Value of sporting assets up by a third: Property news roundup

Plus, stamp duty figures, buy to let mortgages, and the importance of good neighbours

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The Independent Online

The average value of the assets tracked by Knight Frank's Sporting Property Index - which looks at the value of rivers, moors and deer forests - has increased by 32 per cent over the last decade.

Grouse moors have shown the greatest rise in capital value with an increase of 49 per cent over the past 10 years. Salmon rivers increased by 29 per cent, followed by deer forests (29 per cent) and trout chalk streams (16 per cent). 

"We had a ripper of a recession that tore the heart out of the market in 2008 and 2009," said Clive Hopkins, Head of Knight Frank Farms and Estates. "The first thing that suffers during an economic crisis is this kind of very expensive and very discretionary purchase. The fact that growth is positive at all shows how resilient an asset a specialist sporting estate is."

How much will you pay in Stamp duty by 2016?

The buyer of an average UK home will pay at least £7,500 stamp duty by 2016, forecasts estate agency haart.

"If national property prices continue to increase at their current rate, the average price of a UK home will fall within the three per cent stamp duty tax bracket before the end of 2016," said Paul Smith, CEO of haart, "which means buyers forking out at least £7,500 on top of other costs when moving home. Where a property tips over into this three per cent tax band, an extra penalty of at least £5,000 is incurred on any property priced over £250,001.

"Stamp duty bands have not moved upwards in line with house price inflation, a fact that successive Governments have benefited from. First-time buyers, who pay an average £154,645, have no relief as they are already in the one per cent stamp duty band. The Government, and the Bank of England, need to be careful not to overcool the market and by raising the stamp duty tax threshold could help keep the market fluid."

Buy to let mortgages

The number of five year fixed rate buy to let mortgage products has more than doubled since 2012, according to specialist broker Mortgages for Business. In the first three months of this year, there were an average of 128 five year fixed rate buy to let mortgage products available compared to 50 in 2012.

The increase in longer term products has been at the expense of one-year rates - in 2010 one-year products accounted for 18 per cent of the market but by April this year this figure had dropped to one per cent. 

Good neighbours

One in ten UK residents can’t name a single one of their fellow neighbours, according to a poll for Neighbourhood Watch and

However, 65 per cent agreed their neighbourhood would be ‘a stronger community if people were encouraged to get to know each other better’ and a quarter would be willing to socialise with their neighbours if they had the opportunity to get to know them better.

Jim Maddan Chairman of the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network (England & Wales) said: "We've seen a real change in the structure of neighbourhoods over the years with people moving further away from their extended families and an increase in short term rental contracts. This move can leave some people feeling lonely or unsupported, especially young families and the elderly, who hugely benefit from having a strong community and neighbours to rely on in times of need."