Reeds Rains Property Blog

Property News from Reeds Rains

First-Time Buyer Activity Increases 11% As Market Shows Signs Of Recovery


The July 2012 Welsh House Price Index from LSL Property Services/Academetrics has been released today, providing a measure of the average house price in Wales for July 2012.

  • First time buyer numbers up 11% between Q1 and Q2
  • House prices are up £1,513 on last year

Data from the Welsh House Price Index for July 2012.

Nigel Favas, Managing Director of Reeds Rains, who has branches in Wales commented as follows in the latest Welsh House Price Index Report from LSL Property Services and Acadametrics published 26th September 2012.

“Life has become markedly easier for Welsh first time buyers in 2012, but particularly so over the last couple of months. More new buyers have been able to access mortgage finance, which has jumpstarted the lower end of the market. It’s in stark contrast to England, where first-timer numbers have actually fallen since the end of March. Welsh buyers do have an advantage because first time buyer property in Wales is cheaper than elsewhere in the UK, meaning the deposits required aren’t quite as large. Two thirds of all first time buyer purchases in July were for properties worth under £125,000.

“First time buyers are the lifeblood of any housing market. The long term recovery of house prices is tied inextricably to how well new buyers fare. The fact that life is becoming marginally easier for them certainly bodes well for the future. But we shouldn’t get carried away just yet. Until the coalition cooks up a successful recipe for growth, house prices will remain broadly flat. It’s a similar story to the English and Scottish markets: all are hamstrung by a weak economy.

“Welsh house sales are still only 48% of what they were in the first half of 2007. And when the economy flounders, lenders toughen criteria on high loan-to-value mortgages and focus on protecting their balance sheets. That’s why equity-rich home buyers continue to represent a larger share of sales than they would in a healthy market. Areas such as Vale of Glamorgan, where there are more affluent buyers, have seen the biggest rise in house prices because of the higher demand for property. But on the flip side, less affluent areas have seen prices fall because it is harder for lower income buyers to access mortgage finance, which has reduced demand and dragged down prices.

“The fortunes of the market over the rest of 2012 will depend heavily on the government’s Funding for Lending scheme, which aims to provide banks with cheaper funds and, therefore, with more high loan-to-value mortgages. Banks and mutuals are already reporting that the scheme has encouraged them to up their lending targets for the next six months.”

Reeds Rains Worcester To Support Macmillan Cancer Support At Coffee Morning


On Friday the 28th of September the team at Reeds Rains Worcester will be taking part in ‘The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ to help raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The World's Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan's biggest fundraising event where people across the UK - and sometimes further afield - hold a coffee morning and donations made on the day go towards supporting the fantastic work that Macmillan do. In 2011 51,000 people signed up to the coffee morning, raising a record £10 million!

Photograph L-R: Mel, Jack, Brad (Mug), James and Jeremy.

Supporting Reeds Rains Worcester and Macmillan Cancer Support couldn’t be easier... all you need to do is pop in to your Reeds Rains Worcester branch on Friday the 28th of September for a cup of coffee and make a small donation. Whether it be 50p or a £1, all funds go directly to help Macmillan and your support can make a real difference.

Delicious muffins and cup cakes will also be available to buy which have kindly been made and donated by students at the local Christopher Whitehead Language College. Raffle tickets will also be available with wine, champagne, chocolates and Sunday Lunch at The Whitehouse Hotel all up for grabs.

Jeremy Knight, Director at Reeds Rains Worcester, commented “Myself and all the staff at Reeds Rains Worcester are really looking forward to the Macmillan coffee morning on the 28th of September. Macmillan is a great charity which in some way has touched all of us. We hope to raise some money to help Macmillan continue the great work they do for cancer sufferers and all those that it affects.”

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is not only a great fund-raising event but also an exciting opportunity to meet the team at Reeds Rains Worcester who will be happy to answer any questions you may have on the day. In the meantime if you would like to know more about Macmillan Cancer Support and the work that they do please visit

We look forward to seeing you on Friday the 28th!

Strong Month For Landlords As Record Rents Rise While Arrears Fall


The August 2012 Buy to Let Index from LSL Property Services in partnership with The Wriglesworth Consultancy has been released today, providing a measure of the average rental prices in England and Wales for July 2012.

  • Rents rose for a fifth consecutive month in August, reaching new high of £734 pcm
  • Average rents climbed by 1.2% compared to July, hitting news peaks in five regions
  • Tenant arrears fall for first time in three months, with  9% of rent late or unpaid

Data from the Buy to Let Index for August 2012.

Landlords saw rents rise for a fifth consecutive month as tenant arrears fell for the first time in three months, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services plc, which owns the UK’s largest lettings agent network, including national chains Your Move and Reeds Rains.

In England and Wales the average rent rose by 1.2% to £734 per month in August, surpassing July’s record high of £725. Rents climbed by 2.9% compared to August 2011.

Tenants saw rents reach record highs in five regions in August, hitting new peaks in London, the South East, the East of England, the North West and Yorkshire & the Humber.  On a monthly basis, rents rose in eight regions. The South East saw rents climb the fastest for the second month, rising by 2%, while rents in both London and the East of England rose by 1.6%. Rents decreased in Wales and the West Midlands.

London and the South East have seen the fastest rent rises compared to August 2011, with rental inflation at 4.9% and 3.9% respectively. On an annual basis rents fell in two regions, decreasing by 1.9% in the South West, and by 1.8% in Wales.

David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services comments: “The rental market is right in the thick of its peak season, and the demand from graduates and those starting new jobs has added a new layer of competition on top of the existing pool of frustrated buyers.  London and the South East may be the powerhouses of the national rental market, but rent rises haven’t been limited to these areas by any means. In fact, rents have hit record highs in five regions as tight mortgage finance criteria and large deposit requirements for new buyers continue to ramp up the pressure on the limited stock of rental homes available.

“Some relief for tenants may be found if the Funding for Lending scheme begins to feed through into greater lending to borrowers with smaller deposits. But any improvement to the first-time buyer mortgage market will need to be significant and sustained to dent rental demand markedly in the long-term.”

Landlords saw an average total annual return of 5.3% on a rental property in August, up from 5% in July. This represents an average return of £8,716 with rental income of £7,853 and a capital gain of £863.

If rental property prices maintain the same trend as the last three months, an average investor in England and Wales could expect to make a total annual return of 9.2% per property over the next 12 months – equivalent to £15,191 per property.   The average yield on a rental property remained steady at 5.3%, as slightly higher property prices were matched by higher rents.

Newnes comments: “The government’s response to the Montague Report recognises the need to expand the supply of rented property, and supporting the building of new rental properties and encouraging institutional investment to the sector marks a step forward. However, it’s equally vital that lenders continue to support individual investors, who are being drawn in by the healthy yields, historically low mortgage rates, and strong tenant demand.”

Tenant finances improved for the first time in three months in August, with 9% of all rent late or unpaid at the end of the month, a decrease from 9.3% in July. In total, late or unpaid rent amounted to £288m, 2.2% less than in the previous month.

Newnes concludes: “It’s encouraging to see tenant arrears fall for the first time in three months, despite the summer holiday season. A surprisingly resilient labour market, alongside a more stringent approach to referencing and credit checking by landlords, has helped prevent further rental arrears. However, rental inflation is still outstripping the growth in wages, and this will keep up the financial pressure on many tenants’ monthly budgets.”

Reeds Rains Haxby Hold Open Hour At Fantastic Edwardian Property


Reeds Rains Haxby is excited to announce they will be holding an open hour for a fantastic Edwardian home. The property was until recently the ‘Blair Atholl’ nursing home, but thanks to local man Gary Crosby, it has been returned to its former glory.

On Saturday the 22nd of September, between 11am and noon, members of the public are invited to visit 120 York Road to discover more about this unique property. Having recently been renovated to an exceptional standard whilst retaining many original features, the property is quite literally bursting with history.

Local historian Peter Stanthorpe commented 120 York Road was built in the early 1900’s by a wealthy developer from Scarborough, who also built The Laurels and The Cedars, two impressive stone semi-detached houses on Station Road. He became an important resident of the then expanding village and went on to build the series of terraced houses on the west side of York Road.”

Branch Manager at Reeds Rains Haxby, Claire Holmes added “Such a distinctive property is quite rare and being in a highly sought after location really makes it stand out. Haxby is a beautiful place to live with local shops, amenities and two primary schools nearby as well as excellent transport links to York city centre.”

Claire continued “Because the property is so special we wanted to invite people along to appreciate the renovation work, the size of the rooms and the tall ceilings, the galleried landing and the enormous kitchen and living area. I would strongly encourage potential buyers to attend the open hour on the 22nd of September to see first- hand what this property has to offer.”

The ground floor comprises of a spacious entrance hall with original flooring, two large reception rooms, an impressive kitchen area with a log burning stove as well as a utility room and downstairs WC. To the first floor there is a galleried landing, family bathroom, master bedroom with en-suite shower room and a further four bedrooms. A lawned garden, patio area, off road parking and garage further adds to the property’s appeal.

And if that wasn’t enough, you can also visit the adjacent property which is being renovated as we speak. See you on the 22nd!

If you would like to know more about this property please contact Claire Holmes and the team at Reeds Rains Haxby on 01904 764444 or email You can also follow us on Twitter @reedsrains for the latest in property news.

Richard Sexton, Director of e.surv Chartered Surveyors, Comments On The Latest Scottish House Price Index


The July 2012 Scottish House Price Index from LSL Property Services/Academetrics has been released today, providing a measure of the average house price in Scotland for July 2012.

  • Scottish house sales rise 21% in July as life becomes easier for first time buyers
  • First time buyer sales up 9% so far this year – bucking the UK trend
  • Prices in Midlothian rise £17,000 in the last 12 months
  • Prices in Edinburgh up £14,000 since July 2011

Data from the Scottish House Price Index for July 2012.

Richard Sexton, Director of e.surv chartered surveyors which is a part of LSL, comments as follows in the latest Scottish House Price Index from LSL Property Services/Academetrics published 19th September 2012.

“Life for first time buyers in Scotland has improved markedly this year. There have been 1,100 more loans to new buyers so far this year than in the equivalent period last year. This has helped push up activity throughout the whole market, with July seeing 1,529 more sales than June.

“While it isn’t all sunshine and roses just yet, first-timers in Scotland can at least take solace from the fact life is comparably better for them than their English and Welsh counterparts. It’s been easier for Scottish buyers to access mortgages this year, and, given we’re in the middle of a double-dip recession, it augurs well for the future. New buyers in England and Wales have to stump up £22,000 more on average than Scottish buyers to get a loan, which is a major reason why the Scottish first-timer market is moving more freely.

“Although first-timer numbers are still only at 46% of what they were before the 2008 financial crisis, increased activity from new buyers has helped keep house prices broadly flat. Some may believe that prices have fallen about as low as they can and that the only way they can head now is up. The improvements in sales we’ve seen this year are admittedly only tentative steps on a long road to recovery. But if sales can continue on their upward trajectory over the coming months, prices will rise as demand begins to outstrip supply. The MI New Home initiative is also a welcome boon to the new build sector, allowing some borrowers to access to up to 95% LTV loans.

“Prices are more volatile erratic on a regional basis. Areas like Midlothian, which have wealthier buyers, have seen prices rise considerably over the past 12 months. Buyers in these areas have more equity, so find it easier to access mortgage finance. The opposite is true for less affluent areas with high unemployment. Activity has fallen in these regions, which has pulled down prices.”

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