Latest News within Residential Property
In this article, our residential property expert, Kate Skelton, answers some of the more commonly asked questions about what is and what is not possible during these times; including what to do if you have already exchanged contracts but are unable to move due to the pandemic, and who to speak to if your financial situation changes in the coming months.
With Brexit now officially ‘done’, you could be forgiven for thinking that the rest of the year is likely to be somewhat less eventful. However, with a number of major legislative changes afoot impacting business owners, homeowners and savvy investors alike, and the Spring Budget yet to be announced, it is fair to say that may not be the case.
The Law Commission is proposing changes that would make it quicker and easier for leaseholders to take control of the day-to-day management of their building. A partner in local law firm said, ““The right-to-manage process appears not to be working effectively for leaseholders at the moment and change is needed.”.
Recent government statistics have revealed that the Help to Buy ISA scheme is helping first-time buyers to get on the property ladder three years earlier than they otherwise would. The result has been calculated by looking at the average age of first-time buyers both with and without the ISAs. On average, those who use the ISA to buy their first home are three years younger than those who do not, with the median age of those using the Help to Buy ISA being 27.
Research into the housing market throughout 2017 has revealed the areas of the UK where property prices increased and decreased the most last year. Cheltenham in Gloucestershire was the place where prices grew at the fastest pace, with the average price of £313,150 marking a 13% rise – nearly five times the UK average increase of 2.7%. At the other end of the scale was the Scottish town of Perth, where prices dropped by 5.3% to make the average property price tag £180,687.
It’s a troubling norm of today’s society that most people will have heard a horror story about property fraud from a family member, a colleague from work or simply reading online. Importantly, these stories need to be kept in perspective: remember, the tales of properties being rented and sold without any noteworthy problems are the ones people usually don’t bother sharing! However, it’s also worth taking heed of the negative experiences of others to ensure you do everything you can to avoid falling into similar traps.
Recent official figures have revealed that homebuyers are being lent more money by banks than at any time since the global financial crisis a decade ago, with many of the borrowers being young people for whom stepping onto the property ladder is barely affordable. As such, billions of pounds of debt which may prove unsafe is being taken on by them at a time when interest rates are expected to rise.
It wasn’t all that long ago that investment in buy-to-let property was seen as a straightforward way to generate an income for yourself. However, recent changes made by the government mean that turning a profit through buy-to-let in today’s property market is set to become much more difficult. Each case is individual, and the profitability of a property isn’t as simple as looking at the price of the property and the amount of rent it generates each month, but for many, buy-to-let will soon no longer be the attractive investment opportunity it once was. So what has changed?
The EU has ruled that taxes recently introduced by France in relation to British owners of second properties violate European law and the authorities in Spain have ruled that British people that were duped into buying illegal homes in Spain during their property boom can be entitled to compensation.