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Lower Sterling Prompts Overseas Interest

[ Posted September 26th, 2010 ]

The weakened Sterling has proven a boon to many locations throughout the London area, attracting numerous overseas investors to the area and helping to spur on the recovery effort of the economy as a whole. In fact, reports indicate that overseas investment influence has helped with the procurement of roughly 20% of the total top-end properties within the city since early 2009 when times were particularly hard for many individuals.

This trend has continued throughout 2010 as a whole with many investors looking to take advantage of the weakened domestic mortgage market and secure key properties in many areas that would have remained unclaimed otherwise. The influx of capital ahs even assisted with the recovery of many key commercial areas that were suffering throughout the recession as a result of a weakened local purchasing groups having sway over the market.

Many experts feel that the level of foreign interest in London has always remained strong and will continue to support the city throughout the coming months and years regardless of what economic conditions may be at the time, though unfortunately for many other areas the same interest does not extend to rural settings. This is seen primarily as a result of many overseas investors simply having no in-depth knowledge of less urban developments, though for a number of local purchases this comes as good news due to the ability to avoid excessive competition on the market.

As property developers continue to shift their attentions more towards rural areas that are in much more affordable price ranges both for them to develop as well as for purchasers to secure individuals can expect to see significant new options open on the market in coming months. Nevertheless the current shift in trends may come too little too late for a large number of prospective and current home owners alike as house prices begin to fluctuate and decline steadily going into the winter months with low expectations for future recovery bolstering concerns. Increased restrictions on mortgage lending as well is causing many individuals to become tighter fisted than ever before over concerns of financial stability and many fear for the coming months at the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010 until market recovery begins once more.

Financial Woes for Caregivers

[ Posted September 24th, 2010 ]

Unsettling news for Britain’s roughly six million caregivers, roughly one in every three individuals providing care and support for others is struggling financially as of late. In a survey conducted by the Princess Royal Trust for Caregivers nearly half of all correspondents reported earning of less than £10,000 a year, 60% of whom dedicate their life savings to taking care of those they are charged over. Even worse, roughly 10% have reported that they have been forced to take out debilitating high-interest loans in order to continue providing necessary care for individuals while 62% have borrowed money from friends or family to continue their necessary support.

While this may not seem to be particularly troubling to the housing market on its own when coupled with the fact that a growing number of pensioners maintain a level of debt on their home – particularly in households where older individuals must support younger generations to purchase a home of their own – these figures become especially troubling. Additional restrictions placed on obtaining funds from lending institutions in the form of various housing mortgages with the cooling property market and degenerating economic environment making even remortgages a difficult prospect and many first-time buyers being forced out of consideration add to the troubles faced by families in a large number of areas.

Currently pressure remains on the new coalition government to provide additional financial support for many of the suffering care givers to alleviate this burden however whether or not this is to be seen in the foreseeable future still remains uncertain. With an allowance currently set at £53.90 a week a raise to £100 to bring support into a more reasonable level would work greatly towards providing for many of their current needs, yet opponents feel that at the current time this may put too much financial strain on the government during its recovery period and as such may not be the best course of action at this particular moment. If a change is not made soon, however, roughly two million care givers may be forced into poorer economic conditions that would only serve to damage the country as a whole.

Mortgage Lending Worsening as Banks Repay State Support

[ Posted September 23rd, 2010 ]

Spokespeople from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) recently reported that gross lending from banks recently hit a low of £11.5 billion in August, the lowest figures seen by lenders for the month in the past decade. This is seen as along the lines of the bank’s anticipated trend to shift their own fund flows away from market circulation and back towards paying off debt owed to the central government for previous support offered.

While this may be good in terms of overall financial solvency and a positive move for the economy as a whole at the same time this generally indicates that mortgage approvals are also on the decline. When coupling both a lack of domestic and overseas buyer interest in many locations throughout the country along with reduced mortgage offerings for established investors and first-time buyers alike a vacuum in terms of market purchasing is created that can deliver a fatal blow to the real estate economy as a whole if left unchecked.

Many feel that the current issue facing the majority of the mortgage market is not the overall cost of funds but the consumer market’s access to funds. Without proper credit offerings, for instance, many buyers will be unable to ever afford a decent purchase and as such are excluded from many market considerations. This is especially true for those who are either younger or less credit worthy and as such have a much more difficult time proving to financial lending institutions that they are suitable candidates for a home loan.

University Flats for Students on the Rise

[ Posted September 22nd, 2010 ]

With costs of many properties throughout the country constantly in flux one of the safest locations for many home owners to purchase properties has regularly been near universities. This has typically been due to a combination of both proximity to high-valued university buildings as well as the high potential for rooms or properties as a whole to be rented and let out to students.

Given the high potential for university properties to both retain and regularly gain value a large number of buyers have turned more and more to these locations for purchases, especially with prices falling in some less urban areas as of late. This case is particularly true as of late where families with enough disposable income can secure decent fixed-rate mortgages based on the continued low interest rates for a variety of locations. Even with many lending regulations making it significantly more difficult for a number of people to secure loans this rise in interest allows buy-to-let mortgages in particular become more attractive due to their high potential to retain value in both the near and far future.

This trend has become particularly true for parents of children attending university in many areas, with families seizing upon the opportunity for a profitable investment while at the same time providing a home for their children during the course of their students. This has proven true for both domestic and international buyers alike, with families from many foreign countries purchasing university flats for their own children looking to attend school abroad. This has led to a surplus in buyers even during current conditions where many buyers have been more reluctant than usual to commit to a purchase – particularly for multi-bedroom flats that have the potential to be rented out to multiple university students for various streams of income.

RICS Feels Sales To Rise

[ Posted September 19th, 2010 ]

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) released an announcement recently that they feel house sales throughout the country will rise through the remaining three months of 2010, despite the fact that house prices are on the fall and mortgages remain difficult to obtain. In fact, a total of 32% of all surveyors indicated a drop in overall property value over the past month of August, indicating a slowing of the market in a large number of areas.

Nevertheless despite many negative factors working against the market many feel that some of the conditions will actually turn out to be favourable for sales rates. This is due to the fact that even though mortgages are difficult to obtain the current low mortgage rates being offered if you could obtain one for both tracker and fixed-rate mortgages combined with other benefits for first-time buyers will play a big factor once house prices finally drop down into a range that is considered more reasonable and suitable to the current economic conditions in many areas.

One of the primary reasons that the number of first-time buyers throughout the country has dropped off in recent years is due to the fact that house prices have simply skyrocketed beyond an attainable range. This combined with various credit difficulties and job insecurities has worked to create a wary investment group and encourage individuals to postpone the purchase of a home in lieu of much more affordable rental options.

Many of the issues seen over the past months in particular, however, are expected to be resolved as house prices drop back into a much more attainable range and thus encourage many individuals to get into the market they may have avoided otherwise – good news for property owners looking to sell their homes and real estate developers alike.

Bloxham’s Solution

[ Posted September 18th, 2010 ]

With the decline of much of the commercial sector in many areas new developers are moving in to establish more regulated, universal places for both residents and businesses alike to rent throughout the country. This is particularly true in areas outside of the more heavily focused-upon London that has seen a large amount of interest from both domestic and particularly overseas investors looking to monopolize upon the local poor economic conditions that are working to drive down costs in many areas.

Once such developer looking to capitalize particularly upon the local markets of many cities in both commercial and residential districts is Tom Bloxham, an entrepreneur who first made his fortunes during the last credit crisis 20 years ago through capitalization of many locations that previously saw little interest by most local investors. Aiming to leverage his position in the market to secure various developmental and commercial mortgages for utilization in his efforts, Bloxham’s latest scheme is to develop a universal real estate “brand” that will allow individuals and companies alike to feel they are doing business with a reliable, long-standing company that they can trust to support them as much as they will support the developer.

Citing previous examples of various schemes that had worked against the common individual in the past (such as the government provision of specialized automobiles for disabled individuals that would allow them to be easily marked anywhere they went), Bloxham’s goal is to do with real estate what was done with the consumer sector – create a product that would be indistinguishable between who would use it and provide the same quality to all. This would allow him greater access to not only the private sector but government funding as well, ensuring constant development even in times of economic upheaval.

Current areas looking to be developed are those generally considered to be “poorer condition” zones that are typically located in good areas however have lost considerable value over time due to various upkeep issues. By utilizing these Bloxham hopes to leverage his funds to the fullest and develop a cost-effective solution to many of Britain’s domestic and commercial woes.

House Prices: What May Be Coming

[ Posted September 17th, 2010 ]

The question on many people’s minds these days is what does the future have in store for the UK property and housing market, with fears of a double-dip on the way despite the low interest rates being set and other incentives being offered by some developers to try and purchase homes in newly built areas. Even some banks have tried to maintain highly competitive tracker and fixed-mortgage rates despite the need to maintain heavier regulations at the same time, creating a somewhat hostile and unpredictable market for many individuals.

While this is generally seen as quite bad news on a number of fronts some experts are beginning to believe that hope lies around the corner in a number of ways, the least major of which is the fact that they foresee first-time buyers being able to reenter the market soon as primary purchasers should house prices fall low enough to enable them to get into their desired locations. This is somewhat of a good sign for many that have been increasingly concerned as of late as the skyrocketing cost of homes progressively drove more and more potential first-time consumers out of the prospective buyer market even in more rural areas that have traditionally had significantly more affordable home options than more urban settings.

Concerns still exist, however, that the upcoming major dip in housing prices will have a far more negative than good impact on all markets, with many people losing much of the favourable interest rates they have enjoyed thus far as their total equity amount on their house drops along with their house’s price. Still, other experts feel that this is a positive sign of stabilization as a whole and look towards 2011 as a positive year for all involved.

Property Market Dead Zone

[ Posted September 16th, 2010 ]

The property market throughout the UK has been recently described as being in a “dead zone” for many buyers, with investors facing increasing limitations on lending for purchases along with decreasing property prices working to limit the market in many aspects. As an indicator of this a property price index released by Rightmove recently placed the average property price in the country at £232,241, down from £236,332 seen just a few short months ago in June.

The move has had an impact upon all individuals looking to purchase homes from portfolio-building investors to first-time buyers looking to get into the property market alike. This has resulted in many individuals facing financial trouble in paying for their home, with lowering property prices affecting both tracker and fixed-rate mortgages despite the low mortgage rates continuing to be offered.

Many experts say that this move comes as no surprise to them as it has been anticipated for some time, with further declines in home values anticipated through the remainder of this year and somewhat into 2011. Coupled with the fact that many home owners are worrying over the depreciating value of their home and thus trying to sell it before the value declines too much – thus creating a supply surplus – a balance in market prices and stabilization of conditions is not anticipated in the immediate future.

The current market is being referred to by some experts as a “dead zone” thanks to the afore mentioned issues, rapidly declining activity in many areas and a growing lack of interest in ownership as letting is becoming a more common practice amongst young and middle-aged individuals alike.

Free Tickets and Cheap Homes

[ Posted September 15th, 2010 ]

Working to combat the property market being found in downtown areas and attract buys to more rural settings that still offer commuting options to London, the Saxon Village development in Grantsham has recently declared that it will be giving away season rail tickets for all interested investors in purchasing a home in the area – a none-too-small incentive ringing in at roughly £6,700. This is on top of the fact that house prices in the development are priced highly competitively, costing a mere £99,995 for a contemporary two bedroom home (a significant price reduction over many of the costs found within the city limits).

The development is being established at just over an hour away from London’s Kings Cross station, meaning that individuals looking to purchase homes in the area for work within the city would need to expect somewhat of a commute in the process of getting from home to work each day. At the same time, however, the affordable pricing well under the stamp duty limit for first-time buyers means it is a highly attractive option for many individuals or even small families looking to secure a home on the current low interest rates that might not be able to afford one otherwise.

The development is even attracting some international attention, though thankfully for many domestic owners the ability for many to secure a decent overseas mortgage in the area is relatively difficult as of late and will prevent many deep-pocketed investors from sweeping in and taking control of the area.

The complementary tickets being offered for all purchasers of homes in the area will be made for anyone who reserves a home in Saxon Village in September and will be granted to the rightful owners upon the successful completion of the sale.

Right-of-Light Case Rules Against Highcross

[ Posted September 13th, 2010 ]

In a recent battle against commercial property developer Highcross, neighbouring property owner Marcus Heaney won a long-standing fight against the recently developed Toronto Square buildings in Leeds. The building, having been purchased by Highcross a few years ago, had an additional sixth and seventh story added on to it and made available into office space. The 7,050 square foot addition was then rented out Zolfo Cooper on a 10-year lease for an impressive £27 per square foot.

Following the completion of the additional floors, however, next door neighbour Marcus Heaney filed for an injunction against Highcross for the development, saying that the addition was depriving his own property of its right to light. Initially thrown out on the basis that Heaney did nothing to complain about the development during its construction courts have recently granted him an injunction against Highcross, requiring them to pull down part of their new additions in order to grant more light to Mr. Heaney.

This move is seen as an interesting decision by many, requiring no actual financial stipulations to be paid out though action to be taken that may affect the overall business operations of both the developer and the renter in the process. At a time where commercial property and particularly the commercial mortgage sector have been under significant social stress this may prove a sound decision as it will not restrict any liquid capital available to the businesses, though at the same time many are concerned over the impact this may have upon foreign capital flows.

Currently the commercial property market throughout the UK has been caught in a steady decline, and without external interest in many areas a number of experts feel that a major dip is inevitable. This injunction, while posing no major direct financial risk, damages the business operations of not one but two separate organizations and may impact the overall sense of reliability foreign investors may have in coming to the UK with their operations.

 
 
 
 
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