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Market Commentary, News, Opinion

A surge of interest in prime country properties from those who want to escape cities for a new home and working life.

Lockdown in the UK has prompted a surge of interest from people looking to move to the countryside. The success of home working and the fabulous recent weather has led many disillusioned city dwellers to dream of moving to their ideal country home.

As experienced Property Finders for Yorkshire, we are experiencing a real upturn in enquiries from those who want to escape London for a new home and working life in our wonderful County. With prime country properties available at significantly lower prices than London, we are seeing more people who are considering having their main home in the country and maybe a bolthole in the city.

Many of those looking for a country life are expecting to have to work less in the city, but still travel in on some days. For the right home they are prepared to accept a longer commute. With a great standard of living and excellent train connections to the capital, in around 2 hours, Yorkshire is a sure bet


Market Commentary, News, Opinion

Why property buyers will want to move to the country in the post COVID-19 housing market.

How might buyer and seller priorities change post-COVID? It’s an interesting question with potentially widespread implications for the housing market as many homeowners and prospective buyers start to revaluate both what they want, and what they need, from their living arrangements.

The results of the latest Residential Global Market Sentiment Survey from Savills reveals an intriguing consistency among the housing markets changing in the face of COVID-19, which will have an impact on long-term buyer demand. Some key takeaways…………….

  • First is that 86% of respondents expected an increase in working from home after coronavirus.
  • Second is that 73% of respondents feel that green space will be become a priority for urban buyers
  • Thirdly, an additional 61% of respondents anticipated a rise in the demand for country/rural areas.

Vantage are residential property finders, specialising in all aspects of finding, buying & renting homes for our clients throughout the Home Counties and Yorkshire. We are already experiencing a significant upsurge in enquiries, so if you are thinking of relocating to the country, get in touch to see how we can support you. https://vantagepropertyfinders.co.uk/



Leeds, Leeds, Leeds !

The Northern city of Leeds has long been bubbling with potential. Economic potential, investment potential and property development potential. For a long time now, we’ve felt that Leeds has a very bright future. That bright future is now beginning to bloom and boom.

Leeds is home to the second largest amount of financial sector jobs within the UK but still offers the sort of average property prices that people in London could only believe in their wildest dreams.

This vibrant city, nestled in the heart of the largest county in the UK, namely Yorkshire, has undergone many changes and developments in recent years. New city centre apartment developments are everywhere and blue chip companies such as Channel 4, Amazon, Equifax and Burberry have been lured to the city, to become neighbours with other household names such as Sky and ASDA. As more high profile companies relocate to the city, more and more professional workers are being attracted from across the UK. This is pushing up demand for accommodation, which in turn will drive up prices in the most popular areas. Just as recently as Autumn 2019, the property portal, Zoopla, reported that average house prices in Leeds were climbing faster than in any other UK city.

We would always recommend that people looking to buy or rent in the city, take plenty of advice and also consider using the services of a professional property finder such as Vantage. Whilst, overall the city is a great place to live, there are, as with all cities, better places than others to focus on, depending on your requirements.

There are shiny new train stations and a new £150 million retail development called Victoria Gate, complete with a landmark John Lewis store and many other big names. Leeds has long had a strong retail offering, including Harvey Nichols, but this latest addition has made the city an even hotter destination.

One of the largest city centre regeneration initiatives in Europe and the biggest change coming to the city in more than a hundred years, is the regeneration of the South Bank area. This aims to double the size of the city centre by transforming the area into one with its own strong identity, as a great place for global investment, living, learning, leisure and arts. The area consists of 253 hectares of land and will provide over 35,000 jobs and over 8,000 homes. The South Bank is also the proposed location for a new station for HS2, creating an integrated Leeds Station. This facility will have more passengers than Gatwick airport currently, and will have a transformational impact on Leeds’ connectivity with the rest of the UK, driving growth and economic prosperity. The development will attract new businesses and leisure opportunities whilst acting as a stepping stone to better connections across the region. 

So, what are you waiting for? If you’re considering either moving to, or investing in Leeds, please do get in touch to see how we can help you source, buy and rent property in this great city.

Market Commentary, News

Is now a good time to buy property?

Data reveals that house prices increased by 33.7% on average in Great Britain over the last decade, but what do experts predict that the 2020s will hold and is it a good time to buy?

The last decade saw a slow start to house price growth, a surge mid-decade and a slow down at the end of the 2010s due to Brexit uncertainty. As usual, the London and South East market had a big effect on overall average prices, pushing up prices with its own mini-boom earlier in the decade and bringing them down again as the London market slumped after the UK decided to leave the European Union in 2016. Fewer foreign buyers and wary domestic buyers meant activity considerably reduced as the decade came to a close. That said, London property prices increased by 72% across the decade, equating to around £55 per day. Waltham Forest being the area seeing the highest price growth, at over 100%.

So what will the next decade hold?

House price growth is notoriously difficult to predict, but according to data produced by estate agent Savills, UK house prices are forecast to rise by an average of 15.3% over the next five years, with growth starting slowly in 2020 and then speeding up as the Brexit uncertainty diminishes.

Their forecasts for the next 4 years predict that the North could outperform the South with the North West expected to see very strong price growth. Yorkshire and the Humber will see the biggest growth of 21.6%, thanks to the strength and diversity of the regional economy and the capacity for higher loan to income borrowing. Our own experts predict areas such as York and Leeds are likely to be hot spots.

Savills also predict that Prime central London properties will be set for a rebound with growth of 20 % whilst Knight Frank estate agent is slightly more cautious, with a prediction of 18% growth for Prime central London by 2024.

Growth across Greater London as a whole is predicted to be around 4 % but within this, there are however pockets where the potential for growth is considerably higher.

East London has and continues to see good price growth, owing to the Crossrail project, the continuing success of Canary Wharf, the transformation of the area around Stratford and the constructions of micro towns such as Barking Riverside.

First time buyers continue to be attracted to developments in East London, with house prices forecast to rise by as much as 17% in Redbridge over the next 4 years.

Most experts agree that by 2024 house price rises should start to spread across the Greater London area, with the best growth predicted to be in areas such as Lewisham, Barnet, Islington, Haringey and Richmond upon Thames.

Although there are no guarantees, for savvy buyers, who choose their locations carefully, now is definitely the time to snap up a relative bargain that may have been unaffordable in a stronger market. Money is still relatively cheap to borrow and most experts predict that house prices are expected to show good growth over the next few years.

For help with your property search, please get in touch. Vantage Property Finders are experts in helping people find their desired properties.


Why use Vantage Property Finders?

The Benefits

Regardless of the state of the UK property market, there is always intense competition for the best properties. 

Vantage Property Finders offer a high quality search and acquisition service for residential property and by retaining our services, you will benefit from our local expertise and contacts, which will put you at an immediate advantage. Established in 2002, we are proud to have been able to help clients from all over the world with their property searches.  

The whole process of buying or renting a property can be a taxing one. Even when you think you know exactly the type of property you are looking for, the road to finding and securing it can be a long and frustrating one, filled with many challenges along the way.

Saving you time

With so many property portals around these days, you might think that the process is simply just a case of browsing around, seeing something you think you might like and then going to see it. However, searching for a property can be a very time consuming and, at times, frustrating and unsuccessful process.

It’s very often the case that what appears to be the case online is so often not the case in reality. Property images shown online are often unrepresentative of the truth. Even when you do see properties that you think you might like, the process of checking they meet your criteria, then booking and attending viewings can be a very time-consuming process. It takes time to understand a market and what represents good value and so, our clients understand the value of having a professional constantly focussing on their search on a daily basis.

In a fast paced and competitive market, being fast enough to find, view and secure a good property can be very tricky. We do the work to filter out properties that do not meet your criteria, ensuring that your time will not be wasted, viewing properties that are unsuitable for you. 

Saving you money

Remember, the sales or lettings agents are representing only their vendor or Landlord and it’s their job to get people through the door of the properties that they are trying to sell or rent. It, therefore, makes sense to level the playing field by having someone representing your interests as a buyer.

We will provide you with factually based advice on market conditions and property values which will inform your decision making and help you secure the best property for your needs at the best possible price. Through skilled negotiation, we often help to secure properties at discounted levels, saving our clients sums of money that are well in excess of the fee we charge.

Clients of Vantage Property Finders also have a distinct advantage in that agents view them as serious and committed buyers or tenants and this gives them considerably more leverage with agents, which is a significant help when negotiating a deal.

Should you be lucky enough to identify a property you like and look to put an offer forward, there are still many things that can go wrong when it comes to trying to negotiate a good price and getting the deal done. Even for natives of the UK, navigating the legal process can be hard enough, let alone if you are an overseas buyer. 

Getting you through the door

Not all properties reach the open market and hence they are classified as ‘off-market’. Their particulars are shared with a select group of selling agents. This is where the strength of our relationships with agents pays real dividends, when we are able to get you through the door to view properties that are otherwise under the radar.

Being granted this privilege puts you in a very select club and again provides you with a great deal of gravitas in the eyes of a selling agent. All factors that enhance your chances of buying the property of your dreams.

Complete discretion

We appreciate that some of our clients may wish to protect their identities throughout the process of purchasing a property. We understand that and are very used to working with clients who wish to keep matters confidential. If required, we are happy to work under a non-disclosure agreement and will ensure that your anonymity is protected wherever possible.

Making sense for us to help you

Buying property is often an emotional rollercoaster and having a professional property finder by your side every step of the way can be the difference between success and failure or a good deal or bad deal. Vantage property finders are independent and impartial with full market coverage.

We are not affiliated with any Estate or Letting Agents and act entirely on behalf of our clients. We represent the best interests of our clients at all times and scour the entire market and off market, to ensure they are seeing the best properties available at any given time. 

For more information about using our property finding services and for answers to some frequently asked questions, click here FAQ’s.


The power of transport on London house prices

Recent analysis by the lender, Nationwide, has discovered that on average, home buyers are prepared to pay 9.4% more for a property with easy access to public transport. Londoners are prepared to pay the equivalent of a £42,900 premium for a home within a 5 minute walk of a Tube or railway station. Prices of homes within 500 metres of a station were compared with similar properties nearly a mile away.

The report also indicated that people living in London place much more of an emphasis on this convenience factor, in comparison to their counterparts buying properties in other large British cities. For example, those living in Manchester were prepared to pay just 7.8% more to be near to a railway or Metrolink station whilst those living in Glasgow were only prepared to pay an extra 3.8% to be close to a rail or subway station.

The report from Nationwide also analysed the London boroughs with the best and worst access to public transport links. It determined that Kensington & Chelsea, Camden and Tower Hamlets were the best connected, with 75 % of properties being within 500 metres of a station, whilst Barking, Bexley, Dagenham and Havering had fewer than 20% of homes that close to either Tube or rail links

House price variations along the Tube network were also looked into. It was found that homes along the route of the Circle Line were the most expensive, coming out at an average of £801,000, whilst second most expensive on average, were homes along the Bakerloo Line. Despite the high average cost of Circle Line homes, the Circle Line itself regularly ranks as one of the least popular, due to the poor reliability of its service.

Lowest average prices of homes along the main Tube routes were found to be along the Metropolitan line, where the average price was £439,000. Lower prices, still, were to be found along the routes operated by Transport for London Rail, at an average of £359,000.

So, it’s clear, that for that little bit of extra convenience, particularly in London, you are going to have to stump up the cash!

Photo by Joseph Balzano on Unsplash


How house prices across the UK are affected by the London property market

The continued cooling of the market in London, with buyers maintaining a degree of caution during spring, has continued to drag down UK house prices overall. Annual growth in the capital, for the year, to April 2019, was the lowest of any UK region. Prices fell by 1.2%.

Based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), prices rose by an unadjusted 0.7%, month on month, in April, which was the first rise in eight months.

London continues to be the most expensive place in the UK to buy a property with an average price of £472,000. This is closely followed by the South East and the East of England with average prices of £319,000 and £289,000 respectively. Prices in the South East of England also dropped 0.8% during April, which was the first time since 2011 that annual prices have dropped in the region.

So, it is clear that, not for the first time, London house prices are pulling back the wider UK market, which has already been slowing. An overall shortage of stock, accompanied by low unemployment and mortgage rates continues, however, to prop up prices. Many vendors also continue to be convinced that there will be a post-Brexit bounce in prices. Right now, only those vendors that are prepared to recognise and accept the current market conditions are likely to be successful in selling their properties.

Such data reinforces the viewpoint that the property market is still struggling, due to cautious buyers, with an uncertain backdrop of Brexit, political and economic circumstances. Significant regional variations do exist, but it’s clear that London and the South East continue to apply brakes to the broader UK market.

Photo by Luca Micheli on Unsplash

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