In advance of our upcoming Property Surgery on Saturday 14th January (9.30am – 4.00pm), Phil Wardle, Sales Manager at GO Property Services gives his views on the outlook for 2012.

At the end of the 2011, homeowners across the UK were pleased to hear that mortgage lender, Nationwide, reported a ‘surprisingly resilient’ year on year increase of 1.1% across the UK, pushing the average house price up to £163,822. 9 out of 13 UK regions reported house price increases in 2011, with the East Midlands, seeing a 0.6% increase.     

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), recently emphasized that house price valuations are likely to continue to be supported by a shortage of supply. He commented that ‘the lack of supply in the market is likely to prevent any house price declines. As a result of this, the lettings market will remain firm which means that rents are likely to increase further, albeit at a slower pace than in 2011’.

In Nottinghamshire, the limited stock of housing means demand for property is likely to remain strong throughout the year.  With this in mind, at GO Property, we think house prices in Nottingham will continue to remain steady throughout the year.  Our landlords are likely to see rent increase gains as demand remains strong, particularly for well presented, centrally located properties.

If you want to discuss selling or letting your property in 2012, give me a call at the office on 0845 226 0345 or come and see us at our Property Surgery which is being held at the office on Saturday 14th January between 9.30am and 4.00pm.

 

The strength of the current lettings market has been reported continuously in recent months and we are now seeing the return of buy to let from investors, who have seen the potential in putting their money into property at this time. In particular, foreign investors have shown an increased interest in UK property, although this has been more common in the South of the country. In a change to the initial ‘property boom’ though, is it now houses, as opposed to apartments, that are seen as the better option?

Natalie Evans, Property Manager at GO Lettings in Leeds, commented, “In Leeds we have Landlords with both apartments and houses and the year they bought these properties very much determines how profitable they are currently. Landlords buying property now are in a more fortunate position now that property prices have decreased and there’s an abundance of tenants getting in touch, but whether they go for a flat or a house is tending to depend on the individual landlord. In terms of apartments, Landlords need to take into consideration that there is a service charge for the management company looking after the development and they would need to abide by the terms of the lease. Apartments do tend to let for shorter periods of time too, but then the demand for City Centre apartments is very high, because people desire the convenience of not having to worry about travel time and costs and there’s a very romantic notion about living in a City Centre pad! Houses, on the other hand, tend to let for longer periods of time, and are often let unfurnished, and don’t have management fees or service charges, but then may not receive the same level of interest as apartments do when it comes to renting them out. When they do, they can offer better returns though.”

There’s no simple answer as to which is best, house or apartment, as it really depends on what the individual needs of the Landlord from their investment. Some may say that houses are the best bet as they can offer the higher returns, but others feel more confident about the speed of letting their property with the current popularity of city centre flats with young professionals. It’s worth all prospective landlords speaking to their letting agent about the individual areas they’re looking at though, as any good agent will be happy to provide advice and information to help them make an informed decision.

If you need advice on which property to go for in your area, call a GO Property Manager on 0845 226 0345.

Last week saw the very first national Gas Safety Week in the UK, encouraging Landlords and Homeowners alike to ensure that their gas appliances are functioning safely and have been serviced by fully qualified gas engineers.

Landlords and managing agents are responsible for ensuring the safety of their tenants and are required to have Gas Safety certificates completed on an annual basis. Not only is it essential that these checks are carried out, especially with the onset of the winter months, but also it is imperative that these certificates are completed by Gas Safe registered engineers. Natalie Evans, Property Manager at GO Property Services in Leeds, said of the initiative, “Gas Safety Week is a great reminder to us all about how important it is to ensure Gas Appliances have not only been checked, but also checked by someone fully qualified to do so. Gas Central Heating and things like gas hobs are often desired by tenants when they are looking for properties, but it’s easy to forget how dangerous they can be if not looked after properly. At GO we always ensure that our Gas Safety Certificates are completed and by contractors that we trust and we know are qualified to carry out the work.”

Gas Safety Week ran from September 12th until September 18th. For more information on this or your Gas Engineer, click here

UK Landlords are continuing to feel confident about the prospects of their rental properties , according to a recent survey completed by the National Landlords Association, with the vast majority of Landlords rating prospects as ‘Good’ or ‘Very good’ in the short term at least. These results are encouraged by lenders making more Buy-to-Let rates available for borrowers and the sheer demand of tenants currently. In Leeds alone, tenants have often found themselves competing with other prospective tenants for properties and letting agents receiving more than 1 application on the same property in the same day.

Natalie Evans, Property Manager at Go Lettings, Leeds, said of the results, “It’s unsurprising that Landlords feel they’re in a strong position in terms of letting their property at the moment. In terms of volume of enquiries, it has been consistently high for a significant period of time and when a property that has been well furnished and looked after, becomes available, you know that it’s not going to be around long and that there’s every chance you’ll get tenants fighting over it! A tenant recently called me and said she wanted a property so much that she had waited 6 months and were calling to see if the current tenant was moving out so she could get in there first! I can’t see any let up anytime soon.”

As evidence of this Landlord positivity, Haart Financial Services have seen the demand for Buy-to-Let mortgages increase to 16.8% , in comparison to 10.9% at the start of the year, meaning Buy-to-Lets account for 1 in 5 of all mortgages currently. All good letting agents would advise that people do their homework before jumping in as a property investor though, as it’s by no means a guaranteed business. Judging by current demand though, and the sustained growth of companies like GO Lettings over the past few years, it’s also not without potential.

 

To read more on this, click here

 

EXCELLENT CAREER OPPORTUNITY. GO Property Services are expanding and need to recruit a TRAINEE PROPERTY MANAGER in our Nottingham Office. 

We hire for attitude over qualifications, and though experience in lettings is desirable, it is not essential.  You must, however, be able to demonstrate an ability to deliver a high level of customer service. The position would ideally suit a well organised communicator with a working knowledge of the local area.

The role will include:
Dealing with tenancy applications, liaising with landlords and tenants, arranging maintenance and conducting viewings and property inspections in the city and surroundings areas.

Key Requirements
At least one years full-time previous work experience.
Confident outgoing personality with strong communication skills
Good problem solving skills
Integrity
Good keyboard skills, including the use of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook)
Car ownership and a full clean driving licence are essential
Flexible working hours

GO Offer
Comprehensive training leading to professional qualification
Contributory Company Pension (after qualifying period)
5 weeks paid holiday + your birthday off.
Company mobile phone
Salary circa £12,000 - £14,000 + bonus after training, depending on experience.

If you would like to be considered for the position, please send your CV and covering letter describing your previous experience and why you think you are the right person for the job to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or find out more by dropping in to us here at:
2b-4b Hucknall Road
Nottingham
NG5 1AB

GO Property Services are Estate Agents & Letting Agents in Nottingham & Leeds. We are members of ARLA & the NAEA and have a reputation for providing a high quality service that is competitively priced.

The Letting market is as buoyant as it has ever been and tenant demand is high. There's no better time for Landlords to think about moving agent if they aren't 100% happy with the service they are receiving.

To ease the transistion GO Property Services have put together a mouth-watering package to help landlords move to our highly commended Fully Managed service.

Switching_to_GO_Lettings_110803

GO has taken the plunge, following suit of sites like Rightmove and Zoopla, and now has its own Facebook page for Landlords and Tenants of Leeds and Nottingham properties. More and more companies have turned to social media to stay in touch with their clients and customers and letting agents are no different. Facebook gives companies the opportunity to engage with people who may not have heard of them previously and also gives them another way of advertising their company websites, and therefore, in this case, properties for landlords.

Natalie Evans, Property Manager for GO Property Services, said of the page, “I use Facebook every day, as do the majority of people I know. I think it’s great that GO is embracing the age of social media and showing Landlords that it moves with the times. We are using every medium possible to ensure we get as much exposure as we can, meaning their property is much more likely to be let quickly, thereby reinforcing what we stand for as a company.”

Find GO Property Services on Facebook

 

 

Tenants of City Island, Leeds, aren’t limiting themselves to internet supermarket shopping or local convenience stores because they live in the city centre of Leeds. Far from it in fact. GO Lettings have now introduced City Island residents to their very own allotment at Wellington Place and are promoting the idea of ‘Grow your own’ to their tenants.

Natalie Evans, Property Manager at GO, said of the idea, “As a previous tenant myself, I know how much I relied upon convenience stores in Leeds City Centre at times, where there can be more limited choice, and I’d have loved the opportunity to grow my own! I think it’s great that Wellington Place and Parklife have offered us the opportunity to take on an allotment, allowing us to not only promote healthy eating to our tenants, but also inspiring a sense of community within City Island, which is something we’ve been working towards continuously in Leeds.”

Residents at City Island and tenants of GO Lettings can apply for allotment space by calling the Leeds office on 0845 226 0345.

 

Nottingham City Council today launched a consultation on the introduction of planning requirements for homes shared by 3 or more unrelated tenants. Local authorities were given powers by central government in 2010 and the consultation will run until 27th April 2011.

In an era of rising rents, these changes to legislation will not be good news for tenants already struggling to find affordable accommodation. Inevitably, some will be forced onto the black market as more and more landlords move away from, already scarce, shared accommodation. After reportedly failing to locate and licence hundreds of current HMO’s, the City Councils choice of taking on a huge potential new workload with little or no benefit to the council tax payer may leave some people confused as to the point of the exercise?

The proposed changes will come into force in 2012 if the consultation finds that there is a need.

Interested parties can find out more and get involved in the consultation here

GO Lettingsprides itself on letting properties quicker than most, but after the latest member of the team passed their professional exams in record time, it’s not the only thing that’s going fast! With most candidates taking one to two years to pass the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) technical award in property management and lettings, the management team were delighted when the newest recruit at GO Lettings, Leeds, Natalie Evans, passed with flying colours in just six months.

The training and development of staff has been an important theme in the company’s success over the last seven years. Director, Andrew Sainsbury said, ‘it’s often said lightly, but our staff really are our greatest asset. They deliver the front-line service that has given us the enviable reputation we have in the industry. It’s important for us to offer our customers the highest possible standards. These exams are just one way of demonstrating that our staff are equipped with the right skills and knowledge to do just that. We are very proud of what Natalie has achieved and we are sure she will go from strength to strength at GO Lettings’.

Managing Director, Jonathan Detheridge added, ‘the company is a great believer in delivering a professional service to its clients. Training and the development of staff is at the forefront of ensuring the highest standards of proficiency and service at GO Lettings. It’s very important to us that all our staff pass their professional industry exams in order to continue our high standards when letting landlord’s properties in both Nottingham and Leeds’.

Historically low interest rates, a slow house sales market meaning selling prices are depressed, and more tenants than ever before meaning rents are rising. Is now the time to get back into Buy-to-Let?

With investors receiving next to no interest on their cash in the bank, the clever money is starting to look again at Buy-to-Let property. In Nottingham, investors are picking up properties at auction for prices more akin to the late 1990’s. Savills sale room get’s busier month-by-month and it’s not difficult to see why, in October’s auction a 2 bedroom flat sold for as little as £22,000, and there appears to be a never ending supply of traditional terraces in need of a spruce-up selling for as little as £40,000.

At these prices, even after a refurbishment and agents fees, landlords should be able to achieve an 8% yield, plus there’s the potential for capital growth with the properties in similar areas selling at the peak for upwards of £75,000.

Jonathan Detheridge from GO Property Services comments “we have clients currently looking to buy at auction. Nottingham City Council are currently selling-off a substantial tranche of traditional terraced properties in need of a little TLC, and investors are jumping in with both feet as auction prices are the lowest we’ve seen them for about 6 or 7 years. With a degree of refurbishment and redecoration these properties will let in the current market and provide a return of around £4500 per year even after our letting fees are taken into account – not a bad return on investment in today’s market and that’s without even thinking about capital growth”

However, whilst interest is high, current sales at auction are hardly inspiring with auctioneers accepting as little as £100 increments just to keep the bidding alive. A very real sign that the credit crunch is still deflating prices leaving the door open for canny investors to jump in and be one of the few lucky ones that have the resources to make a killing in a recession.

The next Nottingham Auction takes place on November 25th with 29 lots available. Investors seeking to purchase that need rental advice should call GO Lettings in Nottingham on 0845 226 0345 to discuss the rental potential this type of property presents. Visit the Savills auction site here

About Go Property Services.

GO Property Services provide a second to none residential sales and lettings service to property owners across the UK. We are members of the NAEA & ARLA and operate branches in Nottingham & Leeds. For more information visit www.go-property-services.co.uk

Following his annual report earlier in the year, Christopher Hamer, the Property Ombudsman, recommended that lettings agents should be regulated to protect both tenants and landlords.  Estate agents are required by law to be registered with an official redress scheme, and as a result, 90% of all UK estate agents are signed up with the Property Ombudsman's scheme.  But the situation, he said, was rather different with letting agents, who are not under any such obligation.  Mr Hamer, said "whilst many agents in the lettings business (a total of 2,241 companies) are in Property Ombudsman membership... there are still many firms operating under their own interpretation of what are appropriate standards.”

Andrew Sainsbury, Director at GO Lettings in Leeds, believes the Government has missed an opportunity to improve  national standards in lettings, commenting, “as it stands, any person or organisation can set up a letting agency with little of no relevant experience or qualifications. Suitable regulation and licensing of letting agents would be simple to implement and would stop a large proportion of unqualified and unprofessional agents operating in the market place within in a short period of time, giving consumers the peace of mind they deserve when renting property.  ARLA (The Association of Residential Letting Agents) currently sets the standard for professional letting agencies. Membership is achieved only by letting agents who demonstrate that they have a thorough knowledge of their profession and that they conduct their business according to current best management practice. Until the government acts, I would urge all landlands and tenants alike to use an agent who belongs to a professional body.”

 

 

Leeds is already an attractive prospect to landlords and tenants alike, being a vibrant city, with a wealth of industry, abundant shopping areas, great nightlife and a whole host of city centre living available! Expected to be completed in 2012, the arrival of the new 'honeycomb style' arena will only help to strengthen the already booming Leeds rental market.

Natalie Evans, of Go Lettings in Leeds, said of the plans, ‘our landlords are finding that we are letting their City Centre Apartments in Leeds faster than ever and with crowd pulling developments like this planned, this trend is only set to continue. Built to play host to some of the biggest music acts in the world, Leeds is getting exactly what the residents and tenants of Leeds have been asking for’.

For more information and pictures of the arena, click here

A depressed homesales market coupled with businesses starting to recruit post recession is producing record levels of occupancy in the peak summer letting season. Every summer Letting Agents across the country experience a surge in activity as students finish their studies and start work, new Dr’s and Nurses start placements, and academics change jobs. The result can be a peak of move-ins and outs almost double that of a normal month.

Summer 2010 is proving to be busier than ever, even with rental prices creeping up, and the continued flat selling market doesn’t suggest that this is going to change. This will be welcome news to landlords in Nottingham after a difficult few years. In Nottingham, GO Lettings have seen unprecedented activity with year-on- year rentals up more than 20% from Summer 09.

Phil Wardle of GO Lettings in Nottingham commented “The supply of good quality tenants doesn’t appear to be waning at all. As long as the property is in the right area and is clean and well presented, we’re finding that they are renting very quickly, current  demand is heavily swayed towards furnished properties and we’re finding that furnished properties to let in Nottingham City Centre are being snapped up in a matter of days”.  

Landlords that are not achieving the best possible return on their investment property in Nottingham should give GO Lettings a call. In our most recent landlords satisfaction survey 98% of clients said they would recommend us to family & friends. GO Lettings operate a No Let-No Fee policy and provide free no obligation property appraisals.

According to a report by The Deposit Protection Service (DPS), the custodial tenancy deposit protection scheme accredited by the Government, void periods between landlords, who market properties directly ,differ from those who use Letting Agents.

It was found that on average, letting agents ensure that the void period on a property is kept to within two weeks on 63% of properties compared to only 38% for those marketed by landlords directly.

It’s been estimated that the cost to landlords of rental voids is more than £3billion a year. Jonathan Detheridge, Managing Director of Go Lettings, said ‘though some landlords market their properties effectively, landlords who advertise on their own, do not have access to the breath of distribution available to the letting agent, Rightmove, FindaProperty and Zoopla to name but a few. With demand out-stripping supply, there is simply no excuse for allowing properties to remain empty and not earning an income. Because we re-market properties as soon as notice is received, many of our clients are used to the perfect scenario - no void at all - with a new tenant moving in the day after the previous one moves out. This system allows our landlords to get the very best return for their investment property. Those landlords with property to rent in Nottingham or Leeds advertising themselves should give us a call to see the difference we can make.  We operate a no-let no-fee policy, so we don’t charge our landlords to advertise their property – it’s a win-win’.

To read the DPS report in more detail, please click here

The main fear for the private rented sector, and for those selling homes to investors, was an exodus of buy to let investors if they were hit with a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) rise from 18% to 40%. Thankfully George Osborne was more modest in his actions and increased CGT to 28% and only then for higher rate taxpayers.

Liz Peace, CEO of the British Property Federation, said, “Simplifying the CGT rise to 28 per cent by not tinkering with taper or indexation relief shows a welcome desire to keep things simple. Thankfully, the rate of CGT has not been brought into line with higher rate tax levels but this is something that many will not be happy about. Particularly, buy-to-let investors who have propped up the housing market over the last 20 years will suffer and this could hit the future supply of rented housing.”

Andrew Sainsbury of GO Lettings in Leeds commented, "Letting agents across the country are reporting shortages in good quality properties to let and with fewer new landlords entering the market, this will inevitably put pressure on rent levels. In some areas, we have seen sizable rent increases this year – a welcome bonus to landlords in the current climate".

Click here for a summary of the implications of the Emergency Budget on the Private Rented Sector

"Over-valuing of properties for sale appears to be widespread, with the number of homes on the market reduced in price last month at a high", reported Estate Agent Today magazine.

Prices of 66,445 homes were reduced, with an average price cut of £14,700.

According to the property portal Home, which tracks data on asking prices for properties new to the market as well as prices for properties already for sale, sellers are reducing prices out of nervousness, ahead of the emergency Budget, and frustration.

Phil Wardle of GO Property says that vendors usually have a higher expectation of what their property will fetch, which can be unrealistic. There are plenty of buyers out there at the moment and those who market their property at a realistic figure from the outset often sell and in a relatively short time period.

For a realistic and no obligation appraisal of your property, please call our office or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange an appointment.

Landlord body, the British Property Federation (BPF), has expressed satisfaction with the results of a major review of water charging. Last year, it was proposed that landlords could face being automatically liable for the unpaid water bills of their tenants. However, following intervention by the BPF and other landlord organisations, the NLA and RLA, this threat has now been avoided.

The review concluded that there should now be an obligation on landlords to notify water companies of changes in tenancy, and only then if failing to do so, would any liability flow. The water companies in turn should be obliged to make the notification process as easy as possible. Andrew Sainsbury of GO Letting Agents in Leeds, commented “all our landlords are in safe water.  All utility companies are always informed when a new tenancy starts, thus avoiding any liability for water bills for our clients”.

 

Common sense at last prevails and Home Information Packs have now been consigned to the dustbin the new government announced this morning. The only requirement for homeowners now is to have an up to date EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) which costs a awful lot less.

Read all about it here, and give us a call to list your property for sale with GO Estate Agents in Nottingham today.

Home Information Packs or HIPs are set to be scrapped by the new coalition government but Energy Performance Certificates are set to remain. HIPs were introduced in England and Wales in 2007 to provide more "up front" information for buyers. Before them some 28% of sales fell through, often because of problems discovered late in the purchase process.

There has been no clear indication as to when this abolition will be formalized. A temporary suspension could be put in place whilst there is no sitting of parliament and the process could be completed during the Queens Speech.

However, until the Secretary for State gives a formal order for suspension, the law remains in place. Penalty for non-compliance can be a fine of up to £200 a day until the HIP is in place.

It is clear that a huge amount of reform throughout government is due to take place in the coming months. The question is, are HIPs one of their priorities?

Phil Wardle from GO comments “We’ve found a degree of reluctance from potential vendors due to the up-front cost of producing a HIP when the market is less than buoyant. To combat it, we agreed a deal with a local solicitor to provide HIPs at a market beating rate of £149, which has proved really popular. We think the scrapping of HIPs will see a lot more houses for sale in Nottingham in 2010.”

Technology never ceases to amaze. One minute you're getting your head around Google Street View and satelite mapping at your finger tips and the next somebody comes along and produces something where you just hold your phone up in the street and it tells you what you're looking at.

It's called Layar, it's as clever as a man with two heads, and from our point of view will help house hunters no end. Imagine it - you drive along, see a house, point your phone at it, and BOSH there it is, all the sales details in the palm of your hand. I don't think this is going to happen tomorrow but you can easily see it being standard practice within a few years. Read more about it here, and  watch this particular space.

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