Homeowners hesitate to move house as the average price paid by homemovers has grown by 41% affecting first-time buyers hoping to step onto the property ladder.

The number of homemovers – current homeowners moving house – fell by 2% in the first six months of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Homemover Review.

There were 171,300 homemovers in the first half of 2017 compared with 174,300 in the same period last year. The first half of 2016 saw 18,000 more homemovers (an increase of 11% compared to the first half of 2015). This increase may have been due to owners making home purchases before the introduction of the new stamp duty charges for second and additional homes.

Since hitting a market low of 117,900 in the first half of 2009, the number of homemovers has grown by 45% (or 53,000). However, the current numbers still remain at just under half (48%) of what it was before the financial crash in the first half of 2007 (327,600).

Flat homemovers market leaves first time buyers driving housing activity

A decade ago, just under two-thirds (64%) of all house purchases financed by a mortgage were made by homemovers. In 2017, this proportion has dropped to almost half (51%).

Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director, said:

“In the past year, the number of homemovers appears to have stabilized despite continuing low interest rates and rising employment. There are a number of factors which could be influencing this, more people are paying off their mortgages and not moving, with supply at historic low levels there could be a shortage of suitable homes coming on the market and the cost of moving house could be putting people off.

“This has meant that homemovers now account for just half of today’s housing market compared to a decade ago when it accounted for two-thirds of the market. This has a knock on affect for first time buyers as there will be fewer properties available for them also.”

Homemover prices and deposits rise to record levels

Over the past five years, the average price paid by homemovers has grown by 41% (£84,869) from £206,122 in 2012, to £290,9913 in June 2017, equivalent to a monthly rise of £1,414.

In London, the average homemover price has grown by 56% since June 2012 to £561,032, the highest in the UK. The average homemover price in the capital is 41% or £163,579 higher than the South East (£397,452) which is the second most expensive. Northern Ireland has lowest average price of £165,404.

The average deposit put down by a homemover has increased by 40% in the past five years, from £68,663 in 2012 to £96,109 in 2017. Not surprisingly Londoners put down the largest deposit towards the purchase of their next home; £188,916 – four times higher than the average homemover deposit of £48,080 in Northern Ireland, the lowest.


Source 2:

Advice for new landlords

You just bought your first rental property and it’s all very exciting, but nerve wracking too. Where to start?
As a company with seventeen years of experience in the field of property management, we’ve got some useful advice to hand down onto any of you petrified new –to-lets.

The property

First things first: presentation. Clean it from top to bottom, keeping an especially close eye out for problems such as damp or infestations. These are things sure to put off potential tenants!
Next make sure that the furniture is kept minimalist, but is still tailored to the kind of occupants you’re hoping for. If you want to keep your options open to a range of tenants, try not to get too creative with the decor. Simple usually works best as it allows those viewing to see the room as more of a blank canvas.
Then there are repairs. These are vital to sort out before anyone moves in; otherwise any pre-existing damages to the property could worsen and cost you more in the long run. You’re also likely to get a lot of complaints from unhappy tenants if any significant maintenance issues aren’t resolved initially.


Once all of the above has been checked you can then go about interviewing for tenants. This is a process that should be extremely carefully carried out, with emphasis on not just background checks and references, but also on communication with the tenants you’re showing around.
Where many landlords go wrong is that they don’t try to build a relationship with their tenants. This is so important, because it can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding the downfalls of property letting, such as rent arrears and void periods.
A well kept property should help in attracting your target tenants too, though ultimately, the more you chat to them and try and get a feel for whether they seem trustworthy is the best way to gain confidence in your final decision. Being inquisitive and friendly will also allow the tenant to feel more trust towards you, which in turn could make them more likely to want to live in your property.

Legal Armour

Make sure you’re legally protected too through a bond or clause; though get these checked for authenticity and effectiveness.

Property management

Lastly, perhaps consider a property management service * cough * like us * cough *. These can take all the stress of the job and handle it for you, including paperwork, safety checks, maintenance and dealing with tenants. There’s also the biggest selling point, which is that you’ll get your rent paid every month in advance, hence avoiding the financial impact of rent arrears or void periods.
It’s good to be cautious when choosing a property management service, and some do include hidden costs such as commission fees. To make sure that you get an honest and truly helpful assured rent service research thoroughly those on offer. Not that we’re biased or anything, but we’re a pretty good one to check out if you want experienced, professional property management with none of the scams!
Enough about us though. If you’re organised, honest and communicative with your tenants then your start in the buy-to-let world is sure to lead to a successful future. Good luck!


Landlord Responsibilities

Buying a house to let is a profitable investment that is very different from owning your own home. It’s a small business and as a landlord you have some important legal responsibilities.

As a landlord you must:

  • keep your rented properties safe and free from health hazards
  • make sure all gas and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained
  • provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
  • protect your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme
  • check your tenant has the right to rent your property if it’s in England
  • give your tenant a copy of the How to rent checklist when they start renting from you (you can email it to them)

Fire safety

It’s your responsibility to:

  • fit and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
  • follow fire safety regulations for property in a purpose-built block of flats or for houses and property adapted into flats

Health and safety inspections

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is used by your council to make sure that properties in its area are safe for the people who live there. This involves inspecting your property for possible hazards, such as uneven stairs.

If you own a property and rent it out, the council may decide to do an HHSRS inspection because:

  • your tenants have asked for an inspection
  • the council has done a survey of local properties and thinks your property might be hazardous

HHSRS hazard ratings

Inspectors look at 29 health and safety areas and score each hazard they find as category 1 or 2, according to its seriousness.

You must take action on enforcement notices from your council. You also have the right to appeal enforcement notices.

The council can do any of the following if they find a serious hazard:

  • issue an improvement notice
  • fix the hazard themselves and bill you for the cost
  • stop you or anyone else from using part or all of the property

Financial responsibilities

You have to pay:

  • Income Tax on your rental income, minus your day-to-day running expenses
  • Class 2 National Insurance if the work you do renting out property counts as running a business
  •  If you have a mortgage on the property you want to rent out, you must get permission from your mortgage lender.



Guaranteed Rent - Rent Income
  • Homeowners in Haringey ‘earn’ over £91,000 more on their home than at work over two years (£3,810 per month)
  • House prices outpace owners’ earnings in 119 local areas
  • 17% of all UK local areas have seen average house prices increase by more than total average pay

New research suggests that the last two years the average house prices have increased in a third of local authority districts (LADs) across the UK, to the point that outpaced average employees’ net earnings.

According to the new research from Halifax, the proportion of areas where house prices are outpacing earnings over the last two years has edged up from 28% in 2015 to 31%.

More than nine out of 10 are in London, the South East, South West and the East of England with these four regions accounting for 111 of the 119 (93%) areas.

The biggest gap between rising property values and earnings was in Haringey in London. House prices in the borough increased by an average of £139,803 over the last two years, exceeding average take-home earnings in the area of £48,353 over the same period – a difference of £91,450, equivalent to £3,810 per month.

Haringey is followed by Harrow in north London with a price growth to earnings difference of £77,791, St Albans (£72,995) and Waltham Forest (£63,646). In total, six London boroughs appear in the top 10 districts, including Newham (£63,583), Redbridge (£56,528) and Hounslow (£54,569).

House Prices v Earnings Top 10 over last two years

Local Authority Region 2 Year Change In House Prices* £ Net Median Earnings 2 Year (2015-2016)** £ 2 Year £ Difference in House Prices v Earnings
Haringey London 139,803 48,353 91,450
Harrow London 128,841 51,050 77,791
St Albans East of England 131,645 58,651 72,995
Waltham Forest London 111,076 47,430 63,646
Newham London 107,302 43,719 63,583
Watford East of England 113,704 51,133 62,571
Slough South East 103,175 44,796 58,379
Redbridge London 109,866 53,337 56,528
Three Rivers East of England 106,135 49,985 56,151
Hounslow London 101,940 47,281 54,659

Source: *Halifax, ** Halifax calculation, ONS

The top performers outside southern England include South Northamptonshire in the East Midlands, with house price gains in excess of earnings of £33,514 over the period 2015 and 2016.This is followed by Warwick in the West Midlands (£21,240), Trafford in Greater Manchester (£14,170) and Harrogate in North Yorkshire (£12,508).

The only regions where the top performing local area recorded earnings exceeded house price increases were the North East (-£3,324), Scotland (-£11,510) and Northern Ireland (-£15,951).

Over the past five years, 64 local areas in the UK (17% of the total) have seen average house prices increase by more than total average pay.

Four areas have recorded a differential of over £100,000 over the past five years. The greatest was again Haringey, where average property prices have increased by £242,121, surpassing average take-home pay during the period by £124,300.

Haringey is followed by Harrow (£115,522), Watham Forest (£105,195) and Three Rivers (£101,082). Nine of the top 10 performers are in London.

House Prices v Earnings – Top 10 over last five Years

Local Authority Region 5 Year Change In House Prices* £ Net Median Earnings 5 Year (2012-2016)** £ 5 Year £ Difference in House Prices v Earnings
Haringey London 242,121 117,821 124,300
Harrow London 238,543 123,021 115,522
Waltham Forest London 218,770 113,575 105,195
Three Rivers East of England 226,487 125,405 101,082
Ealing London 204,332 116,993 87,340
Brent London 195,903 114,107 81,796
Southwark London 202,286 129,272 73,014
Lambeth London 199,322 127,082 72,240
Lewisham London 194,869 124,274 70,595
Greenwich London 191,607 121,200 70,407

Source: *Halifax, ** Halifax calculation, ONS


How to choose a letting agent

You are wondering how to choose a letting agent for your property ? This article will help you make the right questions before you sign any contract with an agent or an agency.

Choosing the most capable and successful letting agent is a matter of vital importance especially if you are a new or less experienced landlord and you think your rental property as a long term investment.

The right letting agent for you is the person that you can trust to manage everything that has to do with your property effectively and successfully. But how you can find the right letting agent for you?

  • Prefer to use an agent that belongs to the National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS) or the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
  • Understand the actual service you will be getting. If you are a new or less experienced landlord it is preferable to find a letting agent who can take full management of your rental property.
  • Ask your letting agent about his advertising plan concerning your property.
  • A professional letting agency will handle all the paperwork involved in a letting, that means that they have to take references from the new tenants. They will have to draw up the tenancy agreement and gather the required gas and electrical safety certificates as well as the Energy Performance Certificate.
  • Your letting agent must always provide you with evidence, such as a copy of the inventory and a report following a periodic visit.
  • A reputable and professional letting agency belongs to a Client Money Protection scheme and holds all landlord and tenant money in a client account separate from the letting agent’s general bank account.

The best letting agent is the one that looks after the tenant as well as the landlord that is a sign of a good and trustworthy character.

Finally, you have to keep in mind that when you are looking for a letting agent is important to focus on the services they offer rather than the price they charge.


Introducing Property Rent Guarantee Scheme

Do you want less hassle renting your properties?
Would you like your properties rented quicker?
Do you want to earn a guaranteed income?

We would like to introduce you to our Property Rent Guarantee Scheme and we thought some extra information about would be useful to you. will help you rent your properties quicker and we URGENTLY need more properties across London, as we have tenants waiting to move in. If you have any studios, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom or 4 bedroom properties, we would like to carry out an initial inspection of your property ASAP to enable us to make you an offer.

When you or Landlords lease your properties with our team of experts, we’ll guarantee your rent for up to 5 years and for NO FEE. With your property on our books you will have:
·         Your property normally rented within 48 hours
·         NO loss of income or voids even if property empty
·         NO commission or management fees
·         NO unexpected calls from tenants
·         NO worries of tenants being in arrears
·         NO set up fees or court fees to pay
·         NO headaches as we handle all admin work
·         Your property maintained as if it was ours


For added value, with our professional in house maintenance team, we can also undertake any refurbishment works to make your property fit for rent. With no upfront capital and easy payment solutions we help avoid delays in getting properties rented.

We also provide Gas Safety Certificates, Electrical NICEIC certificates, EPC’s within 24 hours and Furniture Packages for all size properties.


How does this sound to you?

If you have any PROPERTIES TO LET and want to have your future RENTAL INCOME GUARANTEED, you need to contact us today.

We look forward to hearing from you and thank you once again for your time.


How to handle Stamp Duty Tax

The stamp duty that we recognize today was first introduced in 2003 and is a necessary tax that we have to pay when we purchase a property or land that exceeds the threshold of £125,000 for residential properties and £150,000 for non-residential land and properties.

Why do we pay Stamp Duty?

When the ownership of a land changes from the previous owner to the next, it must be legally and officially registered.

This requires a Certificate of Land Ownership from the HMRC, and the only way to get that is on receipt of the stamp duty payment.

The Stamp Duty Land Tax Thresholds today are formed as follows:

  • No tax on the first £125,000 paid
  • 2% on the portion up to £250,000
  • 5% on the portion up to £925,000
  • 10% on the portion up to £1.5 million
  • 12% on everything over that

The following example shows how the Stamp Duty is calculated.

If you buy a house for £275,000, the SDLT you owe is calculated as follows:

0% on the first £125,000 = £0

2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500

5% on the final £25,000 = £1,250

Total SDLT = £3,750

There are a few things you can do in order to prepare yourself for a Stamp Duty payment.

Subtract the value of certain items from the total price of the property. Items like carpets, curtains, light fittings and other similar things can all be subtracted from the total house price.

Use a stamp duty calculator as it can be very helpful when it comes to working out your tax threshold

Choose your area, considering that some boroughs, offer some stamp duty discount and rebates.

Choose a new build, if you choose certain new build properties, sometimes that particular housing company will pay for your stamp duty as part of the package. Or you may be eligible for a tax break if your home is registered as zero-carbon.



Managing a rental property

Managing a rental property is a great responsibility. The property needs constant care in order to function properly for the tenants and meet the criteria of the “Decent Homes Standard”, while sometimes feels like a full time job as it can be time consuming and exhausting.

If something stops working, burst or leaks you have to deal with that immediately, otherwise you will be reported. Even to a minor issue, you must respond A.S.A.P and deal with it as best you can.

To avoid these short of situations you need to be proactive and plan your maintenance schedule annually, but in order to have the best results in a hassle free way, you need to find one professional and trusted company with years of experience that will help you manage your rental property.

Repairs Team London co-ordinates and manages reactive maintenance services for both commercial as well as residential property portfolio.

We approach every part of your property and estates management with specialized insights, whether as a complete facilities management package or an integrated solution.

Our maintenance management team will work with you to devise the most strategic planned maintenance schedule to keep you compliant with current legislation.

Planned maintenance or planned preventive maintenance (PPM) works fall into two categories. Some works have to be carried out to comply with legislation, and other works can be carried out as part of an overall maintenance regime.

Balancing maintenance should be spent between planned and reactive works, as it should be the backbone of forming your overall maintenance plans. We work with you to find solutions that optimize the operation of your building plant and assets reviewing any existing planned schedules, even if it includes drawing up new ones. Once annual and 5 year maintenance plans have been agreed, we ensure that works are completed as scheduled.

Using the combination of planned and reactive works, it can deliver efficiencies to allow planned works to be carried out at the same time as a reactive call or allow the reactive call to be postponed until the more cost effective planned visit takes place.


Why landlords need the help of an agent

Self-managing a property can be a very positive experience, nevertheless most of the times it is a challenge that takes effort and great amount of your time in order to keep up with rules and regulations especially after the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

The tight legislation of today’s private rented sector leaves no room for mistakes or negligence concerning letting properties condition, safety standards, certificates, documentation and so on.

From last November only agents and landlords who have been trained by approved bodies on “relevant up-to-date information in order to successfully manage tenancies within the law” can manage properties to let.

Landlords in England and Wales must be licensed to run a large house in multiple occupation (HMO), while in Scotland and Northern Ireland need to be registered, failure to be licensed it will certainly lead to a heavy fine and a rent stopping order.

What this means is that few landlords can have a DIY arrangement and today the choice for landlords is to either take on the full responsibility of the 400+ rules and regulations to let a property and all the fines for breaches or noncompliance that go with it – up to £30,000 from April – or to consider outsourcing this to a qualified letting agent.

The decision really comes down to time and knowledge. If a landlord is not prepared, or able, to spend time keeping abreast of letting law and health and safety requirements, or doesn’t want to be disturbed anytime during the 365 days of the year about leaks, chase non-payment of rent or sort out tenant disputes with neighbors, it is probably better to pass this responsibility to an agent.

“Landlords that do use an agent should bear in mind that handing over management to an agent doesn’t mean they can ignore legislation and they are still liable for civil penalties, rent repayment orders or prosecution if the agent makes an error. So it’s essential to choose a reputable agent from the outset.”

To ensure landlords secure a good agent, they should check if they:

  1. Are a member of the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), organizations that keep members up-to-date with the law and best practice
  2. Have client money protection
  3. Offer easy-to-read terms and conditions that clarify what the landlord and tenant are responsible for
  4. Give clarity on fees charged
  5. Carry out regular property period checks

It is worth remembering that any agent fees charged are currently tax-deductible.



Buying a new build property

Buying a new build property

Now is the time to buy a brand new home and gain substantial discounts and contributions to stamp duty or fees.

As it seems you can get the edge on investors not only for the good incentives offered from developers across London, but also because the interval in price between new-build and second-hand properties starts to narrow.

Although, buying a brand new home is a great experience, it comes along with certain challenges.

If you are buying a new home before the building is complete, (off plan), then you have the great opportunity to negotiate the price with the developer further down. However, before you take your final decision about the property, you have to consider some very important aspects of what you are buying, as nothing yet has a complete physical form.

Developers build show homes or units to use as a selling tool, but the house you are going to buy may be on another floor or in different plot, which means that you need to take into consideration the deviations in lighting or perhaps possible differences in noise levels.

Whether you’re buying off plan or new, make sure that your builder is part of a warranty scheme. A warranty scheme will offer you protection and secure the deposit you’ve paid, while it will ensure the agreed standards of the built and provide you with a resolution service in the event of a disagreement.

Pay attention to the space that you see in the plans and see what extras you can get by talking and persuading the developer. Some important details that may for example concern additional light fittings can make all the difference in the world when you will move in. You might even push to have a say in choosing colour schemes or flooring.