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The NAEA housing market report for August is out today and the results echo our findings here in Nottingham. 

The headline numbers reported are;

There are over 10 times more registered applicants than houses for sale. 

Stock levels are at their lowest for 11 years

First Time Buyer levels dropped back to 20% of transactions.

Read the full report here.  pdfNAEA_Housing_Market_Report_August_2015.pdf

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Supply Shortage Bottleneck

The Nottingham housing market stays in a state of flux with potential buyers finding themselves trapped by a lack of choice in the market. After a healthy 2014, many had predicted more of the same for 2015, but that so far it hasn’t materialised. The return of first time buyers over the past 18 months has been welcomed, but the story across the board is becoming one of a general shortage of choice. In short, there is a healthy supply of buyers, but nowhere near enough supply to satisfy demand. The inevitable result is that ‘in demand’ property is selling at a premium, as property prices in West Bridgford testify. Whilst the shortage of choice isn’t good news for buyers, it can be great news for sellers, particularly downsizers or ones that are flexible about their next move with prices only spiking in certain parts of the city.

Property Presentation is Key to Finding the Right Buyer   

An interesting shift in today’s market compared to pre-recession is the change in the importance of presentation, no matter what level you are pitching at. With mortgage criteria being tougher, most lenders demanding a fee, and many buyers finances being stretched, finding a purchaser for a property in need of refurbishment is becoming a tough ask. In fact, in many cases buyers nowadays are looking for property where they can bring their belongings and their toothbrush and have their feet up in front of Strictly by Saturday evening. Property in Sherwood & Carrington is selling well, however, if you look at Rightmove or On The Market, you’ll find that the homes that are incorrectly priced or poorly presented are the ones that have been on the market the longest.

Rental Prices Increasingly Slightly and Tenants Staying Longer 

In many ways the rental market is mirroring the sales market with fewer people moving than in recent history and sought after property being snapped-up. Seasonality has again this year become more pronounced with lower prices being achieved in the quieter months, and less popular properties taking longer to let. Rents have crept up a little, but the increases are nowhere near those being achieved in the south east. On the whole, the picture is very steady and it is encouraging to see new landlords entering the market - in many cases filling the shoes of accidental landlords that are exiting. It remains to be seen whether the changes announced in the budget will have a big impact.

Mortgage Rates on the Rise?

Today’s decision by the Bank of England came as a surprise to many who were predicting an increase. There is widespread opinion however that rates are going to go up imminently which will undoubtedly have a cooling effect on the market. Research from Money Supermarket suggests that lenders are already starting to increase their Fixed Rate mortgages in readiness for an increase, so buyers need to budget accordingly. There are currently more mortgage products available than there have been for many years, and in many parts of Nottingham prices are still depressed, so this could well be an excellent time to buy.
If you’re thinking of buying, or selling a home in Carrington, Sherwood, or Mapperley Park drop in and see us to discuss your next move. We’d love to help.

Granger & Oaks sell, let & manage property across Nottinghamshire. The company is independent & in 2013 celebrated it's 10 year anniversary. We are licensed by ARLA & the NAEA, and offer a high quality service that is competitively priced.

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It’s General Election Year

Should we sell now, or wait for the result? It’s a question being considered across country by home-owners thinking of moving, and the answer probably is that it depends on your situation.General elections have a habit of creating uncertainty, and that is made more acute this time around as it’s the first time for a generation that we have gone into an election year with a coalition in government. Looking back at past elections, there is normally a lull in the months leading up to the vote, and then a surge in sales in the months following. Business this year suggests that Election 2015 will follow the same path. 

So, what do buyers and sellers need to consider? The Mansion Tax – the Labour Party & Liberal Democrats are very keen on introducing measures to tax properties at the top of the market. We think this is primarily targeted at London & the South-East and is unlikely to have an effect on the core market.

Letting Fees – another Labour Party policy is to ban Letting Agency fees to tenants. We think Landlords could bizarrely benefit from this brazen attempt to win tenants votes. Since Letting Fees were banned in Scotland, it is widely reported that rents have risen at a much sharper rate than they have in the rest of the UK as landlords adjust rents to accommodate their increased fees. With pension money flooding in to Buy-to-Let after April, this could be a potential unintended bonus for investors.

First Time Buyers – the market still needs more first time buyers, and first time buyers need confidence that their mortgage isn’t going to soar or their property lose value. We think if any group of buyers are cautious pre-election it is first time buyers. Post-election there is normally a surge in confidence, and that, coupled with the Stamp Duty changes introduced in 2014, could well see a swathe of first time buyers house hunting in the summer.

So, following on from a solid 2014, 2015 could be a very interesting year. So far, we have found new sales listings to be a little slower out of the blocks than 2014, but on the other hand valuations are much higher as sellers decide whether to take the plunge. Across to county, sellers are still being held back by a lack of supply, particularly for areas in good school catchments.

In lettings, the market is starting to pick-up after two very slow months. Rents remain steady, and are mirroring house sales with well-presented property in sought after areas generally seeing rent increases. Tenant demand is quite sporadic with no particular pattern, but on the whole the market is where we would expect it to be for the time of year. 

For homeowners thinking of coming to market, we would recommend taking the election into account. If your house will appeal to a first time buyer, you may wish to hold fire for a few months. If you are trading up however, you may want to make a move now whilst the market is in a lull. The house you may want to move to, may have a lot more interest in it after May 7th.

Granger & Oaks sell, let & manage property across Nottinghamshire. The company is independent & in 2013 celebrated our 10 year anniversary. We are licensed by ARLA & the NAEA, and offer a high quality service that is competitively priced.

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General Election Jitters, Rents Rising, First Time Buyers ISA announced.

As the country heads into the full swing of election fever, businesses across the country are noticing a slowing down of trade due to the uncertainty an election brings. Recent sales activity from Granger & Oaks however suggests that not everybody is following that pattern.
Sales activity in March has been strong with vendor enquiries at an all-time high, and this is being justified with properties being snapped-up within days of being listed.
‘This month we sold one house in two days, for the asking price, and we’ve also had a number of enquiries from new potential landlords for leasehold flats that we currently have on the market – this is especially pleasing as it was leasehold flats that took the brunt of price decreases following on from the credit crunch in 2008’ commented Phil Wardle, Sales Manager at Granger & Oaks.

Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) Report Rents Rising

Figures from the monthly ARLA Private Rented Sector members survey provide good news for landlords with rents rising and tenancy lengths averaging 17 months. The monthly report for February showed that nationally, 31% of agents reported rents rising from January to February, whilst at the same time the number of applicants per office increased. See the full report here http://www.arla.co.uk/media/1042632/arla-prs-report-february-final.pdf
First Time Buyers – Help to Buy ISA means if you save £8000 and you could be in a position to purchase a home worth up to £200,000!
The size of the deposit required is possible because of a combination of the lucrative bonus from the new Isa and existing Help to Buy scheme that offers interest-free loans. With the Help To Buy Isa, the Government rewards savings of £200 a month with a £50 bonus. First-time buyers can also snap up a new-build home with just a 5 per cent deposit by using the Help To Buy scheme. With this, the Government offers a 20 per cent interest-free loan for five years. This means the buyer needs to borrow only 75 per cent of the property value as a mortgage.

Help to Buy Isa's

Help to Buy Isa’s are expected to be rolled out by lenders in the autumn, and there is expected to be fast uptake as tenants consider making the jump onto the property ladder. The maximum bonus from the Government is £3,000 on savings of £12,000, and the minimum is £400, meaning you have to save at least £1,600 to benefit.
The launch of the Help to Buy ISA announced in last week’s budget means that some first-time buyers need to save only £8,000 to get a mortgage for a £200,000 home.

First time Buyers are going to be required to open their accounts with an initial payment of £1,000, and then make monthly contributions of up to £200. Accounts are limited to one per person — not one per house — so couples buying together could get a £6,000 bonus.

Granger & Oaks sell, let & manage property across Nottinghamshire. The company is independent & in 2013 celebrated our 10 year anniversary. We are licensed by ARLA & the NAEA, and offer a high quality service that is competitively priced.

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Property is still selling and vendors are already planning for 2015. Rental demand has stayed strong into October, but as traditional for the year, is now tailing off as we head into Christmas.

With the summer rush now over, the supply of property coming to market is dwindling giving potential buyers an even smaller pool to view. This can be a positive or a negative, depending where you’re sat. If you’re a vendor, the positives are that there is less competition in the market so you may be able to command a premium, but you need to bear in mind that there are less people actively looking to purchase, so your proposition needs to be strong. For purchasers, the quieter months of the year can be a great time of year to bag a bargain, so there are positives from both sides of the fence.

After a strong 2014 for home sales, we’re anticipating a good start to 2015 in Nottingham and we already have vendors primed and ready to market during January. It is widely predicted that pension reforms announced in this years budget will result in money flooding into the market in 2015 with pensioners choosing Buy-to-Let investments for their pension pot rather than the annuities that they have previously had to take out. A poll recently taken by Hargreaves Lansdown has also shown that 8% of retirees are planning to use their funds to help their children get on the property ladder.

In property rental, the traditional summer peak has stayed strong through into October, with rental prices holding fairly steady, if not rising as they have in the south-east. As is normal for the time of year however, demand is now starting to tail off as we head into winter. This year, there has been a significant shake-up in student housing with more and more purpose built student villages popping up across the city. The knock on effect is seeing housing falling empty in peripheral areas and generally supply in student accommodation is outstripping demand. The good news for some however is that as the market appears to be shifting away from student property, there has been renewed interest in leasehold flats.

Over the past few years, purchaser interest has been at its best early in the New Year, so for anybody thinking of selling we’d recommend getting a valuation as soon as is possible so they are ready to come to market.