Property news roundup: Homeowners believe they can do a better job of selling than agents
Plus, 'Scarface' house, prime country homes, long term tenants, dealbreakers and house price confidence
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.
Wednesday 18 June 2014
A new study shows 40 per cent of homeowners say they could do a better job of selling their house than estate agents, while more than half don’t believe agents always put the buyer’s or seller’s interests first.
Figures from The iProperty Company show that the average vendor across England and Wales would save just over £3,000 on agency fees if they decided to sell their own home, rising to £7,000 in London.
However, almost a third of homeowners admit they wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to selling their own property, with four in ten concerned about legal issues, and nearly a quarter unsure what price to ask/sell for.
Meanwhile, Waterfords estate agent, which operates across Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, says that since the start of 2014, the level of enquiries from customers wishing to have their property valued has increased by 20 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Sales of 'prime country' homes up by 35 per cent
The number of 'prime' property sales outside London increased by 35 per cent in the year to March 2014, according to figures from Knight Frank, with particularly strong rises in Cobham, Henley, Berkhamsted, Beaconsfield and Oxford.
"The faster recovery in sales volumes for homes in urban locations across the UK is reflective of the growing trend for prime market purchasers to target town and city properties outside of London," explained Oliver Knight, Knight Frank Research.
"Prior to 2010, sales of urban and rural homes followed a similar pattern. Since then, while both markets have enjoyed a pick-up in demand, there has been a divergence in performance. Town and city markets have seen a much faster rise in activity than neighbouring village and rural locations. At the end of March, annual sales of prime urban homes were just 3.3 per cent below their previous market peak in 2007. In comparison, sales of prime rural properties were 18 per cent below peak levels."
Scarface house for sale
El Fureidis in Montecito, California - the house used in the 1983 film Scarface and the wedding scene of Michele Pfeiffer and Al Pacino (pictured above) - is on the market with Christie’s International Real Estate . It has four bedrooms and nine bathrooms, a Byzantine-style 'conversation room', an alcove with an 18 foot-high domed ceiling, and the dining room has a barrelled ceiling painted in 24-carat gold leaf that depicts Alexander the Great conquering Persepolis. It's,er, $35million.
Rise of the long-term tenant
Transient tenancies are being replaced by longer term choices, according to Belvoir. "Long-term tenancies are definitely increasing and we are getting more people staying longer and longer,” said Jeremy Clarke, owner of Belvoir Christchurch in Dorset. "At our office, tenancy lengths have almost doubled. When we first opened in 2004 people tended to stay in a property for about 18 to 19 months, but my average tenancy now is 33 months."
What are the property dealbreakers?
The most likely features that put potential home-buyers off purchasing a property in the UK are a lack of garden, an outdated bathroom and a small kitchen.
The study by Ukbathrooms.com showed only three per cent of people would be put off by an outdated living room. Those aged over 34 were most likely to be looking for a home with a substantial garden area, while people aged 18-24 were most likely to be put off by an outdated bathroom.
Is confidence in the housing market cooling?
The number of people who think that now is a good time to buy a home is at its lowest level since June 2008, according to figures from the Building Societies Association.
Its latest report shows 29 per cent believe that now is a good time to buy, down from 40 per cent three months ago.
Earlier in the week research from Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank suggested confidence in the property market has doubled across the UK, with more than half of homeowners believing that their home will go up in value over the next year compared to only 25 per cent this time last year.
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.
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.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
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