How Have House Prices Developed in South East London? Plus More

How Have House Prices Developed in South East London? Plus More

In this month's edition, we analyse how London's South East property prices have changed over the last month and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program has published the highly anticipated 2018 edition of "The Report" where London is considered the number one Global Luxury Property Destination and you can download from our blog post below.

Also this month, landlords only have a month to ensure their properties meet the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, we share our guide to making an offer as a first-time buyer and we reveal the perks that tenants are willing to pay extra for.

Finally, we share a selection of guides on how to get the most out of your home from Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

Property Values in London's South East Boroughs See Significant Rises

Springtime is commonly thought to be the perfect time to sell property. The abundance of natural light shows off the best your property has to offer, and the improved weather tends to motivate buyers and sellers alike.
If recent trends in property values in our local area are an indicator of anything, it is that sellers can soon expect to be very busy.

South East London
Coldwell Banker Southbank has gathered and analysed the latest data from the Government’s Land Registry. Our findings have painted a positive picture of how house prices have developed; both in the South East of London as a whole and in the four boroughs that Coldwell Banker Southbank operate in; Lewisham, Lambeth, Southwark and Westminster.

Whilst property values in London have experienced a fall in the average annual growth of 3%, the majority of the boroughs we operate in have experienced a rise in annual growth, with Lewisham experiencing the largest rise of 5.3% when compared to figures from February 2017.

Additionally, each of the four boroughs has seen a rise in values between February and March. Of the four boroughs we work with, property in Southwark experienced the highest rise, with a 3.2% leap in value between February and March this year.

In comparison, our neighbouring boroughs have experienced negative growth, both yearly and annually.

Tower Hamlet and Bromley experienced a 2% and 0.7% drop in the value of property between February and March. In terms of yearly value, Kensington & Chelsea and Wandsworth both experienced a slump, with annual values falling by 1% and 2% respectively.

Looking at the figures in the primary postcode that we operate in, house prices in SE1 have experienced an annual growth of 7.8% - a very positive figure.

How does the South East compare to London as a whole?
Compared to the statistics from Rightmove’s recent property value report, property prices in our four boroughs appear to be something of an anomaly.

When folded into the averages for Inner London that are presented in the below table, the growth seems muted. However, when each borough is viewed individually we can see that that the monthly change is actually higher than the average for the area. It is also higher than average when compared to the other areas of London.

London’s Average Asking Prices
Thinking of buying in one of our boroughs?

Rightmove’s report also analysed the average asking price of property broken down by market sector (see below).

When compared with the data that we have collected, we can see where each borough fits into the market sector.

The average value of property in Lewisham makes it perfectly suited to first-time buyers, whilst second-steppers can afford property in both Lambeth and Southwark.

At the end of the spectrum, property in the much-sought-after Westminster is exclusively for top of the ladder buyers.

What does this mean for buying and selling?

Continued investment in the South East boroughs will see values continue to climb. For landlords, investing in the area as soon as possible should be a priority. Should monthly growth continue over the next decade, your portfolio could be worth between 10%-30% more by 2028.

For sellers, the continued desirability of these areas, coupled with rising values, puts you in a position of strength when putting your property on the market.

If you wish to discuss our findings further, or if you have a property to sell and would like to take advantage of the strong growth in the area, get in touch with the team at Coldwell Banker Southbank.

In need of an accountant?

At Coldwell Banker Southbank, our Landlord's and Vendor's get a helping hand from our sister company, Elan and Co, in regards to all their tax needs. Call today on: 02074031500 to speak to a Chartered Certified Accountant or Tax Specialist today.

Click here to read In need of an accountant?.

What Perks Are Tenants Happy to Pay More For?

When it comes to letting a property, most landlords would probably remain quite conservative in terms of perks included with the home to avoid pricing themselves out of the market.

While the property will need to be competitively priced to get the most out of your investment, there are some perks that tenants are happy to pay a little extra for.

A new survey has questioned tenants in the UK on what features and extras they’d most like in their homes and how much they’d be willing to pay for them.

Unsurprisingly, one of the most popular choices for tenants was the inclusion of pets, with 28% of the 3,290 tenants surveyed, willing to pay an average of &24 a month to have their furry friends stay with them in rented accommodation. This figure only increases for the up and coming generation, with 31% of 18-35-year-olds willing to pay an extra &25.55 a month.

Also high on the list of wants is a high-speed internet connection, with 21% happy to pay &19 more a month for a home located in an area that has a strong internet speed, which is understandable with today’s world of smart gadgets and streaming.

In some rented spaces, a bit of greenery can go a long way. Properties that come with a garden, even a communal one, are in high demand with 32% of tenants willing to pay extra for a home that has access to an outdoor space. Gardens are even more valuable in some of the larger cities, as houses with gardens in the capital commanding up to 20% more when put up for sale.

Staying in shape is clearly a priority for a good proportion of renters today, as 41% of those surveyed said that they would happy to pay up to &20 more a month for accommodation that comes with an onsite gym. This also means that if your buy to let property is located close to good leisure facilities, it could fetch a higher price.

It was also found that tenants are willing to pay more cleaning services. There were reports last year that due to lack of time, half of millennials are paying a professional to keep their homes and 13% of participants in this survey said that they would pay an average of &28 a month more to free themselves of some of their weekly chores.

While some of these perks may not apply to every property, it is clear that landlords and developers should take a closer look at what their property has to offer, as your home may be in more demand than you think.

A Guide on How to Make an Offer as a First-Time Buyer

If you’re a first-time buyer and you’ve begun the hunt for your first home, you may think that once you’ve found the right home you simply offer what they ask for and its job done.

However, when it comes to making an offer on a home, there’s a bit more work that should go into it than just offering the price advertised.

The property market is possibly more competitive than it’s ever been. You want to be confident when making an offer that you’re not going to be stung by an inflated asking price or take yourself out of the running by offering too low. To help you prepare, we’ve put together the following information to help you through this stage of the home buying process.

The first step and arguably most important step you need to take is speaking to an expert. If you’re a first-time buyer, then you probably don’t have a wealth of knowledge on how the market works and what you can and can’t afford. Get in touch with a mortgage advisor, get informed on how it all works and more importantly, find out what your price range is so when you do make a formal offer you can do so with confidence.

Once you know how much you’ll be able to spend, it’s time to get a better understanding of your local market. The more research the better. Take a look at what’s up for sale currently and find out what your budget will fetch you in each area.

Build a list of key features that your home will need such as the number of bedrooms or a driveway. The chances of you moving into your dream property with your first move are somewhat slim, however, it’s important that you know what you’re looking for and how much it will cost you in each area.

It would be wise at this point to get in touch with a local estate agent. You can do as much research as possible, but a good local agent will always be a benefit as they will know the market like the back of their hand. This means that they can fill you in on what to expect from vendors and hopefully help you avoid any pitfalls of the market.

Now that you’ve done your research on what you want, what you can afford and what the market has to offer, it’s time to book some viewings and get out there. Things can move very quickly in the property market, so your previous work and research leading up to this point will come in handy as there’ll be no time wasted travelling to unsuitable areas or over-priced properties.

While viewing properties be sure to check out the building's structure and not just its décor. Check for any damage such as cracks in walls or damp. Make sure you understand exactly what you’re getting into and have a good idea of the current state of the home as it can help form your offer.

If you’ve managed to find the right home, then it would be best to act quickly as there’s a good chance you’re not the only one eyeing up that house. If you’re ready to make an offer, consider a few things before doing so. How much do other similar properties go for in the area? Does the property need some repairs? Have house prices dropped slightly since the home was first put on the market? We’d all love to knock a few thousand off the asking price, but the seller isn’t going to do it just to be nice, so if your offer is lower than the asking price, you’ll need to demonstrate why.

Now before you finally put your offer on the table, try and organise all the other pieces of the puzzle beforehand so you are ready to go as soon as it’s accepted. If you’re a first-time buyer then one of your major benefits is that you don’t have to organise selling your own home, but if you can organise such things as surveys and solicitors then it’ll make the process much smoother.

Effective Improvements for a Faster Sale

You have decided to sell your home, and you are eager to sell it ASAP! Here are the ways to efficiently and effectively improve your home for a speedy sale.

Click here to read Effective Improvements for a Faster Sale.

Ambient Lighting Tricks to Warm Up the Whole House

They say setting the mood is like flipping a switch and we couldn’t agree more. Lighting plays a lead role in making your house feel like home. Here are 10 lighting tricks to enhance your home’s aura.

Click here to read Ambient Lighting Tricks to Warm Up the Whole House.

Container Gardening Upgrades for a Fresh Spring

While prepping for this spring, instead of buying replacements pots and containers, go through the ones you already have stored. With a little imagination and some supplies, your pots will look better than new in no time!

Click here to read Container Gardening Upgrades for a Fresh Spring.

Landlords: Are Your Properties Ready for the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards?

On the 1st of April 2018, a new piece of legislation called the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) will be introduced into law, in an effort to make property in the UK more energy efficient.

MEES was first introduced by the Energy Act 2011, with the government publishing new guidelines for property owners, which included a date after which it will be unlawful for landlords to let a property if it does not meet the new standard.

That means starting from April, Landlords who let properties in England and Wales must ensure that their properties meet a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) standard.

The good news is, you might have a little extra time, depending on your rental situation. Whilst all new domestic and non-domestic lettings and lease renewals from April the 1st will need to comply to MEES, if you currently have tenants who are planning on renting with you long-term, you will not be required to comply with MEES until the 1st of April 2020, whilst all existing non-domestic leases will need to comply by April 2023.

It is also worth noting that these regulations do not apply to places of worship, temporary buildings, and tenancies of over 99 years or less than six months with no right of renewal.

So what exactly does MEES Change?
Under the new regulations, the minimum EPC rating that a property can have is an E rating or above. Any property with an EPC rating of F or G will be legally considered as sub-standard, which will make it unlawful for you to rent or lease. Your local authority will be responsible for enforcing the regulations, as well as deciding on the penalty that you will incur.

Statistics currently show that nearly 20% of commercial properties and one in ten residential properties currently have an EPC rating of F or G, meaning many properties are current non-compliant. Guidelines currently recommend that local authorities punish landlords with a fine dependent on the amount of time that has expired since the breach occurred. If it is less than three months, residential landlords can be fined up to &2,000 whilst commercial landlords could be hit with a maximum fine of &50,000. If the breach occurs for more than three months then residential landlords can be fined a maximum of &4,000 whilst a commercial landlord can be fined up to &150,000.
Additionally, the breach will be published in the exemptions register for a minimum of 12 months.

Are there any other implications?
A sub-standard EPC rating will make it harder for you to sell a property, as savvy buyers look to get the best possible deal when it comes to buying a new home. If your property isn’t up-to-standard, you might see lower offers than your asking price, as buyers look to offset the cost of bringing it up to standard.

So what can I do?
Firstly, you need to ensure that your current EPC rating is correct. Statistics show that 70% of EPC ratings are incorrect, mainly due to the fact that they are valid for ten years. You should consider hiring a professional to conduct an up-to-date assessment, just to be safe.

If the assessment shows that your property is sub-standard or close to it, you will then need to make some upgrades. An EPC always comes with recommendations for how to improve the property’s rating. Obviously, with the deadline now looming, you will need to undertake the work to improve your property as quickly as possible. For those with an existing tenancy, you can take advantage of the situation, and hold off making improvements until the end of the tenancy. However, that means you won’t be able to put it back on the market until you upgrade the property.

It could be mutually beneficial to work alongside the tenant to get the work completed (for example installation of double glazing or insulation, changing drafty doors, etc.) however this can be quite intrusive work for tenants, so you will need to make the incentives clear and get their consent before making the improvements.

Are there any exemptions?
There are several exemptions to MEES for special cases such as:

• The improvements are deemed a poor investment or financially unviable as they do not pay for themselves in reduced energy costs savings with seven years.

• If a property is listed, a historical building or in a conservation area. This is a strict exemption and only applies if the recommended changes would ‘unacceptably alter the character or appearance’ of a building.

• If an independent surveyor determines that making the improvements would reduce the property’s market value by more than 5%.

Exemptions are not automatic. You must register them with the central government PRS Exemption Register. The exemption will only be valid for five years.

For more information regarding the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard and how it affects your properties, get in touch with Coldwell Banker Southbank.

London considered number one Luxury Property Destination reported in Coldwell Banker Luxury 2017 Report

The overall fundamentals in luxury housing are stable and strong, according to the highly anticipated 2018 edition of “The Report” presented by the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® program.

Click here to read London considered number one Luxury Property Destination reported in Coldwell Banker Luxury 2017 Report.