Your November newsletter

Your November newsletter

<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica; font-weight: bold; color: #000000;">From ‘generation rent’ to ‘generation buy’</span>

In a recent conservative conference, Boris Johnson promised to create two million more homeowners by changing ‘generation rent’ into ‘generation buy’, in the hope that the UK can return to normal post-COVID.

Mr Johnson continued by suggesting that the current levels of home ownership among the under 40s was ‘disgraceful’.
These levels have been plummeting dramatically over recent years, which has made people “pay through the nose to rent a home which they can’t truly love or make their own”.

To do this, changes to the regulations introduced in 2008 are required.
Previous strict minimum capital requirements, which were imposed on UK banks, are being blamed for initially making owning a house unattainable for various individuals.
These individuals may have been able to afford the monthly mortgage fees associated with homeownership, but the initial upfront deposit being between 15 and 20 per cent, it’s clear to see why renting was the only option for most.
Due to this, private rent increased from 2.8 million in 2007 and to 4.5 million in 2017.

So, what’s the solution?

The Prime Minister’s ambitious plans to ‘fix our broken housing market’ begins by slashing the current deposit rates to only 5% for first-time buyers.
As a result, this will be the biggest expansion of the sales market since the 1980s.
This will be welcome news for potential first-time buyers nationwide, and a great boost for the property market post-lockdown.
First-time buyers are more resolved to become homeowners in 2020, despite the pandemic

As a direct result of lockdown, three in five Brits are determined to purchase their first home, with nearly half having saved more for their deposit this year than they'd expected.*

What support is there for prospective homeowners?

At Northfields, we appreciate that many tenants will now be in a position where they're ready to commit and buy their first home.

If that's you, we'd like to help.

As dedicated West London agents, we can help you to navigate the local market and make the right decisions with your investments, click below to find out more or contact us on 020 8740 6622.

 *Source: Yorkshire Building Society

<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica; font-weight: bold; color: #000000;">Busiest ever autumn? Buyers, prices and supply all up and rising</span>

Buyers up. Prices up. Supply up.

An astounding number of homeowners and movers are progressing with their sale right now, with 140,000 more buyers in the process of completing when compared to this time last year.
Since the end of the country's spring lockdown, we've seen record levels for properties reaching 'sales agreed' in the UK, culminating in there being 50% more homes going through the system as buyers rush to meet the stamp duty deadline.

Zoopla estimates that there are currently over 418,000 sales in the pipeline awaiting completion, with an overall value that's over £112 billion.
What are the key facts and figures behind all of this market activity?
- Sales agreed hit an annual high back in August, showing a 62% year-on-year uplift.

- There has only been a slight change in pace, as sales agreed were running at a 53% year-on-year uplift this month in comparison to October 2019.

- Regionally, sales agreed year-to-date are up the most in the South East by 15%, followed by London at 12% and the East of England with 11%.
With the deadline for stamp duty savings looming, what can you do to increase your chances of completing in time?*
To avoid any disappointment, make sure you can do your bit to help move the process along, follow these tips:

Acquire a reliable solicitor
Over lockdown, the housing market will remain open, including for agents, solicitors and conveyancers.
Having gone through this once before, these representatives should be fully prepared to provide a seamless experience whether from home or the office.
Meaning once an offer's been accepted, you can move to the next stage without any unnecessary hold-ups.
Identify issues early on

A conveyancer will identify any problems and will offer solutions.
Obtaining the relevant information and agreeing a positive way forward will take time. If you know your issues early on, try and get them sorted as soon as possible and keep your solicitor updated.

Manage the chain

If you are in a chain, issues may arise that are beyond your control.

It is important you understand your dependencies. Talk to your seller, buyer and their agents regularly, monitoring what is happening with any related transactions and making sure you're all working towards the same target; that being, the same completion day.

Good communication will keep things on track and avoid any delays along the way. Talk to us today for more information.

*Stamp duty holiday ends March 2021.

<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica; font-weight: bold; color: #000000;">Five storage solutions to make your property attractive to buyers</span>

With the property market still as busy as ever, with lots of choice for potential buyers, the key to a successful sale is making your house stand out.
Here’s how you can add more space in your home to appeal to viewers this year.

Newly conducted research from self-storage experts, Space Station, shows that 46% of new build homes have utility rooms and additional storage space.
Following a year of remote working and home schooling, these features are more important than ever to buyers. 
If you’re thinking of selling your property in the near future, you should definitely be thinking about how to increase your property's storage capacity, as it has been reported to increase the overall property value.
The following suggestions can help you do just that…

Make the most of unused space

It's a common occurrence that we end up underutilising space in our homes, with zones or rooms that are rarely used.
When you start thinking about staging your home for a sale, consider how you can reposition or reframe certain areas to demonstrate your property's full value to viewers.
For example, an empty corner could be transformed using a built-in storage unit, which will not only add to the overall design but offers a practical use for an otherwise unused space.
Storage benches are another great addition, and work especially well under bay windows.

Create a utility area

Utility rooms are a staple feature at the moment – but these can often be expensive to fit professionally.
Instead, consider using space under the stairs and adding storage solutions such as shelves for a quick and affordable alternative.
This storage option gives you a great area to store cleaning and laundry supplies.

Vertical storage

When creating storage solutions, you might want to look at high shelving or cupboards, especially if you're trying to minimise how much floor space you're taking up.
For a quirky yet useful addition, put a bookcase above a window frame to introduce character to a room.

Outdoor space

Homebuyers often look for outdoor storage solutions in their property search, as this can be especially useful at this time of year to keep summer outdoor furniture safe, along with storing seasonal decorations or tools.
Sheds and garages offer a great starting point, but you can make the most of the space they have to offer with the addition of built-in shelving and hooks for gardening equipment and gadgets.

Revamp the pantry

A built-in pantry is an effective way to appeal to buyers.
However, these can often appear messy if not organised correctly. To avoid this, add extra shelves with labels, as well as door organisers.

To consult with one of our agents about your next property search or sale, contact us today.

<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica; font-weight: bold; color: #000000;">What impact has COVID-19 had for landlords?</span>

Since the pandemic hit the UK earlier this year, landlords and tenants have felt the financial strain.
Here's how the latest developments are expected to impact the property market this autumn.
With the government's furlough scheme extended in line with the introduction of the second national lockdown, offering 80% of an employee's salary, it's thought that many will benefit from this respite over November.
However, with the future still largely unknown, it's understandably a stressful time for tenants unable to continue paying their rent and landlords who have seen reductions in their income.
Between March and August this year, ONS estimate that the number of workers on a payroll decreased by a worrying 695,000.
One of the hardest-hit groups is the under-24s, with 156,000 fewer individuals of this age in employment compared to just three months ago.*
Comparatively with homeownership in the UK, recent research has found that 92% of homeowners are confident they could continue to meet their mortgage repayments in the next six months, whereas the same could only be said for 81% of tenants about upcoming rent.
Up to 12 million Brits will struggle with rent and bill payments in light of COVID-19 and its continuing economic fallout.**
Whilst the government have extended the mortgage holiday for struggling homeowners and landlords by a further six months, it's advised to speak with your lender directly and to only consider this as a last resort.
During this holiday, interest will still accrue, which could add a significant amount for you to pay off after it has run its course.
If you need professional advice on any of the contents covered here, please contact our team.

*Source: BBC News
**Source: The Financial Conduct Authority

<span style="color: #000000; text-decoration: none;">Northfields' Suzanne shortlisted for her charity work</span>

Northfields Estates are delighted to announce that Suzanne Jupp, our tenancy renewal administrator, has been nominated for 2 Agents Giving ‘Act of Kindness’ awards for her charity work with Compassion London during the Covid19 pandemic.

Click here to read <span style="color: #000000; text-decoration: none;">Northfields' Suzanne shortlisted for her charity work</span>.

<span style="color: #000000; text-decoration: none;">Supporting Northfields businesses: digital pet portraits</span>

With the pandemic lockdown measures affecting them being able to open the doors to their physical premises, supporting Northfields businesses is more important than ever so that they can keep trading at what should be coming into the busiest time of the year.

Click here to read <span style="color: #000000; text-decoration: none;">Supporting Northfields businesses: digital pet portraits</span>.

<span style="color: #000000; text-decoration: none;">5 things to help sell your home for less than £70</span>

When you’re trying to sell your home, the general advice is ‘reduce clutter, and make it look appealing for the photos and viewers, but this could become expensive really quickly if you’re not sure which areas to focus on.
If you’re looking to maximise your property on a minimal budget, then this is a great start…

Click here to read <span style="color: #000000; text-decoration: none;">5 things to help sell your home for less than £70</span>.