 Fahy, L. (2019). 5 Reasons Your House Is Not Selling & What To Do About It. Available: https://moneytothemasses.com/owning-a-home/buying-or-selling-a-home/5-reasons-reasons-your-house-is-not-selling-what-to-do-about-it. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

9 Brazg, G. (2016). I Need to Sell My House Fast, What Are My Options?. Available: https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/sell-house-fast/. Last accessed 11th Oct 2019.

How to sell your house in winter?

While many property professionals prefer to advise their customers not to aim for a winter house sale, many vendors find that it is unavoidable for a variety of reasons. Luckily, the chances of selling a house in winter aren’t low as many people believe.

When is the best time of year to sell a house?

There are many people who like to pass on their opinion of the best time of year to sell a house based on their prior experience. Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on the subjective approach to the matter thanks to the vast amounts of data available from estate agents, lenders, banks and conveyancers.

Without a doubt, if you can afford to wait until it comes around, then March is always the best time of year to sell a house1.

Why? During March, the hours are beginning to get longer, allowing for more viewings and more natural light to help your home looks its best. Furthermore, with the onset of spring people are generally more jovial and if they wish to buy, they prefer to do it before summer arrives.

There are certain individuals who believe that selling a home in January is a great idea as it is the start of a new year and the Christmas holiday celebrations have been and gone. However, while certain types of valued property can sell early in the year such as one or two bedroomed flats or houses2 – often due to young people having ‘enjoyed’ one Xmas too many in the family home – but more often than not, you will have lower levels of success than in March.

Generally, you want to sell your home when the majority of buyers are looking, and they won’t be doing so when they’re busy – that means school and Christmas holidays are out. Buyers are also more likely to consider purchasing if they can attend a viewing in the evening after work while there is still daylight outside.

This is why many professionals will push their clients to sell at the beginning of spring, and if not aim for early autumn once the schools re-open3.

Why selling a house in the winter is smart

  • The benefits of selling your home winter always start with the obvious answer – there is a huge lack of competition amongst sellers4. Many of those who aren’t in a rush will be hanging around for the March sales-window, without realising that the increased competition will always leave the sold property prices in favour of buyers.
  • People will always need to buy a home, regardless of time of year. If an individual decides to permanently move to a new house as part of a career choice, they may believe that there’s a good deal to be made during the market’s quieter seasons.
  • Solicitors, conveyancers and agents tend to be busier during the warmer seasons, as do those intending to sell. This often leads to house moves getting delayed due to lengthy chains. In winter, this is generally much less of a problem.
  • With colder weather, people are more likely to spend time at home on the internet browsing properties – making newly added properies stand-out.
  • Stay heated – during viewings, the contrast between the cold weather outside and the warm temperatures inside your home will make your property seem much cosier and welcoming than during the summer months5.
  • People who are willing to come for a viewing when it’s the middle of winter tend to be a lot more serious about purchasing than the ‘serial-viewers´ in summer, who often visit homes on sale solely out of curiosity.

Will Your House Sell in the Winter?

The ancient Chinese general and philosopher Sun Tzu once said that “if you know your enemy well and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles”. And this is very true for those who wish to beat their competitors to sell their house during winter first. So, yes, it’s definitely possible to do – but only if you exploit the benefits of being on the market when the pickings are slim.

Those who own cheaper houses such as one or two bed flats and house can certainly prosper as smaller homes tend to be bought by younger people who can’t face another holiday season at the family home, and so tend to shift quite quickly2. Larger houses can take longer, but that doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause to attempt to sell in winter.

Although miserable and cold, winter can benefit those sellers who are savvy enough to realise that in this cold period, many potential buyers would prefer not to be traipsing up and down the high street looking through estate agents’ windows in the rain.

Of course, what many people forget, is that you can ALWAYS sell your home in the winter if you think outside the box. For a large number of homeowners, the need to sell can be extremely time-sensitive – and for that reason, many owners are finding themselves discovering the benefits of selling to a home-buying company.

The benefits of home-buying companies such as National Homebuyers is that from first point of contact, the sale will often be completed in as little as two weeks, allowing the buyer to regain capital in a short space of time.

Another advantage is that home-buying companies are not put-off by certain details that your average buyer may be deterred by; such as distance from shops, unappealing paintwork and structural issues etc.

The benefits of selling in winter are far-reaching for vendors, especially when safe in the knowledge that the people who are thinking about buying a home will be spending the cold evenings browsing web portals such as Rightmove, eMoov and Purple Bricks, so maybe it’s worth considering how to make your home stand out from the other listings?

Tips for selling your home fast in winter

So, you want to ensure a fast winter house sale? Thanks to the ‘ever-wonderful’ weather in the UK, many property market professionals have shared some fantastic ideas that can help you tip the odds in your favour:

  • By adding attractive outdoor lighting to your home for dark photos in winter, you can make the entrance seem much more inviting that the average house, helping it to stand out in photos. Many designers consider this ‘kerb appeal’ to be extremely important5 – especially in town houses – as it always adds an element of prestige.
  • Why stop at external lighting? By brightening up your home with a variation of direct, indirect and candle sourced room lighting, you can make your home seem especially alluring to those looking to buy a new winter house6.
  • Make sure you decorate for the season. Many sellers try to go for the sterile approach that works so well in summer. Due to joint consciousness of the human condition, however, we seek out comfort and cosiness when it is cold outside7, so try adding touches such as a cosy sofa throw or an attractive rug in the bathroom? Remember though – don’t let your personality be reflected in these simple ideas.
  • Ensure that your garden is kept tidy – even though it is unlikely to be in use during winter, it should still look attractive when it is viewed from inside the house.
  • Odours can often be easier to notice when you try to sell your home in the winter. This is because moisture builds up inside the home from coats, shoes, and of course – pets. You can easily use a dehumidifier to dry the air, but these can be costly. An easier way to cover up the odours is to use the old trick of fabric softener or furniture polish on heated radiators8. Thanks to how drift-heating works, within an hour your home will be showroom fresh.
  • Take the time to sand and varnish external window frames and sills, while also cleaning the windows – a dirty façade can often be emphasised by accident in a photo depending on the way it is processed.
  • Ensure that any photos on your listings are free from clutter – nobody wants to move into a disaster zone.
  • Take photos of your home during the summer for use in the winter – it’s always important to show how wonderful your home can look all year round.

Are you looking to sell your home during the winter? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property before it’s too late.

Sources:

1Turrill, K. (2017). Selling your home? This is the best MONTH to put your property on the market. Available: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/property/794435/selling-your-home-house-tips. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

2Brazg, G. (2016). When Is The Best Time To Sell Your House? Available: https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/house-selling/best-time-to-sell-house/. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

3Norwood, G. (2010). How to sell your house in the autumn market. Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/buying-selling-moving/7964544/How-to-sell-your-house-in-the-autumn-market.html. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

4Butterworth, M. (2016). Want to sell your home this winter? Follow these seven tips to win over buyers and get it sold. Available: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/property/article-3960370/Seven-tips-sell-home-winter.html. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

5Anon. (2017). How to sell your home in winter. Available: https://hoa.org.uk/2017/11/how-to-sell-your-home-in-winter/. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

6Robson, I. (2017). Selling your house this winter? 9 tips to tempt buyers to make an offer. Available: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/property-news/selling-your-house-winter-9-13973477. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

7Harris, B. (2015). 10 Ways To Create A Cozy Home For Winter. Available: https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/12/10/10-ways-to-create-a-cozy-home-for-winter/. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

8Brennan, S. (2016). Store bedding in a pillowcase, clean radiators with fabric softener and wet wipe the carpet: Women reveal their VERY clever life hacks for busy mothers. Available: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3790960/Women-reveal-clever-life-hacks-busy-mothers.html. Last accessed 24 Sept 2019.

How To Sell Your Home At Auction

There have never been more options open to the prospective property seller than there are now. From fast cash buyers to part-exchange and traditional estate agent sales, the choice is yours – so why do some favour the age-old process of property auctions, and what exactly does it involve?

Why Sell At Auction?

Offering a house for auction can provide the seller with some benefits not traditionally associated with other methods of selling. Those seeking a quick sale are drawn to home auctions for their immediacy: as soon as the gavel falls, the buyer must pay a percentage deposit, and is obliged to complete the remainder of the transaction quickly – usually within 28 days[1].

The competitive nature of bidding for a property at auction can also drive up the final price. As bidding continues and confidence increases, your property moves closer and closer to achieving its best possible price. And when the hammer falls, the price agreed is the price paid – no renegotiation can take place[2]. This added certainty is another appealing reason to forgo the local area estate agents.

House auctions frequently attract different types of prospective buyers – property auctions are well known as a favourite hunting ground for those looking for an unusual project, or one which will require a substantial amount of work to be done. If you’re finding it difficult to attract interest with conventional buyers, property auctions could be the solution – pick the right auction house and your property might quickly be found by the elusive perfect buyer.

Can You Set A Minimum Price To Sell At?

When properties are placed in house auctions, all potential buyers will see ‘guide prices’, which – as the term suggests – offer rough guides to the value of the house auctions. This may not necessarily represent the final price, and could also be presented in the form of a price range.

However, as the seller, you will agree another figure – the ‘reserve price’ – confidentially, with the auction house, before the house auctions take place. The buyers will not be aware of this value, but if bidding does not meet or exceed it, your property will not sell. As a seller, you’ll need to strike a balance between a low reserve, which increases the likelihood of achieving a sale, and a high reserve, which guarantees a higher final price – if the bidders make it there. Note that in property auctions it is not usually possible to pick any value you like – often, auction houses require a reserve price that falls within a certain percentage of the guide price[3].

What Should You Do Before Auction?

As with any property sale, it’s in your interest as the seller to ensure that the house for auction appears as well-presented and attractive as possible. You can expect your auction house of choice to market your property – but just like selling with an estate agent, that doesn’t mean that you can’t help spread the word yourself. After all, the more people who know about the sale, the more potential buyers there will be to push up the bidding and increase your chances of selling quickly.

Your first big decision ahead of selling your property at auction will be to pick the best auctioneer for you and your house. Just like estate agents, some auction houses will specialize in a type of property or a geographical area, so it is vital to do your research before committing. Fees and processes can vary from one to the next, so it pays to be thorough – do your research and follow guides available online[4].

When you have made a selection for your house auction, you’ll need to arrange a period of time to make the property available for viewings. Due to the nature of auction sales, this is usually a comparatively short time. It may be advisable to speak to agents in the local area to get an idea of what the property is worth, and with this knowledge, you can decide on the most appropriate reserve price ahead of the property auction itself.

NATIONAL HOMEBUYERS PROPERTY EXPERT says: “If you have the time, it may be beneficial to attend an auction for a property similar to your own in your local area. You’ll get a first-hand demonstration of the process your property will go through, which can help you to prepare for your own big day!”

How Much Does Selling At Auction Cost?

You’ll need to bear in mind that the auction house will charge a commission on the sale. This is likely to be in the region of 1-3%, plus VAT – considerably more than the typical estate agent fee which lies around 1.42%[5].

You’ll also need to pay solicitor’s fees for the preparation of a legal pack for the sale which includes documents such as the property information form, tenancy agreements, planning permission documentation and more. This usually costs something in the vicinity of £200[6].

Most, if not all auction houses will also charge an entry fee[7]. This covers costs such as listing your property in the auction house’s catalogue, and the amount can fall total anything from a few hundred, to a few thousand pounds. Unlike the commission charge, which is only payable once the sale has been agreed, you may have to pay the entry fees again if the property doesn’t sell and you need to relist.

Some sellers are able to pass on these additional costs to the buyer by adding a clause into the sale contract – another benefit of selling by auction – but beware: buyers may be wise to this and it could cause them to bid a little lower to compensate.

Will Your House Sell At Auction?

With the exception of some fast property buyers, very few property sales methods can offer a 100% guarantee that your house will sell. Any property can linger on the market without tempting buyers for a variety of reasons: perhaps the asking price is too high, maybe the images in the marketing material don’t do it justice. It could even be the wrong time of year, or simply a property that is fundamentally difficult to mortgage for many other possible reasons[8].

So many factors affect the speed and likelihood of completing a successful sale that simply choosing to sell via property auctions is not a realistic way to guarantee a sale. While it’s true that an auction sale can suit certain properties much better than selling via an estate agent or other methods, when all is said and done, if buyers’ interest isn’t piqued, the property won’t sell. It’s down to the seller to prepare well and do their research – no matter the sales medium – to ensure that their house has the best possible chance from the outset. This can mean lowering expectations with regards to the final sale price, re-evaluating the way the house is presented, or even exploring other ways to sell.

Can An Auction Guarantee A Quick Sale?

On average, it took 102 days to sell a property in the UK in 2018 – six days longer than it took in 2017[9]. With the possibility that this trend could continue, many are turning to other means of selling with a view to speeding up the process. One such option is listing the house for auction. As noted above, one of the key benefits to selling via property auction is the speed with which the process can be completed once a sale has been made. A far cry from the often lengthy, drawn-out ordeal of selling with a traditional estate agent, the winning bidder in a property auction will usually be required to place at least a 10% deposit on the property on the very day of the auction, with the remaining balance due within a month[10]. For those fortunate enough to achieve a bid high enough to clear the listed reserve price, house auctions can prove very beneficial if a swift sale is desired.

Of course, that rapid completion procedure can only occur once a sale has been achieved, and merely opting for a property auction sale is not enough to guarantee this achievement. NATIONAL HOMEBUYERS PROPERTY EXPERT has this advice:

“When speed is truly of the essence, your traditional estate agent might simply take too long. House auctions can move along quickly in terms of completing an agreed sale – but only a fast cash buyer like National Homebuyers can guarantee to not only make you an offer, but to make every effort to do so within a timescale that suits you.”

What Are The Alternatives To A House Auction?

What options are there for selling your house if property auctions don’t quite fit the bill?

  • If time is not a factor, traditional local or national estate agents. While they may charge various fees, their knowledge of the region and of the property market can be valuable – but be prepared to wait.
  • Online estate agents can offer similar advantages to a high street agent, with generally lower rates – but are you missing out on the specific local area knowledge and marketing of a traditional high-street estate agent?
  • If you need a good result quickly, consider using a fast cash buyer such as National Homebuyers[11].

Compared with house auctions, National Homebuyers can offer a quicker turnaround, a lot less hassle and are guaranteed to make you an offer, regardless of the condition or value of your property. If you’re considering selling your house via property auctions, why not give National Homebuyers a call first?

[1] – https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/first-time-buyers/buying-a-home/property-auctions-athvb3j7lmd4

[2] – https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/team-blog/2013/09/property-auctions-can-you-bag-a-bargain/

[3] – https://www.auction-link.org.uk/what-is-an-auction-reserve-price/

[4] – https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/first-time-buyers/buying-a-home/property-auctions-athvb3j7lmd4

[5] – https://www.fridaysmove.com/property-auction-fees/25162

[6] – https://www.auction-link.org.uk/auction-fees-for-selling-property/

[7] – https://www.auction-link.org.uk/auction-fees-for-selling-property/

[8] – https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/home-movers/selling-a-house/why-isnt-my-house-selling-arn5j4y3m7qz

[9] – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46219904

[10] – https://www.auctionhouse.co.uk/guide/when-do-i-pay-my-deposit

[11] – https://www.nationalhomebuyers.co.uk/

How Brexit Has Made Homeowners Turn to Quick House Sales

After three years of political back-and-forth, misinformation and numerous allegations of corruption, the UK is due to leave the EU on October 31. However, amid all the confusion and turmoil, it appears that homeowners are likely to be bearing the brunt of the economic damage for years to come.

What exactly is Brexit?

Brexit. A word that has only entered the lexicon in recent years, but whose consequences have propelled it to the forefront of the British collective conscious. But what exactly is Brexit?

Contrary to popular opinion, the anti-European sentiment held by many of those who voted to leave can trace its origins as far back as the years following the Second World War, as the more learned members of the British public found themselves becoming weary of the multinational financial, defences and trade organisations that had been set up to centralise power such as the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)1.

For many Brits, this centralisation of power meant losing sovereignty and the ability for the UK to make its own rules.

The rise of such organisations was also paralleled by a rise in immigration over the latter half of the twentieth century as increased globalism saw many educated individuals seek employment in more developed countries than their own in the quest for a higher quality of life.

While most young people in Britain today enjoy a secular multicultural social scene, just fifty years prior, most of the British population had barely been exposed to immigrants of different races and cultures. Unsurprisingly, this provided all the ingredients for a rise in nationalist, bigoted styles of thought – especially in areas with low standards of education amongst the working classes. Furthermore, as the rise of immigration and the European Union coincided with one another, it was very easy for Brits to blame the latter for the former.

In reality, the rise of immigration was a direct result of increased political and business agreements between countries as well as cheaper travel options and the need for a larger workforce to help re-build the country and its economy once the war was over.2

By time the 1990s arrived, the British industrial and political landscape had changed massively. The closing of coal mines and the movement of jobs abroad that had previously provided work within the poorer areas of Britain saw a rise of anti-establishmentarianism become embedded in the minds of those who struggled in poverty.

As time passed, it became clear to many that the country had become London-centric, with many other areas left to continue their decline3. And as politicians and other wealthy investors centred their businesses around the capital, a new form of political figure began to emerge, happy to exploit those who failed to understand the relationship between the EU and the UK.

It was during this time that anti-EU politician and grass-roots campaign leader Nigel Farage began to see his profile gain inertia as he marketed himself to less affluent areas as ‘a people’s man’ who is less tied to the elite than the opposing politicians against whom he was competing.

Farage campaigned with others who shared his viewpoint -including the late Sir James Goldsmith – in an effort to direct public attention towards the growing issue of direct immigration within the Eurozone from less economically resilient countries who had recently joined the EU, while also drawing attention to the troubled economies of southern European countries such as Spain4.

During the early 2000s, the idea of leaving the EU began to really gain traction amongst those who felt disenfranchised by the European and British elites who they believed benefited from EU membership at the expense of those lower down on the social ladder.

This growing belief, coupled with multiple Parliamentary scandals, a paralysing economic depression and additional political pressure from the growing anti-EU sentiment within the various parties led to the fulfilment of a promise made by then-Prime Minister David Cameron to hold a referendum vote on EU membership 23 June 2016.

In the months leading up to the referendum, the public found themselves inundated with media campaigns and political rhetoric, with one in six Brits admitting that the divisive nature of the matter had created rifts between families and friends.5

When the results were announced, many were surprised to learn that the Leave campaign had been victorious – winning 52% of the counted votes. A large number of analysts believe that this was due to a lack of engagement with the referendum by pro-remain constituents, combined with a constant stream of misinformation by the Leave campaign that led to the historic decision.6

While the referendum was by no means legally-binding, the government felt obliged to begin the preparations to leave the European Union – much to the ire of the 48% who voted to remain.

Due to the political and economic fallout that grew in intensity over the next three years, as well as the failure by the Tory party to negotiate a trade deal with the EU before the deadline passed on March 31st, an extension for negotiations was granted until 31 October 2019.

In June 2019, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she would be stepping down from her role, forcing a Tory leadership contest whose winner will be responsible for the continued Tory efforts to take the UK out of European Union.

How has Brexit affected the economy?

Since 2016, the UK economy has seen its growth rate stall. By 2018, first quarter reports by Reuters showed that the economy was between 1-1.5 per cent smaller than it would have been if the Brexit vote had failed. Although many analysts cite an estimated GDP fall of 2.5 per cent – placing it second to last in the G7 economy rankings, just above Italy7.

The UK has, however, enjoyed a huge drop in the rate of unemployment, hitting its lowest level since the 1970s. Unfortunately, those within the work and pensions sector admit that this has been heavily influenced by the increase of ‘zero-hour’ contracts whereby an individual can ‘technically’ be counted as employed, but without a contract that stipulates a minimum number of working hours per week8. This lack of dependable income has forced many Brits to seek second, or even third jobs to cover their monthly outgoings.

Wage growth has also slowed significantly as inflation grew way above the 2 per cent target set by the Bank of England7. This devaluation in currency cannot be entirely blamed on Brexit, as inflation has outgrown wages for decades, with younger generations finding it increasingly hard to build up their savings. However, the inflation rises have forced many households to extend their lines of credit from lenders merely to cover month-to-month expenses9. The economic impact of Brexit, nevertheless, has led the household sector into a net financial deficit for the first time since 19887

As many Brits are probably aware, much of the economic downfall has been centred in and around the capital. Since the days of Thatcher, the UK has positioned itself as a financial powerhouse, with London serving as a middleman between the US and European trade. Unfortunately, many of the multi-national companies, banks, and potential investors perceive Brexit to be a huge mistake that may affect their bottom line if the UK leaves the EU. This has led to numerous organisations re-structuring and moving their operations from London into the Republic of Ireland as well as mainland Europe to avoid the possibility of unwelcome tariffs.

With a lack of employment opportunities within these organisations, the capital has become a less attractive proposition for younger people who have recently graduated, while also forcing many established homeowners in London to find employment elsewhere.

Many companies – both national and international – have also moved their headquarters out of the capital, choosing to move north where land-rent is much cheaper. This increase of investment into cities that had previously been considered ‘secondary’ to London began to turn the commercial property market upside-down as northern towns started to flourish at the expense of the South.

The capital is also finding itself starved of investment, with the Bank of England admitting that before the referendum took place, they expected the economy to grow by 13 per cent between 2016 and 2018. As a result of the leave vote, however, investment in the UK grew by only 2 per cent in total, including a fall of 0.2 per cent between 2017 and 20187.

The signs that Brexit may well spell further disaster are also worryingly clear, with UK stocks becoming a less attractive investment within the FTSE250 in the US, falling by 0.3 per cent (an increase of 12 per cent in Sterling) – a figure that is dwarfed by other developed economies who have seen investment rise by 26 per cent7.

How has Brexit affected house sales and the housing market?

The British house market is entirely sustained by consumer confidence in the economy. Thanks to the fall in GDP, Brits are generally earning less than they would have if the Brexit vote was for remain. Since the vote, house price rises have started to falter, forcing many potential sellers to consider waiting until after the dust has settled before making any plans.

While employment is at its highest level for over 40 years, the continued effects of rapid inflation; the proliferation of zero-hour contracts and the static but overly expensive house prices thanks to years of growth in value have left a large percentage of individuals from Generation X, the Millennial generation, and Generation Z with very little chance of ever owning a home of their own. This has led to an increase in rental properties, and consequently, and increase in rental fees as landlords exploit the situation for further profit10. This hike in rental fees also swallows much more of the income from those within these generations – preventing them from building up savings.

For homeowners in the capital, the effects of Brexit have been startling, with a £40bn drop in property value increases between 2018 and 2019 according to recent data released by London-based agent Savills11.

“Given the extent to which London is [currently] priced relative to the rest of the country,” said Lucian Cook, director of residential research at Savills in July 2019, “the extent to which it had pulled away from the rest — the Brexit vote may well have been the catalyst for a shift in the market.”

It isn’t all doom and gloom, however, as thanks to the closing of the north-south divide in property values thanks to the aforementioned re-distribution of investment from the south to the north, the total value of housing stock across the UK has still increased by £243bn since 201611.

Unfortunately for the UK government, this increase is mainly a result of property value increases across Scotland and Wales7 – countries who have both expressed an interest in leaving the United Kingdom in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

What options do homeowners have amid Brexit?

While a large proportion of homeowners can sit back and watch the Brexit saga play-out, there are, unfortunately, many who will have no choice but to sell while the market is stagnant.

Employees who have been made redundant in the capital, for example, have found themselves needing to move cities to find another job. And as much of their equity is tied into their house, they need to sell their house in order to buy another.

While some individuals choose to commute, the increase in prices for train fares has made this an increasingly undesirable option.

Why are homeowners trying to sell before the Brexit deadline?

Those who own a property that they have considered selling for several years are now finding themselves between a rock and a hard place. As of mid-2019, the UK property market lies in favour of buyers12. So why are they so desperate to sell before the Brexit deadline?

The answer, it seems, is very simple. Fear.

Homeowners have seen the decrease in market activity in the years since the Brexit vote, as well as the falling sold house prices that have so far been concentrated in the south of England. For many of these individuals, they have already acknowledged that they have lost profit on their homes, but the fear that their home could lose even more value if the UK leaves the EU on 31 October encourages them to play their hand early.

This situation is not helped by the amount of misinformation being spread by the less-reputable members of the leave campaign, who believe that even an independent analyst’s estimate that the UK will be “worse-off” once Brexit is finalised is all part of a propaganda campaign by the UK and EU elite they refer to as ‘Project Fear’.

In reality, there is no easy answer to the question ‘Should I sell my house before Brexit?” as, in truth, those within the industry can only make educated guesses that often need revising thanks to the repeated changes in government policies and legislation related to the October deadline.

Luckily, there are always ways to sell a house – even in a stagnant market. And if the value is presently higher than it will be in the event of a no-deal Brexit, many homeowners believe that it is worth it.

So, how can these homeowners sell?

  • They can choose to sell the traditional way via a high-street agent who is likely to have common knowledge of the area but will take a percentage of the agreed sale price.
  • They can enlist the help of online estate agents, who offer flat-rate fees to lure customers away from their competitors. Although certain companies such as Zoopla and Purplebricks have been caught numerous times transgressing the guidelines set out by the Advertising Standards Authority in relation to false marketing claims as well as failing to disclose additional fees to their customers
  • They can try to sell the house themselves privately, although this approach rarely leads to a profit comparable to that negotiated by a professional agent.

It is important to draw attention to the fact that although these methods will – more than likely – guarantee a sale, it is ultimately the strength of the market that governs the value of their home. This means that if they wish to sell their house within a short-time frame, they will most likely have to accept a purchase offer much lower than they anticipated.

Is there a faster way to sell a house?

There are always options for a homeowner if they wish to sell their house fast – no matter the location, situation or quality of construction – and this is via the use of private house buying companies who have the resources to purchase a home outright for cash. This method has increased in popularity over the last ten years as the need to move to a new house in pursuit of higher earnings has become a priority for a growing number of households.

Other options include the use of an auction, where a property can be placed on a ticket and bid for by prospective owners. Auctions are often used by property developers and landlords to find bargains that they can profit from by either ‘flipping’ the house, or by placing tenants inside once it is renovated.

While some sellers report excellent experiences within the auction world – there are yet more who are unable to sell for their reserve price, forcing them to either accept a substantially lower amount than they hoped – or withdrawing their property from the auction, whilst still being obliged to pay the auctioneer’s fees.

How will the property market react once Brexit is passed?

As mentioned earlier, the condition of the housing market – as well as the UK economy – once the Brexit deadline passes is not an estimate many experts are prepared to make publicly with making a disclaimer. There have been claims that the UK could face its greatest economic recession since the Second World War if it were to leave the EU with, or without, a deal as negotiations to arrange trade deals with other countries appear to be weakening13.

One thing that all analysts all agree upon, however, is that if Article 50 were to be withdrawn and Brexit cancelled, the British Pound would likely rise in value significantly amongst the other developed nations. Echoing this sentiment are the many international corporations that are still in the process of drawing up plans to withdraw and re-locate from the UK, stating that they may be willing to reverse their decision to leave.

Are you looking to sell your home before the Brexit deadline? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property before it’s too late.

Sources and references:

1Friedman, G. (2016). 3 Reasons Brits Voted For Brexit. Available: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnmauldin/2016/07/05/3-reasons-brits-voted-for-brexit/. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

2Yeo, C. (2017). Freedom of movement didn’t start with the EU – it’s the norm for Britain. Available: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2017/05/freedom-movement-didnt-start-eu-its-norm-britain. Last accessed 10 July 2019.

3The Economist. 2012. The Great Divide. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.economist.com/britain/2012/09/15/the-great-divide. [Accessed 9 July 2019].

4Carter, Neil; Evans, Mark; Alderman, Keith; Gorham, Simon (1998). “Europe, Goldsmith and the Referendum Party”. Parliamentary Affairs. 51 (3). pp. 470–485.

5Mischke, J. (2019). Brexit has made Brits ‘angrier’ and ‘deeply divided’: survey. Available: https://www.politico.eu/article/brexit-has-made-brits-angrier-and-deeply-divided-survey-referendum/. Last accessed 9th July 2019.

6Cassidy, J. (2016). Why the Remain Campaign Lost the Brexit Vote. Available: Why the Remain Campaign Lost the Brexit Vote. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

7Giles, C. Fray, K. (2018). The UK economy since the Brexit vote — in 6 charts. Available: https://www.ft.com/content/cf51e840-7147-11e7-93ff-99f383b09ff9. Last accessed 9 Jul 2019.

8Trotman, A. (2015). Zero-hours contracts ‘save UK from eurozone levels of unemployment’. Available: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/11435789/Zero-hours-contracts-save-UK-from-eurozone-levels-of-unemployment.html. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

9Burroughs, C. (2019). Companies are fleeing the UK no matter what happens with Brexit. Here’s all the damage that’s already been done. Available: https://www.businessinsider.com/brexit-damaged-city-of-london-2018-11?r=US&IR=T. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

10White, A. (2019). Renting in London forecast: Brexit uncertainty set to push average rents up faster than house prices by 2023. Available: https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/renting/renting-london-forecast-brexit-uncertainty-will-push-rents-up-faster-than-house-prices-by-2023-a126901.html. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

11Pickford, J. (2019). London property values down £40bn in past year. Available: https://www.ft.com/content/3f105808-9e62-11e9-b8ce-8b459ed04726. Last accessed 9th July 2019.

12Collinson, P. (2019). UK house prices likely to keep falling for another six months. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/apr/11/uk-house-prices-likely-to-keep-falling-for-another-six-months. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

13Chu, B. (2018). Brexit: UK could suffer devastating recession and worst economic slump since Second World War with ‘disorderly’ exit, Bank of England warns. Available: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/brexit-no-deal-latest-bank-of-england-warning-recession-financial-crisis-a8656561.html. Last accessed 9 July 2019.

Top insider secrets to selling a house fast?

As the property market continues to suffer due to the influence of Brexit and a subdued economy, it’s never been more important to learn how to make your house stand out from the rest of the competition.

What sells a house?

When a prospective buyer browses property listings in a particular area, the decision to view or purchase is most likely both objective and subjective in equal measure.

Objectively, the house in question must be in condition – although this is examined by a chartered surveyor before purchase – and should have access to all basic utilities such as water, electricity and, depending on the location, gas.

The positioning and location of a house is also important. For young families, the need to be within reasonable distance of a local school with a good reputation is preferred. For older individuals, however, a location in a quiet neighbourhood may be sought after.

Of course, the house itself may tick all of the boxes from an objective standpoint, but this is always overridden by the subjective approach that most buyers take.

Ultimately, the features that sell a house are those that are immediately visible when a potential buyer requests a viewing. This can be the external façade, such as the brickwork and ornamentation; it could be the privacy of the back garden; it could even be the cleanliness of the property in general.

The most important factor to consider for a prospective purchaser is whether or not they can see themselves living there – and that’s why it’s important to prepare your home for sale in the correct fashion.

How do you get your house ready to sell?

As many professionals can attest, the state of your home when a viewing takes place can affect the likelihood of an offer being made. So, if you’re hoping to sell your house fast, it’s important to consider the following points:

  • Ensure that your garden is free from weeds, the lawn is freshly mown, and any plants are visually appealing.
  • Use a jet washer to clean the external walls from the build up of carbon and dirt.
  • Keep all windows and window sills free from clutter and keep them clean.
  • Keep the internal rooms as close to ‘showroom’ condition throughout the selling process so you can accept a viewing at short-notice.
  • While it isn’t often necessary to decorate, a touch-up of paint, varnish and Poly-filla will always improve the aesthetics of the house.
  • If you do have any garish painted walls, try re-painting them in a neutral colour such as white or cream.
  • Keep all rooms and hallways free from coats, shoes and clutter.
  • Ensure that the central heating is on when the viewing takes place – especially in winter.
  • Make a list of local amenities that would available to the buyer if they purchased. For example, Post Offices, convenience stores and bars.
  • When deciding on an asking price, look around and ask yourself “how much are properties on my street selling for?”

Biggest selling points in a house

The best-selling features of a house are not always within the control of the owner. For example, if you live in an area with higher than average crime-rates, this can easily deter a number of buyers and make the property lose value.

The same is true depending on the status of the home in regards to freehold. Due to the number of news stories in recent years complaining about the dubious nature of ground rent in lease hold properties, may buyers will steer clear of your home unless it is freehold.

As mentioned earlier, it’s always important to live within reasonable distance of certain amenities such as schools, libraries, coffee shops and leisure centres – few buyers enjoy the idea of being stranded at home with nowhere to go.

The important thing to remember is that if something can be changed for the better, and is within your ability to do so, make sure you do it.

Are you looking to sell your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Market flooded as landlords decide to sell

As buy-to-let mortgages become less and less affordable, large numbers of landlords are choosing to leave the sector and sell their properties – and this influx of sellable low-price homes are driving down prices for vendors across the country.

For many years, being a landlord has been a profitable occupation, with rental payments easily exceeding the monthly mortgage repayments. However, over the past three years, there have been a number of changes implemented by the Tory government to limit the power of those who buy-to-let a home in an attempt to make the housing market more affordable.

The changes started in 2016, when then Chancellor George Osborne chose to add an additional charge of 3% on top of their stamp duty, while also signalling a number of policies that would come into force over the next few years in regard to tax allowances.

This month, the latest of these polices became active with a reduction on the amount of tax-relief a landlord can claim at the higher mortgage rates. There will also be an additional cut in 2020, preventing landlords from being able to claim anything other than basic tax at twenty per cent.

While many landlords feel as if they being persecuted for their success, the government believes that the changes will address the larger issue of a lack of low-value housing – especially for first time buyers.

The changes put forward by George Osborne have had a huge effect on buy-to-let ownership over the last three years, with an 8% drop in buy-to-let purchases in February alone. Furthermore, many landlords have discovered that the tax hikes are too much, leaving them with little return on their investment – forcing them to sell.

“Tax bills have doubled or even trebled,” said Stephen Findlay, chief executive of investment management company Bondmason.

“I would not be surprised to see many private landlords making no income or even a loss next year.”

This news is awful for vendors who need to sell their home fast, as many more affordable properties that were previously owned by landlords are beginning to swamp the market, severely limiting national average sold house prices, as well as any profit they could hope to make. And as more and more landlords decide to sell up, the problem is sure to get even worse.

National Homebuyers have been contacted multiple times by landlords themselves who are desperate to offload their ex-rental properties but are finding it hard to find a buyer. However, it’s not just landlords who can benefit from house-buying companies, as anyone who needs to sell can enquire and be given a non-obligatory quote, regardless of the condition or location of the property.

Need to sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

How Will Brexit Affect House Prices In The UK?

As the UK passes the original deadline for Brexit, many industries continue to be affected by the ongoing confusion regarding the state of the markets if the country leaves the European Union. But how will Brexit affect house prices in the UK?

How does Brexit affect the property market?

The property market is heavily tied-in with the state of consumer confidence, which can be observed through historical data gathered during the recessions over the last 40 years. In the most recent recession over a decade ago, average sold house prices across the country fell by 20 per cent over 16 months, while house purchase transactions fell from 1.65 million per year, to 730,000 in 2009.

For many analysts, this recession – or the Financial Crisis as it became known – was the worst economic downturn for the UK since the days of the Great Depression. However, housing values were propped-up in the years following by wealthy foreign investors taking advantage of cheap property in the capital.

Unfortunately, in the time since, the London property bubble has started to burst as more and more companies have moved their headquarters to the EU mainland to avoid trading issues if Brexit goes ahead. It is, therefore, more likely that the housing market will suffer a decline greater than that of the Financial Crisis in the event of a negotiated deal with Brussels, or no deal at all.

Will Brexit cause house prices to crash?

Large numbers of property experts believe that the property market, along with many commercial businesses will be the first to experience a huge downtown as the government attempts to collaborate with other nations in an attempt to secure trade deals.

As retail and service providing businesses will lose money due to increased trade tariffs, it is more than likely that they will freeze pay rises, lay off staff and close the number of outlets from which they operate. This is likely to lead to a higher number of people being out of work or earning less than expected, so the rate of consumer spending is also likely to drop – and this includes large purchases such as houses.

What impact will Brexit have on property prices?

Many homeowners have situations arise that requires them to sell their house regardless of the market condition due to starting a new career, or simply due to ill health. But if the demand for houses drops, then those who are looking to sell their house fast will have to accept much lower offers if they wish to complete the transaction. If this occurs en-masse, then it is very likely that house prices will crash.

While it is impossible to calculate the fall in house prices in the event of a deal due to Theresa May’s inability to reach a consensus with the EU’s negotiators, banks believe that if we leave the EU without a deal then they would expect to see a fall of 30%, placing large swathes of the population into negative equity, quite possibly leading to another recession even worse than the Financial Crisis.

If you’re worried about the effects of Brexit on your house sale, why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Are buy-to-let properties a good investment?

For many years, landlords have reaped the rewards of property investment – but are the same opportunities for profit available to those looking to start a buy-to-let investment today?

How do buy to let properties work?

The buy-to-let system allows an investor to purchase a property with the sole intent of profiting from a tenant who pays a monthly fee in exchange for residence or use of the building.

The logic behind such a purchase is that the monthly mortgage repayments the owner of the property needs to make to their lender is less than the fee they receive from the tenant themselves.

Can you get a mortgage for buy-to-let properties?

Similar to a normal residential mortgage, buy-to-let mortgages can legally be applied for at any number of lenders. However, in an effort to prevent the wealthy from simply buying up every available house in the country, the associated fees are often much higher.

Lenders also tend to be stricter with investors during the application process for a buy-to-let mortgage as opposed to a residential mortgage. For example, with a residential mortgage it is common for deposits to fall as low as five per cent, with certain banks often requiring no deposit at all in exchange for higher repayment fees; whereas a buy-to-let application will require a deposit of anywhere between 20-40% of the total value of the property.

Furthermore, the application itself will require the investor to have a better credit rating than if they were applying for a standard residential mortgage, and it is extremely unlikely that a lender would consider an applicant who earns less than £25,000 per year.

There are also age limits on buy-to-let investments. A lender is unlikely to offer a buy-to-let mortgage to an individual who will be over the age of 70-75 once the repayments would be completed.

Are buy to let mortgages a good idea?

In theory, buy-to-let investments are a great idea – especially at a time when rental payments are higher than ever due to a mass shortage of affordable housing for first-time buyers. However, the geographical area in which a buy-to-let investment is made can heavily affect the profit margin potential, and an application can be refused if the projected monthly rental income is less than 25-30% higher than the monthly mortgage repayment.

A buy-to-let property has historically been an excellent way to provide a pension for a landlord once they retire from their work-life – and as time passes, the house can be re-mortgaged or re-evaluated by the lender in order to provide an even greater profit for the owner.

However, it is worth noting that both Capital Gains tax, as well as basic income tax will push the investor into a higher tax bracket, and this can severely limit the aforementioned profit. It is therefore advisable for an investor to provide as higher deposit as possible, to maximise their annual earnings during repayments.

Is it worth buying to let?

Whether a buy-to-let investment is a good idea entirely depends on how savvy the landlord is with regard to personal finance.

Some landlords purchase homes, only to find that they encounter a period where they cannot find a tenant and as a result, cannot afford the necessary repayments during that time. This can often lead to repossession and the loss of the deposit regardless of potential sold house prices.

It’s also important to remember that the profit made from the tenants can not necessarily be spent as soon as it is earnt, as most buy-to-let mortgages are ‘interest-only’. This means that while a landlord only pays for the interest on the property from month-to-month, when they reach the end of their borrowing term, they are expected to pay off the property in full.

Another key point is that a buy-to-let investor can not necessarily sell their house fast to repay the mortgage, as if housing values fall and the investor finds themselves in negative equity, they would still be responsible for the outstanding payments to their lender even after they have offset the money gained from the sale of their property against their debts.

Are you looking to sell your home fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Fears Grow As Sales Expected To Plummet

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors have recently released the results of a survey conducted amongst its members in regard to the future of the property industry, and the results are not encouraging.

When valuing homes, surveyors have to take many factors into consideration when they provide what they consider to be accurate sold house prices. This includes not only a thorough on-site home inspection, but also a list of comparatives in similar socio-economic areas that reinforce their decision.

However, over the past year confidence in the value of homes has dropped significantly, forcing homeowners to reconsider their willingness to sell, or risk losing a substantial amount of asset wealth.

With sales dropping, many within the industry agree that it is a buyer’s market, as there are always people who need to sell their home fast. But due to a lack of consumer confidence over the decision to leave the EU in 2016, fewer buyers are willing to part with their money unless they receive a substantial discount.

When these factors are combined, we as a country may be on course to endure a major market slump the likes of which many alive today will have ever seen. And this is backed up by the survey carried out by the RICS which found that almost a third of its members believed that the number of sales across the country are more likely to fall, than rise over the next three months.

The beginning of spring is usually the perfect time to place a home on the market due to the longer days and warmer temperatures. However, with a lack of rational forecasts as a result of the upcoming Brexit deadline, many prospective sellers are choosing to delay their decision until the dust has cleared.

Analysing the data in greater detail, it appears that the only region of the UK that is estimated to enjoy a growth in sales (2%) over the next three months is the north west, thanks to continued investment by large companies seeking cheaper ground rent. In contrast, areas such as London and the south east are likely to see a staggering fall in sales of over 40%.

This forecast has been declared as the worst since 1999 by those within the industry, with Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales also expected to see a sharp decline.

So, what can people do if they need to sell fast if there are fewer buyers in the market place? Well, they can always contact National Homebuyers who are experts in processing expedient and efficient house sales for cash, most of which are finalised in as little as two weeks, allowing vendors to sell their homes before the lose any more value.

Worried that your home may lose value? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Who Pays Stamp Duty When You Sell A Property?

Stamp duty is a tax on the sale of a property in order to cover the cost of processing the necessary documents during a sale. But who pays stamp duty when you sell a property?

When Do You Pay Stamp Duty?

There are a standard set of rules within the UK determining when, where and how much stamp duty should be paid during a transition of property ownership. The individual who pays Stamp Duty is always the buyer – even if the seller is looking for a fast house sale – the value of which can change depending on the circumstances.

Once you have purchased a property, you have 30 days from the date of completion to have this payment processed. More often than not, if you are using the services of a solicitor they will organise the payment themselves, and simply request the money prior to the event as part of their fees – mainly to ensure that they get paid themselves. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the buyer to ensure that Stamp Duty is paid, so always gain confirmation that the transaction has been processed before the first 30 days are over.

How Much Is Stamp Duty?

The way Stamp Duty is calculated is dependent on a number of factors. The percentage paid is divided into brackets based on the value of the property, but this percentage is increased if you are buying a second home for either renting or personal reasons:

Value of property: Main Property Additional Properties
£0 – £125,000 0% 3%
125,000.01 – £250,000 2% 5%
£250,000.01 – £925,000 5% 8%
£925,000.01 – £1,500,000 10% 13%
£1,500,000.01+ 12% 15%

It is important to remember that you do not necessarily pay the bracketed percentage based on the final sold house price, but rather which proportion of the value of your new home lies within that bracket. For example, if you buy a home that costs £150,000 as your primary residence, you will pay 0% stamp duty for the first £125,000, and then 2% (£500) on the final £25,000.

Can You Avoid Stamp Duty?

There are, luckily, certain scenarios that permit a buyer to escape the payment of Stamp Duty. Regardless of personal situation, you will never pay Stamp Duty on a home up to the value of £125,000 if it is going to be your primary residence, and the same is true if you are buying a secondary residence up to a value of £40,000.

Individuals who are first-buyers are also given an incentive to purchase in England or Northern Ireland as they are permitted to buy any home up to the value of £300,000 without paying any Stamp Duty.

Another way that Stamp Duty can be avoided is during a sale negotiations. If the home you are purchasing is valued at slightly over the band separating the percentage brackets, you can always ask the sellers or estate agent for a slight reduction in order to lower the Stamp Duty that needs to be paid.

Does Everyone Pay Stamp Duty?

Not everyone has to pay Stamp Duty – there are a few situations within which an individual can escape the extra tax payment:

  • During a divorce, one party can transfer full ownership to the other party without needing to pay Stamp Duty.
  • If you transfer ownership of the property to an individual in your will or simply as a gift, then both of you are exempt from Stamp Duty. This does not, however, exempt individuals who are simply trading their homes directly with one another and they would be liable for Stamp Duty payment.

Looking to sell your home in a short-time frame? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

House-building projects at risk due to new immigration policies

As the Brexit deadline looms, the UK housebuilding industry is facing an uphill battle as a result of proposals for new policies that could limit the influx of low-skilled EU workers.

For those who work within the construction industry, it is common knowledge that the workforce is made up from workers originating from a number of different EU states. In London alone, almost a third of the construction workers are from the EU, but new proposals by the government regarding immigration in a post-Brexit UK may bring the industry itself to a stand-still as sold house prices continue to rise.

The proposals, put forward in December, aim to curb the influx of low-skilled workers into the country by allowing only those earning more than £30,000 a year to gain citizenship.

While the government has offered to introduce a 12-month visa to aid those industries where available workers are in short supply, many within the construction industry believe that this is not enough to prevent a massive slowdown in UK housebuilding.

There has, already, been a huge fall in the number of EU migrants coming to the UK since the Brexit referendum in 2016, and accreditation bodies such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors are acknowledging that this has led to major labour shortages that had hampered market growth immensely over the last eight quarters.

“What’s particularly worrying is the government’s obsession with salary thresholds for migrant workers entering the UK. The figure of £30,000 was floated in the Migration Advisory Committee report and was met by fierce opposition from almost all sectors,” said Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders.

“It makes no sense to draw meaningless lines in the sand when we should base our immigration policy on what will make our economy strong and productive.”

The UK is already behind schedule in regard to the Tory government’s pledge to build 300,000 new homes every year as the population continues to grow, and this latest shift in policy could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

A lack of new housing means increased competition between prospective tenants and buyers for residence in those homes that are already built – increasing their value. And while this may seem like great news for those who own already, it can be a huge handicap if they suddenly find themselves needing to sell their house fast for work or because of illness, as fewer prospective buyers will be able to afford them.

The knock-on effects could easily bring the industry to its knees, according to analysts, and with the Brexit deadline less than eight weeks away, fears are beginning to mount.

“Construction businesses need stability and, with 100 days from Brexit, the government seems to be working toward providing the exact opposite.” said Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB.

Are you worried you won’t be able to sell your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

How Universal Credit is fuelling the UK housing crisis

As Universal Credit continues to bring misery into the lives of many people who are unable to work, industry experts are realising that its implementation is forcing cash-strapped councils to abandon plans for new-build homes.

When Iain Duncan Smith introduced the idea of Universal Credit almost ten years ago, the idea was to simplify and streamline the way that benefits were provided for those out of work or on low income. This meant that instead of housing benefit; child tax credit; income support; working tax credit; income-based jobseeker’s allowance and income-related employment support allowance would be consolidated into a single sum that is paid to an individual every month.

Unfortunately, the implementation of the new system left much to be desired in terms of fairness and efficiency and the related costs ballooned from £2bn to over £12bn. In 2013, the first recipients of Universal Credit began to receive their financial support, and immediately, there appeared to be massive issues with it.

As more claimants joined the new system, those who had previously been able to support themselves on benefits saw their monthly payments slashed to untenable levels, while others failed to qualify at all.

As time passed, more and more stories emerged regarding the effect of Universal Credit on those unable to work – and more often than not, those stories were utterly heart-breaking.

In 2017, mother-of-four Elaine Morrall was found dead in her freezing flat after her Universal Credit was cancelled simply for not attending a meeting due to illness. Just prior to Christmas 2018, dad-of-three Kevin Dooley took his own life after being told that he was well enough to work and would no longer receive any form of benefits – despite being chronically ill with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

In total, more than 17,000 sick or disabled people have died since the introduction of Universal Credit, and there have been over 150,000 extra deaths due to – as a study in 2017 labelled it – “economic murder”, with over 90 people dying a month after being declared ‘fit to work’ despite being unable to do so. And now, it looks as if the knock-on effects have reached the property industry.

As fewer people are getting the housing support they need, councils are receiving less money from individuals in rented council houses. Worringly, those who are receiving Universal Credit have, on average, double the rent arrears of someone who is still receiving housing benefit, and two out of three Universal Credit claimants are unable to pay their rent on time.

The shortfall endured by councils around the country has led to a shortage of new-build homes as there are not enough funds for construction to be completed, forcing rent costs up and preventing potential home buyers from buying even a low value home.

“We need to build a lot more new genuinely affordable housing, particularly council housing – and that’s harder if councils are getting less money into their housing account because rent arrears are higher,” said Richard Watts of the Local Government Association.

“This will hit the number of new council homes being built across the country at a time when we desperately need more genuinely affordable housing.”

The greatest issue for the housing industry is that if new homes are not being built, then sold house prices for existing properties will continue to rise, forcing many less wealthy people to endure a lifetime of renting instead of owning. Furthermore, with fewer buyers in the market, selling a home is likely to become more difficult – especially if you want to sell your house fast.

While the full implementation of Universal Credit is not due until 2023 (six years later than the original schedule stated) it has, so far, become a farcical attempt to solve a problem that did not need solving in the first place.

Hoping to sell your home fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

How to value your house

There are many factors that can affect the value of your home – some of which could surprise you.  So how do you accurately value your home?

How much is your house worth?

While many homeowners feel as if they can gauge the true value of their home, more often than not, there will always be a number of influencing factors that, unbeknownst to the owner themselves, can heavily affect the amount a prospective buyer would be willing to pay for it.

Often, there can be a number of structural elements that a professional surveyor would consider to be causes for concern. These can involve the following:

  • Warped rooves.
  • Damage due to subsidence.
  • Low quality construction.
  • Degradation of building materials including insulation.
  • Incorrectly sealed, and poorly maintained windows.

There can also be issues with utilities that may affect a buyer’s view of your home, including:

  • Incorrectly heated habitable rooms.
  • Poor access to services and utilities.
  • Badly maintained boilers without a service record.
  • Out-dated plumbing and electric cabling.
  • Expensive bills.

Of course, while a homeowner can solve these issues if they have deep enough pockets, there are always a number of factors that are outside of their control – and these are often due to the ongoing changes to the strength of the economy. As a result, changes in government legislation and housing laws may force the buyer to provide a lower-than-expected offer. Examples of this include:

  • High interest rates that could increase their monthly mortgage payments.
  • International trade negotiations for raw materials.
  • Political uncertainty over the future of the housing market (such as Brexit).
  • Number of available jobs and local amenities.
  • High levels of crime.

More often than not, if your property valuation is incorrect at the time it is listed, then you can expect to spend much longer than anticipated on the market before finding a buyer. Those who are looking to sell their home fast are always, therefore, advised to consult a professional surveyor or valuer.

How much have houses on your street sold for?

The value of your home can also be heavily affected by the recent sold house prices of properties on your street, however, it is important to remember that on any given street there can be a number of differences between the luxuriousness and size of various houses due to owner upgrades such as more efficient central heating and structural changes such as extensions or conservatories. These changes can make a huge difference to a house’s value.

It is often easy to compare your home with other nearby houses by searching property portals such as Rightmove and filtering results to show only those that have already sold. You can also consult the Land Registry or a website such as Mouseprice.com, which continuously monitors the prices of all homes across the UK that have been bought or sold.

If you find that a house similar to your own that has been sold at a certain value, this can provide a rough guide to how much buyers are willing to pay. Although, it is important to check the date of the sale and cross-reference this with any events in the political landscape or economy that may have played a part in its ultimate worth.

How to get an accurate property valuation

In the property industry, the experts who deal with the valuation of homes are called chartered surveyors. These individuals are able to provide a number of different surveys based on cost, and help both homeowners and estate agents to price their listings correctly.

Often, estate agents will ask a surveyor to carry out a ‘drive-by valuation’ with comparables, which allows them to estimate a ballpark value that can be altered in the event of further inspection. They can also provide a standard ‘valuation’ which costs more, but includes a greater level of detail regarding the property’s condition, and is often used by sellers prior to listing their home.

The most in-depth survey a surveyor can carry out is referred to as a ‘home-buyers report’. These reports are much more expensive, and as the name implies, is always requested by both a prospective buyer, and their mortgage supplier to ensure that the property in question does not have any hidden issues that may significantly de-value the home once discovered.

By hiring an expert, you can be sure that you have gone to the correct lengths to select an applicable asking price.

If you are thinking about selling your home, it is important to remember that many businesses such as National Homebuyers will value your home for you, saving you the time and money that you would normally be responsible for. Furthermore, if you are happy with the provided value, National Homebuyers are always willing to purchase the property from you, often completing the sale in as little as two weeks.

How can you add value to your home?

Adding value to your home can be surprisingly easy – if you are willing to make a little effort.

For many buyers, agents and surveyors, the first impression they have of your home will often affect their perspective throughout the entire valuation process. It is therefore important to keep your home in show-room condition whenever anyone related to the prospective sale visits. This includes keeping windows, walls, surfaces and flooring clear and clean; ensuring that the upkeep of any outside areas such as the garden are tidied up and free from weeds; and that any external wooden surface such as cladding or window frames are given a fresh lick of varnish.

There are a number of other ways to increase the value of your home, including:

  • Adding an extension or conservatory that increases the versatility of the property.
  • Making internal changes such as removing non-supporting walls to create open-plan areas.
  • Updating the interior decorations with wooden laminate flooring, and replacing out-dated wallpaper with clean unobtrusive white-coloured paint.
  • Employ a professional photographer to take pictures of your home for your listing – this can help it to stand out amongst the others when you are hoping to garner interest.

While many vendors often pray for the selling process to be over so that they can carry on with their lives, if they are willing to follow the important steps listed above to maximise their profit, these additional funds will more than make up for the additional stress caused.

Interested to learn the value of your home before you sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

The secrets behind how to sell a property successfully

Selling a house is never a stress-free experience but being prepared can help you to complete a sale as efficiently as possible.

While many homeowners love the idea of moving to a nice new property, the move itself is often hindered by the sale of their current home. So how do you ensure that the house-selling process goes as smoothly as possible?

How to sell your house

There are several methods that allow you to sell a house:

What do you need to know to sell your house?

When you sell your home, it is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the house selling process:

What documents do you need to sell a house?

The documents needed to sell a house are as follows:

What are the costs of selling a house?

There are numerous costs to legally sell a home, many of which can shock vendors. There are, however, always numerous options available:

Of course, there are ways to avoid a large portion of the fees associated with selling a house, and this is by using National Homebuyers.

When National Homebuyers purchase a house, there is only a small service fee necessary, and this is fully refunded once the sale is complete. National Homebuyers will even cover up to £1000 of your conveyancing fees, helping you save money, and sell your home with minimum stress.

Looking for a quick way to sell your house? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Crisis As New Mortgage Deposits Unaffordable For First Time Buyers

As rental fees continue to rise, the additional costs to tenants is forcing those who may once have been prospective buyers to put their lives on hold as they struggle to find the money for a mortgage deposit.

The issues facing those living in rented accommodation across the UK have been well documented in recent years. But as austerity measures continue for the majority of Brits – despite the promises made in the recent budget – it’s clear that there is no end in sight for the misery felt by millions stuck in the rental trap.

Moreover, there also appears to be a growing divide between different regions of the country in regard to the amount of rent paid by tenants according to a recent study by Your Move.

While certain areas such as London, Wales, and the north east saw a slight fall in rental costs over the last 12 months, the average rent paid by tenants across England and Wales still rose by 2.6% versus the same time last year.

The data released also showed that while the demand by prospective tenants for rental properties has sharply increased, the number of properties available to rent has fallen.

This may be due to the fact individuals are choosing to stay in situ for longer instead of moving house, but analysts believe the more likely explanation is that the changes made to both capital gains tax and stamp duty by the Tory government over the last three years have caused large numbers of landlords to exit the property business and sell their assets in order to take advantage of the continually rising sold house prices.

“To put tenants back in the driving seat, we need more homes available to rent,” said David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark.

“And the only way this will be achieved is if the Government makes the market more attractive for buy-to-let investors.”

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, rents are due to increase over the next five years by three per cent a year, while housing values are expected to rise by two per cent a year.

Of course, these higher rental costs have a knock-on effect that can affect those who wish to sell their house fast, as renters who are who trying to buy their own home are finding it harder and harder to save the necessary deposit, leaving a smaller pool of buyers and therefore less competition for the availability homes – often leading to lower offers. However, those who need to sell fast can always contact National Homebuyers, who are always happy to offer competitive quotes for any house, regardless of situation or location.

Are you unable to sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

How to sell a house fast

Selling a house is an experience that many homeowners consider a necessary evil if they wish to upsize or downsize. Whether the stress comes from trying to find a decent agent, staying optimistic about viewings, or simply waiting for a buyer to make an offer – the house selling process is not one for the faint of heart. And when there is a limited time frame within which a sale must be made, anxiety levels can often shoot through the roof. However, the ability to sell a house fast is an important skill to learn for those hoping to move house for a new job, or simply to be closer to loved ones.

How to sell a house fast in a slow market

There are often times throughout the year where the property market appears to be in the midst of a massive slowdown. As a result, many vendors around the country find themselves reducing their house prices in order to remain competitive – but are they panicking unnecessarily?

In short, the answer is yes. Similar to stock markets, the world of property is heavily underpinned by consumer confidence, so even in the quietest months it doesn’t take much for the market to gain enough inertia for activity to increase rapidly. One of the best ways to ensure that you can sell a house fast in a slow market is to increase the visibility of your home to potential buyers – this means ensuring that you do not enter an agreement for any single agent to be the sole contract holder for the sale. Admittedly, you may end up paying a slightly higher commission by using multiple agents, but if you need to sell your house quickly, it is often necessary to make concessions.

Another great tip to drum-up a bit of interest in your home is to take advantage of mediums such as social media – after all, you never know whether a friend, or a friend of a friend maybe on the lookout for a new home. Plus, if you sell the home yourself, you can always pocket the commission that you would normally pay to an agent.

Sometimes, however, you need to sell your house fast, and no matter what you try, the market continues to be stagnant. In these circumstances, you can try using house buying companies who will buy any home, regardless of market conditions or location to help you move on with your life.

Tips on how to sell your house quickly

Even if the market is in full swing, selling a house quickly can still be a very stressful experience. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to increase the likelihood of a quick sale:

Choose the best time to sell your home

While there are always a large number of househunters on the prowl at any given time throughout the year, there is a marked difference in market activity between the seasons.

Traditionally the worst times to sell are always during summer and winter. A large number of potential homeowners will have children of varying ages – and as many parents can attest, the summer and winter holidays are often stressful enough without having to factor in the purchase of a new home. Moreover, during the summer months when the weather is nice, people try to avoid stress by going on holiday – a lofty expense in itself; while around the Christmas period, the cost of travelling and presents can often leave your bank account drained.

If you can afford to wait, experts will always advise a vendor to place their home on the market in either spring or autumn.

In spring, the longer days not only encourage buyers to look around for a new home, but the additional light also helps to make a house seem more aesthetically pleasing and bright than in winter. Additionally, if you have a garden, the warmer temperatures and sunshine will help your flowers bloom – a welcome sight for any potential purchaser.

In autumn, buyers with children will have a bit more time on their hands once all the schools are open again. Furthermore, those who missed the spring bubble will be keen to buy and settle in before the temperatures begin to plunge again.

Prepare your house for a quick sale

Despite all the effort you put into making your home visible to potential buyers, if it doesn’t look desirable, the chances of achieving a sale in a short time frame are very slim. So why not do everything you can to make your home as attractive as possible? It may seem obvious, but a large number of houses don’t sell simply because the owners haven’t bothered to make it look appealing to a potential buyer.

Ultimately, learning how to sell a house fast isn’t easy – but it’s always worth doing everything within your power to encourage your home to stand out from the crowd, and remind yourself that upon completing the sale, it will have all been worth it.

Looking for a fast house sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Can you sell a house with asbestos in the UK?

Across the country, there are a number of older properties that still contain the toxic material, and its presence can often deter potential buyers for good reason. So how do you sell a house that contains asbestos?

Asbestos is a silicate mineral has been mined for over four thousand years around the world. With a wide range of uses, it was often hailed as a ‘wonder material’ by many prominent historical figures throughout the Roman Empire and Persia.

Why is asbestos dangerous and is it illegal to sell a house with asbestos?

Categorised into six separate classifications, it’s easy to see why asbestos was heavily used in UK property construction during the 20th century – it was resistant to fire, did not conduct electricity, and was an excellent heat insulator – but most importantly, it was mined locally and therefore extremely cost effective.

While the different available forms of asbestos vary in their potential to harm those who come into contact with it, they are all linked to a condition known as asbestosis. During its manufacturing process and implementation in many types of construction, the dust that was produced contained sharp asbestos particles that often found their way into the lungs of workers, cutting and scarring the delicate tissue inside and frequently causing tuberculosis and fibrosis. In the US alone, the handling of asbestos has led to the deaths of approximately 100,000 people since records began.

In the modern era, large-scale mining in the UK started in the late 19th century, but despite the first asbestos-related death occurring in 1906, it took until 1985 for the first partial ban to be passed through parliament.

While it isn’t illegal to sell a house with asbestos, for homeowners in the process of selling a house containing the material, the number of steps required to find a buyer can be a nightmare. But what measures need to be undertaken in order to sell a house fast?

Asbestos disclosure when selling a house in the UK

Since the repeal of the Property Misdescriptions Act in 2013, all sellers are obliged to disclose the presence of asbestos during a sale. Of course, owners are not expected to detect the presence of asbestos in their home by themselves, but more than likely this information will have been uncovered by a chartered surveyor before they moved in.

In a large majority of cases, a seller will also be using a surveyor to determine the value of their home prior to placing it on the market, and their estate agent of choice will likely query the presence of asbestos based on the age and construction type of the property. Generally, any home built before 1978 could contain the toxic material, and a failure to detect the presence of asbestos in these instances could open up both the surveyor and agent to prosecution.

However, in many cases a surveyor would only be liable if asbestos was detectable by reasonable means – i.e. a surveyor cannot be expected to detect its presence through a solid wall or other unreachable areas.

How can I sell a house with asbestos?

If a surveyor’s valuation or agent’s report have determined that there is asbestos in your house, then further inspection is needed by a qualified professional who will be able to establish whether or not it could endanger the lives of those living within the property. It is important to note that asbestos does not pose a threat if it is in good condition – it is only when the material has been damaged or disturbed that its removal may be warranted.

If the material is in good condition then the law merely requires the seller to disclose the information to potential buyers and it is up to the latter to decide whether or not it is worth pursuing a purchase. If the asbestos, however, is found to pose a hazard to health then the situation can become a little more complicated.

Asbestos removal can be expensive, with average prices reaching £75 + VAT per sq. m – so even a small 6m x 5m ceiling can reach £2200 + VAT. For a seller, it comes down to a choice between having the material removed themselves at great cost, or placing the house on the market at a reduced rate to encourage a sale – although the number of potential buyers is likely to be limited due to health concerns.

House buying companies, however, are always happy to offer competitive prices to owners regardless of the presence of asbestos. Those looking to move house in a short time-frame often find this to be a preferable method, with sales completed in as little as two weeks.

Finding it hard to sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

GE2017: A hung parliament and the future of the UK economy

A shocking General Election result with the highest youth turnout in recent history appears to have thrown the Tory party into panic. But how will a hung parliament and the ensuing drama affect the rest of us – and especially our housing?

The young British voting public could be forgiven for becoming numb to the world of false promises, ill-advised policies and party infighting in recent years. From Brown, to Cameron and May, the country has failed to encourage youth interest in politics since the early days of Blair, and with increasing tuition costs, low wages, and a bleak future on the cards – some might say it’s easy to see why.

Many of the related issues have implications for our economy; and therefore those keen to sell homes this summer; especially to younger buyers.

So, let’s take a closer look at the background of each one, before summing up those implications…

Corbyn: Out of the shadows

When Jeremy Corbyn vocalised his intention to stand for the Labour leadership after the catastrophe that was Ed Miliband’s tenure, his opinions were at odds with the majority of ‘old’ labour backbenchers, who felt his policies lay too close to socialism and even Marxism.

However, his opposition to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill in 2015 and his intention to provide a ‘left-wing’ voice within Labour clearly resonated with the party members, ultimately leading to a landslide victory with 59.5% of the leadership vote – much to the ire of traditionalists.

With his radical ideals, an uprising against his leadership came from within his own shadow cabinet, led by Hilary Benn who subsequently lost his position within the party as a result. This revolt, along with newly released public polls that showed a negative view of Corbyn as a leader, looked to be the end of his career as a second leadership challenge was issued in September 2016.

Despite the negative press coverage, he continued to persevere, and when the results came in, Corbyn actually managed to increase his support within Labour to 61.8%. This shocked many political commentators, but cemented him as the de facto choice for leader.

May: Over-confident

When Tory leader Theresa May called for a snap election in April, despite already possessing a majority until the next general election in 2020, she aimed to increase her majority to as many as 419 seats thanks to public opinion polls which showed a 20-point lead.

At the time, it was unfathomable that the Tories could lose seats by time the snap election took place – but thanks to a combination of a manifesto lacking greatly in detail, several U-turns on unpopular policies, a failure to engage in televised debates with the opposition and a general lack of personality, the tide began to turn.

With only two weeks to go before the election, the 20-point lead had been slashed to 6, as for the first time in almost two decades, the youth appeared to be taking a greater interest in future of the political landscape. Attendance numbers for Corbyn’s rallies outnumbered those of Theresa May by a staggering amount, and for the first time, the media began to get behind the possibility that the labour leader could pull off the comeback of the century.

Judgement day

There was a great amount of controversy on social media on the day of the election as Twitter and Facebook became awash with young voters being told they could not vote due to registration issues, and with an already expected low youth turnout, many polls still saw a Tory landslide majority as a likely result.

It wasn’t until the polling stations closed at 22:00 on 8 June and the exit polls were released that it really hit home for the Tories just how successful the opposition leader’s campaign had been – and just how inefficient their leader had been in inspiring the voting public, with a hung parliament becoming a solid prediction.

Rumours began to circulate that upon hearing the polls, Rupert Murdoch, founder of News Corporation and owner of The Sun newspaper stormed out of the The Times post-election party in disgust, after his anti-Corbyn strategy had clearly failed to turn the public against Labour.

Furthermore, it appeared that the public were more interested in the future of the country than previously imagined, with the highest turnout since the 1997 election with over 46 million registrations. The greatest shock was still to be revealed, however.

The resurgence of youth

Once voting was concluded, it was discovered that 72% of 18-24 year olds took the time to vote – a huge rise from the average of 40% between 2001 and 2015. For many young voters, this was clearly a sign that they have had enough of MPs who were far-removed from the everyday plights of those looking to gain a strong start in life.

By time all votes were officially counted, figures showed that the Tories had failed to secure a majority and lost 12 seats, while Labour had secured a further 29 – placing Theresa May’s hopes for a hard Brexit, and indeed her continuation as Tory leader, in jeopardy.

 

So how did Labour manage to fight back against such a strong Tory majority? For many young people, it was a reaction to the continued austerity measures with regards to the NHS, university education and housing. If the aim was to cause instability within the houses of parliament, then that objective was achieved ten-fold.

What does this mean for the UK economy?

In the short-term, the instability caused by the election upset could be stark. The pound dropped by almost 2% against the dollar upon the release of the exit polls, and has so far failed to recover. For the economy, this is bad news, and many of those who were considering buying a new home  will be more likely to hold off until the future becomes clearer – bad news for those who wish to sell their house fast.

The question for most UK residents is whether or not a coalition government will be formed between the Tories and DUP, or between Labour, the Lib Dems, and SNP in order to take control of the house. If no majority is formed, then there is a chance that a minority government could occur – possibly leading to a second general election in September. Either way, with the already weakened economy, and the supposed start of talks between the EU and UK regarding Article 50 due to take place later this month, there is more than a hint of volatility in the political landscape right now.

What about housing?

In terms of solving the housing crisis, there is no clear way forward at the moment. May’s policies regarding social housing were terribly received, thanks to the admission of no additional funds being allocated for their construction – while Labour’s intentions with regard to social housing are yet to be tested.

Until a majority government is formed, it is unlikely that any steps will be taken towards fixing the shortage of homes for the growing population. Additionally, the lack of new homes will undoubtedly drive up the prices of property across the nation, preventing first-time buyers from raising the necessary funds to put down a deposit.

It is also important to mention how the planned Brexit process has been placed in doubt. Due to the triggering of Article 50, the UK now has less than two years to negotiate a withdrawal from the EU – but with no majority government, and a hard Brexit now off the cards, there is more reason for the UK public to be cautious about their finances and future choices until the matter has been resolved, possibly causing the economy to grind to a complete standstill.

In short, this period of uncertainty is set to continue until at least the final quarter of 2017, as we wait to hear about Theresa May’s fate; whether or not Corbyn will continue as leader of Labour; whether or not Brexit could at this point even go ahead; and whether the policies put forward by the parties would even be workable.

It is, perhaps, little wonder why many analysts are calling this election this biggest shock in recent political history.

Need to sell but worried about finding buyers after the election? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

How long do you take before deciding upon a house?

While buying a house is considered to be one of the most important decisions a person can make, a new survey has shown that most of us take more time to choose a new television.

The online property portal Zoopla has released the results of a survey illustrating the length of time average Brits take to decide to buy a new home – and it seems that when we find the right place, we tend not to dither too much.

Across the entirety of the UK, prospective buyers will browse a property for between 25 and 32 minutes before deciding to buy, with subtle variations from region to region.

Of course, when we visit a house that we are considering, most of us have already carried out a fair amount of research before we even visit – and with photos, floor plans, and 3D virtual shots available for many of the thousands of homes available for purchase at any given time, maybe the snap decision is not so snappy after all.

 

For many buyers, prior to making a final decision, there have been multiple viewings of different properties thanks to an average of 75 hours of research across 15 weeks – and as purchasing a home is equally an emotional and objective decision, it’s clear that sometimes a house just ‘feels right’.

There is also good reason to ensure that the decision is made relatively quickly – as chances are that you are not the only prospective buyer, and delaying the choice could see another offer accepted.

The survey, which consisted of 2,000 buyers, also showed that 45% of those questioned knew they would make an offer as soon as they walked through the door – and that more than half put in an offer on the same day of the viewing.

Interestingly enough, the research also compared the length of time it takes to make other purchases – discovering that although we, as consumers, won’t just buy any house, we are however willing to spend three times as long choosing a sofa; and twice as long to buy a household appliance such as a TV or microwave.

For sellers, it’s quite clear that making sure your home is presentable and clean during viewings is key to influencing a potential buyer’s decision. And that making a little bit of an effort with first impressions can pay huge dividends in capturing the attention of those looking to buy.

Lots of viewings but no offers? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

The increasing influence of the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’

 

As house prices rise, and first-time buyers find it harder to gather the necessary resources for a deposit, a new report has said that parents are now the 10th largest UK mortgage lender in the country.

The latest figures from insurer Legal and General have suggested that parents will lend a total of £6.5bn this year to their offspring.

With the average deposit for a first-time buyer in the UK reaching a historic £26,000, parents are now said to be involved in 26% of all mortgage transactions in 2017 – and that is likely to increase.

For many young people looking to gain a foothold on the property ladder, even those who admit that ‘we are willing to buy any house’, the introduction of legislation such as the stamp-duty tax hike last year – originally put in place in an effort to limit the monopoly of low-end housing by landlords – has been a major hindrance.

“Parents want to help their kids get on in life,” said Legal & General chief executive Nigel Wilson.

“The ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ is a testament to their generosity, but it is also a symptom of our broken housing market.”

 

How have things changed over the last 20 years?

Since the recession during the mid-1990s, the ability to buy a house without help for young people has lessened year upon year, with data released by the government’s own English Housing Survey in 2015 appearing to echo the latest research by L&G.

For instance, the number of buyers who are single has more than halved in the last 20 years, preventing many prospective buyers from applying for a mortgage until they are in a relationship. Futhermore, the average age of a first-time buyer has increased from 30, to 33 as housing becomes less and less affordable.

In order to purchase, the EHS found that the number of buyers using money from the Bank of Mum and Dad and other family members has increased by a third since 1995 – which further explains why the number of first-time buyers per year has reduced from 857,000 in 1995, to a meagre 564,000 in 2015.

With a continuing dependence on older generations, many experts within the industry believe young people will find themselves continually burdened by costs they cannot cover once the family coffers run dry. Moreover, many children today will not be afforded the same levels of generosity from parents enjoyed by today’s young professionals thanks to a reduction of overall wealth across the country.

For those looking to buy, this news is sure to heap on the misery, but those in older generations who are looking to sell should also begin to worry, as their property investments are only worth their salt if they can be sold – and with a vastly reduced pool of potential buyers with the necessary wealth, the future is beginning to look ominous.

Need to sell fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

How to sell a house privately

 

Looking to move home without breaking the bank? With a plethora of options available to vendors to find potential buyers, you may be wondering how easy it is to sell a house without an agent.

So how easy is it to sell a house on your own? The ease with which a seller can finalise a sale without an estate agent is dependent on a few important factors. First and foremost is the state of the market. If the number of sales in your area in the last few months has risen, then you stand a better chance of getting noticed than if the market has been stagnant.

The likelihood of being able to sell your house fast privately will also be heavily reliant upon the complexity of your residence arrangement, as leasehold and shared ownership schemes can make the task a little more problematic. More importantly, however, is the question of how much time you have to dedicate towards getting your house sold – those who expect a nice easy sale are often surprised how much effort it takes.

How do I sell a house without an agent?

The big question is whether or not the benefits outweigh the costs. An estate agent will charge anywhere between 0.75% to 3% of the selling price of your home – and that’s before the accompanying legal fees. While online agents tend to be cheaper, they also lack the local knowledge of an established regional high street agent – so is the saving worth it?

The perfect situation for you to sell privately is when you already have an interested party lined up, allowing you to forgo the marketing aspect of the sale, and head straight for the paperwork.

 

How do I set my asking price?

When an agent supplies a vendor with an asking price, the figure is always derived from a number of sources:

If a house has been extended, it can often be hard to establish the additional value it adds due to differences in workmanship, fittings, and renderings. Don’t forget, you can always hire an independent surveyor for a quick valuation for less than estate agency fees.

If your house is a typical example of a build style and has been well kept, a vendor can always search for recent successful sales for properties of a similar type and set the asking price accordingly – just remember, homes with outdated interior design will always sell less than homes which enjoy more contemporary décor.

Gaining interest

There are many channels one can use to advertise their house – whether it be hybrid online estate agents, local message boards or through social media. It is worth noting that the way an advert is written can heavily influence whether or not you gain viewings. Most agents use a style of writing that grabs a reader’s attention, so broken-English and poor grammar is most likely going to deter a prospective buyer.

Learn to negotiate

As with all private sales, a potential buyer will expect an option to haggle. If you feel that market conditions are poor, it is important to lower your expectations. If, however, a buyer attempts to low-ball you with an offer while the market is buoyant, they may be trying to take advantage of you.

Other options?

For many sellers, the need to move house is often based on lifestyle changes – whether it be needing more room for a growing family or relocating for a new job. As a result, many vendors need to sell their home fast. So, if you haven’t got the time to sell a house yourself, or do not wish to go through the traditional process of using an estate agent, you can always use property buying companies who offer competitive prices, as well as ensuring that sales are completed in an extremely short time-frame.

Can’t find a buyer? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

Are the self-employed facing an uphill battle to secure a mortgage?

Despite many countries rewarding those in self-employment, the UK appears to be stuck in the past with regard to aiding those financially who choose to be self-sufficient.

Between 2008 and 2015, the number of people who chose to be self-employed had risen from 3.8 million, to 4.6 million. While the government triumphed the news as a sign that the British public were becoming more entrepreneurial, those who have chosen to self-sustain their living costs through their own elbow-grease are finding out that the financial world is not so willing to reward them for their endeavours.

New research from Aldermore has found that two out of three self-employed people believe that their work status is preventing them from securing a mortgage, and that one in three believe they will have to find work with a larger company with a set income in order for banks to look favourably upon them.

A failure to incentivise

In recent years, the Tory government have been criticised for moves that place the self-employed at a financial disadvantage, instead of rewarding them for their empire-building strategy. Last month alone, the government were forced to take an embarrassing u-turn over a planned hike in National Insurance for the self-employed after a rebellion by constituents who quoted an earlier Conservative promise to not raise any National Insurance payments before 2020.

However, with lenders becoming even more strict every year with relation to evidence of earnings, those who suffer from a variable income due to quiet and busy periods throughout the year are being penalised – despite being able to afford the repayments.

 

Many self-employed individuals believe that the current system whereby workers are rewarded for helping large companies grow even larger for meagre wages is a sign that the government do not believe that having the gall to take a risk and become independent is something that should be encouraged.

Why is it so hard?

Currently, those on a company payroll, in many case, only have to present evidence of one month’s wages to prove their earnings, leading to many workers taking a second job on a temporary basis for the sake of securing a mortgage.

Those who are self-employed, however, are not granted the same favour. In most cases, two to three years of accounts are needed for lenders to approve a transaction – and the approved figure is often an average. If a sole trader makes only £15,000 in their first year, but over £50,000 the following year, a bank may refuse the loan for higher amounts as the mean figure is dragged down.

While certain lenders and banks are beginning to show more mercy for those who choose to be self-employed, the future is still looking bleak in the meantime for those who prefer to work for themselves. And this is bad news for those who are looking to sell their house fast, as it further reduces the pool of potential buyers browsing the market, forcing properties to stay on the market much longer.

Can’t find a buyer? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

How long to sell a house?

The excitement we all feel when we decide to move to a new home is self-evident, but it’s also a situation that’s fraught with trepidation, due to apprehension over placing our own home on the market. So, exactly how long can it take to sell a house?

house pricesMoving house is known to be one of the most stressful experiences one can undergo. It is, however, an inevitability for those who have outgrown their current abode.

For some, the process can be straightforward – you place your home on the market, you find a few potential properties within which you can see yourself living, and once you receive the right offer you set the ball rolling.

However, as most people are aware, it’s not always that simple. There are many horror stories from those who put their homes up for sale just prior to the financial crisis a decade ago, only to find themselves unable to find a buyer for years – and sadly, there are many who are still facing the same issue.

When people ask “How long will it take me to sell a house?”, they often fail to take an objective perspective regarding the saleability of their home.

So, what steps can you take to ensure that you sell your house fast?

First impressions

If you were searching for a new home, which aspects would stand out to you the most? From clean, unobstructed windows, to a clear driveway free from weeds, the first view a potential buyer sees is most likely to be the one that he/she remembers the clearest. Buyers need to know that the property they’re about to invest in has been well taken care of.

The price is right

While certain unscrupulous estate agents will vie for your business by claiming that they can get a much higher price for your home than their competitors – be aware that if your home is overpriced, the likelihood of it remaining on the market for longer is increased. Furthermore, if the asking price ends up being decreased to encourage a sale, potential buyers are more likely to be weary of the possible reasons why.

Timing is everything

Those who place their homes on the market during both spring and autumn are more likely to sell faster than those who do so during summer and winter. Why? Simply put, for buyers who are parents, summer is a busy time, and thinking about a move is stressful enough without having to deal with children running around all day. During winter, the short days often tend to make a house viewing less desirable, also, with Xmas just around the corner, money tends to be tighter. Conversely, during spring and autumn, the days are reasonably longer, the kids tend to be back in school, and buyers are more likely to be actively looking.

Location, location, location

For those unsure how long it takes to sell a house, remember that listing nearby local services and amenities within your marketing can save a potential owner from needing to do as much research themselves. Simply knowing that there is a local shop within walking distance of your home can be a great help for someone looking to buy.

Get the legal side sorted

Just because you haven’t found a buyer yet, doesn’t mean you can’t start the conveyancing process early. Getting a solicitor to draft both a contract of sale and apply for title deeds along with confirmed planning consent and certificates can help to push a sale through in a much shorter timeframe than usual.

Taking too long to sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

What is my house worth?

It’s not always easy to keep track of the fluctuations within the property market that affect the value of your home. But if you’re thinking of selling, you’ll most likely find yourself asking “exactly what is my house worth?”.

Of course, the answer you receive is not always the one you want to hear. So instead, try asking “how much could my house be worth?”.

Potential homebuyers tend to view a number of properties before settling on the one that best suits their needs – but despite the complexities involved, most buyers make their mind up within the first 11 seconds of a viewing. So why is this?

Ultimately, as with all things in life, the initial taste is in the eye. It can be the small subtleties such as the inclusion of hanging baskets by the entrance exhibiting flowers in bloom; it could be the beautiful finish on the window frames, or it could simply be something imperceptible that you can’t quite put your finger on.

Surely then, it’s worth paying attention to those small details that can ensure your home won’t spend days, weeks, or even months in an agent’s window being repeatedly ignored by potential buyers until the asking price is reduced. So if you want to sell your house fast, and at a good price, below are a few tips to get you started.

 

Get your clippers ready

When a vendor asks themselves “what is my house worth?”, they tend to base their opinion on the interior of their home – often forgetting that the garden is part of the property too. Simply keeping the lawn mown, dead-heading the flowers and weeding the plant beds can reaffirm the buyer’s hopes that the seller takes good care of their home, inside and out.

A stylish finish

For many homeowners, a door is simply a door. Most of the time we don’t even notice it, but after years of use, front doors and window frames alike can become weathered, and the finish itself unattractive. A little touch up with either paint or varnish can really help complete the idyllic look you’re going for, as well as ensuring the property lives up to its asking price.

A book WILL be judged by its cover

We’re all a little judgemental inside, whether we like to admit it or not. When we walk past a dirty car in the street it’s hard not to imagine the kind of person who maintains it – and the same is true for a house. If you’re looking to sell, a great way to advertise the fact that you care about your home is to hire a professional window cleaner to give your home a once-over, inside and out.

An uncluttered façade

Similarly, if a prospective buyer sees pictures of your home online with window sills filled with books amongst other random objects, it makes it harder for them to picture themselves living there. By simply clearing the decks, adding a little furniture polish and the inclusion of a neutral but fitting ornament can really make your home stand out among the competition.

Of course, no buyer is going to give you the time of day if the interior of your home doesn’t match up, so it’s important to do a little renovation inside too – but with a little thought, a great first impression will always help a buyer to justify the price tag.

So next time you ask yourself “what is my house worth?”, remember that the care and effort you invest in your home adds a little intrinsic value itself.

Not getting any viewings? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

Movers and shakers: The geographical lottery of house values

With a difficult year behind us, new research by eMoov has uncovered the areas of the UK where house prices have been affected the worst.

house pricesNo matter who you are, it’s pretty clear that 2016 wasn’t the greatest year for the property industry. Despite exhibiting a relatively strong performance, the market – and by proxy, consumer confidence – was on edge thanks to the effects of stamp duty rises, the Brexit referendum and over-inflated prices.

In 2017, progressively more homeowners (and potential homeowners) have become increasingly wary of the market’s stability. With the imminent triggering of Article 50 in the coming weeks, many consumers are waiting to see whether prices will be negatively affected and if they are, should we buy any house at all in the coming year?

However, whether you were a winner or loser over the past 12 months as a homeowner seems to be highly dependent on where you live. And new data from online property portal eMoov has revealed the areas that suffered the biggest losses in the UK.

 

In England, the worst performance surprisingly came from Cambridge. Known for its educational establishments, history and close proximity to the capital, homeowners found themselves losing 5.12% in value over the last year. Many industry experts believe this could be a direct result of the expanding London bubble – falsely lulling potential homeowners to believe that price rises would continue.

The majority of London itself saw its average values increase by over 7%, but owners in Fulham and Hammersmith must have a bitter taste in their mouth after learning that their boroughs were the only two to actually lose value, at -2.10%.

While Wales’ market began to show signs of life towards the end of the year, it was too late for those who own in Ceredignion, who lost 3.49% off the value of their homes.

Interestingly, it was Scotland who performed worst of all, with two cities featuring in the top three worst positions for the whole of the UK. Those who had purchased in Aberdeen at the beginning of the year have seen a shocking loss of -9.81% in just 12 months, closely followed by Inverclyde at -7.63%.

Property experts believe several factors have contributed to the downfall for those who live north of the border:

There is hope for the Scottish east coast, however, as investment in wind farms and other renewable sources of energy continue to grow, leading to renewed hopes that the dependence on oil to float the local economy may be coming to an end.

Need to sell your home as soon as possible? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

Is fear of Brexit having a negative effect on house prices?

Areas of the UK where the population voted more strongly to leave the EU are enjoying faster house price growth than their ‘pro-remain’ counterparts – causing many homeowners to ask “how much is my house worth?” in the light of ongoing Brexit discussions.

British exit of EURecent research analysis by the HomeOwners Alliance has found that homeowners in regions with the highest percentage of ‘leave’ voters have seen the value of their homes skyrocket. Conversely, the survey discovered that in pro-remain areas, value increases have begun to stutter.

Experts believe that the regional difference is the result of a number of factors – but is predominantly attributable to consumer confidence.

So, you may ask, “how much is my house worth when considering the effect of consumer confidence?”

For many, it is a simple case of cautiously weathering the storm that is the triggering of Article 50 – but for some, there is a great urge to sell sooner rather than later in case value increases continue to stall.

“There is a clear pattern here; areas that voted more strongly to leave the EU have seen property prices grow faster over the past six months than areas that were pro-remain,” said Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance.

“Of course, house prices are dictated by a myriad of economic, political and social factors, but confidence – the all-important ‘feel-good factor’ – is vital.”

This ‘feel-good factor’ is a key element for large purchases such as housing, as it buoys confidence for the potential buyer in terms of future profits. It does, however, appear to be an element that is absent in the minds of those more pessimistic about the future of the UK outside the EU.

 

This difference in attitudes is epitomised strongly by the state of the Scottish property market, where property values have actually reduced by 1.2% since the referendum. With talks of a second independence vote from the UK, alongside a prevalent pro-remain stance across the country, it becomes clear that consumer confidence in the future is the mythical variable.

Capital affordability: How much is my house worth?

Other pro-remain areas including London have also fared poorly, where prices increased by only 2.45% since June 2016, far below regions such as Yorkshire and Humber – where values rose by a staggering 5.53%.

While many industry experts including RICS have noted that London house prices have either stalled or fallen for the past several months, it is still not clear whether or not the catalyst has been as a result of the Brexit vote – or simply the fact that previous value increases in the capital have now reached a point where they are unaffordable for the average potential home buyer.

Of course, the reasoning behind much of the variance in property value across the UK cannot simply be blamed on the referendum as Brexit itself has yet to be realised. For many however, the need to sell their homes fast is overriding the urge to wait for the outcome.

So if you are thinking of a picking up sticks and moving to pastures new before prices begin to fall, you may be asking “will I make a profit on my home? And if so, how much is my house worth?”

Unfortunately, for the for the time being it appears that for most potential vendors, as well as industry experts, there is no easy answer.

Worried that you may lose money on your house if you wait? Ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

Further price hikes expected for renters over the next five years

According to a new survey by the RICS, rental fees across the country are expected to rise faster than house prices by 2021.

The new survey, commissioned by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, is yet another nail in the coffin for the dreams of those who hope to buy, but are unable to gather the necessary deposit due to sky-high rental prices.

In detail, the research has found that while house prices are due to rise by around 20% by 2021, rental costs will increase by as much as 25%.

Thanks to the stamp-duty hikes in April last year – as well as the harsher restrictions placed on landlords themselves – many property owners are looking to downsize their portfolios over the next 12 months. This worrying trend is likely to exacerbate the issue by reducing the number of new listings coming on to the market – limiting the number of properties available for renters.

Even estate agents have also found the benefits of property rental management less attractive with the recent ban on lettings fees.

The restrictions on landlords were originally put in place to make cheaper properties available to potential home owners, but even low-end housing is still out of the affordability range for many first-time buyers.

 

With rent costs now accounting for nearly half of an average UK worker’s wages, these statistics should be considered as “yet another symptom of a very sick housing market that is carving ever-greater chasms between those who own a home and those who don’t,” according to David Orr, the Chief Executive of The National Housing Federation.

“Private renters are having the hardest time of it, paying the most as a proportion of the pay cheques and in real terms,” he said “We need to bring an end to these extortionate prices and give people real choices, by building the homes this nation needs.”

As rental demand continues to grow, the government has been met with a barrage of negativity regarding its handling of the housing crisis, with many property selling experts critical of the propositions spelled out in the White Paper released early this month.

It is clear that unless there is radical reform in the government’s approach to building affordable new-build homes, the number of those renters who have the money to put down a deposit on a new house will continue to dwindle – and will likely have a knock-on effect on those looking to sell their homes fast.

Vendors can of course use property buying companies, who are happy to buy any house for cash irrespective of location or condition. More importantly, with a quick and efficient process, sellers do not have to worry about agency fees or a potential buyer pulling out at the last minute.

Can’t find a buyer? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

Manipulation of freehold land affecting leasehold sales

Developers who build leasehold properties are selling the freehold to third party agents in order to make further profits – at the expense of the leaseholder.

Many potential first-time buyers in the UK find it easy to ignore the difference between freehold and leasehold properties. And why not? Many leasehold homes enjoy a lease of up to 999 years.

But what exactly is the difference between leasehold and freehold homes? In essence, the purchase of a freehold property means that the buyer gains a house and its land, owning them in their entirety. Leaseholds, however, are little more complicated.

When a buyer purchases a leasehold property, they agree to pay a ground rent for the land upon which their home is situated. The ground rent itself is extremely low – averaging between £50 and £100 a year – and is paid to the freeholder of the land.

The freeholder can be anyone from a developer or landlord, to a local council. Leasehold properties themselves have been around for decades and offer nearly all the benefits of a freehold property. While there are a few restrictions – such as the inability to build extensions onto the existing property without permission – there has, until recently, been little to complain about.

 

In the last decade, however, property selling experts have found that more and more new-build homes constructed by developers have been sold as leasehold as opposed to freehold, and this has allowed them to increase their revenues through dishonest means.

Many of these developers have been raising ground rent substantially, undermining the investment of the leaseholder and making the property itself harder to sell. More worryingly though is the sale of the freehold, unbeknownst to the leaseholder, to a third-party agent who uses legal loopholes to further their profits.

When a buyer purchases a property, under current law they possess the right to purchase the freehold after two years. The purchase itself can be between 30 and 50 times the annual ground rent depending on location but is still within the realm of what is considered affordable by the majority of homeowners.

In recent years, however, these third-party agencies have bought up freeholds en-masse with the sole purpose of increasing the freehold purchase price for the resident to unaffordable levels – often triple or quadruple the initial value.

While the government is reviewing the ban of leaseholds, in the short-term it leaves many leaseholders vulnerable to the will of unscrupulous developers who consider its customers as little more than an extra source of funds.

For those who own a leasehold property but are in need of a fast house sale, property buying companies are willing to make competitive offers regardless of their freehold status – in exchange for cash.

Looking to sell your leasehold property? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

UK’s Plans A Truly Global Britain Via Brexit

The UK prime minister Theresa May has now outlined her a 12-point plan for leaving the European Union (EU), or the Plan for Britain, as she has called it.

In her speech to diplomats at London’s Lancaster House, Theresa May for the first time revealed some key details about her approach to negotiations with the EU over the next two months before she evokes Article 50 meaning the UK will be fully separated by 2019. She also made it clear that the UK will leave the EU regardless of whether Parliament backs the particular Brexit deal the UK strikes with Brussels.

A truly global Britain

Mrs. May stated that her approach to Brexit will create “a truly global Britain”, one that will be “a magnate for international talent” and will become “a stronger, fairer, more outward looking” nation.

In her speech, Mrs. May also confirmed the UK will also leave the single market membership after it leaves the EU. Once free from EU rules and regulations and the laws of the European Court of Justice, The UK will push for a new “comprehensive free trade agreement“, giving it “the greatest possible access” to the single market.

The UK prime minister said she would pursue a “bold and ambitious free trade agreement with the European Union,” as well as striking new deals with countries from outside the EU.

She added that she wanted to “use this moment of change to build a stronger economy and a fairer society by embracing genuine economic and social reform.”

Theresa May has stressed that even though the UK is leaving the EU, she still wants the UK to continue to have a strong, ongoing relationship with the rest of Europe.

The foreign secretary, Boris Johnson said

“We’re not leaving Europe, we’re disentangling ourselves from the treaties of the EU. We can remain powerfully committed to Europe with a new European partnership … whilst also going forward with an identity as Global Britain.”

He went on to say that other countries are “queuing up” to sign trade deals with the UK once it leaves the EU.

“Under EU rules, we are not formally allowed to negotiate these new treaties until we leave. But there is nothing to say that ideas cannot be pencilled in.”

The effects of the UK property market

Whether you agree with the UK withdrawing from the EU or not, Brexit is now happening and there is no doubt that since the initial “out” vote the UK property market has been extremely unsettled and London has seen this more than anywhere else in the UK.

In response to Theresa May’s 12-point plan for leaving the EU, one of the property industry’s serious concerns relates to the existing skills shortage that the UK property sector is experiencing. With the new hard-line stance on immigration, this could cause serious inefficiencies due to a lack of skilled labour. At a time when the UK is in desperate need of more housing, it would be a real problem if the industry lost a vast majority of the individuals capable of building new homes in the UK.

However, the government is clearly hoping that this new Brexit speech will help ease the current uncertainty throughout the UK and renew confidence in the property market and all the other markets in the UK which might have been bracing themselves for more prolonged turbulence.

The future impact of Brexit

It will be very interesting to see how the UK property market is impacted in the short to medium term of the UK’s exit from the EU, especially the London property market. It will also be interesting to see if overseas investors will still see the UK as a safe haven to invest in the future.

After concerns in the currency markets over the last few days, it has been interesting to see the pound recovered slightly against the dollar although time will tell whether this will stick.

Failure to innovate: Why traditional estate agencies are dying

For centuries, estate agencies have existed in one form or another – but in an increasingly digital world, more and more house selling professionals are finding themselves superfluous to requirements in the housing market.

flying homes out the doorA mere 25 years ago, if you needed to sell your home, it would be unthinkable to go anywhere other than your local estate agent to garner interest from prospective buyers in the marketplace. As more and more online property portals open up, however, many agencies are finding themselves becoming more and more redundant in a ruthless industry that is heading towards a complete digital revolution.

And it’s not just a failure to innovate that is forcing the demise of these once-immoveable industry powerhouses, as government policies, higher taxes and bans on lettings fees have slowly come into force. So why are estate agencies failing whereas online portals are booming?

“They can’t rely on the old model,” says Ishaan Malhi, founder and chief executive of award-winning online mortgage broker Trussle.

“The average age of someone operating in the property sector is typically older, and I feel like they have defended themselves with traditional ways of doing things as a reason for not innovating.”

 

Despite suffering huge losses in terms of share prices, many larger estate agencies such as Foxtons and Countrywide – who both suffered drops of around 50% over the last year – have the facilities and financial backing to move into the digital world and remodel their businesses. For the little guy on the high street, however, options are a lot more limited.

Many directors and owners of smaller agencies are close to retirement age, and numerous surveys have found that they lack the interest in adopting new technologies – mainly due to the need for further training.

This new technology, known as ‘Proptech’, is being used by a rising number of investors, customers and house selling experts to cover the administrative and clerical areas of the house-buying process, ensuring lower overheads and allowing for a smaller workforce in order to maintain a base level of face-to-face interactions for clients – a method that is currently undercutting many high-street agency names in terms of service fees.

For many smaller estate agents, the writing is sadly already on the wall. As larger companies invest in tech start-ups that hope to revolutionise the industry, smaller firms just cannot compete. So while this is bad news for long-term industry professionals, it is ultimately great news for sellers and buyers alike – although it does not necessarily ensure a fast house sale.

Luckily, sell house fast companies will offer to buy any house for cash in order for a house sale to be processed fast and efficiently without the fees generally associated with traditional agencies.

Tired of waiting for your house to sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we guarantee to buy any home. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

National Cash Buyers Broaden Their House Search

In the latest Market Insight from Hamptons International, they have shown that UK cash buyers are now starting to broaden their horizons when it comes to buying a house.

The report shows that there were 92,845 cash only house transactions in the UK in the third quarter of 2016. This figure is a 5% fall compared with the same period last year.

This seems to be part of a consistent trend in the reduction of national cash buyers in the market since 2014.

This decline in the reduction of cash buyers seems to be the highest in the most expensive areas of the UK. Broken down into regions, the report shows that in the South East, the number of cash buyers fell by 13% compared with 2015: in the East, it fell by 11% and in London by 9%.

In the past national cash buyers would generally buy property in and around the UK region they currently lived in. However, this report shows that in 2016 Cash buyers are broadening their horizons on their search for a home. Back in 2013 83% of national cash buyers bought in the same region they came from, but in 2016 this figure has fallen by 5% to 78%.
London cash buyers have now set their sights further afield in the search for debt-free homes.

The South West has seen an increase in the proportion of London cash buyers buying there. In 2013, only 7% of London cash buyers bought a home there but this has now grown to 10% in 2016. Similarly, only 2% of London cash buyers bought a home in the North in 2010 but this has now grown to 8%. South East national cash buyers also show a similar trend.

Here is the full Market Insight from Hamptons International

national cash buyers


Selling before Christmas – the best gift you can ask for

With the year drawing to a close, many hold off putting their house on the market – but if you do it right, it’s easy to stand out in the Christmas crowd.

InheritanceThe property market is known to slow down in the run-up to Christmas, as the public turns its attention towards family gatherings, purchasing gifts and consuming gigantic quantities of mulled wine. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to sell.

In the traditional New Year rush, vendors flood the market with their homes in a bid to entice buyers – but more often than not, many find themselves losing visibility amid the masses and end up waiting longer to sell. So, if you can find a buyer before the year’s out, you can be a step ahead of the rest… and no matter what time of year it is, you can guarantee that someone will be looking.

So what can you do to give your home the greatest chance of selling before Christmas? Below are a few ideas you can use to get your house sold fast.

 

  1. With winter comes blustery winds; and as autumn has been and gone, it’s common to see piles of dead leaves stacked up against the external walls of houses. Simply keeping leaves and debris away to present a clear and tidy exterior can easily grab the attention of a prospective buyer.
  2. Footwear can often be covered in mud in the colder months, so make sure you’re not bringing the outside in with you whenever you get home.
  3. It may not be summer, but in the UK, weeds continue to grow at astonishing rates all year round – so make sure you put in a bit of effort to keep your garden uncluttered.
  4. The days may be shorter, but this can be a huge advantage for house selling experts. In winter, people generally look for a ‘cosy’ feel when browsing properties. Scheduling viewings when it is darker outside can therefore make your home a very attractive choice, if you make the effort to ensure it’s warm and welcoming And if you’ve got a fireplace, light it – the ambience will be a great selling point.
  5. Many vendors have found that their solicitors and conveyancers are less busy in the run-up to Christmas, and often report faster turnaround times on paperwork – so use this to your advantage and try to get everything sorted as soon as possible.
  6. If you’re looking to sell fast, take a moment to ponder the best asking price to ensure a quick sale – a steep price can leave buyers balking, but price it too low and people will begin to wonder if there’s a hidden problem.

Of course, as a vendor, there’s always an element of luck, no matter what time of the year you decide to sell, but there’s no reason to be disheartened – and don’t forget, if you need to sell before the year is out you can always use quick house sale companies who will buy any home for cash and make sure your sale is processed in minimal time.

Need to sell before 2017? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

Selling at Christmas – the best or worst time to market property?

The Christmas period has long been associated with a lack of activity within the property market – but an increasing number of potential buyers are spending the festive season house-hunting online. Wait for the new year and you could be missing out on some great opportunities.

In the last 15 years, there has been a huge increase in the use of websites that allow buyers to preview properties from a variety of estate agents. For many, this increased accessibility has made the stress so often associated with house-hunting a thing of the past – and these property websites aren’t just making the process of searching easier, but also changing the way we go about it.

For years, the Christmas period has been linked to a slowdown in the buying and selling process, with professionals advising sellers to wait until the new year to put their home up for sale. But new figures from leading property website Rightmove have indicated that the festive season is fast becoming one of the busiest periods for online viewings by UK home buyers.

With 14 million views alone on Christmas day in 2014 and a further 25 million on Boxing Day, there are those clearly less interested in the festivities, and more interested in getting ahead of the game. After all, there are few opportunities throughout the year when one can enjoy a prolonged break from work, sit down with a glass of wine at midday and browse everything the property market has to offer from the comfort of an armchair.

So, how can you make the Christmas period work for you? With increased online activity comes increased competition, so use the countdown to Christmas to get your house in top physical condition and ensure any photos used to advertise your property are handled by a professional who knows how to get the best out of your home’s aesthetics – and for external shots, don’t forget to rake the leaves from the garden and take advantage of the picturesque wintry light.

Plus, if time is a factor and you’re looking to sell your house fast, professional property buying companies such as National Homebuyers can help you move things along and get you a cash offer in place before the New Year.

If your looking for a sale house fast company then get n contact with National Homebuyers for advice, as we guarantee to buy any home. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Badly planned new-build locations hindering industry progress

As fears continue to mount over the government’s ability to provide the necessary housing for a growing population, a new study has provided some insight as to why this issue is failing to be tackled in a practical manner.

buying a homeFor many within the property industry, a key focus of 2016 has been the lack of new-build housing and its effects on those looking to buy a home, but who are unable to save up the necessary deposit. New details are emerging, however, that show the problem is very much an issue of location, rather than a comprehensive dilemma for the entire country.

According to a new study by Civitas, The Institute for the Study of Civil Society, the greatest motivator driving inequality across the UK is the lack of forethought applied when deciding where new housing should be concentrated.

With domestic and foreign investors, there are certain locations that are projected to grow in terms of population destiny exponentially over the next few years – yet property selling experts have found that these areas are experiencing some of the lowest construction rates versus other locales whose expected growth rates are lower, but still enjoy higher levels of construction investment.

 

“Nationally, the supply of new homes is currently running at about four-fifths of what it would need to be just to keep up with the needs of current rates of population growth,” said Daniel Bentley, editorial director at Civitas.

“This shortfall is not only pushing up prices but stymying the household growth we would otherwise expect to see – as more youngsters live with their parents or enter house-share arrangements – and creating homelessness.”

While areas of London such as the City of London, Kensington and Chelsea are experiencing rates of construction higher than their projected growth, the other 29 boroughs are woefully ill-prepared for the expected influx of workers.

With factors including greenbelt restrictions, inefficient investment models and high-value land preventing the building of new homes in London and the South East, prices have rocketed around the capital over the last five years making further construction even unlikely.

These high prices have thwarted the attempts by many vendors hoping for a fast sale, with many opting to use housing buying companies to ensure an efficient transaction thanks to their ability to buy any home for cash, and at very competitive prices compared to estate agents.

While the Department for Communities and Local Government is planning to review the future of new homes across the country in their White Paper publication due next month, for the moment at least, these issues will continue to have a negative impact on the industry as a whole.

Looking to sell fast and move on with your life? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

The Most Disgusting Properties in the UK

When you think of the most disgusting home ever then you would be forgiven for believing that this would be the forte of university students. Those people who have been to university will accept that this is actually something of an undeniable truth.

A quick visit to a student property will present you with a variety of brands of beer cans and empty wine bottles. If you are lucky, you may even find a variety of discarded items of clothing strewn across the floor of the property, protecting your feet from the gunk that has made a home for itself deep within the depths of the carpet.

However, it seems that it isn’t only students who have a particular liking for filth and their reputation for squalor is actually undeserved. While students like to accumulate traffic cones and road signs, they cannot really be considered classic hoarders.

 

*Warning – if you are eating it is better if you put down your food *

 

sunny cumbrian street

This home may look tranquil and peaceful from the outside and you can just imagine yourself perched by the window enjoying the sun on your face. However, away from the sanctity of this Cumbrian street, there is certainly nothing tranquil behind the front door.

 

 

disgusting property UK

I am sure that you will agree that being presented with a variety of different Coca-Cola bottles , some filled with urine, and various newspaper clippings containing human excrement, isn’t really something that a lot of us would consider to be pleasant. How about if we take a wander through into the lounge?

 

another disgusting property uk

Once again there are a variety of newspapers that for you to browse your way through, if that is your thing of course, but I am not sure it would be the best idea. Maybe it would be more appropriate to find a peg for your nose.

 

#4

Fancy a cuppa? I thought not and I don’t blame you! This would even be enough to put Gordon Ramsey off!

 

disgusting kitchen 2

I am sure he would have a few expletives to share with us though before running off to the beautiful Cumbrian hills for sanctuary.

 

 

disgusting lounge

You would need more than this depleted looking hot-water-bottle to keep you feeling safe at night. Shall we move onto the bathroom?

 

 

disgusting bathroom

At least it appears that your feet will be some-what protected by what appears to be a shower curtain in-front of the sink. It would probably safer to not wash your hands though.

 

 

disgusting bedroom

Sweet dreams are made of these – the only thing you would experience in this bedroom is undisturbed nightmares.

 

hole in floor in disgusting house

I’m not sure how well this will catch on but at least you will save yourself a bit of time as opposed to going down the stairs. Ok, maybe not.

If you are wondering what exactly happens to a property like this one then you may be surprised, and ever so slightly alarmed, that they actually get bought! If you are thinking who on earth would be mad enough to buy this property, then you obviously haven’t heard of National Homebuyers! We are not actually insane, we are simply a property purchasing company who buy any house. As you can see from these rather unpleasant photos, we really do buy any house, but I am sure that there is no need for us to persuade you after seeing these photos. Below is a collection of photos of this house after we went in there and cleared it.

If you are sitting there thinking to yourself: “I need to sell my house fast”, then why not get in touch with us? We have a team of dedicated property experts who can assist you in achieving a quick house sale that suits you.

 

renovated lounge

I would like to apologise for the quality of the photo but I am sure that you will agree it is something of an improvement.

 

renovated house hole in floor fixed

Sadly I think that the stairs proved to be more attractive option when this property was being renovated.

As you can see it is true that we buy any house so please do not be shy and request a call back from our delightful property team. Or, simply apply for your no obligation cash offer and sell your fast quickly and move on with your life. National Homebuyers can help you Sell House Fast.

Housing crisis creating more poverty-stricken families

As the government continues failing to act on the housing crisis, more and more working families are facing poverty, despite an economy that has continued to grow since 2010.

no moneyIt’s hard to believe sometimes that the UK, with its vast wealth and international influence, is facing a growing poverty crisis. With recent news of a multimillion-pound refurbishment of Buckingham Palace amongst other huge expenditures from taxpayers money, you wouldn’t be mad to think that the country is in excellent financial form.

In reality, however, it is perhaps shameful for the average Brit to learn that despite being a part of a working household, 7.4 million people are living in poverty, despite 3.8 million of those actively working.

In the private rented sector alone, the numbers of those living below the breadline has doubled in less than 10 years, according to research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The charity believes that the combination of rising rents, stagnating wages and continuing austerity measures aimed at reducing worker’s benefits are the prime catalyst behind the circumstances within which the UK has found itself.

 

While Prime Minister Theresa May has made a point in Parliament of reminding MPs that life outside Westminster is not all wine and roses, her plan for tackling the crisis has not yet been put forward.

With a lack of affordable housing, many working families have found themselves stuck in rented properties, even with both parents working – and unless the trend is bucked by an injection of funding into the relevant industrial sectors, property selling experts believe that the situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon.

“Sky-high rents are pushing more and more people to the brink as they struggle to find somewhere to call home,” said Campbell Robb, chief executive of housing charity Shelter. “This Christmas, over 120,000 children in Britain will wake up homeless.”

“Clearly something has gone very wrong when so many families, despite working hard, are struggling to keep their heads above water.”

This is bad news for society and the housing industry as a whole, considering it is often buoyed by consumer confidence. With fewer potential homeowners able to make the jump to home ownership, those looking to sell their homes fast will find themselves either lowering their asking prices considerably or face a long wait for a potential buyer to make an offer.

Property buying companies are always happy to purchase any home for cash in these situations, which can be of great help to those looking to sell fast, but for now, the focus is on the Conservative government and how it plans to rescue the country from its continued financial downfall.

Worried about not being able to sell due to a struggling society? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Campaigners push for zero-carbon housing policy to be reinstated

With awareness on the increase about carbon-neutral housing, the government is being urged to reintroduce the policy which aimed to ensure all new-build homes are as efficient as common technology will allow.
It’s not unusual for politicians to be voted into power based on promises they never intended to keep, and thereafter be hated by the population for failing to deliver the heaven on earth that he or she promised. In fact, many items on a party’s manifesto get swept under the rug once they take power – and for the most part, the public won’t react. But in a world where green renewable energy is a key focal point for governments around the world, the Tory’s scrapping of their zero-carbon housing policy was bound to come under some criticism.

Originally announced in 2006 under Gordon Brown’s Labour government, the policy was aimed at ensuring that all new-builds would be carbon zero by 2016. As the Conservatives took power, however, it was clear that George Osborne had a different agenda.

Osborne, under pressure from those in the building suppliers industry who rely on older, less environmentally-friendly practices – as well as energy companies who stand to lose millions as renewable energy cuts into their profits – began planning cutbacks in early 2015.

The first plans to be shelved involved the installation of on-shore wind farms (currently the most prevalent free energy source in the UK), closely followed by a hike in taxes for renewable energy projects and construction, ultimately leading to the abolishment of the zero-carbon policy in summer.

 

A year on, and property selling experts, clean energy campaigners and forward-thinking construction firms are urging for the policy to be reinstated. For many companies, there had been much investment in anticipation of the policy originally being implemented – and when it was withdrawn, many businesses found themselves out of pocket.

MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee have found that the government’s decision to axe the policy was hastily made, with little regard to objections they had received from other key departments; effectively ignoring any consultants who failed to toe the line.

“The scrapping of the zero carbon homes policy showed not only an irresponsible disregard for the steps we need to take to tackle climate change, but it also overlooked the years of investment and preparation made by thousands of businesses across the construction supply chain,” said John Alker, campaign and policy director at UK Green Building Council.

“This volatility in the policy landscape is highly damaging to industry, jobs and investor confidence. New homes should keep bills low for households, avoid placing unnecessary burden on national energy infrastructure and should not need to be expensively retrofitted in 15 years’ time in order to meet our carbon targets.”

As the world shifts towards a more carbon-neutral stance, vendors who are looking for a quick house sale should take steps to ensure that their home is as energy efficient as possible – a quality many potential homebuyers take into account when browsing properties. If funds are an issue, however, sellers can always contact property buying companies who will buy any home for cash, regardless of its energy rating.

Can’t sell your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

As letting fees are finally banned, is this good news for the industry?

Letting fees have always been unpopular, but as the new Chancellor announces that he is planning to have them banned, property selling experts wonder whether this is actually good news or bad news for those stuck in the rent trap.

property-marketThe housing market can often seem unfair to those looking to buy their first house. It seems a straightforward-enough process – raise a deposit, apply for a mortgage, buy the property and move in – but of course, it’s never that simple.

Between conveyancing charges, solicitor fees, mortgage product fees, land registry searches, homebuyers reports and moving costs, buying a house can leave a new owner stuck on a diet of Pot Noodles and rice for a few months afterwards while they nurse their bank account back to health. On the bright side, however, once all is said and done they are the proud owner of a new home.

Homebuyers aren’t the only ones suffering from additional fees either, and as rental costs continue to rise across the country, it’s somewhat unsurprising that many people have begrudgingly accepted that they may never own a home. However, there are high chances that they will need to move house periodically and as many renters are aware, simply moving from one rental property to another can be a hugely expensive venture thanks to agency fees.

 

Letting agents are not the most popular people with renters. Seen as unnecessary middlemen by both landlords and tenants, they have of late made themselves indispensable to both parties in an industry fraught with untrustworthy individuals looking to make a quick profit, and for this service a potential tenant can expect to pay a comparatively large fee for the simple pleasure of moving in.

Times appear to be changing though as Philip Hammond, the newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer is expected to ban letting fees – a decision that has left agents rather unhappy. While this initially seems to be great news, the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARCA) has pointed out that in order to recover these costs; the base rent payment for the duration of the contract is likely to increase.

“These costs enable agents to carry out various critical checks on tenants before letting a property,” says David Cox, managing director of ARCA.

“If fees are banned, these costs will be passed on to landlords, who will need to recoup the costs elsewhere, inevitably through higher rents. The banning of fees will end up hurting the most, the very people the government intends on helping the most.”

This is also bad news for vendors who are looking to sell their homes fast, as higher rents mean lower savings for those hoping to buy – forcing them to save for much longer to afford a deposit, and further reducing the pool of available buyers for properties on the market that are failing to attract interest.

Of course, vendors who need a quick sale can take advantage of property buying companies who will buy any home for cash regardless of condition or location.

Not getting any viewings? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

Estate agents inflate prices to win business, according to new report

As competition rises between estate agents, inaccurate valuations are being used to increase business at the expense of vendors, forcing them to reduce their asking prices in order to sell.

estate agentsTo put your house on the market is a big decision – and one that many understandably dread. It’s a gauntlet of hard selling, paperwork and a huge risk of disappointment if no buyers are willing to meet your asking price.

So which route should you go for? It all depends on your timescale. For those who need to sell fast, there’s always the option of property buying companies who will buy any home for cash – a process that is usually much faster and efficient than more traditional routes. For a large percentage of the populace who are unaware of these alternatives, however, estate agents are the only path they know.

For many, estate agents are a necessary evil – ranked within the same brackets as politicians and government ministers in terms of trustworthiness – but are we being taken advantage of by unscrupulous agents when we’re at our most vulnerable? According to a new survey by Nottingham Building Society, in many cases the answer is yes.

 

When choosing a service provider, we tend to take our business to whoever provides us with the best prices; and who appeals to us on a personal level as trustworthy – and estate agents are no exception. The new survey, however, has painted a rather sad picture of how many of us are taken advantage of when choosing who we sell our property with, as agents make promises regarding sale prices they know they can’t keep.

Across the country, the report has found that 41% of all vendors questioned who had sold a house in the past five years ended up selling for less than their original target – with one in twelve settling for a significantly lower price than originally hoped. Areas such as Yorkshire and Humberside were found to perform even worse, with 57% of respondents settling for lower sale prices than originally promised by their agent.

Nottingham Building Society believes that the problem stems from agents giving inaccurate valuations to gain business, knowing fully well that the quoted price is likely to be erroneous. Property selling experts have also noted that an inflated asking price will lead to the house staying on the market for a longer period of time – making potential buyers question the saleability of the property and further reducing the strength of future offers.

“Price is not all that matters when you are selling your house,” says Su Snaith, Head of Estate Agency at The Nottingham, “but it can be absolutely vital if you are relying on a certain price for your next purchase, which means realistic valuations are essential.”

Nervous about using an estate agent? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

Selling a House With Problem Neighbours: How to Sell Despite Your Problem Neighbours

How Neighbours From Hell Can Affect Your Property Value

It is an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes we find ourselves living near to people who we find to be particularly unpleasant. Whether they live next door, above or below you; selling a house with problem neighbours can make your life a misery. This can be in the form of constant excessive noise that stops you from sleeping or enjoying the peace and quiet of your own home. Or perhaps it is a lot more anti-social and consists of piles of rubbish or general anti-social behaviour with the intention of disturbing and intimidating you.

 

Sometimes the problems can become so intrusive and disturbing that you simply decide that enough is enough and want to move home. Sadly this can often lead to more heartache due to the fact that the requirement to disclose problems with noisy neighbours is beginning to be enforced more strongly, even for minor disputes or annoyances. This includes problem neighbours who have a preference for throwing the occasional noisy party.

There is one unfortunate fact that problem neighbours can cause; those rows over the garden fence or outside in the street could actually have a significant impact on the value of your home and even worse, ensure that no one wants to go near it when they discover the recent problems you have encountered.

Talking To Your Neighbours From Hell Can Help

If you are intent on trying to solve the problem then there are various options available to you. The first is simple, if you talk directly with the neighbour who is disturbing you then you will be surprised to find out that often this solves a lot of the problems directly. A lot of the time people are unaware that they are annoying or disturbing you and a quick chat will often solve it. It is probably better to do this in a public place, like over the garden fence or out in the street rather than awkwardly knocking on their front door. If you feel that your neighbour may not be open to seeking a peaceful resolution, or that they could potentially greet your friendly request with violence, then you should get in touch with your local council’s anti-social behavioural team or with your local police who will offer you further advice.


 

If you are unsure as to what constitutes anti-social behaviour then this can include, but is not limited to: littering or dumping rubbish, misuse of fireworks, shouting or excessive noise in public places, using rude, abusive or insulting language, threatening or bullying, uncontrolled and/or dangerous dogs and excessively drinking alcohol and the buying and selling of illegal substances in the street. It is usually recommended that rather than trying to tackle this behaviour yourself you consult someone from the anti-social behavioural team at your local council. It is not worth putting yourself at risk of getting caught up in violence. Usually these are problem neighbours who have never been challenged before and they have not been confronted by the appropriate authorities.

Guaranteed Quick House Sale Despite Your Neighbours

homebuyer man with guaranteeAs we have already mentioned, when you wish to sell your property and you have experienced problems with nuisance neighbours, you are required to disclose any disagreements, no matter how small they are. Therefore many homeowners often discover that they experience great difficulty when trying to sell their homes due to this disclosure and their homes end up sitting on the market for months, and more often than not, years. This can in turn lead to further problems with your neighbour’s behaviour as they attempt to goad you as they become aware that their behaviour is a source of irritation to you. This can quickly turn your life into a misery and you end up not being able to sell your property.

If you are wondering what the answer is then you may be surprised to discover that there are companies out there who will literally buy any home. National Homebuyers literally buy any house in the UK. It isn’t an issue if your property is falling down or if your neighbour is slinging sacks of rubbish into your garden all day and night, we will offer you a quick cash transaction to buy your property. We fully understand that when you are suffering from the constant headache of nuisance neighbours all you want to do is sell your property fast; we offer you a stress-free and hassle-free cash transaction and we will complete the purchase as quickly as possible, or if you require, to a timescale that works for you. If you are looking for a we guarantee to buy any home service then get in contact with National Homebuyers.

If you would like to see how National Homebuyers can assist in selling your house fast, then why not apply now for a no obligation cash offer and take the hassle and uncertainty out of selling your property.

What does Trump’s election victory mean for the UK housing market?

As anti-Trump rallies are held across the US in reaction to the stunning result of the presidential election, UK economists and property selling experts find themselves experiencing a feeling of unease about the future of British markets.
To state that Donald Trump’s victory against Hillary Clinton was a shock may well be the understatement of the century. As the UK celebrates losing the crown of the most controversial vote of the year to the US, it leaves us pondering the knock-on effects of the contentious billionaire becoming the most powerful man on earth.

For the housing market in the UK, it seems to be a case of sitting, biting our nails and hoping that the cards fall in our favour. Those looking to sell their homes fast may find themselves looking towards property buying companies in an effort to strike before they lose too much of their house’s value.

Trump’s win was seen by many as the ultimate anti-establishment vote against a deeply unpopular politician. Clinton is viewed by a large percentage of the population as untrustworthy; and a symbol of all that is wrong with the culture on Capitol Hill.

Across America, low-paid workers are celebrating at the proposition of manufacturing jobs returning home, while the increased taxes on Chinese imports will urge consumers to buy US-made products. Sadly, however, with the increase in automation of low-paid jobs from factories and drivers, it is unlikely there will be any jobs left upon their return.

 

Furthermore, with Putin stating upon Trump’s victory that he is ready to fully reinstate diplomatic and trade ties with the US, the American public see this as a way to avert any future military action between the two super-powers. Yet many others believe this is the first step for the withdrawal of the US from both NATO and the United Nations, while allowing Russia to gain the support it needs to recover former Soviet states back from Europe.

For the GOP, the win means retaining a majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as another stab at the White House. For the DNC, however, the painful loss will not be forgotten easily – especially considering the imbalance of support shown for Hillary over the more progressive and popular candidate Bernie Sanders (a man whose approval rating is one of the highest in Congress). In hindsight, many believe that Sanders would have been a shoe-in for the presidency had he been the DNC’s priority, but the influence and power of the Clintons ensured that this would never happen.

But what about the UK? Global markets reacted with a sharp fall upon the election announcement, but this fall is expected to stabilise over time, much like Brexit. However, as Trump was a big supporter of the UK’s choice to leave the EU, it is entirely possible that stronger trade ties between the US and UK will develop. But then, as the majority of imports arrive from Eastern Asia, the benefits of any supposed deal are hard to gauge at this point.

 

The UK has historically been used as a ‘middle-man’ by both EU countries and the US, but with Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, many believe that the America’s need for a ‘special relationship’ with Britain may not be a priority for Trump anymore.

The president-elect himself has called the deeply unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal a “rape of our country”, a sentiment echoed by many in the UK – but his emphasis on aiding American industry as opposed to strengthening ties with Western Europe could lead to a reduced level of globalisation, reducing business opportunities for the UK and thus impacting on all our markets, including housing.

There’s also the weak British pound and a lack of consumer confidence due to the Brexit referendum, as well as the potential change in international relations with China, the US; and the EU itself could go either way. So will we enjoy a commercial and industrial renaissance across the country? Or are we facing a depressive period devoid of economic growth? Only time will tell.

Worried about your home’s value after global changes? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

Renting costs more than buying in two thirds of UK cities

As the number of people stuck in the rent cycle continues to rise, a new survey has found that with the necessary deposit, buying a house is cheaper than renting in 60% of UK cities.
It seems a bit of a no-brainer – why waste money on rent if that same money could help you pay off a house? For those with a sizeable amount of disposable income it’s an easy decision to make, but only because they consider the deposit affordable.

Online property portal Zoopla analysed 50 cities and their associated costs by comparing monthly rental prices with the cost of a 10% mortgage in a similar property. Then, once the data was examined, it was found that purchasing a home was cheaper in 60% of the locations investigated – which is of great interest to all property selling experts. Even more startling is that this figure has increased by 20% since April, when stamp duty was increased by George Osborne.

Cities such as Glasgow exhibit some of the largest margins, where mortgage payments average £450 a month, versus £596 a month for renters – almost £150 more. Of course, while buying a house seems simple enough, large rental payments are preventing potential buyers from building up the necessary funds for a deposit.

 

This worrying trend has only been exacerbated by the news that the average home across the UK now costs six times the average wage – with prices due to rise £44,000 over the next five years.

Luckily there is at least some good news for those who can afford a deposit, with attractive mortgage rates lowering monthly costs, thanks to the influence of the Brexit vote and consumer confidence. But in the long run, owning a home is looking to become an ever more exclusive club.

“The steady decline in borrowing costs over the same period has helped to lessen the impact on affordability for home buyers,” said Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardner.

“The cost of servicing the typical mortgage as a share of take-home pay is now above its 2007 peak in London and above its long-run average in the outer metropolitan and outer south-east regions.”

This also ultimately raises fears for those who need to sell their homes fast, as potential buyers are failing to secure mortgages due to a lack of funds, leaving vendor’s homes on the market for longer periods of time, conceivably leading to reduced asking prices. However, sellers in this situation can use property buying companies who will buy any home for cash, helping them move forward with their lives.

Can’t find a buyer? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

Report says 40% of UK homes are not up to scratch

A leading UK charity has found that almost half of all properties across the country fail to provide an acceptable standard of living for its inhabitants – which is surely a situation that needs to change.
The housing charity Shelter has found that 43% of all dwellings in the UK fail to meet the criteria used to judge whether a house can secure an occupant’s wellbeing. The criteria for the study included 39 tenets across five areas: space, stability, affordability, decent conditions and neighbourhood.

Research was conducted using a representative sample of 2000 people from across the country; and property selling experts have found themselves shocked at the state of homes originally declared ‘habitable’.

The epicentre of the problem is within London, where 73% of those questioned found that their homes were not up to the necessary standard, with Wales and the East Midlands in joint second place with 49%. While it is worth bearing in mind that a vast majority of London-based properties will fail on affordability (due to the ever increasing prices across the city), it nonetheless paints a harsh picture for those living within touching distance of the poverty line.

 

With affordability and stability being two prominent issues to arise from the survey – mainly due to future uncertainties regarding whether mortgages or rental prices would rise – there are many across the nation living in properties with insufficient heating and underwhelming insulation, as well as dampness and mould.

“When Shelter was founded 50 years ago, it was with the hope that one day everyone in the country would have access to a place they can truly call home,” said Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive.

“But the sad truth is that far too many people in Britain right now are living in homes that just aren’t up to scratch – from the thousands of families forced to cope with poor conditions, to a generation of renters forking out most of their income on housing each month and unable to save for the future.”

Whether owned by a landlord or its resident, homes in a deteriorated condition are often extremely hard to sell. For those who own a home in an undesirable state that wish to sell fast, there are property buying companies who will buy any house for cash regardless of condition.

Worried the condition of your house will prevent a sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

New lettings overtake sales for the first time in over 80 years

As the uncertainty over the state of the UK property market continues, new research indicates that 2017 could see a greater number of new lets than sales.
Across the country, 2016 has been a strange year for the property market. With the stamp duty hike early on, followed by the Brexit vote in June, property selling experts have done their best to estimate the direction the market is headed – but so far, its behaviour has been rather unpredictable.

Without a doubt, the referendum has made many potential buyers feel uneasy about whether or not now is the best time to be investing in a house, but more importantly it’s also making those who already own more willing to wait until the market has settled before they consider selling.

As a result, those who were previously looking to buy are maintaining their status as renters for the time being – and a new report from the UK’s largest estate agency Countrywide states that 2017 is likely to be the first year that new lets overtake sales since the 1930s.

 

This news is perhaps unsurprising, given that various government schemes such as help-to-buy have now finished. When coupled with the fact that various lenders withdrew many of their low deposit mortgages, it is clear why first-time buyers are facing a longer wait to save the necessary funds.

“The shift between the number of properties being offered for rent and sale has been a long-term trend, boosted a bit by stamp duty and a bit by the Brexit vote,” said Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide.

While this is great news for landlords who continue to profit from generation rent, those looking to buy are finding it harder than ever to scrape together the money for a down-payment. This report is also unlikely to be welcomed by those looking to sell their home fast, as vendors report lower numbers of viewings across the country.

There are, however, property buying companies who are willing to buy any home for cash, offering competitive prices for houses regardless of location or condition, aiding those who need to move in a shorter time frame due to work commitments or simply to retire.

Looking to sell your home fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

Resident Evil? How to Sell a Haunted House

haunted housesHalloween is very nearly upon us. The pumpkins, fancy dress parties, and trick or treaters knocking on your door expecting sweets. Whether you believe in the concept of Halloween or not, this time of year always gets everyone talking about the supernatural, the possibilities ghosts, and haunted houses.

Do you think your home might be haunted? Perhaps your flat gets strangely cold at night? Maybe you do have a resident evil? You could have a Poltergeist, a lost soul, a Kobold, a Bhoot, a Churel or a Bogle living in your home with you? Is your house the one place in your neighbourhood all the threat or treaters avoid because of all the rumours relating to it being genuinely a creepy place.

For some homeowners, a resident ghost would be a delight. A property that is haunted could be seen as a virtue, not a curse. Being haunted gives a house an air of mystery, intrigue, and history of a place. Having a resident ghost is almost an expected part of such a package when buying a period property with and an attached history.

Selling a house with a spooky history

You might not be afraid of ghosts and ghouls or see your resident evil as a positive characteristic of your property, but the reality is it can be a real problem for homeowners when it comes to selling a house that has a spooky history.

Trying to sell property that is haunted and has a chequered past can result in a 20% drop in the price of the property itself and can be twice as difficult to sell compared to a normal property according to research conducted by Move with Us, a network of independent estate agents.

They discovered that 83% of estate agents felt that a home which a has a noticeable past can lose between 11-20% of its value as potential UK home buyers are scared off buying a home with a dodgy history. This includes properties built on top of a graveyard, a former crime scene or as we mentioned rumours the property is haunted.

Tips for selling a haunted house

So you want to sell your house, but it is haunted and you are worried it will put off potential buyers.

Here are a few tips we would suggest to help you sell your haunted house:

Call the Ghostbusters!

So there is something strange in your neighbourhood? Who you going to call….Ghostbusters?? Actually, before you go calling anyone, you should figure out if your house is really haunted.

Check your floorboards or doors which might be just squeaking, check your windows or doors for any drafts of air, check your pipes for any strange noises and fix any potential flickering lights. Another thing to do is to make sure you are getting enough sleep as sleep deprivation can cause delirium and hallucinations. Just try to think logically about anything throughout the house that could be creating any situation that could be wrongly interpreted as paranormal activity.

We are not questioning whether your house is haunted or not we are just suggesting you eliminate all rational possibilities first. If you are sure that your house is haunted then now its time to call the Ghostbusters.

 

Well maybe not, but I’m sure there are companies out there providing these sorts of services. The other option, if you are plagued by an unruly ghoul, is an exorcism. Every Anglican diocese in the UK has a specialist team of exorcists ready to vanquish evil spirits for you.

Know your legal obligations

haunted house signWhy not just don’t mention the fact that your house is haunted? Most people don’t believe in ghosts anyway, right, so why say anything? There are sceptics out there who believe that ghosts are just figments of the imagination, they do not actually exist? So again why mention the fact that the house is haunted?

Looking into the legal obligations here when it comes to selling a haunted house it appears that there is no direct law stating that paranormal or haunted presences must be mentioned.

However legally you cannot mislead or give false statements regarding the sale of your property. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (which replaced the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991) states that there is a general duty to avoid making false or misleading statements.

This means that if a buyer enquires into whether there has been any paranormal activity or asks if you believe the house is haunted you would be obliged to say yes if you believe that it is. If you are aware of the house being haunted and you give the buyer misleading answer and they bought your house then you have knowingly misrepresented your property — though it might be difficult to prove you knew it was haunted in the first place.

Also, estate agents are required by the NAEA to declare ‘anything that has occurred at the property that would affect the transactional decision of the average buyer’. Even though this does not directly mention ghosts, they do need to disclose any suicides and murders that have taken place in the house at some point in history.

Stambovsky v AckleyNot mentioning a house is haunted has not yet landed anyone in the UK in legal issues to date. However, in the USA they view this very differently. In a famous case of Stambovsky v Ackley in 1991, it was established that the owner had not mentioned the house he was selling was haunted and so the sale was duly rescinded – even though the house was one a ghost tour of the neighbourhood and its poltergeists were well known.

 

Make the property less spooky looking

haunted houseIt might seem pretty basic, but regardless of whether you have a resident evil or not ensure that your property is tidied up as a messy property could put off potential buyers. Make sure the rooms in your house are clutter-free because clutter makes a room lot smaller and makes it harder for a buyer to imagine living in your home. Make sure you pack away your collection of shrunken heads, bottled specimens, stuffed animals and/or creepy china dolls you may have.

The stigma attached to a haunted house is that it is dark and creepy. Try to avoid this stereotypical look by making your house as light and airy as possible by pulling back the curtains and removing any items that might block light such as vases or photo frames on window sills.

Also, as we mentioned earlier, try to fix and eliminate anything that could be misconstrued as paranormal activity like creaky floorboards, dripping taps, drafts of air and keep the property well heated avoiding the typical cold chill a creepy house would have.

Use a sell house fast company

homebuyer man with guaranteeSo you want to sell your house, but it is haunted and you are worried that will scare off potential buyers? If this is the case, one option is to not put the property on the open market at all but to go straight to a sell your house fast company like National Homebuyers.

A quick house sale company can purchase your haunted home for cash in as little as 7 days regardless of what skeletons you have in your closet or what type of ghost resides in your property. These type of companies will buy any house, in any condition within the UK, in a time-scale that best suits you and your resident evil. The benefit of a company like National Homebuyers is that they use their own funds and don’t rely on mortgages or investors, meaning they can help you sell your house fast stress-free with no fear of any property chain breaking down due to a pesky ghost scaring off the buyer.

So if you have a house or property anywhere in the UK that isn’t selling because it’s haunted then why not contact National Homebuyers who will buy your house, ghosts and all, for cash fast.

Sell your haunted house

To get a spookily fast cash offer for your haunted home then why not apply online or request a call back from our friendly customer care team? Or, if you prefer, simply give us a call on 08000 443 911 and we will guide you through our we buy any house process.

Fracking sites affect buyer interest in surrounding homes

As fossil fuel companies are given the green light to drill for shale gas around the UK, a new survey has found that a large percentage of potential buyers would rule out purchasing a home near fracking sites.

House Prices DownWith a huge push towards renewable energy in full swing throughout the developed world, oil and gas companies are clamouring to claw back future losses through the practice of fracking – the process of drilling deep into the earth and releasing a high pressure water mixture into shale rocks that are known to contain hidden deposits of natural gas.

The procedure has come under criticism in the US from environmentalists who discovered the mixture had found its way into water supplies around many fracking locations in Wyoming and Pennsylvania. Questions have also been raised as to why the US and UK governments are willing to give fracking the green light considering the social impetus towards clean energy.

Around the UK and predominantly in the north of England, fracking had previously been banned by various councils due to fears about contamination of ground water. However, these bans have been overturned by Parliament against the wishes of residents near the proposed sites – and unfortunately for those looking to sell their homes fast, there are signs that houses near these sites are going to be much harder to sell.

 

A new survey carried out by House Extension Online interviewed 1000 people across the country and found that 64% of those questioned would not consider buying a house near a fracking site.

Unsurprisingly, those most in favour of fracking are those aged over 55 – for whom the practice could lead to lower energy bills – while those aged 35-44 are the most against.

While many reports have emerged claiming that the dangers of fracking have been overestimated, house selling experts believe that a drop in consumer confidence alone is enough to cause houses in the affected areas to drop in both value and buyer interest.

“This is a sad day, as it is clear to all that this government neither listens nor can it be trusted, to do the right thing for local communities,” said Pat Davies, the chairperson of an anti-fracking group based at Preston New Road (one of the proposed sites).

“It is deplorable that an industry that has been rejected on every level has inflicted itself on Preston New Road.”

Those living near potential fracking locations who need to sell, but opt for the traditional route of using estate agencies, may find themselves waiting for a long time. Luckily, there is always the option of secure property buyers who will buy any home for cash regardless of its condition or location.

Unable to sell or worried that fracking will scare off buyers? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Why not check out our National Homebuyers reviews.

 

Decisive report illustrates the struggle for early-1980s millennials

Thanks to the ever-increasing gap between wages and housing costs, those born in the early 1980s have been proven to be at a severe disadvantage with regard to buying a home and ultimately retiring with a comfortable pension.
While certain members of the older generations still maintain the notion that millennials are lazy, and their state of desperation is due to a lack of work ethic, a damning report released by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has painted an entirely different picture.

With a focus on millennials born in the early 1980s, the research has determined that they are half as wealthy as those born ten years previously – enjoying a wealth of £27,000 versus £53,000 for those born in the 1970s.

The report also revealed that those in the 30-something generation missed the opportunity to benefit from huge house price increases and better pensions; as well as being the first generation to not enjoy higher earnings than those who came before.

 

With much lower home ownership levels thanks to rising rental payments and stagnating wage increases, many property selling experts are beginning to wonder what effect this will have on the market when those older generations who already own begin to look at downsizing. Who will they sell to if no one can afford their asking price?

Those who are currently looking to sell fast are already finding it harder to locate potential buyers who have the necessary funds available, causing many to repeatedly lower their asking prices. Of course there are always  secure property buyers who buy any house for cash regardless of market conditions, allowing a boost of mobility for vendors who can’t afford to wait around.

“With sky-high house prices so out of step with average wages, it’s no wonder a whole generation are being priced out of a home of their own and left with no choice but expensive, unstable private renting,” said Campbell Robb, CEO of housing charity Shelter.

“At Shelter we see the impact of our chronic shortage of affordable homes every day, with thousands of people forking out most of their income on rent and left living from one pay cheque to the next.”

Analysts are also looking towards the future when millennials begin to retire – as reduced wealth and an inability to purchase a home will ultimately put more pressure on the state to support them in their old age. And with the situation due to get worse with proceeding generations, it’s an issue that won’t be going away anytime soon.

Can’t find a buyer? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

Scotland’s home rental nightmare

Since the establishment of a Scottish government in 1999, the number of people living in rented accommodation has tripled – limiting the number of potential home buyers.

property-marketAfter years of campaigning for an independent government, Scotland finally established its own parliament in 1999 in Hollyrood, Edinburgh. The move was originally seen as a way for Scottish people to move away from English politics and prove that the country could function without the support of its bigger brother.

While there have arguably been many successes for the Scots in this period of transition, in the last 17 years there has been one area in which the new government has failed to impress – and that’s housing.

While the living cost and wage gap is an issue that threatens the whole of the UK, new figures from the Scottish Household Survey have shown a shocking increase in the number of people living in rented homes, almost triple the amount since the new parliament was inaugurated.

 

The survey has determined that one in seven households in Scotland is paying rent to private landlords; a staggering 14% of all homes versus 5% in 1999. Housing charities and property selling experts have been quick to urge the government to push through reforms to slow down the trend, by making the housing market more flexible and trustworthy for those looking to purchase their first homes.

The housing charity Shelter Scotland is pushing for a restructuring of the rental system, by advising poorly performing landlords on how to improve their practices; and ensuring that landlords who frequently ignore the laws and the rights of their tenants are removed from the register altogether.

Describing the worrying trend, spokesman Adam Lang said: “[…] this growth, along with major changes to the type of people now renting privately, meant reform of the sector was vital. Shelter Scotland has been spearheading the push for reform.”

He added: “Progressive and far-reaching changes in the laws on private renting – such as the new private tenancy – are a big step forward.”

With a growing number of young families forced to continue renting as opposed to saving for a deposit, the number of potential buyers in the marketplace is becoming limited – making it harder for those looking for a fast house sale to find a suitable procurer.

In these situations however, there are always secure property buyers who are willing to purchase any home for cash, regardless of market conditions and without the long wait associated with the traditional estate agency route.

Looking to sell in Scotland? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

People could save £450,000 (60%) on the average cost of a house by simply moving out of London

According to research by Lloyds bank, people working in London could save themselves almost £450,000 or 60% on the cost of a house if they chose to live outside of the city and commute into London every day.

The study shows that average house prices drop by 60% from £741,919 in central London to £294,903 in towns such as Wellingborough and Chatham that are only an hour away from London.

Lloyds continue to say that even when taking into account the typical annual rail cost for a one-hour daily commute each way at £4,989, a commuter would have to make the same journey for 89 years for the total rail costs to wipe out the benefit in house prices.

 

The top 5 most affordable commuter towns outside of London for house prices are:

⦁ Wellingborough in Northamptonshire
⦁ Peterborough in Cambridgeshire
⦁ Kettering in Northamptonshire
⦁ Chatham in Kent
⦁ Swindon in Wiltshire

In Wellingborough in Northamptonshire is seen as the most affordable commuter town, where the average house price of £183,345 is 4.1 times the average annual earnings for central London workers. The next most affordable town outside of London is Peterborough in Cambridgeshire where the average house price is 4.2 times the typical annual earnings in London, at £189,319.

If you don’t wish to be that far from London, then towns such as Hatfield, Billericay, Orpington and Reading are only about 40 minutes away from London. In these towns you could potentially save 48% or £353,000 compared to London’s house prices. The average house prices in these towns is around £389,000 and with a lower average annual rail pass cost at £3,534.

Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director, said:

“Commuters to London who don’t mind a longer journey between home and work could reap the financial benefits of living outside of the capital.”

“However, the decision of whether to live in the city or further away is not simply a trade-off between financial costs and journey times. Quality of life is also a major factor: family circumstances, better schools, physical environment and homes that offer better value for money also come into the equation,”

Mr Mason continued:

“That explains why, especially outside London, commuters are often prepared to pay a premium to commute when they could be better off in purely financial terms living closer to their place of work.”

Why not sell your London home and move outside of the city to save yourself a lot of money. Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Let our friendly sell house fast team guide you through our quick move now  fast house sale process.

Why not check out our National Homebuyers reviews.

Is the end of the London property bubble nigh?

As forecasts for the capital’s property prices over the next two years appear bleak, will vendors find themselves with unmarketable property due to a lack of interest?

Budget 2016While the capital has always been considered an area of prime real estate, its exponential growth over the last 50 years has gone beyond what many in the property market consider normal. From those who managed to buy a property in London while the prices were somewhat affordable, to foreign investors who possess the financial clout needed to outbid others for in-demand homes in the most exclusive locales, homeowners in the capital have so far been happy to benefit from its ever increasing house prices.

However, there are signs that the tide is starting to turn, according to new figures released by top London-based estate agency Savills. While the rest of the country has recovered relatively gracefully from the ‘hiccup’ known as Brexit, London homeowners in vicinities such as Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Mayfair have continued to see prices fall – a fall which started over 18 months before the referendum was even announced.

Suffering from huge property tax increases, along with high-rate buy-to-let mortgages and costly second homes, the elite are seeing their dominance in the capital’s property market begin to slip.

 

With a 9% fall in prices to date since 2014, many investors are starting to feel the pinch of negative equity knocking at their doors – and if potential home buyers continue to rest on their laurels as opposed to blindly and confidently purchasing houses, in the custom which London property selling experts consider typical, the capital could start to see its downfall earlier than expected.

For the most part, central London has been a target for wealthy foreign investors – but their unwillingness to continue investing in the period of uncertainty following the UK’s planned exit from the EU has understandably caused a slowdown in the market, further compounding the woes already being felt.

Savills believes that these areas will not see an increase in investment for a further two years, until the EU talks are complete and Article 50 has been triggered. But with the HS2 rail link undermining the necessity for city-centre living as well as the growing number of companies moving to cities with cheaper costs, will it be too late for London to recover when all is said and done?

Those who need to sell in London don’t need to wait to for buyers if they decide to use a house buying company, who would be willing to buy any house for cash regardless of the state of the market for competitive fees – and with prices continuing to fall, avoiding traditional estate agencies may very well be the best way forward.

Worried that your London home won’t sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Let our friendly sell house fast team guide you through our quick move now  fast house sale process.

Why not check out our National Homebuyers reviews.

 

Food or shelter? The housing crisis in the UK

With ever-rising living costs, more and more families are finding themselves making unhealthy and potentially damaging cutbacks in their lives to keep a roof over their heads.

15-10-14 - House and cash weighing scalesWe often read stories about families who struggle to make ends meet, from single mothers striving to provide for their children, to working class couples from a deprived socio-economic background. It is somewhat surprising, then, to find that the issue is hitting closer to home and on a larger scale than many people imagine.

Research released by the housing charity Shelter in collaboration with YouGov has shown that almost half of all working families are forced to cut back on food and clothing in order to pay for their rent or mortgage. Described as “appalling” by house selling experts, the situation appears to have spread across the nation, yet generated little attention.

Recently released statistics by the government also support Shelter’s research, by confirming that those who own their property are contributing on average 29% of their income towards their mortgage payments, while private renters are paying as much as 43%.

 

The findings, published this week, have also found that one in 11 working parents are skipping meals to cover their costs, while one in five are avoiding buying new clothes for their offspring in order to keep their heads above the proverbial water.

Even more worrying is that 60% of working parents across the nation are straining to meet their mortgage or rental payments each month, and if one or both providers were to lose their job they would immediately find themselves in arrears.

“Any one of us could hit a bump along life’s road, but with housing now taking up the lion’s share of people’s pay-packets, any drop in income can all too quickly leave families at risk of losing their home,” Said Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter.

“At Shelter we speak to parents every day who live in constant fear that a cut in hours could tip them into homelessness. With hundreds of thousands of working families in the region struggling and a period of economic uncertainty ahead, now is the time for the new government to both protect and improve our welfare safety net so that it can be there to support families who fall on hard times.”

The fact that 60% of homeowners and tenants are finding it hard to afford where they live already means it is becoming progressively unlikely for them to consider another purchase any time soon, forcing those who are looking for A fast house sale to endure a longer selling process, if using the traditional route of estate agencies. However, they do have the option of using a house buying company, who will buy any home for cash regardless of condition or location.

Can’t sell your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Let our friendly sell house fast team guide you through our quick move now  fast house sale process.

 

The legacy of George Osborne – gone but hard to forget

With the blame for the downturn in high-end property sales being placed firmly on the shoulders of the Brexit vote, many are starting to point towards Osborne’s tax increases as the root of the problem.

property-marketIn the wake of the recent slowdown in the high-end property market, many property selling experts originally believed much of the discontent felt by both vendors and potential homeowners was due to the Brexit vote.

Osborne himself, before being sacked from the cabinet by new Prime Minister Theresa May, stated that a Brexit vote would “hammer the housing market and the wider economy”. But as the market stabilises in the wake of the June referendum, it is slowly becoming clear that much of the anxiety felt within the property market in both London and the rest of the UK stems from tax hikes introduced by the man himself.

The clampdown on stamp duty started in December 2014, when Mr Osborne introduced legislation that made the purchase of any house worth more than £937,500 even more expensive than it was previously – a decision that impacted the capital more than anywhere else due to its high prices and competitive market. While the issue is focused on more expensive homes, the effects have started to trickle down to those further down on the property ladder. His second assault on the market targeted second-home owners and landlords, who suffered at the hands of a further 3% stamp duty hike in April this year.

 

Many experts within the industry have started to decry the notion that the current troubles being experienced are due to the Brexit vote, but rather a result of the tax increases by the former chancellor.

“That [the slowdown of expensive home sales] is nothing to do with Brexit, it is all to do with stamp duty which has been really hiked over the last few years,” said Steve Morgan, chairman of housing developer Redrow Homes, who also claims that sales for new-build home in the months since the referendum are 8% higher than the previous year – dispelling the myth that the referendum has led to a downturn across the entire market.

Tony Pidgley, founder and chairman of the Berkeley Group echoed Morgan’s sentiment, declaring that taxes across the whole country are “too high” – and could lead to further stagnation down the road as consumer confidence drops and over-cautious buyers decide to hold off on new home purchases.

For vendors who are desperate to sell fast, this news will not be welcome, as it is likely to increase the length of time that their properties will take to sell. While they can always use property buying companies who buy any home for cash at competitive prices, many will remain highly critical of the market for some time to come.

Are you in need of a fast house sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Let our friendly sell house fast team guide you through our quick move now  fast house sale process.

 

When ‘help to buy’ is no help at all

New details have emerged which undermine the benefits of the once-celebrated Help To Buy ISAs, revealing limits around how the government pay-out can be used.

property-marketWhen Help To Buy ISAs were introduced by the former Chancellor George Osborne in December 2015, for many first-time buyers they were a blessing. The ability to have the government add 25% of the total deposit saved up, to a maximum of £3,000, allowed those who managed to save £12,000 to enjoy a boost up to £15,000 – thereby allowing for more attractive interest rates on mortgages.

The reasoning behind the move was to help those stuck in the rent cycle to finally gain a foothold on the property ladder and allow the property market to gain more traction through increased income. To date, more than half a million Help To Buy ISAs have been opened by potential homeowners, but as time progresses it seems the ISA may not be as much help as originally anticipated.

In the last two weeks, it has emerged that the 25% gifted by the government will only be provided once the house sale has already gone through, undermining the original point of the scheme. The government has admitted that the clause was to prevent people benefitting from a pay-out without actually going on to purchase a house.

 

Described as guilty of a ‘scandal’ by house-buying experts, the government has since been accused of using the scheme to help them appear to be answering the plight of those hit by the increasing difference between house prices and wages, without fulfilling the original point of the arrangement.

“It is a scandal,” said Andrew Boast of SAM Conveyancing. “The government launched this scheme declaredly to help people save the large exchange deposit required to buy a home.

“But what unsuspecting first-time buyers are now horrified to discover is that under the scheme rules they cannot use the bonus as part of this deposit.”

Even more worrying is that potential buyers cannot even use the extra money to pay for associated fees such as conveyancing, solicitor payments, or even the necessary land registry searches. This turn of events means that first-time buyers are again at a disadvantage, decreasing the number of buyers in the marketplace – a bad deal for those looking to sell their home fast.

Those who need to sell, however, are able to use house-buying companies, who ensure minimal stress while processing the sale of any property directly for cash with excellent communication between all involved parties.

Suffering from a lack of reasonable offers? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

Let our friendly sell house fast team guide you through our quick move now  fast house sale process.

 

On the edge of homelessness in a difficult job market

With the cost of living and raising a child steadily increasing every year, many low-income families are finding themselves less than a month away from ruin.

For most people, living from pay cheque to pay cheque is a way of life. They’re simply covering the costs of living, with maybe a little left over to treat themselves to a few luxuries. A new survey carried out by the housing charity Shelter, however, has shown how close many families are to homelessness.

In July, a YouGov poll of 1,581 people found that 37% of working families with children would not be able to cover their housing costs if they were without a job for more than one month. With rent continuing to increase in price across the nation, and houses becoming more and more unaffordable for first-time buyers, it is perhaps little wonder that those in low-income employment find themselves living on a knife’s edge.

This year, the cost of raising a child to 18 has hit a high of £231,843 – more than the average house. With many families often bearing two or more, it becomes extremely clear why after almost half a million pounds in offspring investments, parents have little left over to spend on their own home.

For those looking to sell a home fast, this issue goes some way to explain why vendors are not enjoying the same levels of interest in their homes than those in a similar situation 30 years ago, as the pool of available potential buyers continues to dry up. Luckily, there are house buying companies who will buy any house for cash for those who need to sell fast; but vendors who prefer to use the traditional estate agency route may find themselves waiting for a much longer time.

Another startling figure to come from the survey is that 23% of those questioned stated that they would be unable to cover any of their housing costs if they were to lose their job – not even lasting a month.

“These figures are a stark reminder that sky-high housing costs are leaving millions of working families stretched to breaking point, and barely scraping by from one pay cheque to the next,” said Campbel Robb, the chief executive of Shelter.

While some who are lucky enough to own their homes can enjoy the benefit of mortgage insurance to ensure their repayments continue even if they cannot pay themselves, those in the rental sector are in a decidedly more worrisome state of affairs.

Worried that you will lose money on your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

The generational wealth gap hits home

Sixty years ago, a young family of four were able to own a house and support themselves comfortably on a single income without breaking the bank – a far cry from the situation facing today’s potential homeowners.

no moneyNothing can gain a greater negative reaction from a millennial than telling them one of two things: either “kids have it easy these days”; or the even more condescending “young people don’t know what hard work is”. For a long time, the difference in income between generations was often put down to a lack of work ethic and as a result, a lasting sentiment of animosity developed between the post-war baby boomers and the generations that followed. Today, however, it has become clearer that differences in income and wealth are often not a result of a lack of motivation, but rather a result of disparity between what was affordable 60 years ago, versus what is affordable today.

While the growing margin between wage increases and living costs has been well publicised over the last few decades, it is rare to see examples of those margins. But thanks to research published in July by the Resolution Foundation, the stark contrast in rental expenses has been illustrated with adjustments for inflation – and these figures show that millennials spend on average £44,000 more on rent by the age of 30 than the baby boomers did, while homeownership at the age of 30 has fallen from 58% for those born between 1946 and 1965, to 42% for those born between 1981 and 2000.

 

Baby boomers not only paid much less for property and rent, but also account for 39% of today’s  landlords, while enjoying half of all the income made from rental properties in the UK. Plus, Generation X also accounts for a relatively significant 31% share of the number of landlords, leaving millennials out in the cold.

The greatest issue for all potential and actual homeowners is that prior to owning a house many hope that housing becomes more affordable, yet once they manage to buy the property, they then hope that house prices will rise. As homeownership becomes an increasingly elite club, property selling experts have found that those being left behind are finding their chances of completing a purchase slipping away rapidly.

“The nation’s housing crisis is perhaps the most visible example of growing inequality between generations,” said Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation. “Young people today are paying a heavy price for decades of falling homeownership.”

But this is not just an issue for the younger generations, for those approaching retirement age are often looking to downsize to more affordable properties – but are finding that once their larger homes are on the market, they need to massively lower their asking prices in order to gain any interest, due to the shrinking pool of potential buyers with the necessary income.

While those looking to sell can avoid waiting for a sale by using property buying companies who buy any home for cash, those preferring the traditional route of estate agents are finding their lives placed on hold as time ticks by, eventually settling for a price way below what they were expecting.

Looking to sell your home fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

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What turns off a potential house buyer?

A new survey from Harron Homes has uncovered the greatest factors that prevent buyers from going ahead with a purchase – and they’re surprisingly common.

15-09-11 - Buying housesFor most of us, selling a house is about maintaining a certain showroom quality for our homes at the off-chance a potential buyer shows up at short notice. It’s also a no-brainer to ensure that any pictures of the property are illustrative and detailed, allowing the buyer to imagine themselves living there. The urge to maintain a ‘sellable’ property, however, is an ideal that is less prevalent amongst sellers than most people expect.

The key point to be learned from the survey by Harron Homes is that nearly half of all buyers decide whether or not they want to purchase a property within the first five minutes of a viewing, so first impressions are incredibly important. So how are people getting it so wrong?

 

When viewing a property through an online portal such as Rightmove or Zoopla, the greatest turn-off is low quality or a poor selection of photos – mainly because it raises more questions about the house than it answers, after all, what are they trying to hide? Nearly half of all respondents also found the lack of a floor plan to be a key point that dissuaded them from investigating further.

If they do investigate further and arrange a viewing, there are further factors that can deter a potential buyer. For those who own a car, parking is a clear necessity but a vast majority of homes do not have readily available parking, or simply share a driveway with a neighbour – often an issue that can’t be helped. From an aesthetic point of view, old-fashioned facades can also heavily affect opinion – decorations such as pebble-dash walls no long entice buyers the way they did 30 years ago.

Inside the average property, many of the respondents found themselves wary of the presence of dampness, despite its pervasiveness throughout a large number of older properties across the UK. For over 50% of those surveyed however, the smell of dampness is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

While decorations such as Artex ceilings and outdated fittings are major drawbacks, it’s not always the house itself that’s the problem. For many, being followed too closely by the vendor as they tour a home is a big turn-off, as they feel the seller is attempting to distract them from faults within the property.

If you can’t afford to make too many changes to your property before you put it on the market, there are property buying companies who are happy to look past outdated interiors and a lack of cleanliness and offer you a fair price in cash to aid a fast house sale.

Why doesn’t anybody want to buy my house? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property

 

The young are no longer alone in generation rent

As divorce rates soar and housing prices rise, an increasing number of over-50s are finding themselves stuck in rented accommodation with no way out.

15-10-14 - House and cash weighing scalesOne of the most discussed subjects in relation to property is the difficulty in raising the necessary funds to purchase a house, and whenever the topic is debated it is almost always used to describe the British youth and the growing disparity between their wages and the nation’s house prices. New figures released by Saga Insurance, however, claim that generation rent is not just a problem for the young anymore, as the number of people aged over 50 who rent as opposed to own has risen dramatically.

In June 2016, more than a third of over-50s are renting their home, a figure that has increased by 25% since 2011. For many in the age bracket, it is a result of never having been in a position to purchase a property due to low wages and ever increasing prices, but Saga believes the majority of renters over 50 have been forced in the situation due to increased divorce rates.

 

Referred to as ‘silver-splitters’, couples who have previously owned their homes, but are selling due to separation, are finding their individual wealth is not vast enough to allow for a deposit in today’s housing market.

In a similar fashion to younger generations, property selling experts have found that older Brits are opening themselves up to the option of house-sharing in order to keep a roof over their heads, but with limited employability and diminished hopes of being offered mortgages by lenders, the older members of generation rent are finding themselves in a worse position than the youth of today.

Even more worrying is that 59% of renters over 50 do not even have home insurance for their possessions, with many believing incorrectly that it is the landlord’s responsibility for replacing damaged assets, meaning an unforeseen accident could wipe out any wealth the renter may have left.

Traditionally, those in their 50s have always been in a strong position financially versus younger generations thanks to years of investments and career advancements, but as more age groups find themselves struggling to buy, vendors looking for a quick house sale will find it harder and harder to sell their home without losing money. They can of course opt to use property buying companies who buy any home in any condition for cash at competitive rates, while those choosing to go the traditional route using estate agents face an uncertain future.

Not receiving any offers? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property

 

The quiet struggle of purchasing your second home

While buying a flat may seem like a great idea for getting a foot on the property ladder, many first-time owners who are looking to upgrade to a house are finding the experience harder than expected.

property-marketWe often hear about the difficulty first-time buyers have in buying their first home – the struggle of raising funds for a deposit; the fears of not qualifying for the necessary mortgage loan; and the stress of qualifying for affordable interest rates. For many first-time buyers in city central locations, the answer is simple – buy a flat. Generally more affordable and easier to maintain, flats have often been used by buyers as a way to escape the rent-trap, but with many young couples looking to start a family, the average flat soon becomes decidedly small.

Of course, the simple answer to the issue is to move to a larger property – maybe a house with a garden so the kids have somewhere to play on a hot summer’s day – but as many flat-owners are beginning to find out, the switch may not be as easy as they thought.

New research by uSwitch.com (the comparison service) has found that those who bought a flat as a first-time buyer are at a distinct disadvantage versus those who chose a house.

 

Over the past decade, uSwitch has found out that whereas the average house has increased by 20% in value, the average flat has only risen by 15%, creating an affordability margin that is simply too wide to overcome for those without the necessary funds. With property buying experts noting that certain areas of the UK are experiencing a margin of 16% between the values of houses and flats, it is clear that many flat-owners are not benefiting from their investment as much as they thought they would.

“Second steppers have been lulled into a false sense of security by rising house prices,” said Tashema Jackson of uSwitch.

“In some parts of the country, houses have far outstripped flats in price, so if you are looking to move up the property ladder you need to carefully plot your next steps.”

It isn’t just flats that are failing to provide a decent investment return either, with shared ownership properties also coming up short despite requiring very little input of equity from the buyer. For those who managed to buy a house as their first home, the future is a little rosier, and the ability to move up the property ladder is a little easier – especially if they are in need of a fast house sale. With property buying companies offering to purchase homes for cash directly without the hassle of dealing with estate agents, many are finding the purchase of their second home a more straightforward affair.

Need to sell your house fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property

 

What does the EU vote mean for the property market?

Misquoted facts and propaganda have been a problem on both sides of the Brexit argument – but for those who own a home or are hoping to buy, which is the best choice?

UK Exit EUToday (Thursday 23 June), millions of Brits go to the polls to vote on the issue of remaining in the EU. With both the ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ campaigns consistently accused of unsubstantiated claims, it’s often hard to know exactly what the effect an exit would be on UK homeowners and potential buyers.

The ‘Leave’ campaign states that freedom from Brussels will position the UK as a financial powerhouse with a high standard of living and a level of prosperity not seen since the days of the empire. And of course, these claims are rubbished by the ‘Remain’ campaign, with many believing that it will trigger a nationwide recession, dwarfing the economic downfall we suffered almost a decade ago. So who’s right and who’s wrong?

The biggest issue of Brexit is the lack of empirically valid unbiased data. Many Brits believe that the UK is the most important EU state, a statistic that is sadly far off base. In terms of contributions to the EU, we lie in fourth position behind France, Germany and Italy and as a result, the EU is far less dependent on us than we think. And whilst we do contribute heavily each year financially, the savings we would make by leaving are far too small to really aid the country when compared to our annual GDP. Those who wish to leave the EU, however, believe that the amount of money we would gain through long-term trade deals would help the UK increase funding for the NHS, property development and education.

The problem is that on both sides of the argument, many are voting on issues of contention such as immigration and the dream of being independent, while ignoring the more subtle issues that would impact UK property owners and investors long-term.

 

It is also important to take note of events outside of the capital, as much of the regeneration in the north of England stems from EU legislation and funding that has allowed for greater investment in more areas of the UK. So many ‘Remain’ campaigners believe that voting to leave the EU will simply lead to a reduction in funding for towns and cities outside of the south east.

‘Leave’ campaigners, on the other hand, take the view that thanks to the funding, these cities are prospering successfully already and will continue to do so, using events such as the BBC’s move to Manchester as proof.

For those in the property market, experts believe a vote for ‘Leave’ will lead to one of two scenarios. The first is that overseas buyers will fail to see the attraction of the purchasing in London thanks to recent changes in tax and will instead invest in other European cities, leaving the capital as a property ‘ghost town’ with prices nobody domestically can afford.

The other scenario is that the value of the pound sterling will fall so dramatically that interest rates will rise to a point that is untenable for most looking to buy a home, further dampening the market. Many UK property experts believe that prices could fall as far as 30% if the Brexit occurs, leaving vendors looking for a fast house sale in a precarious position.

Those who wish to leave, however, see the situation differently. Even with talks of a possible exit, house prices have continued to rise – so why would they not continue to do so, considering the property market is largely driven by consumer confidence? Moreover, since we entered the European Economic Community, the number of new homes being built has continued to fall, and with the new found wealth and improved economy we would enjoy, more houses would be developed and those looking to get on the property ladder would most definitely find it easier.

Unfortunately, the only way to find out whether the UK would benefit from its independence is by taking the plunge and voting ‘Leave’ – but if the negative forecasts regarding our financial security are correct, the decision will have already been made and there would be no going back – and therein lies the problem.

Remaining in the EU means we have a good idea of what the future holds, whereas leaving the EU is a gamble – and for those who have much to lose, such as homeowners, the risk may not be worth taking.

Hoping to sell your home quickly? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

London’s green belt facing threat from housing development

Despite promises made in 2012 to protect the green belt surrounding London, new plans to build new homes are being drawn up, threatening to turn areas of natural beauty into newly developed suburbs.
The UK is one of the most densely populated countries on the planet. With a rising population and immigration from abroad, as well as migration from smaller UK towns and cities, London in particular is facing an expansion of its conurbation into previously rural land.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England has drawn up a report claiming that 275,000 homes are planned to be built on green belt land – 25% more than in 2015 – and therefore is questioning why the government is not doing more to limit the capital’s expansion into areas of nature, instead of redeveloping brown field sites.

“To build the affordable homes young people and families need, the Government should empower councils to prioritise the use of brownfield sites,” said Paul Miner, campaign manager for the CPRE. “Brown field land is a self-renewing resource that can provide at least one million new homes.”

 

Adding fuel to the flames is the effect the new properties will have on an already stagnating market, ahead of the Brexit vote on June 23rd. With so many properties on the London market failing to sell, many UK house selling experts believe the additional homes will dilute the market even more, pushing down prices and reducing the profit sellers may have otherwise been entitled to.

Of course, sellers can always refer their sale to property buying companies who will be willing to make a cash offer on any home, regardless of condition – but with the added benefit that no estate agent fees will be incurred and the sale can be processed in a fraction of the time it would take to sell a home using traditional methods.

For many, though, it’s not about the condition of the property market, nor is it about stabilising house prices – it’s about preserving the areas of outstanding natural beauty that the country has to offer. Moreover, it’s about the lack of transparency regarding the government’s ability to adhere to its own rules, when legislation is passed to protect these natural areas. If they can’t keep their promises, why should we believe any that they make in the future?

Looking to sell your house without incurring estate agency fees? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

Criminal estate agents ‘weeded out’ by police

Two London-based estate agents have been sentenced for their part in a £2m-a-year operation which used empty rented homes as cannabis farms, without the knowledge of their owners.

House to rent signIt’s not the first thing to occur to the average UK landlord when hiring an estate agent to manage the rental: considering the likelihood of their home being used as a marijuana farm. In the capital, however, a pair of agents have recently been arrested for doing exactly that.

Aidan Lynch, the boss of Home to Home estate agents in Forest Hill, was caught by officers along with employee Jason Smart in February 2013, having arrived at one of the farms only to find the house being raided by police. Upon further investigation, it was found that seven properties entrusted by owners to the businessmen had been converted into grow-houses – each homing over 500 cannabis plants and earning the agents a whopping £2m a year.

The owners themselves were completely unaware of the situation, believing that their homes were being rented out – and as their rent payments were always on time, had no reason to believe otherwise.

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The farms were set up with the help of friend Patrick McArdle, 37, using stolen electricity and high-tech hydroponic systems allowing huge yields of the class-B drug to be harvested every few months. When caught at the aforementioned property, the men claimed to have rented the house to a man they had met in a pub for cash – but officers began to get suspicious when they were unable to produce any paperwork or identification for the mystery man in question.

“This was a very long and complex investigation,” said Detective Constable Kirsty Marchi. “Lynch and Smart ran a very sophisticated operation and they thought they would get away with it, but the execution of the drugs warrant at the address at Crystal Palace Parade brought their operation crashing down.”

Upon sentencing in early April, the men were collectively sentenced to almost 15 years for the illegal operation. The case has not helped the stereotype of estate agents as untrustworthy businessmen; and with the property market facing a slowdown, the convictions have come at a bad time for the industry.

Luckily, there are plenty of options for property owners which don’t involve illegal activities – including selling homes via property buying companies, which are able to avoid the middleman by dealing directly with the seller. This allows for an honest and efficient fast home sale in exchange for cash, no matter the condition or location of the property.

Want peace of mind in your property dealings? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

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Great Britain: A nation of renters

New figures suggest that as the gap between property prices and wage growth widens, first-time buyers will struggle to purchase a home even in 2020.

16-01-08- Property choices can dictate the futureJust 25 years ago, almost 70% of those in their thirties enjoyed the freedom gained by home ownership – and even at the turn of the century that figure was still hovering around the 60% mark. In the last 15 years, however, there has been a marked downturn in the number of potential homebuyers achieving the same dream. This is considered by many to be a reflection of the growing gap between property prices and wage growth.

New figures released by homeless charity Shelter have revealed that by 2020, the average first-time buyer will need a minimum income of £64,000 to purchase a house – a sum considered too cost prohibitive for most, as Trading Economics projects the wage for the average UK worker to be as low as £28,000. These figures are worrying for many in the 25-34 age demographic, as even with a combined income, the average couple would still face a shortfall of £8,000.

UK house buying experts believe this is partly due to the lack of new properties being built, despite promises by the government. With property prices rising at six times the rate of wages, this trend looks set to continue well into the future.

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The number of those in their thirties who own a house has almost halved in less than seven years, from 1.24 million in 2007 to 2.2 million in 2014, with a 15% increase in those within the same age range who rent.

“When house prices are increasing six times faster than the average wage, it’s no wonder people on ordinary incomes are being locked out of a home of their own,” said Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter.

“With the situation only set to get worse, Generation Rent will be forced to resign themselves to a life in expensive, unstable private renting, and wave goodbye to their dreams of a home to put down their roots in.”

For those looking to scrape together a deposit in the current economic climate, these new figures are a depressing sign that things will only get harder as time goes on. The knock-on effects include a reduction in the number of potential homebuyers, leaving those looking for a fast house sale at a distinct disadvantage. For those looking to sell their home fast, there are however options including property buying companies who will buy any house for cash, without the seller incurring any extra processing fees usually associated with the house-selling process.

Worried you don’t have any potential buyers? Ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

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Will OnTheMarket go OffTheMarket?

The feisty start-up is facing an early death within the industry, due to the growing discontent of clients and legal threats.

Well-established companies Zoopla and Rightmove have enjoyed great success in the property industry, thanks to nationwide support from the majority of UK-based estate agents. Both companies have seen profits soar and slowly changed the way the house-buying public searches for potential future homes.

However, when a small collective of established agents formed Agents Mutual in 2013, they had a master plan to disrupt the online property market. Their launch of OnTheMarket in January 2015 was initially seen as a huge success, encouraging many estate agents to sign up with the promise of discounted subscription rates for early adopters. However, there was one caveat – upon signing up, they must remove their services from either Rightmove or Zoopla. At the outset, many considered the ultimatum a worthwhile option, especially when taking into account the financial upside from the discounts provided.

A year on, the tide appears to have turned, as UK property buying experts are sounding the death knell for the plucky start-up. But why? It appears to involve broken promises on both sides, starting with OnTheMarket’s failure to uphold the promises it made to early converts regarding fees, by offering greater discounts to those who joined later on.

For many agents, the terms of the original five-year contracts have been broken and as a result they are no longer obligated to continue paying fees, or adhering to the ‘one other portal’ rule. As a result, Agents Mutual has dispatched a number of letters with the promise of legal action, enraging those within the industry further.

Iain White, a successful property consultant well respected within the industry, claims that over 200 estate agents have already been in contact seeking advice over the situation: “They were unhappy with its results and with its customer service so they chose to take action and give notice to OnTheMarket… [and] they later received legal threats,” he said, regarding three clients who tried to leave the portal.

Zoopla took a greater hit than Rightmove, when OnTheMarket launched last year, but its numbers have since recovered and its investors must be more than happy to hear about Agents Mutual’s recent problems.

For many looking for a quick house sale, the limiting of estate agents only listing their properties on two out of the three major portals has increased the time their houses stay on the market due to their lack of visibility. Meanwhile, property buying companies have enjoyed helping those in difficult situations by offering cash for any home, as well as a faster, more efficient service without additional estate agency fees.

Not getting enough viewings on your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

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Factoring in the unexpected – what do buyers love and hate?

The house-selling process is a deeply unpleasant one at the best of times, especially maintaining a house that doubles as both a home and a showroom. But as we recently discussed, the likelihood of a sale often depends on wider factors.

So, what matters most to a potential buyer? It’s not always obvious, as different buyers have different needs. For example, have you ever considered reading the latest Ofsted reports for the school nearby? If you don’t have kids, it may seem a bit of a moot point… but when you take into consideration that a bad school report can take a shocking £20,000 off an average home’s value, it’s worth bearing in mind.

And what about amenities? We all like to relax after a hard day at work – and more often than not, that relaxation involves the consumption of a small (or sizeable) amount of alcohol. Research by property website Tepilo has shown that one in four potential UK home buyers consider a pub within walking distance to be a top priority.

It’s not just about drink, however. What about food? Forget the corner shop; what you need is a high-end supermarket nearby. Analysis carried out by Lloyds bank has discovered that when trying to sell your house, it can gain a further 12% in value if you have a Waitrose nearby. Conversely, a nearby Aldi can knock 3% off.

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But if you’d prefer to avoid big-name brands, you can always enjoy the traditional street market, a quintessential part of British society and a tradition that clearly matters to potential buyers. Figures from Zoopla suggest that homes in a market town can enjoy an average bump of £25,000 in value versus similar non-market towns.

Confused? Well, prepare yourselves, as there are even stranger issues that you may not have considered. For example, simply living on a hill or having the name ‘hill’ in your address can bump up your asking price considerably, as can an address with either ‘Warren’ or ‘Chase’ in the title.

Meanwhile, any addresses with potentially embarrassing names will have the opposite effect. So maybe give that nice property on Cockshoot Close in Oxfordshire a miss – and yes, it exists. In fact, simply having an even-numbered house can cause a reduction in value versus odd-numbers, and perish the thought if your house is number 13, as you can expect up to £6,500 less than your neighbours when you decide to sell up. But why bother with numbers at all? Simply ‘naming’ your house can add up to 5% to its value, versus standard numbered properties.

It’s therefore clear that the average purchasing decision is a very subjective one – with different buyers each having a mental checklist that is nigh on impossible to predict. Luckily, if you are worried that one of these issues is hindering a sale, there’s no need to fret, as there are various property buying companies who are happy to buy any house for cash regardless of any superstition or potential negative issues.

If you’d like to sell your house quickly, ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we guarantee to buy any home. Call 08000 443 470 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

How antisocial neighbours can affect your house sale

If you have troublesome residents living next door or on your street, it can be so stressful that you decide to move elsewhere – but first you need to sell your home, and noisy or antisocial behaviour from neighbours can make this much harder.

In some cases, a personal dispute between two particular neighbours might make living alongside each other uncomfortable, which wouldn’t necessarily have an impact on a new resident. However, some streets are blighted with people who have no consideration for anyone else, creating an unreasonable amount of noise or other disruption.

As a seller, it’s often impossible to ignore this problem, as there may be visible or audible evidence when potential buyers visit – and it’s actually illegal to attempt to hide the issue. Agreed sales prices are often reduced once it becomes apparent that the house next door is problematic; and sometimes buyers decide to pull out of a sale altogether.

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Even if the buyers themselves don’t ask about antisocial neighbours, if they appoint a surveyor to check the property before their purchase, the surveyor may notice things that they don’t. He or she may also visit at a different time of the day compared with when viewings were conducted, thus discovering an issue that wasn’t previously observed.

If you suspect it will be difficult to sell your home to an individual buyer due to inconsiderate and noisy neighbours, there are other options you can consider. A UK house buying expert or professional property buying agency can make you a cash offer for your property and won’t be put off by issues such as noise or other antisocial behaviours nearby.

Do you have difficulties with your neighbours that are making you worried about selling? Ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

 

What’s putting buyers off your home?

If you’re struggling to sell your property, it’s important to know why – so then you can decide whether to make improvements or find an easier method of selling.

We all have our particular tastes and preferences – and these are never more important than when deciding whether to buy a home. For some people, a property purchase is simply an investment, but for many it’s a place that they’ll depend on for their quality of life… possibly for many years to come.

Financially-motivated property buyers can also be fussy, however, as they know there are certain features that will put buyers off and therefore make it harder for them to sell the property in the future, even if they make improvements.

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Structural problems
This is the most serious reason that many sales don’t proceed, as people are very worried about being ‘stuck’ with a home that has problems with its roof, walls or foundations, among other things. If your property has visual signs of structural issues or a surveyor highlights areas of concern, it could be very difficult to sell your home without getting these fixed.

Bad decor
The aesthetic appeal of a home is a very personal and subjective thing – but there are a few rules that can help you sell more easily. Neutral colours, a minimalist approach to decor and cleanliness will all make a rapid sale more likely. However, sometimes there are problems which are difficult to fix, such as a dated bathroom suite or kitchen cabinets with bold colours.

Location
Sadly, it’s no good having a perfect home in the middle of a bad area. Buyers are becoming more and more aware of the importance of location, so don’t spend a fortune on decorating if high crime rates or untidy streets are a feature of where you live. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, as a place was nice when you moved there and then went downhill, but it’s important to be aware of your property’s limitations and manage your expectations accordingly when setting an asking price.

Alternatively, you can avoid the stress of thinking about these issues by getting a cash offer for your home from a UK property-buying company. Call National Homebuyers on 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get if we buy your property.

National Homebuyers – We Buy Any House

homebuyer man with guaranteeNational Homebuyers are a UK based property buyer who really do buy any house or property! In fact we will buy anything, absolutely anything! Whether it is a house, flat or bungalow we will buy it!

If you are looking for a fast house sale then we are here to help you. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve you aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want a sell house fast service then give us a call on 08000 443 911.

Get your no obligation cash offer now by using the Get Offer on the right hand side of this page and take the hassle out of selling your home!

Common complications when selling a home

Once you’ve accepted an offer for your home, it should be plain sailing to enjoy the proceeds of a sale and move on… but unfortunately the UK house-selling process is often slow and full of difficulties. It’s vital to be aware of these so you can try your best to avoid them.

The biggest problem most people encounter when selling a home is entering a chain, whereby you have to sell your house in order to proceed with a purchase… as does the vendor of the property you’re buying… and so on; and so on. This can make it very difficult to sell property fast.

Many chains have a first-time buyer at the bottom, but the top of the chain can only be completed when a house is empty or doesn’t need to be sold in order for the current owners to buy their next property – or if the current owners aren’t seeking a new property at all.

“HOW DO I SELL MY HOUSE FAST?” – GET AN OFFER >

You can avoid some of the pitfalls of the sales process by regularly contacting your solicitor, estate agent and mortgage lender for updates; in the hope that they’ll pursue other parts of the chain for further updates.

Other than property vendors, the main players in a property chain are:

Mortgage lenders – At every stage of the chain where a mortgage is required for purchase, the buyer’s mortgage lender must supply solicitors on both sides (buyer and seller) with proof of a valid and current mortgage offer. Many house sales fall through because a buyer is unable to get a full mortgage offer, after making an offer based on an agreement in principle.

Solicitors – The legal side of the process is frequently complained about because solicitors often have slow processes and are limited (or unwilling) in what they can discuss with various parties. Until solicitors have resolved all their queries and have all the paperwork they need – including signed contracts and other important documents from their clients – sales cannot proceed.

Estate agents – The agent who is helping to sell your property can be the best way to keep contact progressing between all the different links, as they can speak to other parts of the chain (whereas solicitors will usually only speak to the links either side). Some are more helpful than others but remember that you’re paying them a fee to help make your sale as smooth as possible.

If you want to avoid the hassle associated with a property sale chain, there are companies that will buy your home. National Homebuyers can give you a cash offer, so call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get if we buy your property.

National Homebuyers – We Buy Any House

National Homebuyers are a UK based property buyer who really do buy any house or property! In fact we will buy anything, absolutely anything! Whether it is a house, flat or bungalow we will buy it!

If you are looking for a fast house sale then we are here to help you. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve your aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want a sell house fast service then give us a call on 08000 443 911.

Get your no obligation cash offer now by using the Get Offer at the top of this page and take the hassle out of selling your home!

 

How surveys can affect house sales

If you accept an offer to buy your house, it’s common for your prospective buyer to organise a survey – but how can this affect your sale?

House surveys are intended to reveal the condition of a residential property and inform your buyer of any problems that may cause them concern. As a seller, this can be a frustrating process, as it is entirely your buyer’s choice whether to obtain a survey – before they make a final decision on the purchase – and you may not always agree with the surveyor’s findings.

There are two main areas of worry for vendors, especially if you want to sell your house quick:

  • Discovery of serious problems which make your buyer decide not to go ahead with the purchase.
  • Discovery of major problems that change their view on the value of the property – and cause them to reduce their offer.

In both cases, you can offer to fix the problems or simply refuse to change the price. However, these are risky strategies, as there’s no guarantee your buyer will remain interested; and you could end up spending a great deal of money without a worthwhile result.

Even without a survey, most buyers will need to obtain a mortgage valuation. This is an assessment of the property’s value to reassure the mortgage lender. In the event of serious concerns, such as signs of rising damp, the surveyor may recommend that lender orders further checks and reports – and even repairs – which could cause a delay.

Some buyers ask for a survey to be done at the same time as the mortgage valuation, but they can choose a different surveyor if they prefer. Surveyors undergo intensive training and certification by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and are required to continue updating their skills and knowledge throughout their career.

There are three main types of survey:

  • Condition report – A basic assessment of the property’s condition, to reassure the buyer.
  • Homebuyer’s report – A more in-depth survey designed to highlight any problems and give advice.
  • Building survey – A thorough examination of the property.

National Homebuyers – We Buy Any House

National Homebuyers are a UK based property buyer who really do buy any house or property! In fact, we will buy anything, absolutely anything! Whether it is a house, flat or bungalow we will buy it!

If you are looking for a fast house sale then we are here to help you. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve your aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want a sell house fast service then give us a call on 08000 443 911.

Get your no obligation cash offer now by using the Get Offer form at the top of this page and take the hassle out of selling your home!

 

All home buyers are different – so what are they looking for?

If you need to sell your house fast, you need to think about what kind of buyer is most likely to buy it – and what you can do to increase its appeal.  
In recent years, buying and selling houses has become more difficult for lots of reasons, including increasing house prices and stricter conditions imposed by mortgage lenders following the recession. Property buyers can therefore be very fussy about parting with their cash, expecting great valueselling housesfor money and homes which tick all the boxes. But those boxes can vary depending on each buyer. So here’s our round-up of a few different types of buyer who might consider your home.

First-time buyers
First-time buyers are usually seeking the next step after renting a house where the landlord takes care of everything; or living with family – so they often want something simple and easy to maintain, with no major complications to deal with. To appeal to this kind of buyer, your house should be simply and neutrally decorated, in good condition and probably on the smaller side. It’s tough to get a mortgage as a first-time buyer, so their budgets tend to be tight… but after living in a property that’s probably worth more (which they didn’t own), they often expect a decent standard of presentation.

CAN’T SELL YOUR HOUSE? – GET AN OFFER >

DIY fans
Some people are keen to get a great property deal on a run-down or dated home in a great location, as once spruced up it can be worth a lot more money. Their plans may include anything from aesthetic improvements to decor, right through to structural changes and replacing huge areas of the property – like a new roof or extension, perhaps. For this reason, their offers to purchase will be low, as they need to save as much cash as possible to spend on renovation.

Landlords
Renting houses can be stressful, but many landlords make a good living out of it. They’re seeking houses they can buy quickly, renovate or decorate with minimal fuss and cost, then rent to make a profit on the mortgage. Buy-to-let mortgages are usually a minimum of 75% – or the buyer opts for a cash purchase – so again, landlords and investors tend to want a low price, otherwise there’s not much potential for profit.

Other types of buyer include young families who need more room but have little time to decorate or do maintenance; retired couples who want to downsize; and single people who are seeking a fresh start after a divorce.

If you’re concerned that your house isn’t appealing to any of these types of buyer, why not avoid the stress and get a quick sale for cash? National Homebuyers will buy any house – so call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

WE COULD BUY YOUR PROPERTY FOR CASH – GET AN OFFER >

National Homebuyers’ First Time Buyer £100,000 Challenge

What does £100,000 get first-time buyers in England?

We keep on hearing that house prices in London and the South East continue to rise and that first-time buyers are having the rungs cut off the ladder each time they try to make the step up.

We are also regularly informed that housing available to first-time buyers is few and far between and that they are currently facing stiff competition from investors looking to add properties to their portfolios.

Zoopla has recently stated that the typical value of a home in the UK is £214,003, while on average, first-time buyers pay nearly £154,000 for a property, which is up by almost a whopping 7% compared to last year.

With this in mind, National Homebuyers decided to investigate and see if it is possible for a first-time buyer to buy a house for £100,000 in England.

 

The East Midlands

100000 house in east midlands

Courtesy of zoopla.co.uk


Located in the heart of England in the eastern half of the Midlands and encompassing Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and most of Lincolnshire, this is a region that, whilst being traditionally industrial, it also has areas of outstanding natural beauty.

This is a diverse region and if you are looking to purchase a property in the East Midlands you are presented with a choice between living in busy vibrant cities or the blissful countryside including the Peak District. Or if you prefer the hustle and bustle of a city, then Leicester was recently put on the map with the discovery of King Richard III buried in a car park, and the city has undergone major development in the last few years and it now is vying for the title of the cultural centre of the Midlands.

Further north in the region there is the myth and legend of Robin Hood that never fails to captivate and entertain children of all ages. Or, if you are something of a nautical lover who has found themselves stranded in the centre of the country then Rutland Water offers you the chance to get out on the water.

So, what exactly can you buy in the East Midlands for £100,000?

It took us a mere 10 seconds to find this 3 bedroom semi-detached house for a very generous £100,000! First-time buyers in the East Midlands can certainly have no complaints and this would make an ideal starter home for a young couple starting a family or even parents who already have a couple of kids knocking about. You can just imagine a lucky dad scoring the winning goal in a World Cup final on that sizeable garden.

Affordability for First Time Buyers: 9/10

The West Midlands

£100,000 house in west midlands

Courtesy of zoopla.co.uk

As you probably expect, the West Midlands is the western half of the Midlands and contains England’s second most populated city, Birmingham. It is also includes the cities Wolverhampton, and the home of the last Midlands football team to win the FA Cup, Coventry.

Like the East Midlands, this too is a highly diverse region and both the main urban areas, Birmingham and Coventry, have a lot to offer both visitors and residents alike. The recent redevelopment of the canals in Birmingham looks stunning and one could be forgiven for believing that they have been whisked away to the Dutch capital, Amsterdam.

To the east of Birmingham there is the beautiful town of Stratford-upon-Avon which brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors to the region every year. You can continue your historical journey in the county of Warwickshire and visit the town of Rugby, which is of course the home of the sport of the same name.

Heading north-west out of Rugby you will find the city of Coventry, which has some of the most beautiful and oldest medieval housing and streets in England. Coventry was once the capital of England is the city oozes history and is the only city in England which boasts three cathedrals.

If you are a first-time-buyer and like the sound of the West Midlands, then you will be delighted to learn that you can bag this 3 bed end of terrace property in Binley, Coventry for £100,000!

Affordability for First Time Buyers: 8/10

The North West

£100,000 home in north west

Courtesy of zoopla.co.uk


The North West of England could prove to be one of the most important areas of the country if the Conservative’s plans to create a ‘Northern Powerhouse actually’ come to fruition. The region includes two of the most important “core cities” in Liverpool and Manchester and is famous throughout the world for producing some of the greatest English music of all time.

If you are someone who seeks the serenity of the countryside then the North-West is bounded by the Peak District to the east and has the coastline looking out onto the Irish Sea to the West. If you someone who prefers the countryside and rural life, the north of the region boasts Cumbria and Northern Lancashire, with parts of Cheshire Plain and Peak District to the south.
So, what exactly can £100,000 get you in the North West of England?

Affordability for First Time Buyers: 8/10

The East of England

£100000 house east of england

Courtesy of zoopla.co.uk


Similarly to the Midlands, the East of England is highly diverse, from the beautiful beaches in the tourist county of Norfolk, down to Essex in the south. Many people forget that the region also includes one of the World’s leading universities in Cambridge. We were slightly apprehensive about finding a decent property for around £100,000, particularly due to the more affluent areas in the south of the county and their close proximity to London. Funnily enough, we hit gold and found this delightful 3-bed terraced property in the town of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

If you have a family then this could be a worthwhile choice of property for you, Wisbech is located less than 2 hours by train from the capital and is less than an hour away from Hunstanton if you ever fancy taking the kids to the beach on a sunny day.

So far so good! Next could prove to be slightly more difficult as we head down to the South East of England!

Affordability for First Time Buyers: 7/10

The South East of England

£100000 house in south east

Courtesy of zoopla.co.uk


Our initial research actually proved to be quite surprising, there seemed to an abundance of decent one bedroom houses and two bed flats for sale in the south east, all for only £100,000! Our surprise quickly evaporated though, as we soon realised that these were only for those aged 65 or older.

Eventually, we came across this cozy one bedroom flat in Sittingbourne in the self-proclaimed garden of England, Kent. Despite the fact that it is a little small, this would make an excellent investment for a first-time buyer looking to get onto the property ladder. Ok, so it may not be located in the more popular cities like Brighton, but we are glad to report that there are, whilst limited, affordable properties available to buy in the South East.
Right, it’s time to take the plunge and head into London, to be honest, we aren’t expecting to find anything apart from maybe a shed without a door in someone’s garden to rent. Let’s see what we can find!

Affordability for First Time Buyers: 3/10

London

garage for sale for £100000 in London

Courtesy of zoopla.co.uk


There isn’t much to say about London that we don’t already know. London is one of the greatest cities in the world and this is reflected in the number of people who flock to the capital from both within England and from around the world. The consequence of this is that house prices have sky rocketed and show little sign of decreasing any time soon. This hasn’t been helped by the influx of recent foreign investors looking to build a property portfolio within the capital.

As you would expect, we didn’t have much hope of finding a suitable property that could be bought outright and this certainly proved to be the case.

This delightful ‘property’ is described as a studio and will set you back £100,000. As you can see that while it is a little cosy, it has the added benefit of featuring an electrical door that will ensure that you are the envy of your friends and family. Ok, maybe not!

Affordability for First Time Buyers: 0/10

The North East of England

£100000 house for sale in north east England

Courtesy of zoopla.co.uk


After facing the prospect of paying 100 grand to live in a garage in London, we were hoping to have some better look in the north east. After wolfing down a couple of stotties, we were on the hunt to find a property that even a first-time buyer would be able to afford. As we have seen in the rest of the country, there certainly appears to be options out there for first-time buyers that won’t break the bank!
It is said that the people from the North-East of England are said to be some of the most friendly people in the country, and if they are as half as accommodating as their house prices, then who are we to argue?! This house in available for only £100,000 and is described as an ideal family home with the potential to house 5 bedrooms! This has to be the most impressive property we have seen so far for £100 grand and with Newcastle not too far away, this represents great value!

Affordability for First Time Buyers: 10/10

The South West of England

house for sale for £100000 in south west england

Courtesy of zoopla.co.uk


Following our trip up north we are wrapping up our £100,000 first-time buyer challenge by heading down to the South West of England. This is the largest region in England and home to 5 million people. The size of the region is conveyed in the fact that northern part of Gloucestershire, near Chipping Camden, is as close to the Scottish border as it is to the tip of Cornwall.
The region has eight cities: Salisbury, Bath, Wells, Bristol, Gloucester, Exeter, Plymouth and Truro. It also includes two National Parks- Dartmoor and Exmoor – and even four World Heritage Sites, including Stonehenge and the stunning Jurassic Coast.
With so much to see and do in the region, we had to be realistic about this and be prepare to not get as much for our money.

This one bed end of terrace house us described as an excellent opportunity for first time buyers. After seeing the size of property 100 grand can get you in the North East, I hope that you are able to excuse our lack of over enthusiasm for this property. There are, however, a couple of redeeming feature of this property due to the fact that it has a sizeable garden and represents good value for the South of England.

Affordability for First Time Buyers: 4/10

homebuyer man with guaranteeHomebuyer Man Says:

We are often told that the landscape is barren for those looking to buy their first home. While options may be limited, there are certainly properties available for first-time buyers with a limited budget. Unfortunately, this seems to depend on which part of the country you find yourself to be living in.
The most obvious, though unsurprising finding, is the great disparity between the North and South of the country. More needs to be done to close this gap and open up options for people living in the South of England who wish to get on the property ladder. As it stands, the North East of the country seems to offer first-time buyers the best value for money.
It has been reported that house prices are actually on the rise in the North East of England, so with this in mind why not consider moving up the ladder while the prices are high? National Homebuyers are a national quick house sale company and guarantee to buy your property for cash no matter its condition or location.

If you are looking for a sell house fast service then contact National Homebuyers. We can offer you a quick and guaranteed house sale, so why not apply for your no obligation cash offer now and sell your home quickly to one of the UK’s leading cash buyers?

Can’t Sell Your Home: 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your House

1. You have unrealistic demands

As you are probably aware, once you’ve spent a prolonged period of time in your home, you will feel something of an emotional connection to it. This often leads to a loss of objectivity, causing you to have demands which can be difficult to meet, and ultimately, leaving you unable to sell your home. So what steps can you take to overcome this?

Ensure that you remain realistic about the price and the advantages of any offers you may receive. You need to take the housing market in your area into account and how well it is currently performing. Remember that your house is a possession, something which can be replaced, potentially by one even better and one that you can replicate your emotional attachment with.

 

 2. The asking price is currently set too high

We have already touched on this ever so briefly but this one is so important that it has to be mentioned again. We all know that when we are looking to sell a property we have a rough idea of a figure that we are willing to accept to sell your home. There are times though, however, when we just want to test the water a little bit and set the asking price that little bit higher.

If you are guilty of this, then you are not alone, it is believed that a large number of homeowners do this, often at their peril. A quick search of the internet will provide you with a wealth of property comparison websites and ultimately, this is something negative for the seller. In this day and age homebuyers have a wealth of knowledge and it is unwise to try and request more money.

If you are looking for a quick house sale then asking for less money can actually lead to a quicker sale. An unrealistic asking price can lead to your property sitting on the market for an extended period of time and leading to frustration.

 

 3. Not making your house presentable before listing it

This may seem like something petty, but if you choose to ignore it then you do so at your own peril! If your house is cluttered, then you are not making use of the space which is available to you. A house which is cluttered looks smaller, is aesthetically unpleasant and ultimately, will not sell.

If you are having extended problems selling your home then you should sit down and try to work out how to make the most effective use of the space which is available to you. If you are looking to make a major change, then you should consider getting rid of all objects that could be considered clutter. Ultimately this will lead to a greater sense of space and will make your house more appealing to potential buyers.

 

4. Not bothering to make basic repairs

When you are moving it can be tempting to not undertake basic repairs due to the fact that you are going to be moving on in the near-future. While it may seem like something trivial, this is one of the main reasons why a house may be not selling.

If buyers enter your home and immediately notice a handful of items which require immediate attention, then their minds are going to begin to question the overall state of the property. If the seller has neglected these obvious issues, then they will immediately wonder about the things that they are unable to see.

Luckily this is something which can be rectified relatively quickly after you have done some initial research. Have a good look around your home and note down the things that need to be fixed and make sure that you get them repaired as soon as possible.

 

5.  Waiting too long to find a buyer

We are all more than aware that the housing market is highly delicate and often springs an unexpected surprise on both buyers and sellers alike. Whenever someone decides to put their home up on the market, a quick house sale is ultimately everyone’s main objective.

We all wish that we could assert more power and control over selling our homes, so what exactly is the solution? National Homebuyers are one of the oldest and most experienced quick sale property companies in the UK and have been established for over ten years now. We have legions of delighted clients who have benefited from our service and who made the decision to ensure that the time they spent on the property market was as short and stress-free as possible.

We have a highly experienced dedicated property team serving the whole of the UK, who are always on-hand to share their in-depth knowledge of your local area and ultimately, assist you in selling your house to a time-scale which suits you. National Homebuyers can help you Sell House Fast.

If you are looking to sell your house fast then take a look at how we work, or request a call back from your local property purchasing team today!

Would You Sell Your Home For Free Pizza?


When Donna DeNicola’s son, Johnny Barnett, couldn’t find a house to buy near the family’s business, his mother came up with a novel idea!

 A Portland mother has managed to find her son his first home after coming by offering potential sellers pizza for life as part of the payment!

Donna DeNicola had long been desperate for her son Johnny Barnett to purchase a house near to the family’s DeNicola’s Italian restaurant in Portland, Oregan.

However, the hugely inflated house prices were making it difficult for Johnny, who is 23, to buy the house where he wanted.

The family came across a house which they considered to be a perfect fit. The dream-home came complete with garden and garage, but the family soon realised that the asking vastly exceeded what they were able to pay.

Speaking to Oregan Live, Donna said: “This house – we didn’t even plan on looking at anything last Saturday. It was offered at $249,000, and I know what that terminology means, it means a bidding war.”

Even though they were put off by the price tag, Donna remarked that “you can just tell there was love in the house, and it had everything that Johnny wanted.”

Determined to purchase the property, the family put in an offer and were informed by the estate agent Mindy Shierk that it had been accepted.

However , the young family selling Johnny’s new home had yet to find a new property and needed 60 days, which Mindy suggested offering to the rent-free as a sweetener.

Donna added: “And at the end, I said, throw in free pizza for life”!

Eventually the seller’s agent, Nathaniel Bachelder, reported the offer to the family, and they accepted.

One reason why the family were so keen on the property is that it was within eight blocks of Johnny’s brother’s new home- both houses are only a few miles from the family’s restaurant.

Donna is over the moon that her offer of free pizza for life clinched the deal: I’m glad they get a pizza a month- I get to have a relationship with them, see their kids grow up”.

What do you think? Would you sell your home for FREE pizza for life?!

National Homebuyers – We Buy Any House

National Homebuyers are a UK based property buyer who really do buy any house or property! In fact we will buy anything, absolutely anything! Whether it is a house, flat or bungalow we will buy it!

If you are looking for a fast house sale then we are here to help you. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve you aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want a sell house fast service then give us a call on 08000 443 911.

Get your no obligation cash offer now by using the Get Offer on the right-hand side of this page and take the hassle out of selling your home!

9 Examples of Properties You’d Never Expect to Sell

It is always exciting, and ever so slightly enthralling, to find a property that is a little bit different when you are looking to buy a new home. It cannot be denied that the British love to feel that our humble abode has that unique quality to it.

Whether you crave that chic, luxurious and glamorous feel of Italian interior design, or the stunning architecture associated with external African architecture; there is no denying that the British are forever seeking innovation and quirkiness when they are in the hunt for a new home.

However there are times when properties are down-right bizarre and in need of major improvement work to say the least! How often do you hear about a house that has a pig living in the garden next door? How about a property situated bang in the middle of an industrial estate?

Believe it or not, these are properties that have actually been sold in the UK in a matter of weeks. If you don’t believe me then please browse through National Homebuyer’s 9 strangest properties in the UK.

48 Habost, Ness, Isle of Lewis, HS2 0TG

This property on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland was derelict and even featured a crofting tenure. That wasn’t a problem for National Homebuyers, we still made a cash offer because we really do buy any house!

Drummoddie Croft, Whauphill, Newtown Stewart, DG8 9PY

If you are starting to believe that National Homebuyers have a particular interest in buying properties with crofting tenures, then we are sorry to say that you are wrong. This is simply a reflection of the fact that we buy any house, no what the location or condition!

109 North Road, Audenshaw, Manchester, M34 5RJ

While this property may look normal from the outside, there were some quirks about this house in Manchester. The property’s neighbours, for some bizarre reason decided to install bars on the inside of the windows and even kept a pet pig in the garden! Normally this would put home buyers off, but not National Homebuyers! The owners wanted to sell the house fast and we bought the property with minimal fuss and to a timescale that suited them.

Glenroyd Lodge, 640 New Church Road, Bacup, Lancashire, OL13 0NH

How appealing do you think a property in the middle of an industrial estate in Lancashire would be to prospective buyers? Not very? Well, despite the fact that the house was situated between a garage and a classic car refurbishment depot, we didn’t balk at offering the owner a cash offer to sell their house.

564 West Shore Park, Walney, Barrow-In-Furness LA14 3YW

While there is nothing strange about living in a park home, or indeed selling one, we simply included this, and the one below, to show you that it is not only traditional homes that we buy! While a lot of other quick house sale companies claim to buy any house, this usually isn’t the case but National Homebuyers guarantee to buy any house!

64 Vale View, Allington Gardens, Allington, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG32 2FN

As we said, there is absolutely nothing strange about a park home, but we had to include yet another example just to prove to you that we really do buy any house!

2 Yew Tree Cottages, Upper Lydbrook, Gloucester, GL17 9LQ

This cottage is situated on the north-west edge of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, an area rich with Roman history and unspoilt natural beauty. It certainly does sound like an idyllic property that a lot of people would be looking to snap up in next to no time at all. Well, when we were first introduced to this property it was completely flooded and in need of major repair and refurbishment. As you can imagine those looking to sell the property were beginning to get more than a little desperate but we eased all of their worries and made them an offer to buy the property with minimal fuss. While we don’t have any photos of the property when it was flooded, here is an ‘after’ photo showing the renovation work we carried out before selling the property.

I’m sure that you will agree, a thing of beauty!!

 

The Globe, Coleman Head, Shrewsbury, SY3 7B

This end of terrace, four storey public house was in need of some major TLC and was completely derelict when we took it off the owner’s hands. Once again we kept our promise to buy any property and made sure that it would prove irresistible to any prospective buyer!

 

6 Murchison Grove, Thornton Cleveleys, FY5 3RA

This 3 bedroom property was completely derelict and in need of major refurbishment. As you can see, this sort of property wouldn’t be appealing to the average estate agent! Did that matter to National Homebuyers? No, of course not- it is true, we really do buy any house! National Homebuyers can help you Sell House Fast.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed our collection of nine of the strangest properties sold in the UK. Have you ever heard a story of even stranger properties being sold? Do you have a property that you believe that no-one will ever touch? If you can answer yes to any of these questions then we would love to hear from you.

So, get in touch with National Homebuyers and you never know, we might even publish your story! There is one thing that you can be certain of though, if you have a quirky property you want to get rid of, then go, on try us out! We really do buy any house!

Or, if you prefer, why not take a look at our one of the UK most disgusting properties ever sold in the UK?

Let our friendly sell house fast team guide you through our quick move now fast house sale process for your city such as the examples below:

The Hoarder Next Door

hoarder

I am sure that most of us are now aware of the Channel 4 programme about hoarders living next door. If, however, you are yet to see the programme, it focuses on those who are unable to dispose of items and instead store them in their home. This is, of course, leads to an extremely negative effect on an individual’s life and in turn, affects their relationships with others.

It is believed that there are around 1.2 million hoarders living in Britain and the condition is becoming so widespread that it is finally being recognised as a mental illness, both within the medical world and within the general population.

Sadly, the condition is not detectable until you step inside the hoarder’s home and a person who you once believed led an apparently normal life is actually suffering from a debilitating mental illness. A lot of families even believe that something like this could not possibly happen to them and that they are immune from this illness. However, the number of families who actually discover that this has been happening and their friend is a hoarder, obviously, this is highly surprising for them.

When a sufferer of this mental illness passes away their family are left with the responsibility of trying to restore order in the house and take care of the items which have been stored in the house for years, if not decades. This can be a highly stressful period, especially as those who have been dealt this responsibility are grieving for their friend or loved one.

Clearing the property is actually pretty straightforward, you can either take on the responsibility yourself or you can hire someone to clear the property for you. However, due to the accumulation of items in the property, the interior of the house can be dilapidated and in need of redecoration. This is obviously not ideal if you are looking to sell the house now as there are a whole host of tasks which need to be undertaken. Therefore a fast home sale is off the cards; or is it?

It goes without saying that this is a difficult process, especially after the death of a loved one, and the sooner the matter is resolved the better. If you are looking for a quick house sale then National Homebuyers are able to look beyond the cosmetic state of the property, and as long as the property has been cleared, then you can sell your house for cash to us!

Who wants to go through the hassle of preparing a house for the open market when it is not in an ideal state to be advertised on the open market? We really will buy any home for cash, so why not get your cash offer now?

National Homebuyers – We Buy Any House

homebuyer man with guaranteeNational Homebuyers are a UK based property buyer who really do buy any house or property! In fact, we will buy anything, absolutely anything! Whether it is a house, flat or bungalow we will buy it!

If you are looking for a fast house sale then we are here to help you. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve your aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want a sell house fast service then give us a call on 08000 443 911.

Get your no obligation cash offer now by using the Get Offer format the top of this page and take the hassle out of selling your home!

 

Looking to Sell your House Fast? Give this a Try!

Buying or selling a new home is more often than not a roller coaster ride that can leave both buyers and sellers experiencing a range of emotions. If you have any experience of the property market, then you will be aware that there are a mixture of both positive and negative emotions involved but sadly the negatives seem to outweigh the positives.

Whether you are purchasing your first home or climbing up a step on the property ladder, buying a property is a major step and emotions often run high in the build up to purchasing the property.

Usually we think that those who are buying a property carry the burden of stress and uncertainty in these situations. It is, however, just as stressful selling a house, especially when the property market is stale and you wish to sell your house quickly in order to move into your new home.

So, if you are looking for someone to buy your house fast, what exactly is the best approach to take? How do you make your house stand out from the competition and appeal to buyers? Would you redecorate to tempt those looking to buy? We all know that the first impression is the only impression, so should you go that extra mile and make sure that the property is in as pristine a state as possible?

These are all good suggestions if you are looking to sell your home, but if you are looking to sell your house fast then installing a roller coaster could be the way to go. Hang on I hear you say, a roller coaster?!

That is exactly what a home owner has done in Ermelo, Holland. With the help of the Dutch bank, ABN AMRO, the home owner has created something which is more akin to Alton Towers. The roller coaster takes a tour around the entire house and ends with a hair-raising drop from the upstairs window!

 

https://youtu.be/D2QOtnLdnLQ

While this technique may prove to a fantastic way of attracting potential buyers to your property, it certainly isn’t cheapest way if you are looking to sell your house now! If you reside in the UK then what exactly are your options for UK home buyers looking to sell their house fast?

 

One option would be to spend your time waiting to find a buyer; we all know that this can be a painstaking process and that it can take years to sell your home. You could also try lowering the asking price but then there is still no guarantee that someone will come in and buy your property.

If you are looking to sell your house now then there is a better option is to contact to a company who specialise in taking the stress out of selling your home. National Homebuyers are ideal if you are looking to sell your house fast with minimal fuss. They will buy your home for cash and they actually buy any home no matter what condition the property is in! We have already helped a wide variety of people to sell their house fast for cash, take a look at these National Homebuyers reviews to see for yourself!

While the process may not be as fun, National Homebuyers guarantee that you will enjoy a guaranteed no hassle sale of your property, leaving you the time to get on with your life and avoid the perils of the property market!

National Homebuyers – We Buy Any House

National Homebuyers are a UK based property buyer who really do buy any house or property! In fact we will buy anything, absolutely anything! Whether it is a house, flat or bungalow we will buy it!

If you are looking for a fast house sale then we are here to help you. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve you aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want a sell house fast service then give us a call on 08000 443 911.

Get your no obligation cash offer now by using the Get Offer on the riright-handide of this page and take the hassle out of selling your home!

 

The Cost Of Christmas & The 2015 Housing Horizon

In amongst the melee of political rhetoric, rightly or wrongly I have been left with the general impression that the economy has been getting better. Mark Carney – Governor of the Bank of England – has even warned that interest rates will rise by at least 2% over the next couple of years which can only be a signal of recovery. In fact, wages and growth are looking so good that mortgage owners should expect these increases in the later part of 2015.

But are they? Whilst the economic community as a whole are expecting these changes, it appears that mortgage owners are, in general, not ready or planning for this hike in their monthly outgoings.

Notwithstanding the fact that many are uncertain about the state of their current mortgage repayments, according to the Money Advice Service over half of the people surveyed were not prepared for increases, 47% would find it hard to cover an £150 increase and 19% would struggle with any rise at all. Suffice it to say that a 2.5% base rate would see average mortgage repayments increase to well in excess of £150.

Lest we forget, moreover, that 2014 was the year of the “bedroom tax” which was introduced to tackle Britain’s housing shortage. Those who are living in houses with more rooms than is considered necessary have seen cuts in their housing benefit. As a result, the tail-end of 2014 actually saw the highest number of tenant evictions since records began.

So, as the Christmas blues are kicking in what is on the housing horizon?

In the more immediate future, the housing and homeless charity Shelter has told the Guardian newspaper that “more than 3m households fear missing their rent or mortgage repayments this month”; adding that they have seen a significant increase in traffic to their website over the last few months.

What’s even more worrying is the fact that household debt is still extremely high – one of the highest in the world when compared to GDP. The aforementioned ignorance regarding our debt obligations and the likelihood of future repayment increases is highlighted by our exorbitant levels of spending over the festive period. We have not yet felt the pinch of the increased base rate and have therefore, collectively, decided that we are going to engage in frenzied consumerism on days that were subsequently described as ‘Panic Saturday’, for example.

I suppose we owe it ourselves after a few long years of austerity.

Our lack of preparedness means that some of us are extremely vulnerable however. Many who owe their mortgage to the high-paid job they had pre-recession have been getting by because of the low base rate. What’s more, and as you might expect, borrowers hit hardest by higher interest rates are likely to be those who gain least from the recovery.

So, the message is to be careful I suppose. A quick Google search for ‘base rate calculators’ will take you to a number of websites providing tools to help calculate the impact of a percentage change to your repayment amount. We are all hoping that the Bank of England will be delicate when it comes to increasing the percentage, but this will undoubtedly result in substantial increases for some either way – so be ready!

 

National Homebuyers – We Buy Any House

homebuyer man with guaranteeNational Homebuyers are a UK based property buyer who really do buy any house or property! In fact we will buy anything, absolutely anything! Whether it is a house, flat or bungalow we will buy it!

If you are looking for a fast house sale then we are here to help you. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve you aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want a sell house fast service then give us a call on 08000 443 911.

Get your no obligation cash offer now by using the Get Offer on the right-hand side of this page and take the hassle out of selling your home!

Unique & Unusual Christmas Gifts For The Home

So it’s that time of year again.

Whilst I don’t want to be accused of dampening seasonal spirits, I for one find it quite stressful fulfilling the obligatory Christmas demand for presents. With lots of family and lots – well, at least a few – friends to buy for, it’s almost overwhelming trying to find unique and special gifts for those I care about.

After all, the old saying: “it’s the thought that counts” offers little in the way of consolation. It means you’ve got a shoddy present, wasted your hard-earned money and, presumably, not put a lot of thought into the purchase.

Here at National Homebuyers, we strive for better than that. So, we thought we’d pull together a few ideas we’ve had for home-related gifts this Christmas.

Firstly, for those who are looking forward to a merry Christmas we have found a couple of alcohol-related gifts that may be of interest. Maybe, like me, you’ve got an uncle who can’t really handle his drink and a Grandmother who enjoys a whole bottle? For them, there is this great “Half A Pint Glass“ (left) and “Wine Bottle Glass” (right) from Gettingpersonal.com.

Alternatively, for those who like to mix business with pleasure, there is the “always on” work station (left) and the “relax flip!” adjustable pillow (right) from Unikia.

And The final recommendations come from Prezzybox.com. Given the limited number of daylight hours we get at this time of year, we thought these lamps would go some way to illuminating this Christmas for you . On the left you have the the “Book Rest Lamp” and on the right there is the “Stress Relieving Relaxation Light”.

How Will The Stamp Duty Reforms Affect You?

For all those not yet on the property ladder, that first step has become an aspiration so out of reach it appears silly to even try and save for a deposit. The price seems to have been increasing faster than you can get to the next stop down the train line. Even if you have managed to make that first step – or leap as it should be called – chances are you have very low equity in your home.

So, what of the stamp duty reforms George Osborne outlined in this year’s autumn statement?

Well on the face of it, it seems as though it might have done some good. Anyone buying a property that is less than or equal to the sum of £937,500 will be paying less or the same as they were under the previous ‘slab’ system, with the effective tax rate for the average house in the UK being less than half of what it was.

The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) has, in fact, adopted the same sort of incremental application that we see with our income tax. Instead of a blanket rate being applied to a property’s value in its entirety, the new tax rate means that it is only the proportion of the value in excess of the thresholds that is subject to the higher rate.

The new system represents a significant increase in the price paid for high-end properties with the percentage increase in SDLT being exponential – where the higher the price of the property, the higher the tax bill as a percentage of the sale. Given that the rates did not come into effect until midnight after the statement, there was, as you might expect, a rush in high-end property sales. The fall in Foxton’s share price is set to be echoed in the house prices of high-end houses however, with demand and prices expected to decrease for properties over £937,500.

But what are the long-term implications for houses under £937,500?

Critics of the SDLT reforms cite the fact that whilst it might help first-time buyers initially, the changes will ultimately result in further house price inflation and thus, they will be no better off in the long-term. Instead, it is small buy-to-let property investors who are likely to reap the rewards as “smaller properties in zone three” and “property in secondary locations” will see the biggest increase in net returns. It is existing homeowners, moreover, who stand to be the main beneficiaries of these changes.

Emran Mian, whilst speaking to The Guardian, highlighted that “it could be an odd dynamic – London house prices at the top of the market fall, everything else rises, hitting affordability for the average buyer”. To continue, Emran Mian’s comments are also relevant for properties outside of London as well. Houses that were stuck below £250,000 to avoid going into the next tax band are now able to increase without incurring a significantly higher tax bill.

The Telegraph, alongside many other publications, have reported that the winners are property buyers and the losers are those operating in the upper echelons of society.

But is that really the case?

I, for one, am not convinced. After all, dollar-rich Middle Easterners, Russians and West Africans along with a strong Chinese yuan has meant that the demand for prime central London property remains strong.

What’s more, stamp duty savings look likely to be dwarfed by house price inflation and consequently, first-time buyers will find it even more difficult to climb on to that first step of the property ladder.

National Homebuyers – We Buy Any House

homebuyer man with guaranteeNational Homebuyers are a UK based property buyer who really do buy any house or property! In fact we will buy anything, absolutely anything! Whether it is a house, flat or bungalow we will buy it!

If you are looking for a fast house sale then we are here to help you. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve you aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want a sell house fast service then give us a call on 08000 443 911.

Get your no obligation cash offer now by using the Get Offer on the right hand side of this page and take the hassle out of selling your home!

What Is The Quickest Way To Sell A House?

Given that I am writing on the blog of a property purchasing company, you probably won’t be surprised that I’m telling you National Homebuyers, and other companies like it, offer the quickest way to sell a house. We just do. But, what are the factors that affect the speed with which a house sells?

There are an almost limitless number of suggestions for how to sell your house. Experts have recommended things like varnishing doors, washing cars, cutting grass and buying fresh flowers in an attempt to encourage a purchase.

With Zoopla’s most viewed house for October, with over 800,000 views, still under construction however, it would appear that the most enticing properties for prospective buyers are those that provide a blank canvas.

All-in-all, making your house ‘move-in ready’ and aesthetically neutral and pleasing are all you can do before taking on major DIY projects. After all, there is not much a homeowner can do about consumer confidence or the availability of mortgage finance or any other wider economic factors affecting demand.

Speaking on 25th November, BBC Business Editor Kamal Ahmed noted that “fears of an interest rate rise, the looming general election, tougher rules for mortgage lending and the broad belief that the housing market is over-priced” have all resulted in a cooling of the housing market.

So what are your options if you are after a quick sale?

Well, there are house auctions or there are companies that will buy your house, like National Homebuyers. Property auctions do take longer though and the three main reasons for this are:

1. It can take a considerable amount of time and effort just to find the right auction-house for your property. Do you choose a national or local auction? Does it sell properties of roughly the same value? Are the buyers looking for dilapidated properties they can do up?

2. Auctioneers are like estate agents in that they need time to market the property. This can be in the form of online advertising, pages in their brochure or specific targeted marketing to their database of regulars; all of which costs money and takes time. What’s more, any prudent property investor is going to want to take a look at any prospective property themselves and possibly even have it professionally surveyed and valued so to avoid any unwelcome surprises post-purchase.

3. After the gavel falls settlement completion can take up-to 28 days and is non-negotiable.

All of this information, and much more, is found in our house auctions blog post along with references; as-well as being easily accessible on the web.

Whilst it is true that some people do very well at house auctions – what self-respecting competitor wouldn’t take the opportunity to highlight some of their shortcomings? Besides, we do provide a much quicker solution!

National Homebuyers – We Buy Any House

homebuyer man with guaranteeNational Homebuyers are a UK based property buyer who really do buy any house or property! In fact we will buy anything, absolutely anything! Whether it is a house, flat or bungalow we will buy it!

If you are looking for a fast house sale then we are here to help you. Our team of property experts are always on hand to share their expertise with you and help you achieve you aim of selling your house fast in a time scale that suits you and not us. So if you want a sell house fast service then give us a call on 08000 443 911.

Get your no obligation cash offer now by using the Get Offer on the right-hand side of this page and take the hassle out of selling your home!

Would Independence Affect Scottish House Prices?

How is the housing market in Scotland reacting to the increasing imminence of the independence referendum and how would Scotland leaving the Union to affect Scottish house prices?

In just over two months time, on 18 September, the historic referendum on whether to remain part of the United Kingdom will take place in Scotland. As the date for the referendum looms ever larger, more and more focus is being placed on the upcoming vote and the potential consequences that will arise, particularly if Scotland decides to secede from the Union that has existed since 1707. As such, National Homebuyers, UK property buyers,  have composed the following article in order to assess the effect independence would have on Scottish house prices.

The first point that needs to be made on the subject is that virtually all assumptions made in relation to any of the eventual outcomes of Scottish Independence are purely conjectural. Secession is something that does not occur very often in international politics and, even when it does, there are not really any set procedures or universal guidelines stipulated in international law that cover such an eventuality.

There are few recent examples by which the situation can be judged. The nearest historical precedent is that of Czechoslovakia, which split into the two separate nations of Slovakia and the Czech Republic in 1993. However, as with any similar situation, the dissolution of Czechoslovakia was an extremely idiosyncratic case, as would be any possible secession of the Scotland from the United Kingdom.

To put things basically, it is the prerogative of each individual nation considering dissolution to define the particulars and parameters of the secession process and everything it entails.

What is more, the prediction of future economic trends is also notoriously far from being an exact science. As John Kenneth Galbraith famously and colourfully put it: “The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”

However, predictions and forecasts are just that and they can be extremely useful so long as one bears in mind that they are, essentially, opinions. Here is ours.

Scottish House Prices – The Story So Far

Amid concerns and questions surrounding the future of the pound, the separation of the UK financial systems into two distinct entities, the division of debts and assets and several other economic factors, house prices in the UK, and particularly in Scotland, seems to be just another unanswerable question. However, as with many things, the best place to start is the beginning: the story so far.

Following the almost ubiquitous story that defined the housing market in the UK following the most recent economic crash, house prices went into free fall in 2008, descending rapidly from the peak levels they reached the previous year. It should be noted, however, that this downturn in prices was not as marked or as drastic as in other parts of the UK. Again, in common with the rest of Britain, house prices then entered a prolonged period of stagnation. Then in the second half of 2012 average house prices in Scotland fell for six months in a row, before bucking the trend in January 2013. Despite anecdotal exceptions, prices continued to depreciate until the middle of 2013. Since then, Scottish house prices have been steadily increasing and, according to the latest statistics released by the Office for National Statistics, house prices in Scotland rose by 3.9% between May 2013 and May 2014. Echoing another nationwide story, perpetually rising house prices in Scotland are, in large part, being driven by the lack of supply in relation to the demand for housing stock.

Scottish House Prices in the Run Up to the Referendum

Up until recently the entire independence debate seemed to be having little or no effect whatsoever on the housing market in Scotland. Over the past few months a number of intermittent, often high profile warnings, such as the near unanimous conclusion by Savills’ Scottish Property Outlook Conference in March, in which 90% of the economic experts involved advised Scots that, for the good of the economy in general, and the housing market in particular, they should vote No in September. Despite many such warnings that economic Armageddon would be invited by a Yes vote, Scottish house prices have continued to rise unabated and market confidence appeared unperturbed.

Scottish house prices have risen for the past nine months in a row according to the LSL Scotland House Price Index, with inflation rising to 4.3% in May when compared to the same month last year. The ONS sets this statistic at the slightly more conservative figure of 3.9%, but both reports concur that prices are continuing on an upward trend across the majority of Scotland, representing the longest period of sustained house price increase since 2007.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, one of LSL Property Services’ constituent parts, said:

“The only fly in the ointment is a decline in total house sales, dropping 3% from April to May 2014. This goes against the historic seasonal trend for this time of year, suggesting that tighter regulations under the Mortgage Market Review have temporarily slowed housing transactions. But with recurrent indications that interest rates will rise before the year is out, new record property prices being set, and only three months to go before the Independence referendum, potential buyers may also be taking heed of caution and delaying purchase decisions until they can be clear what the future holds.”

This is representative of many areas of the rest of the UK. The recent reports by LSL and the ONS which, while generally considered to be among the most reliable sources of information on the housing market, focus on figures that are slightly behind the most recently available statistics, such as Halifax’s recently released monthly house price index, which showed that national average prices dropped by 0.6% in June compared to the levels they achieved May.

Tentative suggestions have been voiced recently which presage an impending cooling of the market. Some say this is due to the new Mortgage Market Review criteria introduced by the Bank of England in April, others claim it is a reaction to the increasing surety that interest rates will rise this year, while yet others believe it is a symptom of the market attaining a natural equilibrium following a long period of sustained price appreciation, which itself came on the back of a market crash and an extended era of stagnation.

However, in Scotland, there are those that believe the market is beginning to slow or is at least about to do so, in the face of incremental feelings of uncertainty in regards the potential ramifications of the upcoming referendum.

High-end estate agents commented last week on a tangible reduction in the number of house buyers looking to buy high-value property in the run up to the vote in September. High earning Scots, English buyers looking to move north of the border and ex-pat Scots looking to return to their homeland after making their fortune abroad, are all postponing the decision to buy homes in Scotland until after the referendum as a result of fears they may subsequently have to relocate or see a drastic drop in their new home’s value.

A partner at Strutt & Parker, Robert McCulloch, believes that:

“For buyers in this sector, a vote for independence could mean the relocation of their job or a possible reduction in value of their property. Therefore, it is not surprising that a significant proportion has told us that they are awaiting the outcome of the vote before committing.”

In addition, even the LSL statistics show that the number of people selling a home across Scotland reduced by 3% in May compared to the same month last year. Again, while many commentators claim this represents a slowing of the market due to growing apprehension over the potential economic fallout from Scottish independence, some claim it is strong evidence that Scotland needs to secede from the UK because measures introduced to combat the possibility of a Londoncentric housing bubble are simply inappropriate and extraneous when applied to the Scottish market, where the approximate level of 4% growth appears sustainable.

Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chamber of Commerce, supports the latter view:

“Further statistics continue to show the cross-border asymmetry in housing prices, with house price annual inflation at 11.0% in England compared to Scotland’s much lower rate of 3.6%,”

Meanwhile, others point out that it is simply an indicator of a general trend in Scotland, where the volume of people looking to sell a house has decreased by over 40% in the past decade, according to the Registers of Scotland statistics.

These points of view often seem to be more contingent on which side of the political debate people are sitting than on their views on the actual housing market itself, a thematic occurrence that appears to be becoming more common in Scotland as the vote draws nearer. This is a major problem for anyone wishing to gain a true and unbiased picture of the Scottish housing market. The problem becomes even more pronounced when one attempts to predict the future of Scottish house prices following the outcome of the independence vote.

Scottish House Prices and the Independence Effect

The future of the housing market is notoriously difficult to predict under any circumstances. In the lead up to a historic and politically seminal event such as the referendum on Scottish independence, the unpredictability of the market is profoundly magnified.

The pro-independence camp is quick to assert that secession from the Union would have little or no influence on the apparently stable level of growth in Scottish house prices. Some Yes campaigners further state that any effect that did arise would be nothing but positive. Those in favour of leaving the Union claim that, by seceding, Scotland would gain more control over rates of property taxation, the resultant freedom to set these rates to suit the Scottish market, the ability to boost capital expenditure for new housing and more opportunity to incentivise property development in order to bring supply in line with demand.

The anti-independence group is just as quick to point out that the level of uncertainty many claim, is currently being experienced in the lead up to the referendum would be dwarfed in the face of the massive uncertainty that would define the years following dissolution of the Union, as the myriad details of such a separation were negotiated. No vote campaigners claim this would have an extremely negative effect on financial markets and severely dent investor, developer and consumer confidence as all of these groups would find themselves unable to financially plan for the future.

As with virtually any political debate, the truth probably lies somewhere between the dichotomous opinions of both respective groups.

UBS Wealth Management’s financial expert Bill O’Neill believes that a Yes vote would usher in a period of extreme market volatility during the political machinations that must inevitably follow. However, Kathleen Brooks, research director at Forex.com, insists that the respective governments of the newly separated nations would work quickly in order to reduce the ramifications of such a situation and hence reduce market volatility.

The truth of the matter is that a Yes vote would inevitably have an adverse effect on the financial markets in the immediate aftermath of a Yes vote for Scottish independence. How volatile the situation became would be entirely dependent on how long the subsequent period of uncertainty lasted. If the politicians get their act together quickly, there is a good chance the situation could be quickly contained and rectified. The problem is that the SNP have earmarked 24 March 2016 as the intended date on which separation would be affected, meaning that the uncertainty, and consequent equity market volatility, would likely continue for at least 18 months.

One of the biggest uncertainties that surround the debate is the future of Scottish currency. As yet there has been no firm confirmation of what monetary unit an independent Scotland would employ: the pound, the euro or a new currency exclusive to Scotland. Let us consider these scenarios individually.

Despite a number of claims to the contrary, were an independent Scotland to retain sterling as their national currency, the fact is that as a new and relatively small nation on the outskirts of Europe, Scotland would be given a lower credit rating than the rest of the UK. This would result in higher funding costs which would most probably then be passed on to consumers. There is a good chance that the potential perceived increase in financial risk would result in higher mortgage rates that would place upward pressure on households and consequently drive down house prices as people would be forced to seek more affordable homes. In these circumstances, there is a good chance that growth in the market would be choked off as transactions stalled due to the unwillingness of those selling property to accept lower values for their homes.

In relation to the second of these monetary options – the euro – it should be noted that is not an option in the short term, or most probably even the medium term, because Scotland would not be able to meet the stringent criteria by which nations looking to adopt the shared currency are judged.

The third option – a separate Scottish currency – presents a completely different set of questions which make it hard to predict future events in the housing market. Much would depend on the strength of any currency introduced by an independent Scotland. A strong currency would most likely have the effect of deterring foreign investors from entering the market, meaning any upward pressure on house prices would come from internal factors within the new nation. A lot would also depend on several factors that influenced the strength of the currency which, again, are hard to predict. However, if the independent Scottish currency remained weak, this could encourage high levels of investment from foreign house buyers looking to achieve good value for their money, a phenomenon which often drives prices up.

Echoing many analysts that fear heavy house price depreciation should Scotland vote to leave the UK, online estate agents e.Moov recently predicted that Scottish house prices would drop by as much as 20% should a Yes vote be registered in September.

However, respected estate agents and property market consultants Savills have recently claimed that house prices in Scotland are likely to rise no matter what the outcome of the referendum. In a presentation last month, Savill’s claimed that the difference would be found in the level of appreciation. They predicted a Scottish house price inflation rate of 25.2% in the four years up to 2018 in the event of a No vote, and 10.9% should Scotland vote for secession. Again, the Scottish government claims that such predictions would be rendered irrelevant by the increased powers an independent Scotland would gain that would allow them to manipulate and support the housing market.

Conclusion

Though it may seem something of a cop out, as we reach the conclusion of this article we are irresistibly drawn back to the point at which we began: uncertainty.

Not only is there a massive lack of precedent in terms of modern day dissolution of advanced commixtured European nations, there is a distinct lack of clarity surrounding so many of the political and financial details surrounding dissolution that it is practically impossible to predict future events with anything approaching a reliable level of certainty.

While many of his opponents have claimed that this lack of detail is an indication of the weakness of Alex Salmond’s campaign, the truth is that nobody knows the details, because they are yet to be worked out and, furthermore, cannot be worked out until the event of a Yes vote arises.

The irony is that their inability to produce hard and fast details and facts about the consequences of secession from the UK may well be the reason that the SNP fail to achieve such an outcome.

In these circumstances holding back and waiting to see what happens, as investors and potential buyers of high-end properties appear to be doing at present, seems the only sensible option.

Either way, in the coming weeks more and more focus will be placed on Scotland as they get ready to make up their minds. Hopefully, once they have done so, the markets can make up theirs.

National Homebuyers

If you are unwilling or, for whatever reason, unable to wait on the outcome of the referendum in September and wish to sell your home in Scotland before then, the UK’s largest and most highly reputed fast house buying company, National Homebuyers, can help. We buy any house across the entirety of the UK and we are always looking to buy houses in Scotland.

We are the market leaders in the quick house sale industry because we have consistently provided an incomparably high level of service for over ten years and our mission is to help you sell your house fast. We provide fast, detailed, no obligation valuations, following which we guarantee to make a genuine cash offer to buy your home. So, if you want to sell your house fast, chain and stress free, Contact Us to Get your Offer today.