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According to the latest report released by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RISC), there is increased activity in the UK property market. Reportedly the number of property sales rose to 17.4 per estate agency in March, the highest number in three years.
The Latest RISC Report
Peter Bolton King, a director at RICS, told The Telegraph that; “A buoyant, healthy property market is central to economic recovery and, while these are still very much early signs, it is encouraging that sales are beginning to pick up. The increase in potential buyers getting out there and viewing property is particularly encouraging.”
The UK Property Market Outlook
According to The Guardian, the biggest rise in house sales for the first quarter of 2013, was in the West Midlands while the London property market remained strong. The East Midlands and East Anglia reported the weakest growth.
Whilst house sales seem to be increasing, house prices were more or less flat in March, according to the RICS report, which goes on to point out that residential property prices have been relatively stable across the board for the last six months.
Why the Improvement?
According to lenders credit for the current uptake in the property market is at least partially due to the Government’s Funding for Lending scheme; which has helped to lower bank costs and reduce interest rates for buyers. The concept of shared ownership mortgages has also done much to open the market to first time buyers.
A survey conducted by the Bank of England also predicts that mortgage rates will drop even further over the next three months, whilst the Help to Buy and other measures announced in the Budget will bolster the market as well.
The Telegraph does report that there are concerns from various parties that the Chancellor “risks supporting a “bubble” in prices through his Help to Buy push, which will massively expand the mortgage guarantee and shared equity schemes available to would-be buyer”. Time will have to tell whether these fears are well founded or not. In the meantime the property market is benefiting from these measures as more people are able to obtain mortgages and Britons can certainly expect to see more shared ownership properties popping up.
In second and third place came the letters T and O respectively. Houses on these streets were also priced far above the average. The rest of the top ten property values according to street letter were H, C, P, W, F, L, S, in that order.
Furthermore, street names that started with vowels fared better than consonants – the average house price for consonant streets was £6306 lower than those located on streets starting with a vowel letter. The most expensive street, meanwhile, was Upper Phillimore Gardens in Kensington, West London, where the average house goes for £5.6 million.
So once you’re about to sign on the dotted line for your shared ownership property, you might want to reconsider your street name first!
The National Housing Federation just sponsored the UK’s first Shared Ownership Week, which was held from 18th – 24th March. The aim of the event was to raise awareness regarding the part buy/part rent housing option, as well as emphasise the various benefits of this system – namely, getting a foot on the property ladder.
With property prices skyrocketing in prime areas, shared ownership London could be the ideal solution for many potential homeowners. The large deposits required when buying a house are simply out of reach for the majority of people.
How Does it Work?
The shared ownership principle is actually rather simple. When approaching a house or apartment specifically designated as shared ownership, the future homeowner purchases as large a share of the value of their house as they can. (There will always be a set minimum amount, usually 25%.) The part-owner then pays rent only on the portion of the house that they don’t own.
When one has accumulated enough money, one can then buy a greater share of the property – this is known as staircasing. Eventually, the part-owner will become the full owner of the house once they have bought up the entire percentage of the property. Obviously, as the portion of the house you own increases, the less rent you will have to pay on the un-owned piece. This makes it easier to save up and purchase your property over time.
There’s No Place Like Home
One of the promoters of the shared ownership campaign said that “At a time where more and more people are finding it difficult to save for their first home and also to meet the deposit requirements, shared ownership is an ideal solution. It offers buyers an affordable route into home ownership, enabling them to buy a home in the area they live and/or work”.
Work in Progress
A Liquid Postcode
Bigger and Better
It is known as one of the most desirable addresses in the world, and with 84 apartments left for sale, it’s an address that is still open to wealthy buyers. One Hyde Park has left the world breathless not only with its extreme asking prices, but also with the views, amenities and security on offer at the opulent residential apartments. A lavish party was recently held for the opening of the stunning apartment block, and security were on hand to ensure no gatecrashers got to the flowing Cristal.
Developed by the famous Candy brothers, One Hyde Park apartments have everything the ultra-rich could possibly ask for in terms of privacy, security and on-site luxuries. At £6,000 per-square-foot, this luxury development in London was designed by Lord Rogers, and is said to be the most expensive property in the world. The stunning penthouse with its modern dining tables, precious marble tiles and astonishing views of London was sold even with a hefty price tag of £135 million, making it the most expensive apartment on the planet.
The party for the opening of One Hyde Park London was nothing short of opulent. Leading chefs the likes of Heston Blumenthal were on hand to create the fine cuisine being prepared with guests sipped on the copious champagne flutes. Ultra-wealthy from Sheikhs to royalty were seen making their way through the “Fort Knox” security. Speaking of security; the residences are snapped up by those with mega bank accounts and they naturally feel more at ease with fortress security, which means many of the apartments have been fitted with panic rooms, bullet-proof glass and iris-recognition in the private elevators.
The apartments have been developed with the most expensive and lavish fittings and furnishings. Apart from the imported marble tiles, modern wardrobes, and state-of-the-art kitchen fittings, One Hyde Park also has a private cinema, Olympic size swimming pool, gym, spa facilities, wine cellars, room service from the exclusive five-star Mandarin Oriental hotel next door, car valet services and a concierge service to cater to each and every whim of the ridiculously rich. One Hyde Park is a world of luxury within itself. Short of a private hospital and school, there really is no reason to leave the building for anything.
Britain’s property market has been at the forefront of the news in recent months and analysts are still speculating and calculating on the past impact, and future possibilities. At this stage it seems that the housing market is still going to take another eight years to fully recover and regain the same value it held in 2007.
Up and Down
Pre-recession value is obviously what homeowners are looking at. Some are desperately trying to sell their properties while others are holding on in the hopes it will pick up soon enough in places like Wales, and the North West. Analysts believe these areas are the ones that will see housing market increases last. There is speculation that prices in Wales won’t revert to the 2007 average of £155,000, until 2021. At this stage the property market in Wales is sitting at the current market value of £20,000 less than their 2007 evaluations.
While some are desperately trying to sell their properties on the current housing market, others such as first time home purchasers are battling to get mortgages due to the tighter lending restrictions. Many people are turning to a shared ownership mortgage because it affords people a foot in the door, a payback system based on mortgage they can reasonably afford and a partial rental to the housing association for the percentage of their home that they cannot yet purchase.
Many property agents feel it is going to be a fairly long haul before the housing market in the UK reasonably picks up. 2012 Was not bad for some homeowners, but that depended entirely on where you lived and the kind of home you owned. Many luxury homeowners saw a 45 percent increase in the housing market value, however this boom in the market did not extend further out to the central locations such as Hampstead and Richmond only seeing a 5 percent increase.
It’s apparent that location, location, location is the driving force behind the luxury housing market increase in value. As the housing market prices remain at five times above the average annual salary it is somewhat difficult to get into the market or even afford the rental increases. This is another reason why a shared ownership mortgage is a considered option. It’s a housing market that is more affordable, available in many areas, and provides peace of mind.
Big Plans, Big Future
Chancellor George Osborne recently emphasized the government’s commitment to the construction industry, as development within this sector will allow the UK to compete on a global scale. The City Deals will now be revised in more detail, and the final proposals should be finished later on in the year.