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Common Myths About The SE18 Property Market

Has someone who has just sold their home ever told you about the ‘golden rules’ you should abide by to get a quick sale? Perhaps you have heard comments like, ‘catch the property season’, ‘spend money to make money’ and ‘price high and accept low’. Unfortunately, achieving the optimum sale requires you to navigate highly changeable market conditions.

The local market in SE18 changes a lot year-on-year. As the chart above shows, the average price of properties on the market fluctuates a lot more than you might think. But unweighted overall average prices only tell part of the story – sales rates are the thermometer we use to measure the temperature of the market.

You have to sell during the ‘property season’: There is no doubt that some seasons can be slightly busier than others, but there are no definitive periods that can be classed as a bad time to sell your property. People search for homes throughout the whole year because of reasons individual to them, not because of the weather.

DIY: Adding extensions to your home can increase the overall value of the property. However, that doesn’t mean you should always do this before you list it on the market. Often, home hunters will want to do their own renovations to properties and may have different tastes to yours. Don’t accept the first offer: The saying goes, ‘don’t look for a quick sell by accepting the first offer because a better one will come along’. The simple truth is: if you are offered a price that meets the value, you should sell. In fact, estate agents often show properties to their best clients first, so by turning down a good offer from an early buyer, you may be opening yourself up to issues down the line with other buyers who aren’t as serious.

So what are active buyers looking for right now? We all enjoy some peace and quiet, no one is denying that. But the idea that property in close proximity to public transport hubs like train stations are harder to sell just isn’t true. In fact, if you can hear the trains from your home, that means you are located nearby a station – and properties close to a station are always in high demand.

There are no hard-and-fast rules to how to sell your property – the tone of the market is ever changing and its important you work with a good local agent with their finger on the pulse. If you have any more questions regarding property in SE18 or are thinking of selling your home and buying a new one, why not download our free guide to getting the best price for your home?

How Often Do People Move In SE18?

How often do people move property in the local area?
More than six-million people move home every year according to national census figures. These numbers reveal we are changing homes at a faster rate than ever before with people in the southern half of the country the most frequent movers. Conversely, those living in the North East, North West and Wales move home less frequently than anyone else in the UK.

The average lifespan of a British person is now 81.5 years; during this lifespan people will move home about six times. With 14 years, the South West leads the way for the shortest amount of time people live at one property while the longest amount of time people stay at their properties is in Wales where the average is 23 years.

The average amount of time someone lives in their property in SE18 is 17 years. This compares with 22 years in the region and 19 years nationally. We’ve calculated this by calculating turnover as a percentage of stock and estimating how long it would take for everyone to move house at least once in the area.

If people are changing their home more often, vendors will benefit from a busier market with more demand. It was once the case that only younger people would be more likely to move around, especially live-in couples, but now we are seeing a trend where people of all ages are changing their home at a more frequent rate.

The rental market moves at a much faster rate than the sales market due to 12-month contracts with a six-month break affording more flexibility. It’s also important to factor in the cheaper prices for rental properties. We are however seeing more people stay in accommodation for longer, although it’s nowhere near the length of owner-occupancy.

Whether it is because people have more money, have benefited from the rise in house prices, or prefer a change of scenery, the rate at which people are moving homes is rising. If you would like to know more about the property market in SE18, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Is Summer A Good Time To Sell In SE18?

One of the questions asked most in property is “When is the best time of year to sell my home?”, and of course the answer can vary depending on your own personal circumstances and reasons for selling.

If you’ve just spotted your dream home on the market and don’t want to miss out then there is no time like the present to get things rolling, but what if you are intent on achieving the highest price possible and aren’t in any rush?

Spring

Usually this is the best time to sell as typically there are more buyers looking than at any other time of the year. It is worth bearing in mind though that there are also usually more properties for sale as well!

Summer, where we are now (allegedly anyway – as I write this the rain is lashing at the windows!)

Many people think that this is a great time to sell, but while it certainly isn’t the worst, by listing now you could well miss out on buyers who are either on or preparing to go on holiday. Remember the more people who want to buy your home the more it will sell for.

Top Tip: If you are thinking of selling later this year and have a decent camera pick a nice day and take some external pictures of your home and garden (making sure the grass is cut, bins are out of shot and hedges trimmed). No amount of camera wizardry can replace a picture taken on a nice sunny day.

Autumn

Demand returns to the market around the end of September, making October one of the best times of the year to sell. If I were selling my home this year it would be around this time that I would be looking to put it on the market.

Winter

Demand is lowest the closer we come to Christmas, unless you can’t help it I would recommend waiting for New Year to be out of the way.

If you are thinking of selling in the next 6-12 months why not download our FREE Essential Guide To Selling Your Home In SE18, SE28 And SE2  which is full of hints and tips on the best (and cheapest) was to prepare your home for sale.

What Effect Will The Hung Parliament Have On The Property Market?

As I am sure you are more than aware the ‘shock’ result at last weeks general election where the conservative government lost its majority has resulted in a hung parliament. As I write they are trying to put together a coalition with Northern Irelands DUP. So here are some ways that this could effect the property market:

A New Housing Minister

Ealier in the week Alok Sharma, the MP for Reading West, was named the new Housing Minister, replacing Gavin Barwell who lost his seat to Labour in the election.

Uncertainty

The hung parliament will create more uncertainty in an already subdued market. No market enjoys uncertainty and the housing market is no different.

There are a record low numbers of properties coming to the market, in fact some parts of SE18 have dropped to a 1.8% turnover from around 6% just 2 years ago.

Young Peoples Voices

I’ve seen it suggested that a lot of the swing in votes came from young people coming out to vote. Clearly there are many issues that affect peoples voting choice but a wise government should recognise this trend and look to address the difficulty for first time buyers getting on the housing ladder.

Outlook

While a period of uncertainty benefits no one, the low levels of people moving resulting in an increased demand for each property coupled with the ongoing failure to build enough homes to keep up with demand means, in my opinion, that while a correction in prices is possible, particularly in areas of London and the South East which have seen prices outpace wages, it is unlikely that we will see a huge fall in prices – particularly as employment remains high.

If you are thinking of selling or investing in the area and would like to discuss the market drop me an email paul@allavenues.co.uk

What Effect Will The General Election Have On Property?

With the general election taking place this week, housing will be a factor on how many people choose to vote. With this in mind here is a quick bullet list of the main points in the main 3 parties pledges:

Conservatives

  • The conservatives pledge to build 500,000 new homes by 2022 (this comes on top of the million homes they they have promised by 2020).
  • They have also promised to work with councils to build high quality sustainable social housing developments.
  • They have indicated that to protect tenants they will look at how to encourage longer tenancies as standard.
  • A new homeless reduction task force will aim to halve rough sleeping over the course of the parliament .

The full manifesto can be found here.

Labour

  • Labour promise to build over a million news homes and at least 100,000 council or housing association homes a year for affordable rent or sale.
  • They pledge to make 3 year tenancies the norm and cap rent rises to inflation. They will also look at giving the London mayor additional powers.
  • Tenants will also be given additional consumer rights.
  • Labour will suspend the right to buy and only allow sales to continue where proven homes will be replaced.
  • A new national homelessness plan to be set out, starting with 4000 new homes for rough sleepers.

The full manifesto can be found here.

Liberal Democrats

  • The Lib Dems say that they will increase the amount of houses built per year to 300,000, making sure that half a million affordable homes are built by the next parliament
  • Many of these new homes will be built in ‘Garden Cities’ with at least 10 being built in England.
  • They will end the voluntary right to buy.
  • They pledge to introduce a rent to own model where tenants have an increasing stake in the property owning it outright in 30 years.
  • They will help younger people into the rental market with a Help To Rent scheme with government backed tenancy deposit loans for under 30s.
  • Promote longer tenancies of 3 years.
  • They will also scrap the bedroom tax.

The full manifesto can be found here.

Of course what they say now and what really happens are often two different things, there are a few interesting ideas tucked in here, some other points I really cant see how they could make it work.

I am always surprised at the amount of emphasis given to longer tenancies, in my experience if a tenant is paying the rent and looking after the property the landlords really don’t want them to go.

There are big problems with the housing market and in my opinion the biggest is that not enough homes are being built. It’s clear that something drastic needs to change to facilitate the increase in home building which is desperately needed.

Which SE18 Residents Have Seen The Best House Price Inflation?

In December 2016, The ONS (Office for National Statistics) reported that house prices across the UK saw a year-on-year rise of 7.2 per cent. These figures are promising for the property market, and if the trend continues, the average home in the UK will increase in value by £22,000 in the next year. But what’s in store for SE18?

Over the last decade, local prices have seen a rise of 71.8 per cent, equivalent to £14,610 per year. Terraces tell a different story, having seen a rise of £16,790 per year or 86.5 per cent over the period. As the chart shows, all owners have benefitted from price rises, but some more than others.

The hike in house prices indicates good news for current homeowners, but those hoping to take their first steps on the property ladder will need to familiarise themselves with pros and cons of current schemes. There are several government schemes for first-time buyers: Help to Buy, Shared Ownership, ISA’s and Starter Homes.

Local area residents thinking of selling their home will be buoyed by the price increases, especially if they have owned their property for a significant amount of time. If you would like to know how much your home is worth don’t hesitate to give us a call or email me: paul@allavenues.co.uk

How Should You Decorate Your Rental Property?

One of the questions new property investors ask most often is how to decorate a property so that it quickly attracts good tenants. Fortunately, generally speaking it’s best to keep it simple….

Walls

I find that white or a light grey usually does the trick, remember that while to you it is an investment, for your tenant it will be home and so neutral colours and shades work best to help tenants envisage it as their new home.

Tip: Make sure you use the appropriate water resistant paint for bathrooms!

If you do decide to have a feature wall then nothing too wild please! A different shade can add something to the room that most can appreciate however that bright floral pattern is definitely a matter if taste and could put some off!

Floors

This will to a degree depend on the type of tenant that you are trying to attract but you can’t go too far wrong if you laminate the areas most likely to wear, such as hallways and kitchens.

Hard wearing carpet works best in living areas, ensuring that you choose a colour that won’t show every stain or spillage.

Finishing Touches

Adding a shower over the bath can really add to a property’s desirability as many people do prefer the option of a quick shower, particularly in the mornings. Fortunately this is usually simple and relatively cheap to do.

Ensuring that the kitchen is up to standard can help in attracting the best tenants. This doesn’t need to be a full refurb but simply new doors on the units, and if necessary a new work surface, can really make all the difference.

The most important thing throughout is to put your own tastes completely to one side and remember that it’s about what will appeal to your target tenants.

Are you getting your property ready to let? Drop me an email and I’ll be more than happy to give a second opinion: paul@allavenues.co.uk

Do Terraced Houses Off Plumstead High Street Make Good Investments?

I was speaking to someone who lives just off Riverdale Road at the weekend, having lived there since the late 90’s they are now looking to make their first buy to let investment, and wondered if the area between Plumstead high street and Winns Common would make a good place to buy.

As they know the area well and both like and feel comfortable with investing there they just wanted to know whether or not the figures stacked up. They were predominantly interested in terraced houses as that is the type of property they live in and they knew some of their neighbours who rented.

House price growth in this area has, like most of SE18, been high over the last decade and there are some great examples of people who have had a good return on properties that they have bought. For example a 2 bed terrace on Riverdale Road itself which was purchased in 2007 for just £193,000 and sold recently for £310,000 – an increase of over 60%.

A 3 bed on Sladedale Road purchased in 2007 for £200,000 sold for £300,000 giving the seller – a 50% return.

Best of the bunch though was a 3 bed on Lakedale Road which was purchased for £190,000 in 2012 recently sold for £460,000 – a whopping increase of 142% in just 5 years! From the photos this was a very well turned out property which just goes to show what a bit of time and effort can achieve.

With rental figures for the area around £1125pcm for a 2 bed and £1375pcm for a 3 bed, yields around the 4.2% mark should be available, and as terraced houses, particularly 3 beds, often let to families there is a good chance of your tenants staying longer too.

If you are thinking of investing in the area why not get in touch: paul@allavenues.co.uk

Additional Licensing Coming To Greenwich This October…. Time To Act Now

As many of you will know following on from this consultation, last month Greenwich Council decided to implement additional licensing for HMOs throughout the borough. The new rules will come into effect on 1st October this year.

So what is changing?

Currently both Bexley and Greenwich boroughs operate the mandatory licensing scheme which also applies throughout the whole of England and Wales

Mandatory licensing applies only to certain types of HMOs and means you will need an HMO licence if your property:

  • Is three of more storeys high (a storey includes basement, loft conversion and any storey comprising business premises);
  • Contains five or more people in two or more households; and
  • Contains shared facilities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.

Additional licensing means that smaller HMOs in the Greenwich borough will now also need to be licensed. This includes house or flat shares occupied by 3 or more people who are not related.

Licensing fees are also set to rise from the current £144.23 per bedsit or room to £377. Which according to London Property Licensing is the second highest in London.

There are proposals by the council to grant a 50% discount for early applications so it really could pay to act sooner rather than later.

If you are still unsure if this will effect you I would recommend visiting this article on the London Property Licensing site and if you would like further assistance take a look at their license application service. There are a lot of things to consider when applying for a licence and it makes sense to get it right first time. Fortunately we have one of the leading experts on property licensing based right here in the Greenwich Borough.

If you decide to do things yourself then the Royal Borough Of Greenwich website is here.

If you are going to be affected by this change or are thinking of investing in the area and would like to chat drop me an email at paul@allavenues.co.uk

How old are people when they buy their first home in SE18?

Our friends in the U.S have been chasing the ‘American Dream’ for some time now, yet we Brits don’t really have a moniker for ‘making it’ in the UK. If we were to coin our version of the ‘British Dream’, we imagine it would be celebrated every time someone took their first steps on the property ladder. First-time buyers play a pivotal role in the UK housing market and represent a key driver of demand. Their average age has been steadily rising over the last few decades as property has become less affordable in some parts of the country. However, schemes like shared ownership and Help-to-buy have helped younger people get on the ladder, putting downward pressure on average ages of first-time buyers.

So what’s the scoop in SE18? We’ve used data from ResiAnalytics which uses affordability measures to calculate the average age of first-time buyers in the local market. The data shows that the average age of a first-time buyer here is 31.1. This is lower than the regional figure of 32, while the national average is 30. The average price of a home in SE18 is £371,000, an if you take 10% as a reasonable figure for a deposit for a first home, that means buyers need to stump up around £37,100. Add into the mix average gross earnings of residents in the area, which sit at £32,415, and you can start to see why the picture in our area looks like it does. If you’re thinking of purchasing your first property, drop us a line today.