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Your Move Property Blog

Thoughts, Opinions & Analysis of the UK Property Market

January 2014 - Buy to Let Index

February 21, 2014 11:26 by YOUR MOVE


  • Capital’s landlords see average annual return of over £38,000 (or 14.6%) over past 12 months
  • Compares to average returns of almost £15,000 (or 8.9%) across England and Wales
  • Rents across England and Wales now average £742 per month, up by 1.4% since January 2013
  • Tenant finances recover in the New Year, as proportion of late rent falls to 7.4%

Rents across England & Wales

Average rents across England and Wales have risen 1.4% in the past year, to stand at £742 per month in January.

Annual rises come despite a seasonal fall in rents between December and January. The average rent across England and Wales fell by 0.4% on a monthly basis.

Rents by region

Five out of ten regions saw rents fall on a monthly basis between December and January, in line with a monthly fall across England and Wales as a whole

The sharpest monthly drop was found in the South East, with rents down 1.0%. This was followed by a drop of 0.9% in London, and a 0.7% fall on a monthly basis in Wales.

However, the West Midlands and East Midlands experienced monthly rent rises – up by 0.8% and 0.6% respectively since December.

Read the full Buy to Let index - January 2014

Scotland House Price Index - December 2013

February 19, 2014 13:46 by YOUR MOVE

Your Move Blog: Scotland House Price Index - December 2013

The December edition of the Scotland House Price Index is published today by LSL Property Services/Acadata.  Highlights from the index are:

2013 has been a year of recovery in Scotland’s housing market.

  • Not only have sales volumes expanded by a significant amount, but we have also seen an increase in the average house price of £5,131, or 3.6%, over the year.
  • This is the highest annual rate of price increase since October 2010, when house prices were on the rebound from the 2008/2009 credit squeeze.
  • The average cost of a home now stands at £146,696 which is £6,300, or 4.5%, above the low point of £140,396 experienced in April 2009 during the credit crisis.

Scotland is not alone in experiencing a recovery in house prices during 2013. All ten regions of England & Wales have also seen a positive movement in average prices over the year. However, at 3.6%, Scotland has the third highest house price growth of all regions in Great Britain, with only the South East (3.8%) and Greater London (10.6%) seeing prices rise at a faster rate. 

Read the full Scotland House Price Index for December 2013 

5 Home Improvements That Could Add Value to Your Property

February 19, 2014 11:23 by YOUR MOVE

If you’re thinking about selling your home in the next few years, home improvements can be a difficult territory to navigate. You’ll want decorations to your taste -especially if you plan on staying a while- but you’ll be aware that any changes need to be sales-friendly in the long term.

In the early noughties, the advice was “paint everything magnolia and hope for the best,” and while neutral colours do appeal to a mass market, magnolia isn’t a livable design choice for many. Instead, aim for long-term investments that improve your standard of living alongside the value of your property.  Market appeal can come later.

Central Heating

Central heating. Not the most riveting of topics but certainly important. According to a study by Nationwide the installation of full gas or oil heating in a period property will cost around £4-5,000. Electric is cheaper at £2,500 and although this seems like quite a significant investment, central heating will add upwards of 15% to the overall value of the property. In real terms, this can be as much a £15,000.

Energy efficiencyis also a major priority these days, so if you’re improving heating, it’s worth considering…

Double Glazing

In most cases, Double glazed uPVC windows are considered essential to buyers viewing modern homes. They require very little maintenance, are energy efficient and much more secure than traditional window fittings.

However, this changes depending on how old the property is. If you own a higher value period building you can significantly improve the value of your home by maintaining the original windows.Indeed, if you’re lucky enough to own a listed building, English Heritage says that you’re not allowed to fit double glazing even if you want to. The preservation of original features is an incredibly important aspect of owning this kind of home - and an asset too.


Your Move Blog - 5 Home Improvements That Could Add Value to Your Home

According to the Independent the most sought after room in your home is the kitchen and is worth the most per square foot. Upgrade appliances now and it’s sure to be profitable in the long run.

When properly selected, certain appliances can be a huge selling point, such as your choice of oven. Again, this varies according to the age of your home. A period property will always be improved with an Aga cooker and an ultra-modern home will suit stainless steel. If you find yourself in between, as most of us will, opt for something stylish and professional like a range cooker.

range cooker is ideal because it not only offers an impressive capacity but is aesthetically pleasing to boot.For maximum impact, accessorize your kitchen according to the colour of your oven and make it a real feature point.

En-suite Bathroom

According to the Channel 4 Homes, a typical four bedroom house with an en-suite bathroom can be worth upwards of £10,000 compared to an identical house without an en-suite. Indeed, property expert David Sangster says: "There is a very large section of the house viewing public who are looking to see an en-suite with the master bedroom and if your house has a nicely designed en suite then that will increase the desirability of your home.”

An en-suite facility needn’t occupy a great deal of space if you’re concerned about that. Depending on personal preferences, you can fit an en-suit with a toilet, a small sink and shower enclosure within a 1m by 2.5m dimension. Whilst it might be small, it’s functional and if the scheme incorporates good lighting and fancy tiles, it can be stylish too.


Your Move Blog - 5 Ways You Can Add Value to Your Home

Evidently, a conversion or extension is one of the more expensive options here. However, the return on investment is well worth it. Nationwide’s study found that an extension or loft-conversion could add a massive 23 per cent to the value of your property. 

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: "Our research assesses the factors that affect the value of homes, and the potential to add value. Having more useable space is generally thought to be consistent with better quality accommodation and people are prepared to pay for it."

However, always, always make sure you get planning permission before carrying out any domestic extensions or you’ll find yourself in a tricky situation with the council.  


Guest post by Emily Buchanan


Sorting the Finances – Buy to Let Part 4 of 5

February 17, 2014 10:30 by YOUR MOVE

Buy to Let Part 4 of 5 - Your Move

In the fourth part of our buy to let series of articles, we talk about how you can organise your finances.

  1. Going directly to you bank is a bad move on a number of fronts. Firstly you get limited advice on a limited number of products and they don’t act for you. Secondly, vendors much prefer dealing with buyers using a tried and trusted broker.
  2. In contrast the broker will be the point of communication between you, the estate agent, the solicitor and the seller which will help take the time and hassle away from you and acts for you, unlike the banks who act for themselves. You will get proper advice and recommendation on a wide choice of mortgage products.
  3. You need though to be selective with the broker as not all have buy to let expertise. If they haven’t given you the basics as to buy to let mortgage lenders criteria from the outset and an indication that they know individual lenders criteria, look for one who does.
  4. The first thing to know about lenders is that it is infinitely easier to obtain buy to let finance if you have a mortgage and are not a first time buyer.
  5. If the rent income is very good ie £610 per month for every £100K borrowed, you may be able to get in on a 20% deposit otherwise you will have to come in with 25%deposit. Seasoned investors looking for long term growth are happy to come in with the minimum deposit and don’t worry too much about rental income.
  6. Buy to Let rates tend to be higher than residential rates but the criteria is more relaxed on personal income. Most lenders will need to see a minimum £25K income. Provided the credit check and profiling is fine, they are primarily looking at the viability of the property in terms of rent and capital value. Most investors will borrow on an interest only basis so with the lower deposits, the property pays for itself (not necessarily profit making, but rental income is enough to cover mortgage payments and other costs). If you can pay the mortgage down, you will reduce the overall interest paid and increase your equity more quickly. Don’t forget you can offset the interest element of the mortgage payment against any tax liability on the rental income. For example if you receive £10K annually in rent but pay £8K in mortgage interest, your tax liability is only for £2K of the income.

By Simon Murray, Financial Consultant Your Move Surbiton


Buy to Let Part 1 - The Basics

Buy to Let Part 2 – Sourcing the Property

Buy to Let Part 3 – Getting an Offer Accepted

Dealing With Estate Agents – Buy to Let Part 3 of 5

February 10, 2014 09:20 by Admin

Buy to Let - Part 3 of 5 - Your Move

Part 3 of our series on buy to let.  Below are some top tips on how to deal with estate agents when you are searching for your Buy to Let property

  1. Always remember the estate agent’s client is the vendor and they act for them not you.
  2. Where I work, we have  upwards of forty buyers registering with us each week. Not all agents are brilliant at managing their buyers so you (the buyer) have to stand out.
  3. Be specific as to what type of property you are looking for - why, where and when do you want the property.  This detail will enable the estate agent to do a decent job of logging details. If you’re looking in a specific area they operate in and want to buy now you’re a decent buyer.
  4. Make sure you don’t wait for the estate agent to call and keep in regular contact with them. If you ring the agent and keep them on their toes, when a suitable property becomes available you’ll be top of the list for getting in to view it.

Getting an Offer Accepted

  1. The market is fast moving and when a property is reasonably priced, it will shift.
  2. The reality is that anything less than 95% of the asking price in popular areas where supply is very short is unlikely to be accepted and you may end up going over the asking price.
  3. If you’re up against other buyers ask for the opportunity to make a best and final offer so there is closure, and always make offers subject to survey.
  4. It will also do you no harm meeting with the agent’s recommended broker provided they are whole of market (broker can offer a choice of lenders, representative of all lenders out there, rather than a broker who only deals with a limited panel of lenders) as they are trained to give you an end to end service and not just a great mortgage rate.
  5. Also if a solicitor is provisionally lined up, that will only help your cause as you will need to crack on with instructing your solicitor and broker as soon as the offer is accepted and sales memorandum issued.
  6. A good solicitor will be one at the end of the phone, is proactive, specializes in property transactions and is on the lenders panel of accredited solicitors.

By Simon Murray, Financial Consultant Your Move Surbiton

Buy to Let Part 1 - The Basics

Buy to Let Part 2 - Sourcing the Property


YOUR MOVE is a multi-award winning estate and letting agent with branches across England and Scotland


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