Luxury Living in Central London
Luxury Living in Central London

Luxury properties in central London are pretty much expected as standard for many buyers these days. The word luxury may seem somewhat overused but many developers are listening to what the consumer (buyers) are looking for. More often than not though it is the new build or redeveloped properties that generally meet this 5 star rating. This high standard of fit out and modern style that doesn’t require any work is preferred by the overseas buyers looking to purchase off-plan from their homes in the Far East, so they can house their children who are studying here or to act as a rental investment. 

Luxury new builds enhance renting prospects


When it comes to renting, tenants prefer something new and modern over something that is older. Services are generally better and the apartments have been planned and designed to maximise trends and needs of the modern buyer. Most new builds have cycle stores, such is the popularity of biking around town. Other benefits are often items like comfort cooling, intelligent lighting and sound systems, heated flooring, mirrors with hidden TV’s, exclusive gyms, swimming pools and saunas, plus things as farfetched as heated flooring in underground carparks in order to keep the wheels from getting cold…..I kid you not!

What is the current state of the luxury property market?


Over the last two and a half years the luxury property market has seen a reduction in terms of the number of buyers looking, especially above the £2m+ price bracket. This is due mainly to the two rises in stamp duty land tax (SDLT) which happened in December 2014 and April 2016 respectively. Additional bands of SDLT were implemented in 2014 and last year an additional 3% became payable for those with two homes or more. However if you are buying medium to long term the additional payment will become irrelevant compared to the estimated 20% compound rises predicted over the next 5 years in the luxury market. 

The current benefits for buyers looking within the luxury market is there is a better choice of stock to choose from, and with prices at least 10% lower since December 2014 (in the £3m - £5m price bracket), you are guaranteed not to be paying top of the market prices. Recently we have agreed transactions from hedge fund workers, oil brokers and bankers, but more so from the overseas buyers who have benefitted greatly from the weaker pound. 

So whilst some may sit back and wait for further falls, smart buyers are being bolder, snapping up these luxury apartments. After all, the property market in London’s West End only ever takes a breath before prices start climbing again.

 

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University of London Housing Services Annual Housing Fair exhibition
University of London Housing Services Annual Housing Fair exhibition

On Friday, Hudsons exhibited at this years University of London Housing Services Annual Housing Fair held at the university’s iconic Senate House. Last years fair attracted over 2000 students seeking advice and help in finding accommodation. This year, our stand was incredibly busy fielding enquiries and offering advice. Student demand for rental property is a very significant part of the West End lettings market and our participation at this event provides excellent exposure for our landlords properties to this important section of the market.

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Stake in Google’s London head offices up for sale
Stake in Google’s London head offices up for sale

A stake in one of Google’s Midtown head offices has been put for sale, with bidding expected to start at above £145 million.

google to get new landlord

The current office features a secret garden and a ‘Granny Flat’.

Legal & General Property said it is has hired property agent JLL to bring half of its 50% interest in Central Saint Giles in the West End, to market.It is a 434,265 square feet technicolor block between Bloomsbury and Covent Garden.

Google a planning to move to new offices in Kings Cross over the next few years

Read more from the source: Google to get new landlord as part of its London home goes up for sale

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London buyers get Help to Buy boost
London buyers get Help to Buy boost
london buyers get turbo charged help to buy

The government will provide equity loans to cover up to 40% of the price of homes in London, under an extension of the Help to Buy scheme unveiled by George Osborne today.

The move, announced in the chancellor’s autumn statement, will see the launch of a new London Help to Buy scheme that will increase the support offered by government under the existing Help to Buy scheme from 20% to 40% of the price of a home for London buyers from 2016.

Under the scheme buyers will need to contribute at least 5% of the property price as a deposit, and then government will provide an equity loan for up to 40% of the price – with buyers then requiring a mortgage for the remaining 55%.

The chancellor also confirmed plans for a major new house building drive, with the house building budget doubled to £2bn per year in a bid to hit a target of building 400,000 homes by 2020.

Osborne also announced that current restrictions on those who can buy a home through shared ownership would be removed from April 2016.

Currently, homes for shared ownership are allocated in different ways, including criteria set by local councils, but the chancellor’s move will mean anyone who has a household income of less than £80,000 outside London, and £90,000 inside London, can buy a home through shared ownership.

The scheme will allow people to buy between 25% and 75% of a home, and ensure that the rent on the rest of the property will not be more than 3% of the amount left.

The chancellor also confirmed plans to roll-out the starter homes initiative, with first-time buyers able to get a 20% discount. He said £2.3bn would be spent on building 200,000 such homes over the next five years.

Read more from the Source: London buyers get turbo-charged Help to Buy

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How to get rid of condensation in your home
How to get rid of condensation in your home
how to get rid of condensation in your home1

We’ve all done it haven’t we? Its cold or raining outside and those clothes need drying! pop them on the radiator and keep the windows closed to keep the heat in… and there we have it, mould paradise.

It’s a serious problem and the damp patches are not just having an impact on the fabric of the property. We can live for years in blissful ignorance that we’re breathing in the mould spores. According to NHS Choices, mould can harm your health because it produces allergens, irritants and, sometimes, toxic substances.“Inhaling or touching mould spores may cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes and skin rash. Moulds can also cause asthma attacks,” says the site.

So it’s important to address the source of the problem – and with colder weather starting to hit, the experts are warning us to take action against condensation now.“While weather conditions so far this autumn have been relatively clement, the arrival of Siberian swans to our shores this week has sparked speculation that we’re in for a cold snap,” says Berwyn Evans, UK product manager of Rentokil Property Care. “This is when condensation becomes a problem for homeowners.

But what causes condensation? The problem affects one in five homes in the UK, according to Evans, who explains: “Condensation occurs when warm air comes into contact with a cold surface. Warm air can hold a lot more water vapour than cold air – meaning that when it’s rapidly cooled by contact with a cold surface (a window, mirror or outside wall, for example), the vapour becomes water droplets, or condensation. “At this time of year it becomes particularly apparent, as homeowners dry their clothes indoors, and more people bathing and showering increases the relative humidity of the air.“Homeowners also start to switch on the heating while keeping windows firmly shut against the cold. While understandable, this increases the humidity in properties. Condensation will form if the Relative Humidity (RH) rises above 70%.

“If a property is fully insulated and the windows are double glazed, the original draughts that once removed the excess moisture we produce during our everyday lives are locked in.” Any activity in the home which creates steam, such as cooking and showering, will cause condensation to occur, unless there’s adequate ventilation.

how to get rid of condensation in your home2

So, what problems does it cause? “If condensation is allowed to settle on a surface for over six hours, then the perfect condition for mould is created,” says Evans.But while most people will spot water trickling down windows and mould patches in corners, hidden condensation is common – and causes some surprising and damaging problems.“Loft spaces can fall victim when warm air full of water vapour passes up through the ceiling, before cooling and condensing,” says Evans. “Sometimes, when double layers of insulation have been fitted in a loft, the natural eaves ventilation becomes blocked, making the loft damp.“If this occurs, timbers in the loft can suffer mould damage. If one slope of the roof is in the shade and the other sunny, mould may only form on the colder side in the shade. The loft space can even become damp to the point where it may ‘rain’ inside! If water tanks are left uncovered and water evaporates, a similar effect may be seen.”How can I get rid of condensation?First of all, by doing everything you can to ventilate your home naturally: opening windows and using fans when cooking and showering.Avoid drying clothes on radiators, put lids on saucepans when cooking and make sure you heat your home consistently.

Read more from the source: How to get rid of condensation in your home

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Why every inch matters in the prime lettings market in London
Why every inch matters in the prime lettings market in London

Why every inch matters in the prime lettings market in London

 

The capital is one of the prime lettings markets in England, shrugging off the credit crunch and continuing to surge ever higher as demand rises for quality properties.

2015 has been no different with rent continuing to climb across London, but there’s been a distinct line drawn between the fortunes of big and small properties.

Small and perfectly formed

Comparing the different types of properties, flats have stood out as the top performers with a surge in year on year value relative to the rest of the market. Flats have seen an increase of 2.1% in London with houses and other properties, by contrast, notching up a paltry 0.3%.

Real estate specialists have reported that a similar trend was being repeated across the whole of the city with smaller, less expensive properties commanding the greatest levels of growth.

Small but perfectly formed flats like this one in Hampstead, London like this one in Hampstead, London are proving a sound investment

why every inch matters1

The biggest winners were properties where the rent was set at £500 per week or less, with hikes of 3.8% seen in prime London. This compares to a rise of 1.7% for properties with a rent of between £500-£1000 per week and just 0.1% growth for properties with rent of £1000 per week or more.

Part of the reason for the rise in smaller properties has been attributed too much tighter corporate budgets with those relocating to the city being given far less to spend on settling. This has shifted the emphasis away from larger townhouses in more traditional postcodes with employees either opting to downsize or moving to different districts.

Size matters

The figures back up the theory that demand for smaller properties is higher than it’s ever been, with the value of even the smallest spaces rising far more quickly compared to the larger lets.

Up to Q3 of 2015, studio flats were top of the charts with a year on year increase of 4% compared to 0.1% shrinkage for properties with six bedrooms or more. Similar trends were seen quarter on quarter too, with 1 bed roomed flats just pipping studio flats for the honours of top space. Once again, six bedroom properties performed poorly with a fall of 0.6% compared to a rise of 0.7 and 0.8% for studio flats and one bedroom flats respectively.

Studio flats like this one in Islington like this one in Islington are proving especially popular

why every inch matters2 

Overall, growth in rental rates was seen in properties from studio flats right up to those with four bedrooms while five and six bedroom homes took a small tumble in the last 12 months.

In terms of square foot value, studio flats and 1 bedroom flats are considered to be almost on a level footing with a 6 bedroom luxury home. Two, four and five bedroom homes were the least valuable, trailing behind all of the others in their worth per square foot.

Location, location, location

When analysed in terms of location, east and prime north London were head and shoulders above most other areas, with rent climbing by 4.5%. This compares to a 0.9% drop in the prime locations in west London.

Unlike elsewhere in London, east and north London saw universal rises in rent, even in larger properties. Rents of more than £1000 per week in the north and east regions soared by an eye-watering 7.2%, the highest increase overall.

Analysts have suggested that these distinctive patterns show that tech companies are driving the market in the key areas, preferring the versatility that renting provides compared to the inflexibility of being tied to a purchase. The need for a well-established post code has been pushed aside in return for converted warehouses, open plan living and a vibrant local community.

Image Credits: A Thrifty Mrs and MoyMoyzai

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Loopholes highlighted as Stamp Duty rates increase
Loopholes highlighted as Stamp Duty rates increase
loopholes highlighted

A little-known tax loophole means some buyers of second homes and buy-to-let investors could be exempt from the higher rates of stamp duty that come into force today.

The Budget appeared to leave the new stamp duty regime relatively unchanged and many landlords thought they had been given no respite from the tax rise.

But because of a little-known loophole, which first appeared in a consultation response published on March 16, some landlords and second-home owners might be exempt from the 3 percentage point stamp duty surcharge on second properties.

For existing property owners to be exempt, they must be buying a main residence rather than a second home or investment property and have previously owned another main residence that they sold at any time before the announcement of the stamp duty surcharge on November 26 2015.

Anyone who fits these criteria has until November 26 2018 – three years after the announcement in last year’s Autumn Statement – to buy an additional home without paying the extra stamp duty.

For example, a landlord who owns buy-to-let properties but currently lives in rented accommodation and sold their previous home before November 2015 can buy a new home without paying the surcharge.

Someone who part-owns a property which is lived in by family, but does not own their own home, and sold a home before November 2015, would also be exempt.

In general, those who sell a main residence now have 36 months to buy a new one without paying the extra tax.

The Treasury confirmed the existence of the loophole in a relevant passage in the consultation document.

The paragraph reads: “The 36-month time period will commence from 25 November 2015 for those who had sold a previous main residence prior to the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015, in order to provide additional transitional support.”

Despite this, some borrowers may still be under the impression that they have to pay the surcharge, and after the announcement some letting organisations were continuing to advise borrowers that they would be liable.

Read more from the Source by clicking here

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A Short Guide to House Flipping
A Short Guide to House Flipping
short guide house flipping

House Flipping Investment Guide

When it comes down to having to invest in property, there is much you can do by working on so called house flipping. What exactly is house flipping? Well for starters it is the practice of purchasing, renovating and then working on selling a property for a profit. To make this work well you will need to possess a good amount of experience on the market and the way it operates. If you want solid results then you will need to work with a professional agent for optimal results. Their knowledge and experience on the market will be invaluable to you in the long run, so make sure you use one before you move on with the actual task up ahead:

  • Working on curb appeal

There is a good reason why curb appeal is one really important part of selling a home, as the first thing your new clients will be seeing is the outside of the property itself. They will not be willing to deal with the job of moving house if you have a really bad looking outer look for your property. Having great curb appeal will make your sales efforts much easier and you will have a chance to pull off the job every time. A good looking home would be a great way to have fun in the process of finding potential buyers.

  • Bathroom and kitchen upgrades

You need to be extra careful when it comes down to making upgrades to both rooms, as these will stick around for a long time. Choosing the right upgrade options will be something you need to handle before flipping as it will be what makes or breaks the sale. If you keep things practical you will have a much easier time during the sales efforts and they will be aesthetically beautiful.

  • Ensure you are working on a deadline

Since you cannot waste time before flipping, it will be much easier to work on things and to make the sale happen if you do so in a timely fashion. As time goes by you will need to follow up on making profits one major points of the job, but do so in a way that would also focus on maintenance and renovation. Once you figure that out you will have a better chance to make your investments matter.

  • Working together with contractors

If you want to make your property truly amazing, then you have to cover many bases in the process. Contractors will be able to help you work on the heavier tasks, not to mention before any interested buyers will be moving into the property. Once you have that covered you will be able to make do with the decorative and aesthetic elements that need work. When their removal van finally arrives your clients will possess a home worth living in, something they can really call their own at the end of the day. Just make sure you cover all angles of the job before you go on.

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Could £5.4m Gloucestershire Mansion be the new ‘Beckingham Palace’?
Could £5.4m Gloucestershire Mansion be the new ‘Beckingham Palace’?
david and victoria beckham1

Reports are rife that David and Victoria Beckham are eyeing up properties in the South West of England where they hope to set up home in a sprawling manor just like their former Beckingham Palace in Hertfordshire.

david and victoria beckham2

And according to sources, they’ve already found their dream country property and it costs a cool £5.4million.

david and victoria beckham3

On top of the luxury accommodation, the manor home also boasts an infinity swimming pool and tennis court, a two-bedroom lodge and pool house, and a stables, manège and horse-walker.

david and victoria beckham4

Read more from the source: David and Victoria Beckham ‘moving to Gloucestershire after setting sights on Amberley House

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London’s Crossrail could see property price growth of up to 16% by 2020
London’s Crossrail could see property price growth of up to 16% by 2020
londons crossrail

The Crossrail train system in London, now due to open in less than three years, is likely to result in a 7% rise in average house prices at many locations along its route by 2020, according to new research.

Many locations are already benefiting from higher property values, as well as new development and regeneration, and activity is expected to step up another gear in the run up to the line’s opening.

Some Crossrail locations are expected to see house price growth of 16% above the Greater London average by the end of 2020 while on average, residential prices around Crossrail stations are forecast to see 7% greater uplift compared to non-Crossrail stations.

Woolwich, West Drayton, Whitechapel and Ealing Broadway are the most advantageous locations to develop apartments for sale, the research also says. Woolwich is forecast to experience the highest house price growth along the Crossrail route, with prices expected to rise by 39%, while West Drayton, Whitechapel, Slough, Abbey Wood and Iver are all set to see prices rise by more than 33% over the next five years.

Fitzrovia and Soho, which hosts Crossrails hub at Tottenham Court Road station, will also see significant gains as this will also be the intersection for Crossrail 2 in 2025.

Facebook has announced that they are moving their UK operation to Fitzrovia in 2018.

Read more from the source

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