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We’ve moved! We can now be found at Zoopla Property News

Zoopla has launched an exciting Property News section, covering all aspects of the market – from the latest celebrity house moves to new mortgage announcements.

As such, we’re no longer updating this blog.

We look forward to welcoming you to our new home at Zoopla Property News.

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November 7, 2014 at 2:47 PM Leave a comment

Second steppers need £60K extra to buy next home

People taking their second step on the housing ladder need to find an extra £60,000 to fund their move, research showed today.

First time buyer

Soaring property values have left many so-called second steppers struggling to trade up to a bigger home, according to Lloyds Bank.

The group estimates that these buyers need to find an additional £58,400 to fund the purchase of their next home, around double the average deposit put down by first time buyers.

The gap between the typical sale price of second steppers’ current property and the home they would like to buy is now around £15,000 bigger than it was in 2013 and £18,000 more than in 2012.

Just over half of people who are currently living in their first home said they had wanted to trade up the property ladder in the past 12 months but been unable to do so.

Although the plight of first time buyers gets a lot of attention, second steppers are equally important to the health of the housing ladder, as they are currently living in the homes that first time buyers need to purchase.

But despite the growing financial burden of buying their next home, confidence among second steppers is improving.

Around 43 per cent of people said rising house prices had had a positive impact on their situation, and 40 per cent think it will be easier to sell their property now than it was last year.

Only a quarter of people who would like to buy their next home see economic uncertainty as a challenge, down 10 percentage points from 2013, while just 14 per cent say negative equity is a problem, down 11 percentage points from a year ago.

But the fees and charges associated with buying a new home are still seen as the biggest barrier to trading up the ladder, with these cited as a challenge by 46 per cent of second steppers.

On average, people think the value of their first home has increased by 20 per cent since they bought it, typically around four years ago.

As a result, the number of people worried about the size of the deposit they will need to find has fallen from 50 per cent in 2013 to 37 per cent now.

Marc Page, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank, said: “The jump to the next step is growing quickly for second steppers, with the gap to the second home now being almost £60,000 nationally.

“However, as house prices are rising and barriers to the next step are reducing, confidence about selling the first home and being able to move up is increasing.

“For most regions of the country this is helping people make that jump across the gap to the next rung on the ladder.”

There are significant regional variations in the amount people buying their second home need to raise.

Trading up the property ladder is easiest in the West Midlands, where the price difference between a first and second home is only £21,000.

But at the other end of the scale, people in East Anglia need to find an additional £80,800 to make the jump.

October 17, 2014 at 10:27 AM Leave a comment

Cost of renting hits new high

The cost of renting a home hit a new high in September as landlords made record returns on their investments, figures showed today.

stack of cash

The average rent charged on a property in England and Wales rose to £768 during the month, according to LSL Property Services.

Higher rents combined with strong house price growth helped push total annual returns on an investment property up to 13.4 per cent, nearly double the rate of 7.9 per cent seen in September last year.

As a result, the average landlord made a return of £22,706 on their investment during the 12 months, before deductions for mortgage repayments and maintenance.

The total was made up of £8,379 from rental income and £14,327 through property price growth.

Looking ahead, if house prices continue to rise at the rate seen during the past quarter, total annual returns could hit 22.1 per cent over the next year, or £40,489 per property, LSL said.

But there was some good news for tenants as the annual rate at which rents are rising slowed to just 1.5 per cent in September, down from 2.4 per cent in August.

Landlords expect rent rises to remain muted in the year ahead, predicting they will increase by an average of just 1.8 per cent during the next 12 months.

The group said there had been a resurgence in demand for rental properties outside of London and the South East, with the East posting the biggest annual hike in rental costs at 3.1 per cent, followed by the South West at 2.3 per cent.

But in other regions of the country, the cost of being a tenant has fallen.

Average rents in the West Midlands have dropped by 2.4 per cent in the past year, while in the North East they are 2.3 per cent lower and in Wales they have edged down by 1.1 per cent.

David Newnes, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, said: “Historically rent rises have broadly tracked inflation. And as the wider cost of living grows ever more slowly, so too has the cost of renting a home.

“That said, autumn is always a busy period for the lettings industry, and this has been no exception.

“Looking ahead, it is likely that rents in most parts of the UK will have now reached their seasonal peak – so as the market cools along with the autumn weather there may be opportunities for some tenants to pick up a favourable deal.”

Tenants finances improved during the month with only 7.2 per cent of rent in arrears, down from 8.5 per cent in September last year.

But despite the drop, there was still £256m of late rent during the month.


October 17, 2014 at 9:24 AM Leave a comment

Retirement homes can help with care burden of over 55s

Britain is suffering a chronic lack of purpose built retirement housing, a new report reveals today.

13.10.14 Retire 3

Retirement housing makes up just 2.8 per cent of all new homes being built, and yet there is huge demand for such properties, according to estate agents Knight Frank.

A quarter of over 55s say they will consider relocating to a retirement village in the future, equating to 4.4m people.

The term ‘retirement homes’ referred in the report to properties specifically built with older people in mind and with some levels of care provided. However, it excludes care homes.

Grainne Gilmore, head of UK Residential Research at Knight Frank, said: “Housing can play a part in helping to mitigate the care burden. Ensuring older people have access to support and the level of care they need as they age can not only enhance living standards, but can cut care bills later in life as fewer acute services are needed.

“In many cases, living in suitable housing can ensure people stay ‘at home’ for longer, in a sociable and pleasant environment. The UK is far behind some other countries in providing retirement housing.”

Gilmore added: “There is no doubt that potential demand for these types of property is large, and is only set to grow. The housing wealth held by older generations is sizeable, and has been boosted by a near trebling in house prices over the last 20 years – downsizing to realise this wealth amid longer retirements is set to gain momentum.”

For sale:

1. In the heart of Bournemouth Town Centre is this £130,000 retirement apartment, with access to communal lounges, guest rooms and laundry room with an onsite manager.

13.10.14 Retire 1

2. For a leafy retirement home, a two bedroom apartment is available in Weeke, Winchester, for £475,000. It includes a fitted kitchen, spacious bath and shower rooms, under floor central heating, CCTV and pendant alarm call systems for additional security.

13.10.14 Retire 2

3. This two bedroom flat in Potters Bar costs from £467,950 and includes a 24 hour emergency call system, double glazing, raised height electrical sockets to reduce bending and energy efficient heating.

13.10.14 Retire 4

October 13, 2014 at 10:50 AM Leave a comment

London flat for sale for less than £100,000

A flat in London has gone on the market for less than £100,000, it has been revealed.

09.10.14 Studio 2

The property in south London has recently seen its asking price reduced, making it significantly under the amount buyers can expect to pay in the capital.

The average price of a property in London has risen by almost £80,000 to nearly £600,000, according to Zoopla.

But the Streatham property is currently listed at £99,950, having been reduced from an initial asking price two months ago of £129,950.

Jacksons, the estate agent handling the sale, described the property as “a bijou flat” as it is a studio with an open plan kitchen and separate bathroom.

It is on the first floor and covers a total area of 194 sq ft.

The studio is on the corner of Babington Road and Ambleside Avenue, providing good access to many of Streatham’s facilities.

The typical price of a flat in the area is £323,000, while a detached property goes for almost £1m.

09.10.14 Studio 409.10.14 Studio 3

09.10.14 Studio 1

October 9, 2014 at 12:55 PM Leave a comment

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The Zoopla property blog is maintained and edited by the Web Content Editor @ Zoopla Property Group Ltd Myra Butterworth.

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