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budget buying a property

Hidden costs of buying a property

Cost of buying a property go well beyond the deposit required

Many new buyers often make the miscalculation that the money they have saved up, is the amount they should budget for buying a property or putting down a deposit. There are many other costs that arise that new buyers should be aware of. Here are just a few examples.

Legal costs of buying a property

Legals fees are a must, remember you get what you pay for. Use a reputed conveyancing firm. Depending on the complexity of your deal typical costs could vary from £500 to £1000. In some cases you can get the lender to contribute to some of these costs, however beware that they do not cover this by charging else where.

Stamp Duty costs of buying a property

Considering very few property purchases are below the £125,000 threshold most people will have to pay stamp duty. This is a tax an is payable on completion, therefore must be budgeted into your calculations.

Purchase price of property Rate of SDLT
(percentage of the total purchase price)
£0 – £125,000 0%
£125,001 – £250,000 1%
£250,001 – £500,000 3%
£500,001 – £1 million 4%
Over £1 million – £2 million 5%
Over £2 million 7%

Source: https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax-rates

Check out this easy stamp duty calculator.

Survey costs of buying a property

Surveys can typically cost £400 to £800. This must be paid regardless if the purchase goes through, so do your own research before instructing a survey. Make sure the value stands up and the purchase is not too risky for the lender. Sometimes the lender covers the cost of the survey or adds it to the mortgage.

Valuation fees when buying a property

Mortgage lenders will charge a valuation fee, that can vary from £300 to £500. They sometimes cover the cost or give you the option to add it to the mortgage amount. Look at the fine print and get clarification.

Mortgage arrangement fees

Lenders have become smart and crafty. Often as the interest offered on a mortgage goes down, the arrangement fees go up. In reality this is a pointless fee but they do charge it. It can be over £1000 in some cases.

Moving costs & repairs

Moving costs if you are hiring help can run into over £1000 for a single day. Calculate how much you have to move and plan the move well.

When you view your property before completion check things thoroughly, the last thing you want is a boiler failing, the roof collapsing as soon as you move in.

How can PropVestment help?

budget buying a propertyWe can provide you with a walk through of purchasing a property and put you in touch with our preferred and vetted financial advisers, solicitors, and moving team. Contact us today for a no obligation chat.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The rise of online estate agents

How important is the Estate Agent?

Is the role of the Estate Agent changing?

Over the last few years since the bursting of the property bubble in 2007 to now the role and business model of the estate agent has changed dramatically. We will discuss a few themes from the rise and reliance of the internet in property. Most prominently the rise and almost necessity of agents to list upon Rightmove and Zoopla. Are relationships with your agent still as important? The rise of volume of estate agents on every high street? Is it different if you are a buyer or a seller.

Internet-Only Agents, Rightmove & Zoopla

The rise of online estate agentsA few years ago there was a giant called Findaproperty.com, which has now disappeared after a merger with Zoopla in 2012. The giants are now Rightmove and Zoopla. Nearly every high street agent must now list on these two giants to get the exposure to potential buyers or letters.

In times gone by majority of the advertising for property was in the freely distributed local newspapers, and newspaper could get a large amount of their revenues from estate agents. Now many papers exist in only online form or only sold in selected stores. This has meant that all that revenue is diverted to these online property listing sites. Within minutes of receiving new properties agents are able to list them online and mailshot them to potentials. As a buyer this means you have quick access but also quick competition.

DID YOU KNOW: 95% property searches are done online!

There are now a rise of many online only estate agents such as such as eMoov.co.ukHousesimple.co.uk and Hatched.co.uk. Zoopla and Rightmove online allow estate agents to advertise, not private clients. Hence their is a market for online only agents. With minimal costs they can operate, some only charging £500 commission on property sales. Compared to the 2% average of traditional agents and London average house prices hitting almost £350,000. That’s a comparison of £500 vs £7000? What would you choose?

Are relationships with your estate agent important?

This question goes hand in hand with the debate of using online only estate agents or not. In years gone by your relationship with your local agents were of prime importance. Whether you were a seller or a buyer your agent could significantly improve your chances of succeeding in a transaction or even giving you first option ahead of others.

Recently working on a deal for a client we realised the importance of this relationship is still as valid as ever. You pay a price but you get that call ahead of a property being listed online. Or as a seller they personally take care of negotiations and vetting to squeeze every penny from the prospective buyer. It brings about a personal touch an art that is often lost in today’s technologically reliant world.

Spoilt for choice? But which one?

Spoilt for choice for estate agentsSince the before the bubble burst till now there have been more and more new estate agents cropping up on every high street in the country. Even when the market for buying and selling was stagnant they were opening. Mainly for the high demand for lettings and the quick 6-10% that they could make by flooding landlords with sub standard tenants and then in an few months they disappeared. Estate agency requires no qualifications to open, so there is easy entry. But do not discount them all the new boys on the market. There are some very good ones. Best advise is to go and have a conversation, you very easily can weed out the all talkers and the ones with extensive local knowledge.

The best agents we find are ones that have been in an area for a while, they get the best properties first and they also have the ready clients who are looking.

Difference for Buyers and Sellers

For buyers:
Walk around the area you are looking and register interest with the local estate agents. They will give you inside knowledge of the happenings and developments locally and can give you first option. You are not generally paying anything so it makes no difference to you.

For sellers:
You are the one paying fees so this is the big dilemma. Also it depends on your circumstances, how long you can wait to find a buyer, can you handle viewings. A good agent can vet out prospects so there is less hassle for you, especially if you are selling your residential home and do not want hoards of random people turning up to see.

Conclusion

Estate Agents are massively important for the buyer and seller, however each situation is different. On the whole good relationships enable you to get preferential and personal service that can help you beat the market.

Buy to Let mortgages

UK Property Market Update – Winter 2013

The UK property bubble is building

  • The average family home is up £5,583 and London properties have increased by more than £7,000.UK property prices went up by £7,430 in October
  • Average sale price in London is now £404,199
  • Help to Buy scheme is inflating prices
  • Rents increase 11% to £785pm, 41% of the average UK wage.

UK rents

UK property Sale prices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average UK Property Prices In London, where the average sale price is higher than ever, 14 people compete for every property.

Mortgage applications rose by 6% in October, and almost double 2012 numbers. It comes as the Council of Mortgage Lenders said last week the number of homes sold this year will be more than one million for the first time since the financial crisis began in 2007.

The government Help to Buy scheme is pushing prices up.

Out of the 5,375 sold so far, the highest number of Help to Buy sales have been in Leeds, Wiltshire, Milton Keynes and Reading.

The average price of a UK property bought under the Help to Buy scheme was £194,167, with an average equity loan of £38,703.

UK property transactions

Critics warned the UK-wide second phase of the scheme, which began last month and is not restricted to new-builds, would cause a housing bubble.

It guarantees 15 % of the value of the home loan.

After almost coming off the market, Buy to Let mortgages are also being approved strongly. Landlords and investors are buying up and completing deals to keep up with the increasing rent demand and to cash in on the rental increases. This is a very encouraging sign for property investment.

However as the final graphic shows there is still not enough supply in the market, especially in London where there are almost 3 offers for every sale.

PropVestment’s thoughts

Offers and Sales

Yes the UK property market is picking up and in fact picking up a little too fast. But this is mainly due to the Help to Buy scheme which is resulting in unrealistic implications on price and the market. The only ones to benefit are the banks and house builders. First time buyers, buying under the scheme face higher interest rates compared to traditional mortgage products.   
The market right now is too competitive and sellers can take advantage. We do however have concerns that many first time buyers under Help to Buy will suffer from negative equity in years to come once the Government pulls the plug on the scheme and prices fall back to their realistic, natural and sustainable level.

Buy to Let mortgages

Source: Daily Mail

#Budget2013 : Help to buy – impact on UK property market

Will the “Help to Buy” scheme help home buyers?

Budget 2013 Help to BuyThe Chancellor, George Osbourne has announced the budget for 2013 and beyond. Overall the budget covers all aspects or work and life in the UK, however we are concerned with property.

The head line for property has been the “Help to Buy” scheme.

There are 2 options, one for new buyers and new homes only and one for all property and buyers.

The below options breakdown are provided by Zoopla blog on the budget

Option 1: Help to buy – Equity Loan

-Is it applicable to any property?
No, just new build only

-Deposit required?
Yes, minimum of 5% deposit

-Do I have to be a first time buyer?
No, this scheme is available to all, not just first time buyers

-How does it work?
The Government will lend you up to 20% of the value of your property through an equity loan, which can be repaid at any time or on the sale of your home…so you will only need to secure up to a 75% mortgage from a bank or building society. It is interest-free for 5 years

-When does it start?
The scheme is available from 1 April 2013. It will run for 3 years and provide £3.5billion of additional investment

Option 2 – Help to buy – Mortgage Guarantee

-Is it applicable to any property?
New build and existing homes

-Will I need a deposit?
Yes, you’ll need a minimum of 5%

-Is it only open to First Time Buyers?
No, it is also open to existing homeowners

-How does it work?
You’ll need to secure a mortgage for your purchase. The Government guarantee should help encourage lenders to offer better access to low-deposit mortgages

-When does it start?
Available from January 2014, this scheme will run for 3 years

-Is there a maximum purchase price?
Maximum value £600,000

 Other points from the Budget 2013:

  • Budget 2013 help to buy21 % corporate tax rate – potentially beneficial to buy rental properties into a company rather than private names
  • Encourage to convert unused commercial space into residential

London Mayor, Boris Johnson has also secured £750 million for new build housing in the capital. This will boost affordable housing for middle income Londoners.

Official details can be found here: HM Treasury – pages 38 & 71

PropVestment’s thoughts

Overall we believe that the budget is progressive for the UK Property market, however it could have done more. However it seems that Help to Buy is more universal and will help more of the population. It is now for us to see how it filters through in reality. Many other schemes like NewBuy and FirstBuy have been less successful

 

Contact PropVestment today for a chat, we advise on all property investment queries. Lets make money from property

 

Lending holding back property investment in London

Stringent lending stopping property investment

Property Investment stopped by lending

It has been a long standing observation that one of the main reasons the UK property market is struggling is due to the lack of funding in the market place.

We have had a series of funding schemes proposed by the government and other institutions to encourage property investment. These include the likes of NewBuy, FirstBuy, and Funding For Lending.

Funding for Lending is the latest scheme to encourage lending where the banks can borrow cheaply provided they lend it out to the public, be it as mortgages or commercial lending.

FirstBuy and NewBuy is primarily restricted to new builds, which benefit constructors but represent a very small proportion of the property on the market.

Over the last few weeks at PropVestment we have been working on a deal for a young professional first time buyer. However we have it a brick wall with strict, inflexible, non-subjective lending criteria by all the major lenders.

*Due to confidentiality and to protect our exclusive property sources, details on this article will be disguised
 

The investment property

Property Investment in Elephant & CastleLOCATION – Elephant & Castle – Zone 1 – London

  • Elephant & Castle has £1.5 Billion being spent for regeneration.
  • 2 mins walk to the London Underground and Bus stations.
  • Opposite the famous “Strata Building”

 PROPERTY

 

2 Bed Duplex in Ex-council block, currently under full refurbishment.

  • Each leaseholder has spent almost £40k for new concierge, lifts, windows
  • Elephant & Castle - Property next to Strata20th floor with views of London, from the Gherkin, Canary Wharf, O2,  Shard, all the way to Crystal Palace.
  • Large Balcony. Full wall to wall windows across all rooms.
  • 118 Year Lease

Rental expectation – upto £1500 per month currently. PropVestment predicts this will hit £2000 in 5 years. Strata building demands this level for smaller compatibles.

Asking price – £220,000

Gross Yield is over 8%

If lending 75% Purchase Price, there for deposit £55,000
If mortgage at 4% repayment over 20 years £1011 installment per month
Surplus for Buyer after mortgage £5868 per annum.
10.7% return on cash invested annually

 

The First Time Buyer

  • Mid twenties
  • £50,000 savings, plus £10,000 promised contribution from family
  • £40,000 a year salary before bonus.
  • Over £2000 monthly saving after expenses
  • City working professional, currently living with parents
  • Buying either to stay in and share or rent out fully.

Why the banks won’t lend?

  •  Ex-council
  • Concrete & Steel Construction

If the councils have approved a £40 million refurbishment of the block, clearly there is no risk to the building. Considering most of the block is still council owned they would not put so much of their own money in an unsafe building.

Being Ex-council ensures that maintenance is always prompt and reasonably costed.

The banks have very little risk here because the rental will cover the mortgage repayment by 135%, the usual criteria for Buy to Lets is currently 125%.
The buyer has £2000 disposable income every month, for any major shortfall or unforseen circumstance.

PropVestment’s Thoughts

After all this and almost a model buyer, why are the banks not lending?
Banks are given cash via the Funding for Lending scheme and still are not making it available to the public.

By the banks not lending, we, as in property professionals, end up having to offer such properties to cash buyers from abroad.
Ideally we want young property owners from the UK, however due to the circumstances the only investors that can afford to pay full cash are foreigners. This means that the profits also get taken out and do not recirculate in the UK economy.

The government must do something to ensure banks lend to boost UK home grown property investment.

For any property investment advise, analysis, deals or thoughts, contact us today for a no obligation chat. Sharing thoughts and ideas is how we progress.

 

Allsop Residential Property Auction February 2013

Allsop Residential Property Auction – February 2013

Interesting observations from property auction

Allsop Residential Property Auction February 2013

This Valentine’s day, Thursday 14th February we attend the Allsop Residential Property Auction in London’s Cumberland Hotel. Never have we seen such a packed out property auction room, it is not a small venue however felt more like a cattle market.

As usual we will bring you some facts of what sold and what did  not sell in the property auction, as well as what properties were bargains and what were bank busters.

Key observations include the expected high priced sales in London in particular in area such as Kensington, Chelsea and Fulham. Properties in North of England did not sell well with most of those present in the auction purely focused on London property. Finally a surprise observation was that of ground rents. These seem to be longer term but much more secure investments, with the bonus potential when it comes to extension or other approvals.

There were many regulated tenancies, therefore sold much below the vacant value of such properties. There was a great deal of lots that were for the unconventional investor.

Property Auction: The numbers!

The Allsop Residential Property Auction featured 288 lots, therefore it was not possible for PropVestment to stay for all. We stuck around until Lot 87, which really meant 72 active lots, with 19 withdrawn or sold prior.

  • Out of 72 lots, 56 sold with 16 where the Reserve was not met. 78% Success
  • Average highest bid was £287k but the average selling price was £237k.   Average unsold lot highest bid was £459k. This shows that the higher value lots struggled, with sellers keeping higher reserves.
  • Average sold lot was 27% higher price than the guide. Where as the average reserve not met lot was 3% under guide.

Residential Property Auction Bargains

  • Lot 61 – 3rd Floor 3 Bed Duplex Maisonette in W13, London, Rent on AST at £22k – Sold for £150k ….almost 15% rental yield…. 98 years lease left
  • Lot 76 – Freehold Public house in Wiltshire with a 9 year commercial lease at £24k rising to £25,880. Sold for £180k…. 14.4% Yield…pays for itself in under 7 years

Residential Property Auction Bank Busters

  • Lot 32 – £1300 Ground rent investment, Sold for £54k, and the leases are 124 years to run, only 2.4% yield
  • Lot 23 & 24 – Ground rent investment in South Kensington, £2k  and £2.4k per annum respective and went for £235k and £460k respectively. However there were flats in the buildings with under 25 years lease left. So the value is instilled with these rather than the ground rent income.
  • Lot 53 – Commercial with 11 years lease, and flat on regulated tenancy in Dorset. Sold for £181k, currently yielding 6%

Upcoming Property Auction’s PropVestment will attend:

Barnett Ross: Thursday, 28th February 2013 12 noon Catalogue now online
Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, 22 Portman Square, London W1H 7BG

Salter McGuiness: Tuesday, 5th March 2013 1330 Catalogue now online
Quality Hotel, Empire Way, Wembley, HA9 0NH

Next Allsop Residential Property Auction Catalogue

Property Auction Final Say

Property auctions still seem like a great place to sell, especially if the property you own is not finance friendly. Meaning that traditional buyers will falter at a mortgage stage. There is a lot of auction activity at the large auctions but there is a massive bias to London.

PropVestment can help you vet potential investments and guide you to make the right choices for selling or buying property in auction. The property market is changing and you need to be fully informed prior to any decision.

Call us today for a chat: 07960 344 399

Previous Auction articles can be found in the Auctions section.

Official Allsop Results

Allsop Residential Property Auction Feb 2013 results

 

UK property market HS2

#HS2 – High Speed 2 implications on the UK Property Market

UK property market HS2With the announcement of the HS2 today, there has been much in the media, with a lot of criticism. We at PropVestment want to focus on the implications of HS2 on the UK property market.

Economically this will create jobs and provided technology is sourced within the UK will benefit us in the long run.

In terms of the thousand or so homes effected, we believe they have been offered 110% the market value of their property prior to plans announced. Home owners have got a good deal, especially in some northern reaches where the UK property market is almost non existent as UK potentially drops into a “triple dip” recession.

How does HS2 effect the UK Property Market?

  •   HS2 impact on UK Property MarketReduce Pressure on London
    As commuting becomes easier with journeys under an hour from Birmingham to London, similar to a journey from Zone 4/5 to Zone one within London. Therefore many will choose to locate outside London. Benefiting from lower property prices and potentially larger homes.
  • Revival of Northern Property Markets
    As from locations will be commutable to the major cities and London. Hence more people will choose to locate in those towns, boosting house demand and rentals too. Landlord’s and investors will find these areas as more attractive places to invest. First time buyers and young professionals out priced by London have the option of settling in Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds or Birmingham and able to travel more easily.
  • Revival of UK Construction
    It is inevitable that there will be need for new home and in the areas surrounding the HS2. Primarily for the construction workers and secondary for the end users who look to make use of the HS2 rail link.

 

Where to buy UK Property Top Tip: Totan, Nottinghamshire

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PropVestment 2013 – UK Property Market Outlook

UK Property 2013 – House Prices, Lending, Supply, Rents…

There is always much speculation about how the UK property market will fair when we start a new year. How will the market correlate to the economy as a whole, and the biggest question of all is whether its recovering from the credit crunch?

  • House Prices
  • Lending
  • Supply
  • Rents

UK House Prices in 2013

House prices are low currently and the advise from PropVestment is that property prices will not stay low forever. Simple demand and supply, population is growing faster than new supply, together with smaller family units means shortage. Further lending is still tight but there is major pressure to improve. If you can afford to buy now, do it.

Today Rightmove are claiming that sellers are pricing 0.2% higher in 2013

UK Property Lending in 2013

Investment property services

Lending to first time home buyers in the UK increased 11% in 2012 compared to 2011, however this is still considerably lower than pre credit crunch. There is constant pressure on lenders to lend more but the criteria remains tight. Hopefully 2013 will mean more realistic and universal schemes rolled out by lenders, with more scope than last years NewBuy and FirstBuy.

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First time buyers face scarce supple due to council property

London’s housing problem for First Time Buyers

Why First Time Buyers find it hard to buy in London

  • High Prices
  • Shortage of Properties
  • Difficult lending
  • SOLUTION – Sell council properties in Zone 1 & 2

This article discusses the various issues in the London housing market, addressing high property prices, housing shortages and high rentals. Linking these factors to the reasons why first time buyers are facing an uphill struggle.

I have lived in London my whole life and professionally work in the property industry with my company PropVestment. The aim is to provide information, analysis and property related services for investors. From my experiences in this field and from living in London my whole I make some observations.

First Time Buyers Problem:

Too high prices and shortage of properties

First time buyers should be able to buy ex- councilThe first thing that caught my eye this week was an article titled “London councils breaking B&B stay limit for families” on the BBC News website. The main thing I understood from this article is that Westminster council has broken the law by not housing 134 families into housing and not B&Bs within 6 weeks. The main take on the article as reported is housing shortage.
However, why are there so many demanding housing in Westminster, arguable the most expensive borough. Surely if you are in need of accommodation you should take or be given where available and not be given location preferences.

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Acuitus Commercial Auction

Commercial Investors getting high yields: Acuitus Commercial Auction

Property Investors get over 10% yield at Commercial Auction

Acuitus Commercial AuctionOn Thursday 18th October 2012, PropVestment attended the Acuitus Commercial Real Estate Auction in The Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square, London. We were present with a client interested in a couple lots, that unfortunately were outbid. However the observations told an interesting tale about the UK commercial property sector in particular the expectations of investors.
The first observation was that there was twice as many people as there were seats, leaving us to stand. This shows that the number even took the auctioneers and the hosts by surprise.

Although there were over 50 lots on offer, we could only stay to see the first 30 on offer.
Out of which 22 sold with 8 Reserve Not Met,  a success rate of 73%, much higher than other recent residential auctions we have attended.

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