What will the Spring Budget mean for the property market?

The roadmap out of lockdown laid out by Boris Johnson earlier this week has provided some hope and optimism, but this must obviously be met with caution as we know all too well that everything is subject to change.

In the midst of this, on 3rd March the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, will deliver his Spring Budget and is facing an almost impossible task.  He must continue to support those impacted by the pandemic, whilst trying to start reclaiming the national debt and encourage consumer spending!

As we have said before, the property market has not only been fortunate enough to continue operating throughout much of the pandemic, but it was also given a significant boost in July with the announcement of the Stamp Duty holiday on properties up to the value of £500,000.

 

Whilst this has been extremely positive for thousands of people, with many calling on the Government to extend the stamp duty holiday, personally I feel the quicker the Chancellor stops it the better.  The Stamp Duty holiday combined with continuous furlough is creating a false sense of security and delaying the inevitable collapse in the lower and middle housing market. Once furlough ends and the unavoidable increase in unemployment starts to bite, we are going to more people struggling to meet their mortgage payments. This will lead to a catastrophic housing slump.

Whilst delaying until June would help more of those existing transactions over the line, without scrapping Stamp Duty up to £500,000 indefinitely, it is still likely the brakes on the housing market will start to be applied.

However, for many, Stamp Duty should not be of top priority and a key focus should be further support for victims of unsafe cladding. The Government recently announced a further £3.5 billion towards the cladding scandal but critics say the issue will require far more to remove and repair all of the buildings affected by unsafe cladding.

 

In relation to landlords, popularity in buy-to-let has waned over the last few years since the Government introduced a 3 per cent surcharge on Stamp Duty, scrapped higher-rate tax relief and reduced “wear and tear” allowance. Now with tenants looking for more space and fleeing city centre locations, coupled with the possibility that Rishi Sunak could increase capital gains tax (CGT) next week, more landlords are considering exiting the market.

Currently, higher or additional rate taxpayers pay 28 per cent on gains when selling an investment property, while basic rate taxpayers have to pay 18 per cent. If these are increased in line with income tax, higher or additional rate taxpayers would pay 40 or 45 per cent CGT respectively, while basic-rate taxpayers will pay 20 per cent.

There is speculation that the Chancellor’s initial focus will be on COVID-19 recovery and therefore it’s possible that the property market may escape any major raids, but it is inevitable that the debts must be repaid somehow, someway, so it is only a matter of time.

 

If you are looking to sell your home or an investment property quickly, WeBuyProperty will be happy to have an informal chat and offer a no-obligation valuation on your property for a quick sale.

Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Is London Losing its Lust?

There is no denying that the pandemic has been catastrophic for millions of people.  However, for better or for worse, it has also reshaped the way many of us live our lives, which I believe could have a lasting effect not only on individuals and businesses, but also towns and cities.

The most obvious example of this, is of course London. For the first time in decades, London’s population is falling and demand for boltholes in the countryside are on the rise. Overseas students have stayed away and many foreign-born residents have returned to their home countries, either due to job-losses or to spend lockdown with their families rather than be alone.  As the pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns have dragged on, many tenants are not renewing their tenancies so that they can move further out of the city and live somewhere with more space, both indoors and outdoors.

In terms of the lettings market, this diminishing demand, particularly for apartments, has seen rental prices plummet.  According to Zoopla, reductions of more than 25% are not uncommon across central London, rents have fallen by 15 per cent in the City and 10.2 per cent in Kensington & Chelsea.

Despite London house prices having grown since the first lockdown ended, it is the outer boroughs that have been of greatest appeal, as more people look to move away from the inner-city in search of space. House prices have been bolstered by the government’s stamp duty holiday, and as the 31 March deadline draws near, this is suddenly changing the sentiment of the market. Sold prices across prime central London Postcodes have actually fallen 10 per cent since the start of the pandemic.  Mayfair and St James’s were the worst hit followed by Kensington’s W8 postcode.

In December, London property prices suffered their biggest fall since the market re-opened in May. The average cost of a home in the capital dropped 1.1 per cent in the month making London the only region in the country to record a fall. That dragged the annual rate of increase down from seven per cent in November to just 3.5 per cent in December, the lowest in the UK.

There is, of course, the possibility that with the vaccine rollout underway and case numbers dropping daily, that once lockdown is released the Capital will return to its previous vibrant and bustling way of life. Personally, taking into consideration economic conditions, unemployment levels and a new found appreciation for a slower way of life, I believe we are more likely to see a longer-term reduction in demand for both sales and rental properties in London.

If you have a property in London and are looking to sell quickly for whatever reason, WeBuyProperty would be happy to give you a no-obligation cash-sale valuation. We can complete in a matter of weeks.

Contact us on:
Phone: 0207 449 9797    Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Selling a Property under Probate

The loss of a loved one is a traumatic time for anyone and whilst trying to come to terms with such a loss, being faced with a barrage of legal and financial administration only adds to the distress.

When someone passes away their estate, which includes their own home, any other properties they may own, money, investments and other assets like cars, must be disposed of in accordance with the law and their will, if they have made one.

Applying for the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) is called ‘applying for probate’. Once a grant of probate is made the deceased person’s property can be transferred to their beneficiaries or sold.

Unfortunately, selling a probate property is not always straight forward and can take longer than a normal sale. Granting probate can take around 12-14 weeks (but much longer in more complex cases) and you cannot legally sell a house while it is under probate.  Then there is also the average time it takes to sell a property, which at the moment is around 5 months.

The difficulty for some people is they have to pay out fees like Inheritance Tax and probate fees before they can obtain probate.  This can sometimes be problematic, because even though the beneficiary can claim those cost from the estate later, it involves having enough money to pay these fees upfront.

If you decide to sell the probate property through an estate agent on the market, you can market the property, conduct viewings and agree a sale with a buyer but you cannot exchange contracts or complete until probate is granted.  However, you will need to inform the agent that it is a probate property so that they can inform buyers that they will not be able to complete until probate is granted. This can be off-putting for some buyers if they need to move quickly or are involved in a chain as it holds the process up and is often why people wait until probate is granted.

If you find it too distressing having people come to view the home of your loved one, or perhaps you cannot face the drawn-out process and need the money quickly in order to pay off debts etc. you may want to consider selling the property directly to a cash buyer.

WeBuyProperty has vast experience in buying probate properties and can guarantee the transaction is handled efficiently, sensitively and hassle free. We offer a fixed cash price and can complete as soon as probate is granted. We’re happy to guide you through the process, giving advice about securing the property, informing the insurance company and local authority, and will take away as much of the administration hassle as we possibly can.

To discuss your options and find out more about how the process works, feel free to contact us:
Phone: 0207 449 9797    Email: info@webuyproperty.com

The time it takes for property transactions to complete has nearly doubled

In comparison to most industries during the pandemic, the property market welcomed some buoyant activity in 2020. Despite transactions of residential properties and property prices temporarily falling in April 2020 following the national lockdown, the market soon saw a resurgence when restrictions were eased.  Both transactions and price growth rose considerably in the latter half of 2020, reflecting pent-up demand and a response to the temporary Stamp Duty Holiday introduced in July 2020.  According to Zoopla, demand in 2020 was 40% higher than in 2019.

You would think this would be all positive news for buyers and sellers, and in the most part it is.  Sellers have benefited from achieving a higher price for their property than they might have a year ago, and many buyers feel they have benefited from the Stamp Duty holiday. However, for those who were hoping for a quick completion, perhaps they had committed to moving by a certain timeframe, are starting a new job, or have chosen to relocate, the story is not so plain sailing.

Thanks to the pandemic, property sales are taking nearly twice the time to complete.  Prior to the pandemic, property sales would go through on average between three and four months. Now, they are currently taking between five and six months, sometimes longer!

There are a number of factors which are contributing to these delays. Firstly, the uplift in transactions means there is a bottleneck in the conveyancing process.  Councils are struggling to cope with the level of property searches being requested and conveyances are struggling to keep up with the increased workload. In addition, mortgages are also taking longer to agree.

In some cases, buyers are finding they have to reapply for searches and mortgage offers due to the length of time the buying process is taking.

We have had instances where sellers have contacted us because they thought they would have completed by now and are not much further along in the process than when they agreed the offer on their property. For those movers who are not in any particular rush, it’s not a problem, but some people have made plans and commitments that are hanging in the balance.

At this point, with no guarantee that the Stamp Duty holiday is going to extended or tapered, buyers should only make offers on the understanding that they will not benefit from the Stamp Duty Holiday. However, vendors that have found keen buyers who can only afford to move if they can complete before the 31st March, could consider a quick sale option.  WeBuyProperty will be happy to have an informal chat about your options and offer you a no-obligation quote for a quick sale.

Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Action against energy efficiency – Your property could be unsellable by 2028

If you are a landlord, you will probably already know about the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations which set a minimum energy efficiency level for domestic private rented properties.

Since 1 April 2020, landlords can no longer let or continue to let properties covered by the MEES Regulations if they have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below E, unless they have a valid exemption in place.

If you are currently planning to let a property with an EPC rating of F or G, you need to improve the property’s rating to E, or register an exemption, before you enter into a new tenancy.

 

With many landlords having already made significant improvements to their properties since the MEES announcement in 2018, anger has mounted this week as The Climate Change Committee, which is advising the UK government on how to achieve its net zero carbon emissions target by 2050, has recommended that ALL homes should have an Energy Performance Certificate rating of C from 2028.

This would mean that not only landlords but any homeowners with a property which has an EPC rating lower than C (an estimated 19 million according to CCC figures), would need to make improvements to their properties in order to meet these minimum standards.

In order to improve a property’s EPC rating, an owner will need to make improvements such as upgrading to double or triple glazed windows, installing adequate loft, underfloor or cavity wall insulation, draught proofing and hot water tank insulation.  Of course, all of these improvements come at a considerable cost to homeowners.

The issue is that there are many many houses across the UK which not only lack thermal efficiency but are priced at the lower end of the market and therefore significant outlay would be cost prohibitive to the value of the house.

 

Unfortunately, if the Government goes ahead with these plans, owners of energy inefficient homes may find themselves the proprietors of unsellable and unlettable properties just over seven years from now.

What’s more, it has been suggested that the Government will bring these plans forward for rental properties to 2025, meaning landlords will have just four years to make such improvements or risk being unable to let their property. It is thought that more than two thirds of rental properties have an EPC rating below C, meaning all of these properties would require work in order to meet such targets.

We know this is becoming an increasing concern for some landlords and homeowners who would prefer to sell their property now and purchase something more energy efficient than carry out the extensive works themselves.

If you have a property which has very low energy efficiency and you are considering selling, WeBuyProperty will be happy to have an informal chat about your options and offer you a no-obligation quote for a quick sale.

Get A Quote Now

Phone number: 0207 449 9797

Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Relocating and need to sell quickly? 

Relocating, whether it’s within the UK or emigrating to another country can be both an exciting and daunting prospect. One of the most important things to do is decide whether to sell or rent out your home, depending on whether you need the equity in the property to secure accommodation at your new location.

If making a permanent relocation, then most people decide to sell. However, the perils of selling can sometimes cause additional stress. As you will probably know, the property market can be very fickle, and there are so many factors which can prevent a property selling or completing. There are some properties which lack curb appeal or fail to spark immediate buyer interest, then there are those which receive and accept an offer quickly but later find issues with the survey, or the buyers’ mortgage, for example.

The unpredictability of the process can make moving under pressing time constraints even more stressful.  Some people opt to use a service like WeBuyProperty which enables them to sell their property quickly for cash and complete within a given timeframe, preventing them from having to delay their plans.

We have purchased properties from people who:

  • Want to retire abroad
  • Need to relocate in a quick timeframe for a new job
  • Don’t want the hassle of managing a rental property from abroad
  • Don’t have time to wait the average 20 weeks to complete a sale through an estate agent
  • Cannot risk their house sale falling through as their relation depends on the equity

We are members of the National Association of Property Buyers and the UK’s largest redress scheme, The Property Ombudsman, meaning you can use our quick-sale service with confidence.  We provide a guaranteed quick sale and can transact within a matter of weeks or a timeframe to suit our clients’ requirements.
If you are relocating and would like to discuss the option of selling your property quickly, feel free to make a no-obligation enquiry about our services.

Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

What does 2021 mean for house prices?

Residential property prices increased by 6% in 2020, according to Halifax, with the average price of a property in the UK reaching a record high of £253,374 in December, up £14,295 year-on-year.
This significant upturn in prices was driven by pent-up demand after years of Brexit uncertainty followed by the first National lockdown, which encouraged people to reevaluate their lifestyle, and then of course the stamp duty holiday. These factors combined were the perfect recipe for a big acceleration in the property market.

What does 2021 have in Store?

Well, despite the country being plunged into a third national lockdown, the property market remains open, which is positive. However, with the Stamp Duty holiday ending on 31 March and furlough coming to an end in April, there are signs that values could slow significantly this year.
In addition, it is estimated that around 350,000 buyers could lose out on the stamp duty break for their purchase due to problems like delays to completions or trouble getting mortgages approved. According to Rics, a number of surveyors saw queries from potential new buyers rise in December, but to a lesser degree than in November. The number of new buyer queries has now dropped for the fifth consecutive month, which could be an indication of where the market is heading.
Whilst the momentum of rising house prices may fade, in reality they could not continue at the pace there were rising, and therefore a slight readjustment should not make too much of an impact on sellers. With positive news of the Covid vaccination rollout, sentiment may improve enough to help sustain a good level of demand.
In spite of the Stamp Duty holiday coming to end, many homeowners who have come to the realisation that they need more space will still be motivated to move, even more so following another lockdown. Sellers may find that buyers try to negotiate harder on price to account for the increase in Stamp Duty they will have to pay.
In cases where disposing of a property asset quickly is priority, using the conventional method of selling through an estate agent is not always practical.  WeBuyProperty has helped people who need a quick sale due to changes in their personal circumstances, such as relationships, moving abroad or facing financial difficulty.
We also purchase probate properties, repossession or properties which have issues such as subsidence, for example.  Most recently we have seen a surge of enquiries relating to properties with cladding issues, short leases and landlords looking to dispose of properties with tenants in situ.
As members of the National Association of Property Buyers and the UK’s largest redress scheme, The Property Ombudsman, our clients use our house buying service with confidence.  We provide a guaranteed quick sale and are able to transact within a matter of weeks or a timeframe to suit our clients’ requirements.  We look to purchase property BMV within the UK.
If this is something that would be of interest, feel free to make a no-obligation enquiry about our services.
Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Selling a home with Subsidence

Whether your property had subsidence in the past or you have just recently found out that there is a problem, it is no doubt causing you a headache.  Subsidence can not only be expensive to resolve but it can significantly push up insurance premiums and affect the saleability of a property. In extreme cases, subsidence damage can result in houses being uninhabitable while repairs are being carried out.

What is Subsidence? 

Subsidence is the downward movement of the ground supporting the building, meaning the foundations under your house become misaligned through sinking or caving in, threatening the structural integrity of the building.  Typically, it is most problematic in the warmer months as the lack of rain causes shrinkage of clay soils which expand and contract with changes in their moisture content.

Subsidence damage to buildings is most commonly identified by cracks in walls which are visible from both inside and outside the property, wider than 3mm, tapered and extending below the damp proof course.

Whilst it is not impossible to sell a home that has had, or currently has, subsidence, it can make it more challenging.  You will need a survey on your property to know whether the subsidence is historical or ongoing and the extent of it.

If it is historical then no improvements will need to be made.  However, this information will have to be disclosed to an estate agent if you are looking to sell, who in turn must inform any prospective buyers.

Unfortunately, subsidence can put some buyers off, even if it is historical and therefore can affect the selling price by approximately 20%, depending on the severity.

If you’re struggling to sell your home with historical or current subsidence, WeBuyProperty will give you a valuation to buy your home for cash and take the stress out of trying to sell.

To get in contact with a member of our team;

Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

The property market is open for business and so are we

 

Not quite the start to the New Year we had all been hoping for, but in many ways it was inevitable. Fortunately, unlike the first lockdown, WeBuyProperty welcomes the news that the property market can remain open for business.  This is a huge relief for many home movers. With thousands of property transactions currently in the pipeline to complete before the end of the stamp duty holiday, shutting down the market would have created an avalanche of transaction fall throughs.

Operating as Normal

Estate agents, removal firms, and tradespeople who need to attend people’s houses are able to continue operating whilst adhering to strict safety and social distancing rules. Of course, there is likely to be increased caution whilst the new strain of Coronavirus is so prevalent, with homeowners less willing to permit several house viewings. This may lead to some properties being taken off the market for now.

The biggest challenge is going to be getting all the current transactions over the line before the stamp duty holiday ends on 31 March. Many mortgage lenders, surveyors and conveyancers are already at maximum capacity with current applications.  Despite the property market remaining open, the latest lockdown will inevitably cause some delays with more people working from home.

Those most impacted will be buyers who would not have the funds to complete a purchase if it meant they would incur extra costs due to missing the Stamp Duty deadline. There have been calls on the Government to extend the deadline or phase the holiday period out on a sliding scale rather than a hard deadline. However, so far, the Government has rejected calls to extend it.

Demand shows no signs of slowing yet and positive news for prospective vendors is that the sales price growth reached a six-year high of 7.3 per cent in December, according to the Nationwide House Price Index, making six consecutive months of jumps in the rate of annual price growth.

If you want/need to sell your house fast in London but do not want physical viewings of your home, or you are concerned that your current chain may fall through and need to complete before the Stamp Duty holiday, we are here to help you. WeBuyProperty is fully operational and has the ability to transact property sales in a matter of weeks.

Phone number: 0207 449 9797
Email: info@webuyproperty.com

Is Your Broadband Speed Preventing Your House Sale? 

People who have not moved for years, but are now considering doing so, might be surprised to learn what has now become important to the buyers looking at their house, and what they find is important to them when looking for a new home.

What have recent studies proven? 

There have been several studies over the last few years relating to top priorities buyers look for when moving home, and even before the pandemic, more than two thirds said they would by “put off” by a home with slow WiFi. Apparently, two in five people decided against a property after finding out the area had poor broadband connection.

So, with that in mind, you can image how a reliable internet connection has climbed the ranks this year! According to one report, following Covid-19, 93% of people said a reliable internet connection was a priority when house hunting.
Understandably, this reflects the growing need for a better connection that can help to handle home working, alongside using several devices at once and streaming videos etc.

Also, keep in mind that the buyer of your property may be a landlord looking for rental income, so broadband is going to be a huge factor in the rental market.
I know it seems crazy that alongside all the other factors that people have to consider when moving house, such as location, property type, garden size, number of bedrooms, the list goes on, that buyers would add internet as a priority, but I guess that is the world we live in now.

If you are trying to sell your house, particularly in a more rural area which is more likely to be affected by slower internet speeds, be prepared for buyers to scrutinise your internet speed. This has become so important to buyers, that a study looking at average UK house prices by ISPreview, found that if you have really slow internet speed, 24 percent could be knocked off the value of your home. Naturally, to coincide with this shift in what people prioritise in their search for a home, a home office or a spare room is now becoming more important whilst ‘ commuting time to the workplace ‘ is less important.

If you are struggling to sell your home because it does not have all or some of the buyer’s top priorities (garden, office, spare, room, location), WeBuyProperty may be able to help.

WeBuyProperty can give you a n0-obligation quote to buy your home for cash. We aim to complete transactions within a matter of weeks.

Phone Number: 0207 449 9797

Email: info@webuyproperty.com