How to sell your home FAST, and for more money

There are 3 principles that work when selling a home – Presentation Price and Promotion. Decisions house sellers make on these principles can avoid underselling their home.

Preparing your home for viewers and making the right choice of estate agent, will not only ensure your property is sold faster, but can potentially add thousands of pounds to its value.

Let’s start with Preparation

Watch this video to find out more

Declutter

  • Get rid of all the excess stuff that has accumulated in every nook and over the year. Use the garage or your loft or give it to a friend
  • People need to imagine what the property would look like if they were living there – so make it easy for them to see all the fantastic living space you’re offering
  • Consider removing any bulky furniture that makes the room feel small and replacing it with smaller furniture into storage or the garage.

A fresh lick of paint

  • Giving your walls a fresh lick of neutral paint will make your home seem lighter and bigger
  • It will enable the viewers to imagine how they would adapt the rooms to their needs
  • It will be easier for the buyers to move in and use the rooms immediately than if the walls were bright purple or lime green
  • Create a good first impression – the garden gate to the front door

Fix and clean

  • Make any minor repairs necessary – holes in walls, broken door knobs, cracked tiles, torn or threadbare carpets. The majority of buyers want to move in without making changes.
  • Clean everything until it sparkles. Get rid of limescale, clean and repair tile grout, get rid of all odors, hang up fresh towels.
  • Moving out to the garden: cut bushes back, clean the patio and furniture of lichen and dirt, and cut the grass. While this doesn’t add much value to your home it makes it more likely to sell as people visualise downtime

Light and airy

  • Mirrors make a room look much bigger and lighter. Consider putting some up, especially in smaller rooms or hallways
  • Clean windows inside and out, and replace any broken light bulbs. Making the place feel light and airy makes rooms feel bigger and the property more attractive
  • Ensure that you have lamps on in any dark corners

Make it look pretty

  • Plants and flowers bring colour, life and light to a room and also smell wonderful. So does that fruit bowl on your kitchen counter

Get the right smells

  • Bad smells are the single biggest turn off for prospective buyers. Don’t just cover them up, fix the source of the smell. Conversely, good smells can make a property feel alluring. Clear drains, wash bins, open windows and air the kitchen from old cooking smells.

Promotion

Only ever choose the agent who can demonstrate the most marketing techniques and tools to attract the highest number of buyers. Afterall, more buyers equal more viewings equals higher bids.

The photo’s need to be professional to showcase your home in the best possible way. Ask the agent to show their examples of photography.

Virtual reality viewings are becoming more popular and floorplans are a must.

One very important marketing tool is video. Ask your agents to show you what videos they have recently promoted. Video is a great way to sell the lifestyle of living at the home to buyers – something pictures and floorplans cant.

In this new age of social media, more and more buyers are locating the property on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Videos are the new commodity to sell homes – if a picture tells a thousand words, then a video tells a thousand pictures.

  • Showing the property
  • You chose a great estate agent – so let them show the property
  • It’s an agents job to know what things to say and what to highlight – great agents are trained with techniques to deal with objections and extracting offers
  • On the other hand…when buyers are shown homes by the owner, buyers compliment everything! – this is known in the UK as being polite. Owners are often left unnecessarily optimistic and the buyer disappears – never to be found again

Price

  • Choose the agent who can demonstrate the most experience, research, evidence and facts, when it comes to pricing your home. That is the agent who knows the most about your area. There is a wealth of information the agent should be showing you – the homes you are currently competing with – evidence of sold homes in your area – size comparisons – and their own local results.
  • Don’t be romanced by the agent with the highest asking price when it comes to choosing which agent to use.
  • The marketing price of the home is very important as 40% of properties reduce in price according to my local rightmove statistics
  • Rightmove also demonstrates that if a home doesn’t sell in the first 4 weeks, the interest severely drops and often doesn’t sell. The home then reduces its asking price to then create new interest.
  • What happens then is buyers will see that the home has reduced its price and can be forgiven for thinking the home hasn’t sold because of lack of interest or there is something wrong with the home…this is then often reflected in the offers the home and the home sells for less than getting the price right the first time.

So these are all of the tips we can give you for selling your home faster and make it more valuable, thank you for watching the video – Im Brendan Petticrew, reporting for Newman Property Experts

If you need me to answer any other property related questions regarding your home, please call me on 07989 596836.

Visit our property podcast to learn more  below:

Rugby Town – is the housing market depressed or booming?

Rugby Property Market Update

It is always important to understand what is going on in the local housing market. As part of our ongoing service to you, please watch, listen or read our local housing trends in Rugby Town.

We can also have a bit of fun, comparing our area to the UK as a whole.

I’m Brendan Petticrew, author of this blog, based and working out of Rugby – the home of our Newman Property Experts Head Office HUB.

So…..what’s been happening?

Watch this video to find out more

The national average house price of a property across the UK was £226,798 in the year to March 2019, this is 1.4% higher than a year ago. East and West Midlands have climbed above the national average at and increase of 3.9% and 3.2% respectively.

The majority of sales in Rugby during the last year were detached properties, selling for an average price of £368,530. Semi-detached properties sold for an average of £230,656, with terraced properties fetching £188,666.

Rugby, with an overall average price of £263,785, was similar in terms of sold prices to nearby Hillmorton (£268,127), but was cheaper than Bilton (£290,718) and Cawston (£301,108).

Overall sold prices in Rugby (including CV23) over the last year were 8% up on the previous year and 22% up on the 2016 level of £215,938. Prices have risen by 41% over the last 5 years!!!

What type of homes have made up the moving population?

Well – 9% of all transaction were apartments, 21% terraced houses, 33% semi-houses and 38% detached homes (probably because of the new build sites predominantly lead with these type of homes in our area.

So what does it mean for the house prices of the future, well many commentators will point towards what happens in the economy and what happens with the “B” word. I have been working in the industry for the last 25 years and have identified that the main reason that prices keep rising in our areas is the basic principle…..supply and demand. On this day, according to Rightmove, there are only 297 homes in Rugby (not including new build). There are currently 453 homes sold subject to contract – so you can see there are more buyers than sellers.

Lets hope this momentum in the market place continues for you and your biggest investment.

If you need me to answer any other property related questions regarding your home, please call me on 07989 596836.

You may listen to our podcast below:

Rugby Buy To Let Annual Returns Hit 12.18% in Last 10 Years

Many Rugby people ponder the best places to invest their hard-earned savings and the best piece of advice I can give you is to do your homework and speak to lots of people. It depends on your attitude to risk versus reward. Normally, the lower the risk, the lower the reward whilst a higher risk is normally associated with the possibility of higher returns, yet nothing is guaranteed. At the same time, higher risk also means higher possible losses on your investment – yet if one looks at the bigger picture, the biggest threat to investing, predominantly when the investment is made in the short term, isn’t risk but actually volatility.

So where should you invest? Building society, the stock market, gold or property are options. This article isn’t designed to give you advice – just show you how different investments have performed over the last decade.

Let me start with the humble semi-detached house in Rugby … which in 2009 was worth £157,300 … so assuming I bought that property for that figure, then I looked at what if I had invested the same amount of money in a building society, into gold and finally the stock market…

Putting your money into the stock market (FTSE100) would have brought a return of 30.2% on your capital over those 10 years and an average of 3.79% a year in dividends (making an overall increase of 74%).

Gold doesn’t earn interest – yet it has increased in value by 26.9% over the same 10 years whilst putting your money in the building society, the money hasn’t increased in value, but would have earned you interest of 24.46% or the equivalent of 2.21% per year.

Investing in an average semi-detached house in Rugby over the last 10 years has seen the capital increase by 50% (an equivalent of 4.14% per annum) and the income (i.e. the rent) has provided a return, based on the original purchase price, of 116.78% or the annual equivalent of 8.04% … meaning the overall return, based on the original purchase price of an average semi-detached property in Rugby, is 12.18% per annum.

Notwithstanding No.11 Downing Street’s grab at the profits of buy to let landlords by hitting the buy to let sector with several fiscal punishments with a 3% stamp duty level, a decrease in high rate tax relief for landlords and an increase in rate of CGT on residential property profits, the facts remain that ‘bricks and mortar’ is still one of the preeminent and most constant investments available.

The bottom line is, the buy to let investment remains the mainstay of the British property market, serving to support aspiring homeowners as they work to conquer the, sometimes difficult, financial obstacles of home ownership. With Central Government over the last 30 years only paying lip service to address the lack of new homes being built or tackling the affordability on a consequential scale, it is highly probable this will continue for the next 5/10/15 years as there will always be a call for a respectable, and above all, honest buy to let landlords delivering decent housing to those that need it.

Rugby Homeowners 87% More Likely To Live in a Home with 3+ Bedrooms than those that Privately Rent

The conventional way of categorising property in Britain is to look at the number of bedrooms rather than its size in square metres (square feet for those of you over 50!). My intuition tells me that homeowners and tenants are happy to pay for more space. It’s quite obvious, the more bedrooms a house or apartment has, the bigger the property is likely to be. And it’s not only the tangible additional bedrooms, but those properties with those additional bedrooms tend to have larger (and more) reception (living) rooms. However, if you think about it, this isn’t so surprising given that properties with more bedrooms would typically accommodate more people and therefore require larger reception rooms.

In todays Rugby property market, the Rugby homeowners and Rugby landlords I talk to are always asking me which attributes and features are likely to make their property comparatively more attractive and which ones may detract from the price. Over time buyers’ and tenants’ wants and needs have changed.

In Rugby, location is still the No. 1 factor affecting the value of property, and a property in the best neighbourhoods can achieve a price almost 50% higher than a similar house in an ‘average’ area. Nevertheless, after location, the next characteristic that has a significant influence on the desirability, and thus price, of property is the number of bedrooms and the type (i.e. Detached/Semi/Terraced/Flat).

The number of bedrooms for owner-occupiers very much depends on the size of the family and the budget, whilst Rugby landlords have to consider the investment opportunity. In this article, I have analysed Rugby’s housing stock into bedrooms and tenure. Initially looking at Rugby homeowners..

And now the Private rented sector …

It can quite clearly be seen that Rugby owner-occupiers tend to occupy the largerproperties with more bedrooms. This would be expected due to the demographic of homeowners and people that privately rent.

However, this shows there could be opportunities for Rugby buy to let landlords to purchase larger properties with more bedrooms to attract tenants requiring properties with more bedrooms. However, before you all go buying larger 4 bed and 5 bed mansions to rent them out, a lot of bigger properties in Rugby don’t make financial sense when it comes to buy to let.

For numerous years Rugby buy to let landlords have been the lone buyers at the smaller one and two bed starter homes of the market, as they have been lured by elevated tenant demand and eye-catching returns. Some Rugby landlords believe their window of opportunity has started to close with the new tax regime for landlords, whilst it already appears to be opening wider for first time buyers. This is great news for first time buyers .. but one final note for Rugby landlords .. all is not lost .. you can still pick up bargains, you just need to be a lot more savvy and do your homework

Rugby Homeowners Have Made an Annual Profit Of £8,194 Since the Millennium

As we go full steam ahead into 2019, it’s certain that the Rugby housing market in 2018 was a little more restrained than 2016 and 2017 and I believe this will continue into 2019. Property ownership is a medium to long term investment so, looking at the long-term, the average Rugby homeowner, having owned their property since the Millennium, has seen its value rise by more than 226%.

This is important, as house prices are a national obsession and tied into the health of the UK economy as a whole. The preponderance of that historical gain in Rugby property values has come from the growth in Rugby property values, while some of it will have been enhanced by extending, modernising or developing their Rugby home.

Taking a look at the different property types in Rugby, and the profit made by each type, makes interesting reading..

However, we can’t forget there has been just over 60% inflation over those 18 years, which eats into the ‘real’ value (or true spending power of that profit) … so if we take into account inflation since 2000, the true spending power of that profit has been lower.​

 So the ‘real’ value of the profit, after inflation, in Rugby has been £5,002 per year.. still nothing to sniff at.

I wanted to show you that even though we had the 2008/09 Credit Crunch property market crash where, depending on the type of Rugby property, property values dropped between 15% and 20% in 18 months … Rugby homeowners over the long term are still better off than those renting.

Moving forward, the question I get asked time and again is what will happen in the future to the Rugby Property market? Irrespective of what is happening in the World, Europe or even Central London, the biggest factor over the medium to longterm to ensure that this level of house price growth is maintained in Rugby is the building of new homes both locally and in the country as a whole. Whilst we haven’t had the 2018 stats yet, Government sources suggest this will be nearer 180,000 to 190,000, a decrease from the 2017 figure of 217,350 new households being created. When you consider that we need to build 240,000 households to equal demand (immigration, people living longer, higher divorce rates and people co-habiting later in life etc) … demand will outstrip supply and unless the Government start to spend billions building council houses .. this trend will continue for years (and decades to come).

Another factor is that whilst Rugby landlords have been hit with higher taxes to enable them to actually be a landlord most, in every national survey, still intends to increase their portfolio in the medium to long term. The youngsters of Rugby see renting as a choice, giving them flexibility and options that being tied to a home cannot give… thus meaning demand will continue to grow and landlords will be able to enjoy increased rents and capital growth, although those very same Rugby buy to let landlords will have to work smarter in the future to continue to make decent returns (profits) from their buy to let investments. Even with the tempering of house price inflation in Rugby in 2018, most Rugby buy to let landlords (and homeowners) are still sitting on a copious amount of growth from previous years.

The question is, how do you, as a Rugby buy to let landlord, ensure that continues?

Since the 1990’s, making money from investing in buy to let property was as easy as falling off a log. Looking forward though, with all the changes in the tax regime and balance of power, making those similar levels of return in the future won’t be so easy. Over the last ten years, I have seen the role of the forward thinking agents evolve from a person collecting the rent to a more all-inclusive role; I call it, ‘strategic portfolio leadership’. Thankfully, along with myself, there are a handful of agents in Rugby whom I would consider exemplary at this landlord portfolio strategy where they can give you a balanced structured overview of your short, medium and long-term goals, in relation to your required return on investment, yield and capital growth requirements. If you would like such advice, speak with your current agent – whether you are a landlord of ours or not – without any cost or commitment, feel free to drop me a line.

Rugby First Time Buyers Need 7.5 Times Annual Salary to Get on Housing Ladder

What is it to be British? Our stubbornness, long-suffering stoicism, our vexation at injustice, our obsession with football and rugby, we are weather obsessed external awkward noncommittal modest people whilst underneath seething like a volcano because someone jumped the queue….. and our No.1 obsession is with the property ladder.

This ‘love affair’ with owning our own home has been both good and bad for the UK as a whole; giving people financial freedom in their later years whilst also reducing the quantity (and quality) of housing provision whilst adding the extra pressure of a ‘them and us’ society. Strong words I know .. but let me explain more.

I honestly believe that most Governments since the end of the 1970’s, Conservative and Labour, have attempted to nourish our addiction to home ownership (to keep the housing market on track) with the Council House Right to Buy sell off in the 1980’s, tax relief of mortgages, relaxation of the mortgage rules in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s and most recently, the Help to Buy scheme.

But the Brits haven’t always had this obsession.

Roll the clock back 100 years and, in 1918, just under a quarter of all Brits owned their own homes and the other 77% rented. Go back 50 years to 1968, and only 46% of people owned their own home, the rest rented. This homeownership thing is quite a recent phenomenon.

According to my research, anyone looking to get a foot onto the property ladder as a first-time buyer in Rugby today, AS A SINGLE PERSON, would need to spend 7.5 times their earnings on a Rugby first time buyer property.

Using the numbers from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the average value of a first-time buyer property in Rugby today is £155,000, compared to £124,000 in 2007. If we divide those property values by the average annual earnings of first time buyers – in 2007, that was £16,722 pa and that has risen to £20,699 pa .. giving us the ratio of 7.5 to 1.

However, what must be remembered is that these are raw statistics from the ONS and don’t take into account other factors, like most people buy their first home as a couple. Also, mortgage rates are at an all-time low and who can remember mortgage rates of 15%+ in the 1990’s, meaning borrowing today is relatively cheap. Also, 95% Loan to Value first time buyer mortgages have been available since the end of 2009  (i.e. you only need to save a 5% deposit) and first timebuyer rates of 2.19% fixed for 5 years can be obtained (correct at time of writing this article)… it is cheaper to buy than rent .. fact!

I believe there has been a mind-set change to owning a home. Home ownership was the goal of the youngsters in the latter half of the 20th century. Britain is changing to a more European model of homeownership, where people rent in early to mid-life, wait to inherit the money from their parents when in their 50’s and then buy.. thus continuing the circle – albeit in a different way to the last Century.

This means the demand for privately rented accommodation will, in the long term, only continue to grow. If you would like to know more about where the hot spots are for that growth in Rugby, if you want to drop me an email or telephone call, feel free to pick my brain on the best places to buy (and not to buy) in Rugby to ensure your rental investment gets you want you want. The choice is yours!

Rugby Property Market: Is Sell to Rent the new Buy to Let?

It doesn’t seem two minutes ago that it was 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade (32 degrees Celsius for my younger readers), hosepipe bans looked likely and it was simply too hot to sleep at night, yet early indications were, that as the temperatures soared, the Rugby property market appeared to be doing the reverse and was already starting to cool down.

17.96% less people moved home in the Rugby area in the first part of 2018, when compared to the average number of people moving home (in the same time frame) between 2014 and 2017

The average number of households who sold and moved locally between 2014 and 2017 in the winter and spring months was 140 homes a month.. yet in the same time frame in 2018, only 115 (on average) sold and moved.

 

So, what is the issue? Many have cited Brexit as the issue – but I think its deeper than that.

Brexit seems to be the “go to excuse” for everything at the moment – my neighbour even blamed it for the potholes! Anyway a few weeks ago, I was out for a family get together in another part of the UK when one of my extended family said that they were planning on buying their first home this autumn most of those present said they were stupid to do so because of Brexit. Nonetheless, half an hour later, another distant cousin said to the same family crowd that they were planning to sell their home; to which most said they were also daft to do so because of Brexit.

Both sides of the argument can’t be right! So, what exactly is happening?

Well if you have been reading my blog on the Rugby property market over the last few months, I have been discussing the threats and opportunities of the current state of fluidity in the Rugby property market, including the issue of OAPs staying in homes that are too big for them as their children have flown the nest, interest rates, inflation, lack of new homes being built and the long term attitude to homeownership.. yet I have noticed a new trend in the last few months.. the emergence of the ‘sell to renter’.

Sell to Renter?

I have seen a subtle, yet noticeable number of Rugby homeowners that have been selling their Rugby homes, renting and wagering that, in the next few years, the Rugby property market will tumble by more than what they spend on their short-term rental home, before they buy another Rugby home in a couple of years i.e. a ‘sell to renter’. This type of ‘sell to renter’ is mostly predominant at the middle to upper end of the Rugby property market – so I’m not too sure if it will catch on in the main ‘core’ market?

So, what does this all mean for Rugby homeowners and Rugby Buy To Let landlords?

Well, in the short term, demand for middle to upper market Rugby rental properties could increase as these ‘sell to renters’ demand such properties. I would however give a note of caution to Rugby landlords buying in this sector of the Rugby property market as yields in this sector can be quite low. However, for homeowners of middle to upper market Rugby properties, you might have lesspeople wanting to buy your type of property, as some buyers are turning to renting?

Like I have always said, Rugby properties are selling if they are realistically priced (realistic for the market – not a rose-tinted version where someone will pay 10% over the odds because everyone has access to the market stats with the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla!).

P.S Notice the spike in the graph, where the number of property sales jumped to 218 in the month of March 2016? That was all the Rugby buy to let landlords snapping up buy to let properties before the stamp duty rules changed!

7 Reasons Why Rugby Buy To Let Landlords Shouldn’t Be Criticised ​

There is no escaping the fact that over the last couple of decades, the rise in the number buy to let properties in Rugby has been nothing short of extraordinary.  Many in the “left leaning” press have spoken of a broken nation, the fact many youngsters are unable to buy their first home with the rise of a new cohort of younger renters, whom have been daubed ‘Generation Rent’ as landlords hoover up all the properties for their buy to let property empires. Government has been blamed in the past for giving landlords an unfair advantage with the tax system. It is also true many of my fellow professionals have done nothing to avail themselves in glory, with some suspect, if not on some rare occasions, downright dubious practices.

Yet has the denigration and unfair criticism of some Rugby landlords gone too far?

It was only a few weeks ago, I read an article in a newspaper of one landlord who had decided to sell their modest buy to let portfolio for a combination of reasons, one of which being the new tax rules on buy to let that were introduced last year. The comments section of the newspaper and the associated social media posts were pure hate, and certainly not deserved.

Like all aspects in life, there are always good (and bad) landlords, just like there are good (and bad) letting agents … and so it should be said, there are good tenants and in equal measure bad tenants. Bad letting agents and bad landlords should be routed out … but not at the expense of the vast majority whom are good and decent.

But are the 1,865 Rugby portfolio buy to let landlords at fault?

The Tories allowed people to buy their own Council house in the 1980’s, taking them out of the collective pot of social rented houses for future generations to rent them. Landlords have been vilified by many, as it has been suggested by some they have an unhealthy and ravenous avarice to make cash and profit at the expense of poor renters, unable to buy their first home. Yet, looking beyond the headline grabbing press, this is in fact ‘fake news’. There are seven reasons that have created the perfect storm for private renting to explode in the 2000’s.

To start with, the Housing Acts of 1988 and 1996 gave buy to let landlords the right to remove tenants after six months, without the need for fault. The 1996 Act, and its changes, meant banks and building societies could start to lend on buy to let properties, knowing if the mortgage payments weren’t kept up to date, the property could be repossessed without the issue of sitting tenants being in the property for many years (even decades!) … meaning in 1997, buy to let mortgages were born… and this, my blog reading friends, is where the problem started.

Secondly, in the early 2000’s, those same building societies and banks were relaxing their lending criteria, with self-certification (i.e. you did not need to prove your income), mortgages 8 times their annual salary, and very helpful interest only mortgage deals helped to keep repayments inexpensive.

Thirdly, the totally inadequate building of Council Houses (aka Local Authority Housing) in the last two decades and (so I’m not accused of Tory bashing) – can you believe Labour only built 6,510 Council Houses in the WHOLE OF THE UK between 1997 and 2010? Giving the Tories their due, they have built 20,840 Council Houses since they came to power in 2010 (although still woefully low when compared the number of Council Houses built in the 1960’s and 1970’swhen we were building on average 142,000 Council Houses per year nationally). This meant people who would have normally rented from the Council, had no Council House to rent (because they had been bought), so they rented privately.

And then 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th … 

– Less of private home building (again look at the graph) over the last two decades.

– A loss of conviction in personal pensions meaning people were looking for a better place to invest their savings for retirement.

– Ultra-low interest rates for the last nine years since the Credit Crunch meaning borrowing was cheap.

– A massive increase in EU migration from 2004, when we had eight Eastern European countries join the EU. That brought 1.4m people to the UK for work from those countries – and they needed somewhere to live.

Thus, we got the perfect storm conditions for an eruption in the Rugby Private Rented Sector.

Commercially speaking, purchasing a Rugby property has been undoubtedly the best thing anyone could have done with their hard-earned savings since 1998, where property values in Rugby have risen by 254.25%…

…and basing it on the average rental in Rugby, earned £190,944 in rent.

Yet, the younger generation have lost out, as they are now incapable to get on the property (especially in Central London).

The Government have over the last few years started to redress the imbalance, increasing taxes for landlords, together with the Banks being tighter on their lending criteria meaning the heady days of the Noughties are long gone for Rugby landlords. In the past 20 years, anything but everything made money in property and it was easy as falling off a log to make money in buy to let in Rugby – but not anymore.

Being a letting agent has evolved from being a glorified rent collector to a trusted advisor giving specific portfolio strategy planning on each landlord’s buy to let portfolios. I had a couple of instances recently of a couple of portfolio landlords, one from Braunston who wanted income in retirement from his buy to let’s and the other from Dunchurch, who wanted to pass on a decent chunk of cash to his grandchildren to enable them to buy their own home in 15/20 years’ time.

Both of these landlord’s portfolios were woefully going to miss the targets and expectations both landlords had with their portfolios, so over the last six/nine months, we have sold a few of their properties, refinanced and purchased other types of Rugby property to enable them to hit their future goals (because some properties in Rugby are better for income and some are better for capital growth) … And that my blog reading friends is what  ‘portfolio strategy planning’ is! 

If you thik you need ‘portfolio strategy planning’, whether you are a landlord of ours or not (because the Dunchurch landlord wasn’t)  … drop me line or give the office a call. Thank you for reading.

Rugby House Prices vs Rugby Rents since 2006

The Rugby housing market is a fascinating beast and has been particularly interesting since the Credit Crunch of 2008/9 with the subsequent property market crash. There is currently some talk of a ‘property bubble’ nationally as Brexit seems to be the ‘go-to’ excuse for every issue in the Country. Upon saying that, looking at both what we do as an agent, and chatting with my fellow property professionals in Rugby, the market has certainly changed for both buyers and sellers alike (be they Rugby buy to let landlords, Rugby first time buyers or Rugby owner occupiers looking to make the move up the Rugby property ladder).

Rugby house values are 6.9% higher than a year ago, and the rents Rugby tenants have to pay are 1.6% higher than a year ago

When we compare little old Rugby to the national picture, national property values have risen by 0.4% compared to last month and risen by 3.0% compared to a year ago, and this will surprise you even more, as nationally, property values are 19.8% higher than January 2015 (compared to 11.4% higher in the EU in the same time frame).

However, if we look further back…

Since 2006, Rugby house values are 42.8% higher, yet the rents Rugby tenants have had to pay for their Rugby rental property are 17.7% higher

…which sounds a lot, yet UK inflation in those 12 years has been 42%, meaning Rugby tenants are 24.3% better off in ‘real spending power terms’.

Looking at the graph, the rental changes have been much gentler than the roller coaster ride of property values. I particularly want to bring to your attention the dip in Rugby house values (in red) in the years of 2008 and 2009 … yet as Rugby property values started to rise after the summer of 2009, see how Rugby rents dipped 6/12 months later (the yellow bars)…. Fascinating!

So, we have a win for tenants and a win for the homeowners, as they are also happy due to the increase in the value of their Rugby property.

However, maybe an even more interesting point is for the long-term Rugby buy to let landlords. The performance of Rugby rental income vs Rugby house values has seen the resultant yields drop over time (if house prices rise quicker than rents – yields drop).

Whilst, it’s true Rugby landlords have benefited from decent capital growth over the last decade –with the new tax rules for landlords – now more than ever, it’s so important to maximise one’s yields to ensure the long term health of your Rugby buy to let portfolio. More and more I am sitting down with both Rugby landlords of mine and landlords of other agents who might not be trained in these skills – to carry out an MOT style check on their Rugby portfolio, to ensure your investment will meet your future needs of capital growth and income. If you don’t want to miss out on such a MOT check up, drop me a line – what have you got to lose? 30 minutes of time against peace of mind – the choice is yours.

25 Days to Sell a Property in Rugby

Whether you are a Rugby landlord looking to liquidate your buy to let investment or a homeowner looking to sell your home, finding a buyer and selling your property can take an annoyingly long time. It is a step-by-step process that can take months and months. In fact, one of the worst parts of the house selling process is the not knowing how long you might be stuck at each step. At the moment, looking at every estate agent in Rugby, independent research shows it is taking on average 25 days from the property coming on the market for it to be sold subject to contract.

But trust me … that is just the start of a long journey on the house selling/buying process. The journey is a long one and therefore, in this article, I want to take you through the standard itinerary for each step of the house selling procedure in Rugby.

Step 1 – Find a Buyer

You need to instruct an estate agent (of course we can help you with that) who will talk through a marketing strategy and pricing strategy to enable you to find a buyer that fits your circumstances. 25 days might be the average in Rugby, yet as I have said many times, the Rugby property market is like a fly’s eye, split up into lots of little micro markets.

Looking at that independent research, (which only focused on Rugby), it was interesting to see how the different price bands (i.e. different micro markets) are currently performing, when it comes down to the average number of days it takes to find a buyer for a property in Rugby.

Interestingly, I thought I would see which price band had the highest proportion of properties sold (stc)… again – fascinating!

So, now you have a buyer … what next?

There are a variety of distinctive issues at play when selling your property in Rugby, together with the involvement of a wide and varied range of professionals who get involved in that process. That means there is are enormous differences in how long it takes from one property to another. Moving forward to the next steps, these are the average lengths of time it takes for each step to give you some idea of what to expect.

Step 2  – Sort Solicitors (and Mortgage)

Again, something we can point you in the right direction to, but it will take a good few weeks for your buyer to apply and sort their mortgage and for your solicitors to prepare the legal paper work to send to the buyer.

Step 3 – Legal Work and Survey

Once you buyer’s solicitor receives the paperwork from your solicitor, then your buyer’s solicitor applies for local searches from the local authority (to ensure no motorways etc., are going to be built in the back garden!).  These Searches can take a number of weeks to be returned to the buyer solicitors from the council, from which questions will be raised by the buyer’s solicitor to your solicitor (trust me – you don’t see a tenth of the work that goes on behind closed doors to get the sale through to completion). Meanwhile, the surveyor will check the property to ensure it is worth the money and structurally sound. Overall, this step can take between 3 and 6 weeks (sometimes more!).

Step 4 – Exchange of Contracts

Assuming all the mortgage, survey and legal work comes back ok, both the buyer and solicitor sign contracts, the solicitors then perform “Exchange of Contracts”. When contracts are exchanged, this is the first time both buyer and seller are tied in. Before then, they can walk away … and you are probably 4 or 5 months down the line from having put up the for sale board – this isn’t a quick process! BUT hold on … we aren’t there yet!

Step 5 – Completion

Between a week and up to six weeks after exchange of contracts, the buyer solicitor sends the purchase money to the seller’s solicitor, and once that arrives, the keys will be given to the buyer … phew!

To conclude, all in all, you are looking at a good four, five even six months from putting the for-sale board up to moving out.

If you are thinking of selling your Rugby home or if you are a Rugby landlord, hoping to sell your buy to let property (with tenants in), either way, if you want a chat to ensure you get a decent price with minimal fuss … drop me a message or pick up the phone.