Property news roundup: Drop in cost of renting compared to buying
Plus, thirtysomething homeownership, renting and cleaning, and mortgage hunters are getting younger
Alex Johnson has been part of The Independent's online team since 2007 and writes The Home Front property column. He has been writing about microarchitecture on his internationally-acclaimed website Shedworking since 2006 and is the author of three books, Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution, Bookshelf, and Improbable Libraries.
Tuesday 13 May 2014
Rising house prices mean that the cost of renting relative to buying has fallen, according to Countrywide Residential Lettings.
Its figures suggest that in 2014, the average tenant pays 93p in rent for every £1 spent on mortgage repayments by a homeowner able to put down a 10% deposit. This is a decrease of 3p from 96p a year ago.
The report shows that house prices rose more quickly than rents over the past 12 months across 87 per cent of England, Scotland and Wales.
The 13 per cent of areas where the cost of renting rose relative to buying were almost all in South Wales and the North East of England.
Iin London the average tenant spends 86p on rent, down from 93p a year ago, for every £1 a homeowner spent on a mortgage. It is now cheaper to rent than buy in 30 out of the 33 London boroughs, up from 25 in 2013.
Nick Dunning, Group Commercial Director, Countrywide plc, said: "Home ownership has long been part of the British psyche. However, for many households, particularly in the short to medium term, home ownership doesn’t always make sense financially or otherwise.
"As house prices rise, renting increasingly allows people to live in areas they would otherwise be unable to afford to buy. In more expensive cities, such as London, the cost of renting in more central areas can be just half the cost of buying. The result is that in the most central areas of London, and many other global cities, over half the population now rent.
"While homeowners can benefit from increases to the value of their home over the long term, homeownership itself doesn’t automatically equate to large financial returns. The money saved by renting can be invested in other ways. The reality is that tenants, far from being priced out of the market in the long term, have benefitted from the flexibility this growing and increasingly professional sector offers."
Drop in average age of mortgage hunters
The average age of buyers seeking a mortgage during April dipped below 37 (to 36.9) for the first time since September 2010.
The figures from the Mortgage Advice Bureau come a fortnight after the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR).
Remortgage application numbers dropped by 12 per cent in April, while purchase applications fell by seven per cent. However, the numbers of both were still 29 per cent higher than in April 2013.
Cleaning is the main cause of disputes between tenants and landlords and the problem is getting worse, according to the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks.
The annual review by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme shows that the most common cause of complaint is about cleaning, increasing from 49 per cent in 2009 to 56 per cent in 2013, the highest level since 2007.
"The main problems are dirty ovens and fridges, stains and marks on carpeting and flooring, bathrooms which have not been cleaned for months, and pet hair and excrement on floors, furniture and soft furnishings," said Pat Barber, Chair of the Association of the AIIC.
Homes and the under-35s
Analysis by Lucian Cook at Savills shows that those aged under 35 are having a tough time finding a home.
His figures indicated that in three quarters of local authorities, first time buyers have to earn above the average full time income for the area to afford to buy, while in a quarter of areas they need to earn at least 50 per cent above that figure.
In addition to London, he points to affordability issues in the more expensive towns of the Midlands and the North, including Stratford upon Avon and York, and Maidstone and Exeter in the South.
Overall, his analysis suggests that first time buyers now need an income of more than£50,000 to buy in Cambridge, Chichester, Guildford, Horsham, Oxford, Winchester and Woking, and more than £40,000 to buy in Basingstoke, Canterbury, Lewes, Reading and Slough.
"Younger households will undoubtedly rent for longer and enter the housing market later in life, possibly when they can pool two incomes or for the lucky ones, take advantage of the housing equity built up by parents and grandparents," he said. "As a result, government policy needs to become less fixated on home ownership and look to substantially increase the supply of good quality rental accommodation."
This three-bedroom stone-built cottage currently trades as the village store with a restaurant in the annexe and family accommodation on the upper floors.
Previously two semi-detached properties, this five-bedroom home is spread over three floors with a large breakfast kitchen, orangery, office and gym on the second floor.
This five-bedroom home enjoys countryside views over the Blyth estuary to Southwold, offering flexible living space with a ground-floor annexe - ideal for use as a holiday let.
Close to the market town of Eye, this four-bedroom detached home offers a double-height living room which takes the place of the original, 19th-century, chapel nave.
Dating back to the 19th century, this four-bedroom home needs modernising. Spanning three storeys, the red-brick house has a fireplace, a small terrace and a cellar.
Just outside of Cambridge, this single-storey home offers three double bedrooms, a living room with vaulted timber ceiling and ladder steps that lead to a mezzanine study area.
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn.
A former coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, an attached office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Located beside an impressive Victorian viaduct, this four-bedroom home has an open-plan living area that is glazed on two sides, with skylights and high ceilings.
A former furniture workshop, this three-bedroom home has high ceilings and painted brick walls, in a village setting only fifteen miles from the coast.
This five-bedroom stone townhouse features a pine staircase and an Inglenuk fireplace, double doors from the lounge give access to an enclosed courtyard.
This five-bedroom, detached home blends traditional and modern design; the sleek kitchen features a gas hob and oven set within an exposed chimney breast.
Moored in Chelsea's Cheyne Walk, this houseboat offers two double bedrooms and a teak deck that's ideal for al-fresco dining.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B or countryside retreat, subject to change of use permissions.
This Grade II-listed three-bedroom home is situated on a private road, just a short walk from the sandy beaches of Frinton-on-Sea.
Less than five miles from Malmesbury, this four-bedroom cottage comes with equestrian facilities and gardens that extend to approximately three acres.
Spanning three storeys, this late-Victorian five-bedroom farmhouse is a spacious family home with a modern interior and B&B potential.
With an original church arch, this triplex one-bedroom church conversion has a light, spacious, feel and comes with a secure off-street parking space.
This recently-refurbished three-bedroom home has bi-folding doors that lead out to a decked seating area - ideal for alfresco dining this summer.
Well-located for coastal walks and popular restaurants, this detached four-bedroom home offers views over farmland, to the Solent, the Purbecks and Bournemouth.
If you love high ceilings, school conversions like this one are bang on the money. This two-bedroom flat is minutes from Burgess Park and the foodie haven at Borough Market.
Set within a church conversion in Bermondsey, this two-bedroom maisonette combines existing features, such as original arches and brickwork, with a contemporary finish.
In the pretty market town of Bungay, this grade II-listed Mill House is arranged over four floors, offering four bedrooms and three reception areas.
This four-bedroom Edwardian home offers a combination of original features and contemporary design after a renovation by the current owners.
This four-bedroom home offers a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining with doors that open to the patio and garden.
On the market for the first time in more than 50 years, this six-bedroom home is a project with vast potential - spread over three floors of living space.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Surrounded by rolling countryside, this four-bedroom barn conversion comes with a self-contained, one-bedroom annexe that could serve as an office or a holiday let.
Located near Harrogate town centre, this five-bedroom Victorian terrace is arranged over three storeys while a current study serves as an optional sixth bedroom.
A ground-floor flat in a country house, located a mile from Sway; this two-bedroom home would make an ideal weekend retreat on the edge of the New Forest.
On a popular residential lane in Caterham on the Hill, this four-bedroom family home offers a secluded garden and a convenient location for local schools and public transport.
Just a short walk from Westerham green, this three-bedroom cottage has a light kitchen with exposed brickwork and double doors that lead to a south-facing garden.
In a prime spot opposite the River Thames, this one-bedroom flat has an 18sq ft reception room with glass doors that open out to a private terrace.
Set in the hills above Llanwrda Village, west Wales, this 18th-century three-bedroom farmhouse has holiday-let potential from a separate barn conversion and annexe.
This charming end-of-terrace townhouse is arranged over three floors, with two double bedrooms and a private courtyard garden located at the rear of the property.
Located in the University area, this semi-detached five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors - there's even a rear garden and off-road parking too.
Only a few minutes' drive from the charming town of Marlow, this two-bedroom home sits on the private riverside estate of Harleyford.
This detached four-bedroom home in Middleyard is arranged over two floors, with features that include a wood-burning stove and bespoke oak staircase.
In a row of eight detached Georgian residences, this five-bedroom home offers views of The Sound, Mount Edgcumbe and Cornwall from its impressive veranda and full-length balcony.
If you love cooking for friends this two-bedroom flat - complete with views of the iconic Battersea Power Station and an open-plan kitchen/dining area - will go down a treat.
Located above Grasmere village, this five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors and offers countryside views across Grasmere Lake towards Silver Howe.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
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