There are so many ways to alter a property. The same short description ‘three bed terrace’ or ‘four bed semi’ might gloss over a kitchen extension, an en-suite carved out of a master bedroom or a knock-through kitchen diner. All of which makes analysing average prices on a truly like-for-like basis, increasingly difficult. A one bedroom penthouse apartment and a small one bedroom flat are both defined as ‘flat’ in Land Registry data.
Measuring price per sq ft goes a long way to addressing these anomalies. For estate agents valuing a property, it makes comparisons far more precise and £ per sq ft is an essential metric for investors and housebuilders in calculating land values.
Central London buyers have become familiar with it as a way to compare capital values, driven partly by the expectations of overseas buyers who tend to ask for price per sq ft. Developers using modular construction techniques can talk about the size of their homes before committing to particular room layouts – and, in time, movable internal partition walls could become more common to allow homes to adapt to changing household circumstances.
The Dataloft map of £ per sq ft also raises interesting questions about why prices differ from place to place. It is no surprise to see an enormous red area covering London, indicating high values per sq ft, but it is also clear that high values are not confined to the South East. Nor does it necessarily highlight the most obvious hotspots outside of the South East.
If average prices were mapped, we would see hotspots in places with very large homes, like Alderley Edge in Cheshire. But our map shows very distinct hotspots in the Lake District, North Norfolk, the North and South Cornish coast and Bristol. Some of these are in places with small but sought-after homes, like picturesque villages in National Parks, that have a high value per sq ft.
Using the Energy Performance Certificates published by DCLG, it is now possible to assign a size to every sale transaction recorded at the Land Registry by matching the two data sets. This means it is possible to analyse the average price paid per square foot for cities, postcodes, counties or regions across the country.
This Dataloft map shows average £ per sq ft house prices, across England and Wales, based on an analysis of 470,000 sales recorded so far in 2017.
While there is a clear pattern of high values weighted towards the South East, the price per sq ft tone associated with the wider South East is replicated in pockets across the UK. In fact, every region has at least one pocket of yellow and there are clusters around York and Harrogate, the Peak District and Cheshire.
But if affordability is the driver, it is clear that the North East, North West and Wales continue to be the UK’s most accessible housing markets. It is interesting to speculate on what HS2 could do to this map when it reduces rail journey times to London, and also what influence it might have on the emerging trend for young professionals, priced out of London markets, to buy property elsewhere and rent somewhere to live in London.
From hotspots in the Lake District and second home destinations in North Norfolk, to higher values in established commuter towns in the South, this analysis gives a new way of exploring the housing market for sales and lettings.
Source: Dataloft Inform
The Chancellor has announced that stamp duty is to be abolished for all first time buyers on properties bought up to £300,000. In addition, first time buyers purchasing properties up to £500,000 will pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000.
In his Budget, Philip Hammond announced that 80% of first time buyers would pay no stamp duty at all. With 358,000 first time buyers in the last year, this means that at least 24% of all sales in the UK’s housing market are set to be charged 0% tax. Once other exempt sales under £125,000 are taken into account, this figure will be even higher.
Two thirds of properties bought so far this year across the country have been under the new threshold but there are large regional variations. In Wales and the North East, over 90% of sales in the last year have been over £300,000 while just 17% of sales in London were for less than £300,000.
While good news for first-time buyers, this will further squeeze investors in the sub-£500,000 market who are already suffering from increased taxes. What's more, it does not, give any encouragement to owners higher up the chain to downsize.
Our Christmas Colouring compeition has now launched - download your entry form here or call in to one of our offices ! Don't forget to collect your free chocolate when you deliver your completed entry !Our Christmas Colouring compeition has now launched - download your entry form here or call in to one of our offices ! Don't forget to collect your free chocolate when you deliver your completed entry !
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR SALE IN THE WINTER
NAEA Propertymark offers advice for sellers putting their property on the market this winter
During the winter when the days are shorter, the housing market is renowned for being quieter, as many sellers postpone marketing their homes until the spring. However, house hunters are looking all year round, so buyers should do everything they can to market their property in the best possible light in the colder months as well as the rest of the year.
NAEA Propertymark has put together top tips sellers can follow to ensure success by taking advantage of the unique opportunities that winter can bring:
Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark said: “It’s widely believed that sellers should hold off from marketing their homes in the cooler months because ‘it’s a challenging time to sell’. However, with fewer properties on the market and growing demand from buyers, winter can be the perfect time to market your home and get a head start before the traditional New Year rush.”
First impressions count.
The first seconds upon arriving at a property really impact the buyer’s decisions, so make sure it looks well maintained and cared for from the outside, with windows and walls freshly washed to remove any dirt brought by the winter weather. Clear the path of leaves and make sure there isn’t any ice around which could cause potential buyers to slip.
With less daylight hours available for potential buyers to view your house, you should be as flexible as possible with viewings, so prospective buyers can see it when it’s convenient for them. Your estate agent should help you work around these tricky daylight hours.
A warm welcome.
Making sure a home is warm and well-lit can encourage potential buyers to stay longer and help them to envisage themselves living the property – especially during the winter. Additions such as welcoming garden lights to enhance the entrance to your home can appeal to buyers’ imaginations. If you have a gas fireplace or a clean woodstove, light a fire to welcome visitors and create a warm and cosy ambience. If your home's wood-burning fireplace leaves a smoky smell in the room, hold off.
You should decorate for the Christmas period but don’t go overboard; a house that is over cluttered with Christmas décor can deter buyers. They should be able to envisage themselves living in your home, so it pays to make it as inviting as possible. A few festive fairy lights, cinnamon scented candles and a decorated Christmas tree can enhance a homely feel and paint a positive picture for potential buyers.
Garden space and showcasing all season.
An unkempt garden can detract buyers, as it looks like lots of work needs to be done. It’s worth spending a few hours trimming bushes, mowing the lawn, and removing fallen leaves and dead plants to make a tidy outdoor space. It is also a good idea to trim back overhanging branches, to prevent any from blocking the windows as you want to encourage as much light into the property as possible. Increased rainfall over the winter months take its toll on guttering too, make sure they are well maintained and clear of any debris and fallen leaves, as leaky gutters and pipes cause damage and are unappealing. Viewings on dark winter nights fail to show the potential of your garden, so have photos available to show potential buyers what the property looks like during warmer weather too.
Tackle the DIY jobs you have been putting off.
Make sure all the small maintenance jobs have been finished before you put your home on the market – such as fixing leaky taps or painting over cracks on the walls. Despite the fact you might not notice it, potential buyers will and fresh internal décor and paintwork goes a long way.
If you are planning to jet off for a winter break, don’t forget to leave the heating on at a low temperature (minimum of 15°c) to prevent the pipes from freezing. If you are away for a long period and don’t want to keep the heating on 24/7, set it on a timer. This will ensure there are no problems upon your return to be dealt with before showing your home to prospective buyers.
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