Property news roundup: Younger buyers being squeezed out of the housing market
Plus divorce and moving, clean sells, three for one, and tenancy confusion
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.
Thursday 22 May 2014
Homebuyers under the age of 30 are becoming an endangered species, according to a report from the National Association of Estate Agents
Its latest monthly research shows that 94 per cent of successful homebuyers in the last month were aged over 30.
The figures also suggest that first time buyers are up, with 28 per cent of all completed sales last month to firsttimers, up from 25 per cent in March.
NAEA members recorded 392 registered house hunters per branch in April, a 20 per cent increase compared to March of this year. The association estimates that there are now almost nine registered house hunters for every property available.
In April, the majority of househunters were looking to buy as a couple (89 per cent), with just under one in ten looking to buy on their own. Nearly three quarters of all buyers were looking to move to a property within their current area.
"Buyer demand typically increases in spring," said Mark Hayward, Managing Director of the National Association of Estate Agents, "but we are seeing a remarkable number of househunters registering with our member agents this month. The last time we saw this level of market demand was pre-crash, back in August 2006.
"While sales to first time buyers remain strong, fiercely competitive micro-markets in areas mean that many younger buyers simply still cannot afford to get on to the housing ladder. I suspect the phenomenon of older first time buyers will continue as the effects of the recession on younger people’s employment opportunities, plus higher student debts, take their toll."
Divorce a declining reason for moving house
Figures released by Quick Move Now suggest that divorce as a motivating factor behind home sales has dropped seven per cent since 2011, after peaking at 16 per cent in 2011.
"It’s a sad reality that divorce and recession are closely linked," said Donna Houguez, Market Analyst at Quick Move Now. "Financial worries can place a serious strain on a marriage and often a couple’s home has to be sold quickly when the marriage ends. These figures show that trend, with more than twice as many homesellers citing break-up as a reason to move house. And sadly these figures are still 50% above the pre-crash levels."
A study of 2,000 British adults for cleaning service Molly Maid shows(unsurprisingly) that two thirds of people surveyed were more likely to make an offer on a property that looked clean and tidy in its advertising images and during viewings.
However, more than one in five Britons admitted that they didn’t clean their property at all before they moved out...
Russell Jervis, managing director of haart estate agents, said: "First impressions count,including when agents call in to make a valuation. Your home will attract a higher price, possibly many thousands of pounds more, if we can see it is in really good order. We can't assume you'll make the time later to fix things up."
Three for one
The lovely Stowe Farm Cottage is technically a one bedroom property in the tranquil hamlet of Stowe, Knighton, Shropshire, and features include an atmospheric Inglenook stone fireplace with bread oven, exposed ceiling timbers, and charming garden with stone walls. But in the garden are also two wooden chalets
Within the garden are two timber chalets - the first is ideal for use as an extra bedroom or home office (and has marvellous hill views) and the second has a custom made built-in timber frame double bed.
Offers in region of £230,000, on with Nock Deighton
Renters still confused over tenancy deposit schemes
Just over half of tenants polled by SpareRoom.co.uk say they have never checked to see if landlords are holding their deposits in mandatory, government-backed tenancy deposit schemes.
Only a quarter know their landlords are definitely holding their deposits in a scheme and almost a fifth of tenants admit they’ve never even heard of the tenancy deposit scheme.
More than one in eight tenants told SpareRoom they have submitted dispute claims through the scheme, with nearly half winning their claim.
"It's easy to see why tenants who've been burnt in the past see deposits as rent top ups," said Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom.co.uk. "You hear horror stories about the excuses landlords have found to withhold deposits when tenants move on, but there are two sides to every story.
"The rogue element of the landlord community is far smaller than most people think. The wider problem is a private rented sector dominated by amateur and accidental landlords, who don’t always know their responsibilities. But the tenancy deposit protection scheme has certainly helped establish more trust, ensuring landlords cannot profit from deposits as an additional source of income, and mediating when disputes arise.
"The rules are that landlords offering assured shorthold tenancies are now legally obliged to put their tenants' deposits into one of the government-backed schemes, and provide details of that scheme to the tenant within 30 days. It's in tenants' best interests to check this has been done."
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.
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
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