Reeds Rains Property Blog

Property News from Reeds Rains

Reeds Rains wins silver at prestigious letting agency awards

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From the left: Paula Radcliffe English long-distance runner, Corelia Moseley national lettings director Reeds Rains ,Oliver Blake managing director Reeds Rains, Sharlene Palmer, corporate accounts manager Zoopla

 

Reeds Rains has been successful at the Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2015 where it won Silver for Best National Lettings despite tough competition from some of the leading names in the market. The Awards, sponsored by The Sunday Times and Times, are some of the most sought after in the lettings industry and to be acknowledged as a winner is seen as a major triumph and reflects the professional services available for tenants and landlords from Reeds Rains.

The award is testament to the fact that Reeds Rains combines the best services that would be expected of a large corporation but with the more personal approach of a small independent agency. Customers for example, can be assured that they will obtain advice so that they fully understand the contracts and their obligations with the added advantage landlords will know the tenants will be reliable residents paying rent on time. 

The judge’s report from the awards commented on Reeds Rains’ national approach to lettings: “Reeds Rains’ overriding belief is one of providing local expertise, and the directors endeavour to stay true to the principles put in place by founder, Samuel Reed, nearly 150 years ago. Investment in technology and internal infrastructure has improved the customer experience and the team is committed to providing outstanding customer service. They have updated the website and there is an extensive branch refurbishment programme currently in progress. Value added services include extended opening hours, flexible viewing appointments and a single point of contact for property management. Their Landlord and Tenant portal gives clients online access from any device so they can see payment statements, copies of key documents and progress of maintenance issues. Employee confidence has improved as they have access to the right tools to get the job done, and can deliver on the brand philosophy of offering clients the reliability of yesterday with the relevance of today.”

Corelia Moseley national lettings director at Reeds Rains in says: “These awards emphasise Reeds Rains as a professional residential letting agent landlords and tenants can trust. We take full responsibility for every client interaction so as a landlord you can be reassured we will manage and protect your investment, and as a tenant, you have a hassle free route to renting a home. Tenants can take advantage of the many rental properties we have on offer across the UK. The award is a testament to our genuinely interested approach towards customers which drives our best in class customer service”. 

If you would like to find out how the Reeds Rains team can help you as a tenant or landlord, then visit www.reedsrains.co.uk to find your local Reeds Rains branch.

Mortgage Monitor - June 2015

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House purchase approvals slow in May

  • May sees 57,800 house purchase approvals, 15.1% lower than April and lowest monthly total in 2 years
  • Monthly dip reflects temporary hesitance to buy property in run-up to General Election
  • April figures artificially strong as high-end buyers rushed to buy before a potential Mansion Tax

May saw the largest monthly drop in mortgage approvals in five years, as the General Election appears to have caused pause for thought, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor from e.surv, the UK’s largest chartered surveyor.

There were 57,813 house purchase mortgage approvals in May, 15.1% fewer than the 68,076 recorded in April, As a result, May represents the quietest month for house purchase lending in over two years, with the lowest monthly volume of house purchase approvals since April 2013 (55,573).

Previously, April saw a 9.9% monthly increase as high-end buyers pushed through sales in an attempt to circumvent the threat of a potential Mansion Tax.

Read the full report here.

It's cool, it's private, and it’s unusual. People visit the house and have man-cave envy

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Man Cave - Pool Room

Research from Reeds Rains estate and lettings agent has found that 62.5% of people surveyed have a man cave, with 30.7% choosing their basement as the main location. Other popular rooms include: The garage 15%, loft 12.8% and out buildings 12.8%. (*)

A man cave is a male sanctuary, such as a specially equipped garage, spare room or basement where men can ‘do what they like’ without upsetting any female feeling.

John Wetherell regional operations director for Reeds Rains explains: “Basements tend to be under used spaces which are often left for storage and are ideal for converting into a man cave. We are visiting more properties where spare rooms are being used as spaces for man caves and this is growing in popularity. 

When the survey asked, what is it about a man cave that is so appealing? Some of the popular responses included: “It's cool, it's private, and it's unusual. People visit the house and have man-cave envy”, “peace and freedom to do as I wish”, and “it keeps him out of the way”.

Man Cave - GYM

Man caves are great because they give you the space needed to unwind after a long day at work, provide all your creature comforts and are a quiet place where you can retreat. 

Modern man caves are becoming integrated into main rooms of the house and may increase the value of your home. Creating a game room, basement bar or a theatre room also generates a retreat which everyone can enjoy and becomes a great space to host parties, or for some, simply a place to enjoy Father’s Day.”

If you would like to find out how the Reeds Rains team can help you buy or sell your property, then visit www.reedsrains.co.uk to find your local branch.

 

What is it about a 'man cave ' that is so appealing?

Popular answers from the Reeds Rains survey include:

  1. It's cool - it's private - it's unusual. People visit the house and have man-cave envy
  2. The epic parties
  3. It's my space for bikes cars and mechanical things which my partner does not want in the rest of the house
  4. Keeps him out of the way
  5. Peace and freedom to do as I wish
  6. it is mine to share with whomsoever I want
  7. Away from the day to day life.
  8. Own little space  away from the noisy little zoo I live in, I can treat it how I want and no one can moan at me.
  9. My own space
  10. Can get away and enjoy juvenile banter with my mates yet not get nagged at for being out by the Mrs!
  11. Time to myself
  12. My space. No need to be tidy
  13. I need the space for projects and doing them in the house isn't sensible (noise, dust, etc). But it's my space to organise as I like. As is my study - is that another cave?
  14. Being noisy and undisturbed !
  15. A place to be indulgent, just for me.
  16. Because you can make your own make on a room with all your own gadgets and gizmos and do it the way you want, not the missus!

 

Man Cave - Workshop

(*) Reeds Rains online survey - 40 respondents May 2015

House Price Index - May 2015

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House prices hit new highs in May despite slower growth

  • Average house prices in England and Wales at new high of £277,178 – fourth price record set this year
  • Monthly property price growth picks up to 0.4% – but still only a third of what it was a year ago
  • London knocked into fourth place in regional rankings of growth, and price rises accelerating in North
  • Home values in Kensington & Chelsea now 16% below autumn 2014 peak, as higher stamp duty bites
  • Home sales in May down 14% year-on-year, as lack of supply suppresses housing market activity

Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains estate agents, comments: “The melody of growth has slowed, with monthly house price rises now just a third of what they were a year ago. Property values received a 0.4% boost in May 2015, compared to 1.2% at the same point twelve months ago. But the property market is still hitting the high notes – with the average home in England and Wales currently worth £277,178. This is the fourth new record for property values this year as the recovery strives on, and monthly price rises are strengthening. In April we made another breakthrough, with property values across more than half of the unitary authorities/county areas of England and Wales now past their pre-recession peaks.

“There are only four outstanding regions across the country where house prices are still dallying below 2007/2008 benchmarks, but the good news is that the tide is going in the right direction. It is those areas which have most catching-up to do, and where price increases have typically been smaller, where growth is now accelerating. For instance, while average property values in the North are still 4% lower than during the pre-crisis years, this region has experienced the fastest increase in the rate of annual growth recently – ramping up from 2.3% in March to 3.6% in April, as the balance tips in the favour of regions which need a helping hand. Price rises in the North West, South West, and East Midlands are also on the up, at the same time that growth in London is waning. This has knocked the capital back into fourth position in the rankings of regional house price growth over the past twelve months, with the annual rise in London estimated to now be less than 12% of what it was in the heat of July last year – 2.4% in May 2015, down from 20.7% in the summer of 2014.

“On a monthly basis, London house prices have dropped for the third successive month since the start of the year. It is the higher-priced boroughs which have seen the biggest price falls, as a side effect of costlier stamp duty on top-end properties. For instance, home values in Kensington and Chelsea – the most expensive London borough – have dropped 6.0% in the past year, and are now 16% below their peak in September 2014. This falloff at the top tiers of the market has cooled activity levels too. Home sales in London have dropped 16% year-on-year in the three months to April 2015 – the most significant drop-off of all regions. But this belies a much more dynamic market at the lower end. The cheapest areas of the capital are seeing double-digit house price increases, and property values in Newham, Bexley and Barking & Dagenham reached new records in April, as the pace of growth accelerates at the bottom rungs of the ladder.

“Overall, completed house sales in England and Wales have risen 10% since April, to total 67,300 in May. But this still represents a 14% drop compared to a year ago. In the short-term, the General Election did ruffle some feathers, but as we return to smoother ground, it’s becoming clear that there’s a more structural problem holding back the market – and that the lack of properties on the market is starting to choke off activity. This will need urgently addressing, as with the current momentum in the economy, and the government pumping up demand via commitments to starter homes and support for first-time buyers; price rises will only speed up if housing supply doesn’t put pedal to metal.”

Full details can be found here

House Price Index - April 2015

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House price growth in South East and East Anglia overtakes London

  • For the first time in four and a half years, London no longer leads the regions – beaten by South East and East Anglia, which are experiencing stronger year-on-year price rises than the capital
  • Across England and Wales, house price growth picks up on a monthly basis in April, climbing 0.2%
  • But the annual rate of property price growth has halved since last summer, down to 5.3% in April
  • Q1 sales down 10% before the General Election, but new certainty likely to reset the balance

Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains estate agents, comments: “House price growth has jolted awake again in April, climbing 0.2% (£600) in the past month, following what was a more lethargic period for property values. This has lifted the average house price across England and Wales to a new high this year, at £275,961. Annual price growth is still cooling, but mainly due to some recent negative monthly price rises. The direction of travel is clear and accelerating – and most importantly, momentum is picking up where it was lacking before.

“By contrast, annual price rises in London have fallen sharply. As a result, the capital has been knocked off its perch by the South East and East Anglia, who have now edged ahead of London with the strongest year-on-year increase in property values of all regions across the country, at 7.1% and 6.9% respectively. In contrast, annual growth in London has shrunk from 9.0% in February to just 6.8% in March 2015.

“This is the first time for nearly four and a half years that London has not been leading the pack in terms of regional house price growth, as higher stamp duty rates take some of the shine off high-end properties in prime central areas. In the City of Westminster, where the average property is now worth £1,382,965, prices dropped 5.2% during the month of March, as pre-election speculation of a Mansion Tax put a dampener on enthusiasm for the most exclusive London homes. London also saw the sharpest decline in completed home sales between Q1 2015 and the same period a year ago, falling 16.5%.

“Election uncertainty has now vanished, so arguably London’s unique property market could see a fresh boost. But this mansion tax effect is one for the very top of the market. Away from the prime hotspots, affordability is still the biggest factor holding back further price rises – owning a London home is still more of a dream than even an aspiration for millions.

“While property values in the capital have dipped 0.6% month-on-month, prices have still risen steadily in other areas – reaching new records in the South East, East Anglia, and East and West Midlands in March. The head start that the housing market in London has traditionally exercised over the rest of the UK is retreating, and more of an even playing field is emerging instead. Average property values also hit new highs in Greater Manchester and Birmingham, as demand in other large cities continues to thrive away from the south-eastern extremities of the UK.

“Across the wider market, home sale completions made healthy headway with a 5% uplift in the month to April – in face of what was thought to be a looming political impasse. However, there was a slowdown when we look at the first quarter of 2015 as a whole, with Q1 witnessing a 10% year-on-year drop in the number of homes sold. Activity was certainly more restrained in the months running up to the General Election.

“Yet any past gloom only improves the prospects of a rebound in momentum. Now a clear majority government has been established, confidence has returned to the market with abandon, and buyers across the country can seize the golden opportunities on offer. With the election done and dusted, and demand certainly bolstered by extensions to schemes like Right to Buy, the only major snag in the fabric of the housing market remains the fundamental flaw of a lack of new homes.”

Full details can be found here

 

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