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Residential Estate & Letting Agents in Bournemouth
Bournemouth Office: 01202 789699
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Clifftons Estate Agents: Latest News on our Blog

Launching OnTheMarket Property Portal

2014-10-15 21:47:21

OnTheMarket – Home of the Independent Estate Agents

On The Market is due to launch in January 2015 and CLIFFTONS are pleased to announce we have signed up with this new and exciting property portal.

Rightmove and Zoopla are monopolising the market, increasing fees to Estate & Letting Agents, which turn have to passed on to the customer. By reducing overheads this will directly result in agents becoming even more competitive within the UK market and these cost savings can be passed to customers.

As of October 2014, On The Market has attracted over 4,000 offices across the UK. It is sure to be a big player within the property markets, both locally and Nationally.

If you are thinking of selling or letting your property within the Bournemouth area and want to advertise your property on this new portal, contact Clifftons today on 01202 789699.

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The future of Zoopla Property Group & Rightmove unpredictable

2014-09-29 22:00:01

Since the conception of Rightmove in 2000, Rightmove has grown to become the dominant force within the world of online property. Over the past five years,  Zoopla  have taken over smaller competitors to become a large property portal.

Rightmove was set up by the corporate agents, Halifax, Connells, Countrywide and Royal & sun Alliance in 2000, by 2004, Rightmove had 6,000 members, which is 50% of UK Estate Agents, floating on the Stock market in 2006. Today having a capitalisation of circ. £2.1 bn.

Zoopla similarly, floated on the stock market in June 2014. However, the issue is the fees to its customers, the Estate & Letting Agents having quadruped. Given the income to Rightmove is £140 million, the running of the business only costs £36 million per annum, therefore, £102 million profit goes to shareholders.

Similarly, Zoopla costs £35.5 million to run, generating an income of £65 million, meaning £29.5 million to shareholders and a capitalisation of £919m.

As a result, Estate & letting agents have to pass these operating costs to their customers, keeping fees higher than they need to be. In addition, rather than making the portal more consumer friendly and improving the site for users, they are more interested in shareholders and increasing their profits year on year.

From January 2015, a new property portal is to be Launched ‘On the Market’, which is a co-operative and not for profit business OnTheMarket. By September 2014, they have over 4,000 offices signed up for launch on January 2015.

One of the interested parts to this new portal is not the fact, the 4,000 offices have signed up for a five year contract, it’s the fact, a stipulation of the contract is to drop either Rightmove or Zoopla Property Group and transferring the listing fees to ‘On the Market’.

There are approximately 12,000 physical estate agent branches in the UK with 4,000 joining On the Market and approximately 20 new branches joining ‘On the Market’ per day. I have no doubt the share price for both Rightmove and Zoopla Property Group will drop considerably throughout 2015 as well as the income for both businesses.

EDITED –

I’m very pleased to report, after writing this article, having only bought sold shares once before, I decided to short the Zoopla stock, buying at 220p per share and selling out at 172p per share, making circ £12,000 profit. Very pleased and chuffed with myself.

 

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Shortage of Bungalows

2014-07-16 22:10:33

Bungalows

Sixty-four per cent of estate agents across the South West are experiencing a shortage in the number of bungalows currently available for sale. This is followed by semi-detached properties, with 60% of estate agents believing there is a deficit.

The research, which was conducted by CLIFFTONS, in conjunction with Move with Us also found there is a shortage of two and three bedroom properties in the local market.

The research also showed that three bedroom semi-detached properties have sold the best in the last six months in the local area. Forty-four per cent of agents agreed semi-detached were the most sought-after properties.

James Scollard, Proprietor of CLIFFTONS commented: “The age of the first time buyer has been increasing over the years and with the 5% deposit brought about by the Help to Buy scheme, many local home buyers in the South West are now opting to purchase three bedroom properties as their first home. They’re skipping the first rung of the property ladder, forgoing the starter home and moving straight into a property that they can grow into. Bungalows are as popular as ever popular with downsizers and have also increased in popularity with first time buyers and second steppers, making them more sought after in the current market.”

The research was conducted by Move with Us, the UK’s largest network of independent estate agents, with over 1,100 branches Nationwide.

Clifftons Estate agents are the exclusive member for the Bournemouth Town Centre Area, if your looking to instruct an Independent Estate Agent with access to the National marketplace, then call Clifftons today.

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Granny Annex receive tax Break

2013-12-06 22:23:33

From April 2014, Properties that have built annexes for family members to live in will get 50pc off their council tax bills from next April.

“The Government will implement a national Council Tax discount of 50% for property annexes from April 2014. This will support extended families living together, for example with children saving for a new home or elderly parents,” said a spokesman for the Treasury.

The Treasury said households will save an average of £485 a year on an average combined council tax bill of £2,427.

The tax break was announced during yesterday’s Autumn Statement, which will apply to all homes in the United Kingdom.

The Treasury estimates 24,150 homes in England alone have built “granny flats” to help care for elderly relatives. They are also increasingly being built for young adult children, who cannot afford to get on to the property ladder.

Under existing rules “granny flats” are regarded as separate dwellings and are liable to be charged full rates of council tax by local authorities. The Treasury said this unfairly penalises extended families living together, which is why they have introduced the tax break. The spokesman added the tax break could incentivise other households to build extensions for family members.

Ministers are also reviewing legislation to remove red tape that can make it more difficult for home owners to adapt properties.

At present, garage conversions are hit with a ‘community infrastructure levy’, hitting homeowners with a bill of several hundred pounds for building on their property. Ministers are seeking to remove this ‘stealth tax’, which is increasingly being introduced by town halls.

James Scollard at Clifftons comments ‘I’ve always thought this additional council tax was unfair if the annex is being used by family members. In fact is should be scrapped. However, people should pay full tax if its rented out.’

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Help to Buy Scheme

2013-10-09 22:30:54

Help to buy Scheme 5% Deposit

The much publicised ‘Help to Buy Scheme’ has arrived.

What exactly is it?

The Help to Buy scheme is designed to help people who can afford to have a mortgage but have not been able to afford to save thousands for a deposit. The Help to Buy gives them a life changing opportunity, to buy a property that previously they have not been able to do.

The scheme is open to Home Movers AND First time buyers. (Even if you have moved home five times, you can still use this scheme or currently have a property and looking to sell and buy).

The scheme allows you to buy a property with a 5% deposit. 15% of the loan will be interest free for the first five years of owning your home. In the 6th year, the interest will be 1.75% of the 15% part of the loan.

Mortgage lenders have begun to unveil mortgages which they will offer under the new Help-to-Buy scheme. Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest and Halifax will start taking applications this week; with HSBC, Aldermore and Virgin Money joining later this year/ early 2014.

Importantly, it’s NOT just first time buyers, the mortgages will be available for both first time buyers and home movers looking to buy a property. The only restrictions (currently) are: Maximum property value is £600,000, Property must not be a shared ownership or shared equity purchase, Property cannot be a second home, Property cannot be rented out (buy-to-let).
With the purchaser only needing a 5% deposit and the Government’s loan guarantee this means they can access an 80% mortgage, which opens the door to more competitive lending rates and the dream of buying your own home.

Some critics (Including Labour, which introduced the failed Home Information Packs) say this scheme could create a housing bubble in the UK. Personally, I think this is utter rubbish. Northern Rock were offering 125% mortgages meaning you could obtain a mortgage for £150,000 and they would give you another £30,000 to go on holiday, buy a car etc etc, it was credit heaven, care free, easily available credit on tap. We are in a very different place today. In addition, there will be no interest only mortgages or offset mortgages. My opinion, if you can afford to take up the scheme and are accepted by the lenders, jump in with both feet. It will be cheaper than renting.

Not all mortgage seekers will be able to sign up, and those who do, will still have to go through “rigorous” affordability checks by their lender.

Lenders can sign up to the Help to Buy scheme and pay a fee to the government, which will provide a seven-year taxpayer guarantee covering 15% of the loan value. That guarantee can be called in if the borrower defaults. It is available for properties sold for up to £600,000 in the UK. The scheme is expected to continue for three years.

At CLIFFTONS, appointments are now available … Tel: 01202 789699

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Mortgage Payments represent 27% of average income, compared to 48% in 2007

2013-08-31 22:39:17

After a number of years in a turbulent economic climate, we are starting to see signs of recovery in the housing and mortgage market.

According to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, total mortgage lending in July this year has increased by 29% compared to the same period last year. This is great news, showing signs that the market is strengthening.

One particular area which has seen large growth is mortgage loans to first time buyers. This has reached a 5 and a half year high this year, hitting 25,000 mortgages to those buying their first home in May. This was a 42% increase on the year before.

As the market continues to grow, estate agents and lettings agents are extremely busy. Mortgages currently have competitive interest rates, so if you are looking to buy a new home or invest in another buy-to-let property, you could save money on their mortgage payments. A recent survey from Halifax has shown that mortgage repayments are the most affordable they have been for 14 years. Mortgage payments now represent 27% of the average income compared to 48% in 2007.

The number of mortgage products available has also increased to over 10,000 for the first time in 5 years. This means there is much more choice.

We can take the hassle out of finding a mortgage and can help find the best deal for you. We are able to provide a full advice service and guide you through the application process. There are many things to take into consideration when taking out a mortgage and thankfully we offer a full service, so please do not hesitate to contact us with any new enquiries. We will be happy to help.

Contact CLIFFTONS today on 01202 789699.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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Market Movements in Sales and Letting – Up or Down Jan 2013 – June 2013

2013-08-03 22:54:28

CLIFFTONS belong to one of the largest networks of Independent Estate Agents in the UK with over 1,100 branches, actively working with large corporate business, companies, banks, part exchange, solicitors and new homes builders, trusted in the knowledge, CLIFFTONS adhere to the highest standards within the property industry.

As such, this allows us to see intimate data across the UK and in the South West.

SALES – A positive outlook with prices at a record high and selling times at 92 days.

The South West saw a decrease in new listings in June when compared to March. By June however 31% more properties were coming to the market than January 2013. It appears the market is finding a new level after new listing numbers increased 2013.

The Average asking price rose markedly each month up to June when at £262,727, prices were the highest on record, increasing £9,203 in just six months and 2.64% in Q2.

The average number of days required to sell property in the South West fell by 16 days, or 24.59% through Q2, ending at just 92 days. Considering against asking prices and a higher number of listings, this suggest a positive outlook for the region.

LETTINGS – Advertised rents up compared to this time last year. Average rent £790pcm.

The steady growth peaked in December 2012 at the high, average £799pcm and have dropped through 2013 to £790pcm, £9 but up from this time last year at £775pcm.

If you are thinking of Selling or Letting properties, call CLIFFTONS today for a free valuation.

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Bring Back Bungalows

2013-06-23 23:14:37

Snobs hate them, no one builds them anymore. Yet one in three of us, think they are the best homes of all.

The British in their modest, understated way, would prefer to live in a bungalow more than any other type of building. Survey after survey shows that the bungalow always comes out on top. ‘The Bungalow’ remains the third most popular name for our home, after ‘The Cottage’ and ‘Rose Cottage’.

Older people are particularly keen on them, they are much easier to clean, more convenient for security measures, easier to get in and out and of course without all those stairs to negotiate.

Yet no one seems to be catering for the bungalow lovers. In 2009, only 300 bungalows were built out of 100,000 new properties in the UK and many more were demolished. Just 2% of our housing stock in taken up with bungalows, even though 30% are longing to live in one.

Part of the issue is Planning policy. The coalition, which is desperate to expand the number of homes being built, insists new development needs to be at least 30 houses per hectare. Bungalows spreading horizontally, eat up all the space.

Our taste for the bungalow began in the 17th century, when British expats in India fell for the local one – storey thatched houses, built in the Bengali style – thus the name bungalow, derived from the Hindi word ‘bangla’, meaning Bengali. These banglas also had verandahs, itself another Hindi word, meaning balustrade or balcony.

The first British bungalows were built at Westgate-on-Sea and Birchington, both on the Kent coast in 1869. They soon became a popular form of seaside architecture all around the coast, not least because they are less likely to block a sea view but less likely to block the neighbours light.

Though the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the fashion for bungalows took off. In 1922 house buyers were snapping up The Daily Mail Bungalow book, a collection of the very best designs from that years Architects competition.

The very popularity of the bungalow in the 1940s gave rise to the snobbish dislike for them. As is so often the case in our class obsessed country, things that were popular among the lower-middle class were attacked by their supposed social superiors. That snobbery lives on in the current opposition and planning policy by the government towards bungalows. The new Policy Exchange report suggested that people should live now they would like to live, by removing planning powers from local councils and instead letting local homeowners vote on new developments. Would they vote for more tower blocks packed with tiny flats or their favourite sort of building instead … The bungalow.

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Rental Properties in Bournemouth with Data

2013-04-20 00:33:22

The private rental sector looks set for growth in the medium term, with both private and institutional landlords attracted by improving yields and strong demand.

However, landlords are finding very little market data is available to help make informed investment decisions and/or fully evaluate the performance of their property portfolios.

CLIFFTONS (exclusively to central Bournemouth) belong to one of the largest networks within the UK of Independent Estate & Letting Agents, with over 1,200 branches, giving us the ability to access information and data.

Accurate valuations and ability to understand local market conditions are fundamental to our core business and success within the local area.

The data from the rental index is sourced from 150,000 private and agent listings each week supplied by home.co.uk. The data supplied by our network, is for the first quarter January 2013 to March 2013. Rich data like this ensures the index and information is credible, accurate and a snapshot of the British UK Rental Sector and local rental markets.

The South of England remains much stronger than the rest of the country with a £121 gap between southern and most expensive northern regions. Average rents remain stable. London prices fall, stabilising at around £2,182 per month by the end of March. Rents in East Anglia and Scotland increase steadily for a second quarter. Rents in North East, East midlands, London and Wales return to 2012 levels.

In the South West, rents grew steadily throughout April 2012 to January 2013, from an average of £764pcm to the height in January 2013 of £812pcm, before falling back from January 2013 to March 2013 to £788pcm.

Rents fell back by 2% in February due to a large increase in housing supply. However, this appears to be a temporary phenomenon which can be attributed to seasonally low demand and slow property turnover in the market. In the long term, rental prices can be expected to increase at a similar rate to 2012, peaking at around £825pcm.

Having such data and understanding the local markets gives CLIFFTONS an advantage over our competitors, reacting faster and ensuring our clients receive the best advice possible, up to date rental amounts and low void periods.

For a free landlords brochure or free valuation, please contact CLIFFTONS in Bournemouth town centre on 01202 789699 or CLIFFTONS in Winton on 01202 512520.

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Rental Yields on Buy to Let Properties

2012-07-24 08:51:34

Yields on complex Buy To Let property reached their highest level in Q2 2012 as average annual yields on Multi-unit Freehold Blocks rose to 7.5%, according to Mortgages for Business.

Complex buy to let yields also increased on semi-commercial property, with the average yield rising from 7.3% in Q1 to 7.4% in Q2. Houses in Multiple Occupation continued to offer investors the highest returns, despite yields falling from 10.7% in Q1 to 9.2% in Q2.

The consistently high yields on complex buy to let property contrasted with vanilla buy to let, where yields dropped slightly from 6.3% in Q1 to 6.1% in Q2.

The declining yields on vanilla buy to let property came despite the average loan sizes and property values increasing in this subsector in Q2. The average loan size on vanilla increased 13% from Q1 to £138,557, while the average value of vanilla property bought by investors rose sharply from £191,470 in Q1 to £217,374 in Q2.

Buy to let mortgage availability increased in Q2. There was an average of 456 of buy to let products offered over the quarter. It represented an increase of 3% from an average of 442 products available in Q1, and of 13% from Q2 last year.

David Whittaker, managing director of Mortgages for Business, commented:

“Although the recipe for economic growth continues to elude the government, the buy to let market is performing consistently strongly and is managing to resist the economic downturn going on around it. It is the one area of the property market that is performing well. Complex buy to let yields have been consistently strong, with returns on MUFB investments proving particularly lucrative over the last quarter.

Yields in the vanilla market have reached something of a glass ceiling. At a shade over 6%, there isn’t much scope for them to increase further. It’s encouraging more investors to diversify by adding complex buy to let properties to their portfolios.

We’re also seeing vanilla investors purchasing more expensive property in the south-east as they try to tap into the big reservoir of tenant demand in the region. As a result, vanilla loan sizes and average property values have increased significantly over the last quarter.”

James Scollard, owner of CLIFFTONS in Bournemouth comments:

“We have see a rise in investors, generally the ‘baby boom era’ that expereinced high inflation through the seventies resulting in small mortgages over time, now with a high level of disposable income, equity, no mortgage, continuing to grow their property portfolios, now running typically three to six properties.’

In Bournemouth the work force is extremely strong with a vibrant service industry and growing local population. The demand for buy to let properties for the area remains strong and we see this continuing to grow.

Especially, with the limited new build happening in Bournemouth, mainly due to the local planning rules that changed regarding social housing. Previously, developers and builders could built 12 units and not contribute to social housing. Now the contribution is built 1 unit and the council look for a large contribution. They have turned the tap off for newly built properties. The result is lack of housing and growing shortage for years to come for Bournemouth.

Good for buy to let and future capital appreciation.

In you are a landlord looking to rent out a property in Bournemouth, please call me in the Bournemouth office on 01202 789699.

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Sellers vote Independent Estate Agents

2012-07-05 20:51:35

According to Move with us statistics, independent estate agents in the network are clearly outperforming the rest of the industry on market share and days to sell.

The research, derived from the Move with us network containing over 1,200 independent estate agents (the largest network in the UK) and home.co.uk, compared the average market share and days to sell to those of their corporate competitors and found that the independent partner network estate agents on average held 11.3% market share compared to 8.7% held by corporate agents.

The data also found that independent estate agents in the network were not only gaining more market share but also selling properties on average three days faster than their corporate counterparts.

Simon King, Director at Move with us said: Since we first started out 15 years ago Move with us has always championed the independent estate agent and provided them with a range of property services. Our data shows that we are right to support such businesses.’

‘Independent estate agents have often lived locally for many years providing them with excellent local knowledge and high levels of customer service. They know that high service levels will mean customers return time and again and that their recommendations to family and friends will bring even more business in the future.’

James Scollard, owner of CLIFFTONS Independent Estate Agents in Bournemouth comments ‘Being independent gives us control and focused on what we do best, too many corporate agents are owned by financial institutions trying to sell mortgages. Whilst, most independents leave the mortgages to the banks and focus on properties.

I would always go to a market leading, friendly independent estate or letting agents, rather than a corporate agency.’

Move with us is a national network of leading independent estate agents across the UK, working with builders and new homes, part exchanges, bank repossessions, relocation companies, probate sales and referrals.

CLIFFTONS are proud to be a member of Move with us covering the Bournemouth area.

For a free valuation, from one of Bournemouth’s leading independent estate & letting agents, please call 01202 789699.

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Newly built homes are at the lowest point for over 60 years

2012-05-18 20:56:30

A report by the National Housing Federation, Shelter and the Chartered Institute of Housing has highlighted that while there has been a small increase in new builds, the 109,020 completed homes in 2011 is almost 40% below the 2007 peak of 175,560 – and less than half the number the government admits would be required annually to meet demand.

As well as failing to tackle the ever-increasing housing crisis, the coalition are more importantly failing their electorates via rising homelessness, rising rents and increased overcrowding; as a direct consequence.

The report reveals:

■The number of councils’ “acceptances” of homeless households reached 12,830 in the final quarter of 2011 – up 27% from the period during which the government came to power.

■The autumn 2011 total of rough sleeping counts and estimates, from every local authority in England, was 2,181, up by 413 (23%) from the 2010 total of 1,768.56.

■The areas with the highest numbers of rough sleepers were London (446), the South East (430) and the South West (337). The North East had the lowest number with 32.

■The number of households living in overcrowded conditions continues to rise, from 630,000 in 2009-10 to 655,000 in 2010-11.

■Since January 2009,71 the number of Housing Benefit claimants has increased by 724,000, or 17%. The most marked rise has occurred in the private rented sector, where claimants increased by more than 45%, from 1.1m to 1.6m. Independent research published in March 2012 indicated
that in-work households accounted for most of the increase in claimants during 2010 and 2011.
This suggests that the effects of the recession are creating significant affordability problems, and that even a return to jobs growth may not help reduce the claimant count.

■The total benefit bill across all tenures rose from £424m per week in April 2011 to £432m per week in January 2012. Nevertheless, the rate of increase has slowed considerably since January 2009, when total weekly expenditure was £328m.

■Despite the welcome increase in 2011, overall new build remains significantly lower than the 119,070 units recorded in 2009, the year before the Government took office. The 2011 figure, of 109,020, compares poorly with the 2001-2010 average of 142,000, and apart from 2010 is the
lowest annual total of any year since 1946.

■The number of repossessions have fallen by several hundred to 17,800 in the final half of 2011. This leaves the total number of repossessions in 2011 at 36,200, down from 37,100 in 2010.

■Some 221,000 households were more than three months in arrears in December 2011. This is fewer than at any time since the end of 2008 – although still twice as many as in 2004. The proportion of mortgages in significant arrears fell to below 2% of total loans at the end of 2011.

Well some bright and breezey statistics when the rest of Europe is falling down around us.

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Buy to Let shows signs of recovery

2011-10-11 21:44:13

Buy To Let shows signs of recovery

Buy-to-let lending rose by 12% in the third quarter, according to data published today by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Supported by ongoing demand for rental property against the backdrop of the owner-occupier market.

There were 26,900 buy-to-let loans advanced in the third quarter, worth £2.8 billion. This quarterly rise of 8% by volume and 12% by value is the second consecutive quarterly increase in lending.

Compared to the third quarter of 2009, the volume of lending was up 14% and the value up 33%, from 23,700 and £2.1 billion respectively. Buy-to-let lending is low by historical standards – running at levels last seen in 2002 – and the market will likely continue to show growth into 2011.

At the end of September, there were 1.29 million buy-to-let mortgages outstanding, an increase of 7% from the previous quarter. The proportion of loans in arrears of more than 1.5% of the balance remains broadly unchanged at 1.45%, while repossessions (at 0.12%) and the appointment of receivers of rent (at 0.10%) were also virtually unchanged from the previous quarter.

Buy-to-let demand appears likely to increase, which is unsurprising in an environment where the demand for rental property will be boosted by the access problems that first-time buyers face in the owner-occupier market.

James Scollard, proprietor of CLIFFTONS in Bournemouth comments “Property investors are back in the housing market taking advantage of lower house prices and higher rental demand; it’s frustrating when I hear first time buyers holding back. I don’t see the logic I’m not buying now because house prices are falling. This is exactly when you should be buying. Now is an opportune moment to buy a property well below the high of 2007 and can look forward to the property price rising very soon.

The figures that are produced on House prices are generally three to six months old, so by the time it hits the newspapers and television that house prices are dropping is a key indicator to take advantage of buying properties at a lower price.

Now is a fantastic time to be buying your own home. The Quantitative easing (a monetary policy used by some central banks to increase the supply of money) is taken when other avenues have been exhausted, like lowering interest rates and is designed to artificially create inflation or reduce deflation by eroding the real value of each unit of the functional currency. People who have saved money or are holding any monetary item will find its real value eroded by inflation; however those who have negative savings (debt) will see the real value of that debt decline.

Commenting on the figures, CML director general Michael Coogan said:

“We would expect buy-to-let demand to pick up further if current rising rental trends continue and house prices remain broadly stable. However, there is short term uncertainty as a result of the unresolved debate on housing benefit and landlords’ response to new limits.

“The bigger question is whether there will be sufficient supply side capacity to meet that demand, as the number of buy-to-let lenders dwindled in the credit crunch after 2007 and is yet to be fully restored.

“However, it is clear that in a market where access to home-ownership has become more difficult, the private rental sector is experiencing, and will continue to benefit from, high levels of demand for good quality housing.”

Whether a first time buyer or buy to let investor, clifftons are here to help.

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Tesco Bank providing mortgages

2010-10-22 22:14:19

Tesco Bank is planning entry into the mortgage market in early 2011 and has has signed a five year agreement with Vertex to support its entry.

To provide sales and service for Tesco Bank’s mortgage business, 200 permanent jobs are being created in Glasgow. The jobs will be based at Atlantic Quay.

First Minister Alex Salmond said:
“Scotland has established a reputation for financial services excellence and I am delighted that Tesco Bank is creating 200 new jobs in Glasgow through Vertex.

“I welcome Tesco Bank’s plans to further increase their presence in Scotland as the company moves into the mortgage market. This announcement reinforces the message that Scotland has not only the infrastructure, but the skills and talent to deliver success in the financial services industry.

“The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International continue to work hard to deliver jobs and investment to communities across the country. This is great news for Glasgow and for our continually growing financial sector.”

Benny Higgins, chief executive of Tesco Bank commented:

“We are focused on designing mortgage products that are consistent with the Tesco brand; namely, products that are simple, transparent and reward customer loyalty. We are making good progress and plan to submit our proposals to the FSA next month.

“We have been very impressed with the quality of applicants we have seen for our Broadway One office in Glasgow and firmly believe that this is also the right location for customer sales and service staff for our mortgage business. Customer service is central to Tesco as a group and these will be crucial roles for the business as we look to enter the mortgage market next year.”

Paul Sweeny, CEO, Vertex Group said:

“We’re thrilled to be playing a role in what is a transformational move by one of the most respected brands in the UK.”

The owner of Clifftons comments ‘I initially thought it was a joke but on a serious note, when are Tesco going to stop? I’m beginning to think one day, I’ll walk down the high street and it will just be Tesco clothes shops, Tesco banks, Tesco food shops, Tesco newsagents. I’m bored of Tesco, bring back entrepreneurial, interesting, creative shops. I want to be interested.’

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HMO Houses in Multiple Occupation

2010-09-08 23:13:34

Landlords and Councils will no longer be faced with bureaucracy aimed at micro-managing rented housing, Housing Minister Grant Shapps confirmed today.

The Minister laid new regulations that could cut as many as 8,500 planning applications from the system, freeing up councils to focus on local priorities. Currently landlords have to submit a planning application to rent their properties to unrelated tenants – known as Houses in Multiple Occupation. Regulations published today will ensure councils only have to use this power where they know high concentrations of shared homes are a problem.

Too many shared homes in one area can cause problems. A high number of short term tenants with little stake in the community can leave an area with an unloved look and feel, which can sometimes create seasonal ghost towns that harm local economies, anti-social behaviour and an increase in crime.

But the Minister said that a blanket requirement to manage these through the planning system is a drain on council resources, and threatens to drive good landlords away from the rental sector because of increased costs and red tape, therefore restricting availability of affordable homes for rent.

Currently up to 8,500 planning applications may be added to the system each year if every landlord looking to turn their property into a shared home is forced to submit an application, regardless of local circumstances.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said:

“Councils understand their local area best, and they don’t need burdensome rules that assume housing issues in every town, village and hamlet are exactly the same. I am also committed to safeguard the supply of rented housing – shared homes are vital for people who want to live and work in towns and cities, and are important to the economy.

“That’s why I’m giving councils greater flexibility to manage shared homes in their local area. Where there are local issues with shared homes, councils will have all the tools they need to deal with the problem – but they will avoid getting bogged down in pointless applications, and landlords won’t be put off renting shared homes where they are needed.”

Notes to editors

1. Councils are to be given more flexibility to manage shared homes in their area. The problems that arise from concentrations of shared homes are not widespread and the current requirement imposes an unnecessary burden on landlords and local planning authorities in those areas where shared homes are not a problem. It also runs the risk of reducing supply if landlords choose to move out of the sector rather than face the costs and delays of applying for planning permission.

2. The definition of a small HMO (the C4 use class) will remain and permitted development rights will be extended to allow all changes between the C4 and C3 classes without the need for planning applications. In areas where there is a need to control HMO development, local authorities will be able to use an Article 4 direction to remove these permitted development rights and require planning applications for such changes of use.

3. These proposals will mean that any change of use between dwelling houses and small HMOs will be able to happen without planning permission unless the local council believes there is problem with such development in a particular area. In these areas they will be able to use article 4 powers to require planning permission.

4. Consultation with interested partners on this issue will ensure that the new rules work effectively for local people without placing an unnecessary burden on landlords and local planning authorities.

5. The proposals are part of wider reform to the planning system so that it moves away from the current top-down approach and create a system which encourages local people to take responsibility for shaping their communities, and gives power to councils to make this happen.

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Congratulations to David

2009-07-04 21:29:21

Dave Stewart at CLIFFTONS Estate and Letting Agents in Bournemouth has just successful passed The Technical Award, NFOPP Level 3 Award in Residential Lettings and Property Management.

The National Federation of Property Professionals and its divisions have a combined membership of just under 14,000. The NAEA and ARLA are the UK’s leading professional bodies in the sales and letting sectors of the property market.

The NFOPP’s aim is to promote the highest standards of professionalism and integrity among those working within the property industry, and to encourage members of the public to proactively seek out our members when involved in any kind of property transaction.

The owner of CLIFFTONS Estate Agents in Bournemouth, James Scollard comments “I’m really pleased, the course involves lots of hard work and dedication. He has been in the letting industry for over four years and we have received plenty of positive feedback on his performance and knowledge from our clients.

Well qualified staff will demand professional standards from all those around them, including employers and landlords and I would recommend to any Landlords to ensure they find out the agents qualifications and experience before trusting them with their property assets.”

Dave Stewart comments “I have gained the experience working within the industry for many years and working at CLIFFTONS I have now had the opportunity to gain the qualification. The exam requires knowledge of legislation covering tenure and housing law and all the obligations and requirements of landlords, tenants and letting agents. This includes deposits, client’s monies, tenancies, insurance and health and safety.

It demonstrates to the public that full professionalism is available within the private rented sector and re-enforcing compliance for everyone involved.

In addition, it also means we deliver the highest possible standard of service”

For a free rental valuation from David, please telephone, CLIFFTONS on 01202 789699 or call into the office at 227a – 229 Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth.

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Boscombe Surf Reef

2009-03-06 21:37:29

Europe’s first artificial surf reef in Boscombe, Bournemouth will resume next month and the long-awaited project should be completed by the end of August, subject to weather conditions.

That’s the prediction of Andy Campbell, commercial manager of ASR, the New Zealand-based contractors employed by Bournemouth council to construct the Boscombe reef.

During a four-day visit to the resort, Mr Campbell said his company had been stung by criticism over the delays and spiralling costs of the reef scheme, which have risen from £1.8 million to more than £3 million.

He said: “We have been surprised and concerned; particularly by reports that we would not be coming back to finish the project. We will definitely be back.

“Our reputation is on the line here and we are not going to do anything that would put that at risk. I can understand people’s concerns but the delays were out of our control.

“The first problem was getting work permits; then we had to contend with one of the worst summers on record. We had to stop work for safety reasons.”

Mr Campbell said ASR’s contract with the council remained unchanged, since it was re-negotiated last summer. “The only extra cost has been £100,000 which the council contributed towards our demobilisation and remobilisation costs.

“Eight construction workers will be back at the end of April; the timescale is dependent on the weather but if we get a good run we hope to complete by the end of August. Subject to the right weather conditions, surfers will then be able to ride the waves.

“I’ve spoken to surfers this week and, even with only the first layer in place, the surf has improved.”

Mr Campbell said work on a reef, currently under construction in India, would be halted by the monsoon season. ASR employees are also involved in two on-going reef projects in New Zealand.

He added that the New Zealand schemes would be completed “when weather and funds allow” with the Bournemouth reef likely to be finished first.

“It will be a fantastic attraction which will not just attract surfers to Bournemouth; surfing is a huge participation sport in New Zealand.

“The reef will be a huge boost to the local economy; with the global recession it will help regenerate tourism in this area.”

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Interest rates down – What now for Property Investment?

2009-03-05 21:58:16

Interest rates down to 0.5% – What does this mean for Property Investment?

The Bank of England today took the widely expected, but even so historic, step of slashing interest rates by 50% – down to a record low 0.5%.

But more interesting and significant is the announcement that the BoE will begin so-called quantitative easing, better known as printing money.

This is really taking the UK economy into unchartered waters and there is no doubt the world will be watching to see how this voyage of discovery turns out.

The plan is to pump an initial £75 billion of a possible £150 billion into the economy, essentially to start money flowing through the economy’s veins again. It is a desperate measure by any standards and has been brought about by desperate times.

Will it lead to a huge rise in inflation? Almost certainly not.

Of course, some inflation is the specific purpose of the exercise. Too much would be a disaster – although less so than a spiral of deflation.

The fact is that extra product, whether its money or anything else is only inflationary if there is insufficient demand. Right now the UK economy is starved of credit, especially credit to businesses, so insufficient demand and a sudden flood of cheap credit hitting the economy and causing a sudden leap in inflation seems an unlikely combination.

Wooing the fearful consumer to spend may be the hardest challenge. Unemployment is shooting up and consumer confidence has fallen off a cliff. Who will borrow and spend if they genuinely fear they will lose their job?

Monitoring the effects of the cash injection will be key and the bank will be ready to reverse the cash injection if needed. The real worry is that this is pretty much the last bullet in the bank’s gun – apart from pumping in more money.

Quite how the new money will be injected into the economy isn’t yet clear, although it has been widely speculated previously that the BoE will buy the UK government’s debt in the form of gilts from banks and other institutions. That liquidity, it is hoped, will then be lent out by those same banks and institutions and the wheels of the credit machine will gradually groan back into life again.

So far in this crisis, where the UK has gone first, others have tended to follow. The eurozone cannot take the measures the BoE has announced today, perhaps this has been the reason it has been slower to cut rates: it needs some ammunition in reserve.

What is clear, or at least what is becoming clearer, is that rate cuts alone are not going to persuade fearful banks to return to business that is anything like normal. Other measures are needed and the UK’s BoE has taken the bold step of deploying them.

But what does all this mean for the UK’s battered property market?

For those who have cash, there is no where to put it. Stocks and shares? and hope the bottom is near, that the whole lot isn’t lost, stick it in a bank and pay them to keep it for you and not pay you interest . Of course, you can buy gold, sure. But gold is only a hedge and you will need to be ready to switch into a longer-term asset when the clouds clear.

OR it can be invested in property bargains for the long-term.

That is why we are seeing an ever increasing number of investors coming to us looking for high yielding rental property – property that is off its peak price of a couple of years ago by a great deal more than the property price indices reveal the average falls to be.

People are bargain hunting, in other words.

No one has a clue – despite what they might say – about when we will see strong capital growth again in the UK property market.

It will depend directly on the performance of the UK economy and how well it manages its rebalancing act. It shouldn’t be written off in a hurry, that’s for sure.

All this leaves the investor surrounded by a great deal of uncertainty. The answer, is to protect yourself as far as possible from the potential worst case scenarios.

Once upon a time – in what seems like a different age – the hunt was all about high capital growth in property investment.

The property investment strategy for today has completely changed. The search is no longer for capital growth but rental yield.

This is why so many investors are looking at rental yield. Rental Yield is a great protector. It allows an investor to take an income stream at best and at worst it should allow an investment to cash flow itself – be so-called cash flow neutral.

A High rental yield means an investor can, essentially, fire and forget – they put their money down, sit back and wait for growth to return to the market, whenever that may be.

CLIFFTONS Estate agents cover the whole Bournemouth property market, dealing with repossessions in Bournemouth, investment properties, HMO properties and tenanted properties. Combining this with an active Letting agent department means we can offer an exemplary service.

CLIFFTONS is an independent Estate & Letting agency in Bournemouth and now is a great time to buy property.

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Good time to buy a property?

2008-11-27 22:52:00

Good time to buy a property?

Who knows? …well, maybe me. Who listens to me? Not many people, in fact I get the most confusing looks from people, as though I have two heads.

It seems everyone is an expert and will tell you the same, “prices are dropping and it’s a terrible time to buy property”. Yet these same people were looking to buy a property in 2006 / 2007 at the height of the market and now they are telling me, after prices have dropped, not to buy. Hello? Why would you not buy when prices are LOWER ?!?!?!?!? (OK, they might go lower but they are still a lot lower than the peak).

So who is buying? I can tell you, property developers, serious buy to let investors, estate agents and a small minority of Joe public. Property experts know that there are very few buyers out there, yet properties still have to sell and are being picked up for a pinch. I have personally have seen properties sell for half the price that they were a year ago.

The media, who seem to be the new property experts that everyone is listening to, are telling me prices have dropped 15% and due to drop another 10%. Why is everyone is listening to the media?… The media, who obtain their information from surveys carried out by estate agents yet no one will listen to an estate agent.

I’m saying “A drop of 15% is only an average!” Some properties are dropping by much more than that. I can tell you now; this is one of the best times to buy!

As soon as the media say property prices are going up, you will have not only missed the boat, but will have lots more competition from other potential buyers.

With interest rates so low, as they are and going lower, now is a fantastic time to buy a property. Bid low, no other buyers around, everyone saying it’s a bad time to buy, but sellers still need to sell, so people that have to sell are taking the low offers.

Yet it appears that would-be buy to let landlords, usually first time landlords, would prefer to keep tens of thousands of pounds in the bank, receiving a very low rate of interest, than take advantage of bargain properties offering much higher rental returns on top of a very strong possibility of high capital growth over the next two to three years.

It’s like any market, what goes up, goes down and what goes down will go up.

The building of new homes has slowed, the population is growing. People have to live somewhere.

For me, it’s a shame, first time buyers are holding off and first time landlords are not taking advantage.

To find out what repossessions and discounted properties CLIFFTONS have available, call CLIFFTONS on…01202 789699.

Written by James Scollard, Proprietor

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Energy Performance Certificates EPC

2008-08-02 23:20:13

From 1st October where there is no HIP in place on a property being sold, the seller will be obligated to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to a purchaser before exchange of contracts can take place. This is regardless of the reason for HIP exemption which means that properties that were listed prior to the relevant commencement date for requiring a HIP are also subject to this requirement.

The legislation which allowed people who were already on the market to be except from a HIP, however, this exemption under Regulation 51(1) ceases from the 1st October 2008, as provided by Regulation 51(7). Therefore sellers of homes which beat the HIP deadline will now need an EPC from 1st October 2008.

James Scollard from CLIFFTONS comments “Many sellers, solicitors and agents are currently unaware of the impending deadline and legislation, I know we’ll be speaking to our clients in August to ensure they have sufficient time to prepare their Energy Performance certificate and remain compliant with the changing legislation.

The sales process can sometimes take months to go through, as an agent, I would be more than frustrated for any sale to be delayed by a week or two to orgainse an Energy Performance Certificate at the last minute. Fortunately, I am a qualified assessor and can carry out the energy certificates for my clients.”

To organise an Energy performance certificate, James at CLIFFTONS can be contacted on 01202 789699.

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Clifftons Estate Agents in Winton – New Office

2008-03-30 23:27:44

CLIFFTONS are pleased to announce the opening of their second office in Winton by business partners, Jason Skinner and James Scollard.

Between them, Jason and James have over twenty five years experience in the property industry working for both corporate and independent estate agents in central London and locally. This brings together the experience and knowledge needed to successfully sell homes.

“Since 2005, CLIFFTONS has grown to become one of the leading agents in Bournemouth, we have an extremely successful town centre office, so opening a second branch in Winton is the natural thing to do as we are selling more and more property in Winton and the surrounding areas.” says James.

“It is fair to say that the market has become more difficult, so choosing the right agent is of paramount importance. Having another office gives our clients a wider coverage, attracting more people, achieving the best possible price for them.” adds Jason

“Most of our business now comes from recommendation and repeat business; a true indicator clients are pleased with the service.”

“The property market is picking up, and having a large database of buyers, we now need more properties available. We would be delighted to hear from anyone thinking of selling or currently on the market.” adds James

To speak to either partner regarding sales or lettings or to discuss Home Information Packs, please call in at CLIFFTONS Estate Agents, 706 Wimborne Road, Winton, BH9 2EG or telephone 01202 512520.

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Zorro comes to town !

2008-02-23 23:34:23

As the markets around the world are in need of revitalisation, here in Bournemouth, the property market is looking vibrant – Zorro has come to town.

James Scollard at CLIFFTONS Estate Agents comments “It was a normal day at the office, dusk was closing in, a tin can rolling down Old Christchurch Road and across the road was a shadow of a stranger.

After helping an elderly lady safely across the road, he swings the office door open and says “he wants to help more people sell their homes.” The rest as they say is history.

I’ve been very impressed, since joining the CLIFFTONS team in Bournemouth, he has sold four properties in his first three weeks and I’m sure Zorro will help many more people sell their homes.”

“I believe now is a great time to buy, the second half of 2007 saw house prices come down around 8% according to our figures and 4.5% by Rightmove figures, however, January has seen a flurry of activity with new house hunters, as many properties have now fallen into their affordability zone. This, coupled with a reduction in interest rates and further cuts on the horizon, improves affordability for many first time buyers. This market mirrors the 2005 downturn when I opened CLIFFTONS with my sister and 2006 and the first half of 2007 saw house prices increase. I think small increases and decreases with be commonplace over the next ten years, rather than the historic boom bust days. Essentially, the economy is stable with low unemployment, increased immigration, low interest rates and increased single home occupiers.”

If you are thinking of selling and looking for a super hero, call Zorro at CLIFFTONS today on 01202 789699 or call into the offices at 227a – 229 Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth.

Pictured with the brief case, Zorro – off to a flying start.

-End-

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Tenant demand at ‘five year high’

2007-11-29 22:19:14

The level of tenants seeking to rent property privately has hit a five year high in the UK, the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla) says.

A number of factors have combined to push up demand including an increase in immigration, more people living alone, and a weakening of the housing market.

The South East has seen an acute shortage of rental properties, while central London has seen demand surge.

Letting agents were warning of shortages across the UK, Arla said.

“This peak demand should come as no surprise” said Ian Potter, head of operations at Arla.

“Softening in the sales market is always a driver of further demand in the rental market,” he added.

In the South East of England, 57% of the letting agents said that they were seeing demand outstrip supply, according to Arla’s quarterly report.

Elsewhere in the UK, 37% of them have reported rental property shortages.

Central London has seen a 13-fold increase in demand for rental property over the past five years, Arla said.

At the same time, tenants are choosing to rent for “well over a year”, Arla said in its survey, which is which is based on responses drawn from 517 letting offices.

Property is remaining empty for “well under a month”, down from an earlier average of nearly five weeks.

Clifftons Letting Agents in Bournemouth agree, property to rent is at a high and more supply is required.

If your looking to rent in Bournemouth, call Clifftons letting agents on 01202 789699.

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Buy to Let

2007-11-27 22:29:15

The past few years have been a golden time for buy-to-let property investors. It’s seemed as if no one could lose as the UK house price boom gathered pace. No surprise, when you consider the woeful performance of the stock market and the crisis gripping UK pensions. Money has to go somewhere, why not bricks and mortar offering a potentially tasty combination of capital growth and investment return?

However, five interest rate increases since November mean that the days when you could buy almost any property and turn a profit may be over.
Investors who do extensive research and go through with the deal when the figures stack up will succeed. People looking to make a success of buy-to-let will have to be in it for the long term, with rental yield the bottom line and the possibility of capital appreciation an extra something special.

In recent times, buying a property off-plan – which means before it is actually built – has been seen as an easy way to get into buy-to-let. Hassle-free modern properties could be purchased off-plan and by the time they were actually built they would already be showing a healthy paper profit as a result of house price inflation.

But this scenario no longer holds true and buying off-plan can, in some cases, prove a costly error. For one thing, new developments can be flooded with buy-to-let investors and when these properties come onto the market at the same time, they drive down rental yields.
Many off-plan developers offer special discounts to tempt purchasers. Don’t fall for such developer incentives as some firms inflate the initial price so that they can offer headline grabbing discounts. Buying off-plan does have its advantages, for example the property will come with a structural guarantee.

But the bottom line has to be does the deal stack up? What is your likely rental income and how much capital are you willing to have tied up in the property?

Popular perception is that buy-to-let mortgages are hugely expensive and very restrictive. However, the interest rate available on a buy-to-let mortgage is generally not significantly higher than those on standard mortgages. For example, if a landlord chooses a variable rate mortgage they can expect to get anything from 0.64% to 1.25%, depending on the size of their deposit, above Bank of England base rate.

But buy-to-let borrowers do have to jump through some extra hoops to satisfy mortgage lenders. For starters, buy-to-let mortgage lenders base their decisions on whether or not to approve a loan on the likely rental income from the property and not the applicants’ income.

With the housing market showing signs of losing some of its fizz, anyone considering buy-to-let needs to be a savvy operator and do their research. It is more vital than ever that would-be buy-to-let investors keep tabs on the property locations that they are interested in.

Don’t pay too much attention to promises of high rental yields by letting agents. It is a good idea to contact them first as a potential tenant, to help get to the truth about local market conditions.

A little local knowledge can go a long way in buy-to-let investing. The most successful buy-to-let investors purchase property close to where they live.
The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Changes

2007-10-12 22:09:50

There has been talk of buy-to-let investors selling part of their portfolio to take advantage of the existing capital gains tax (CGT) regime before the changes are introduced in April 2008, however, this maybe a little hasty and they could well be better advised to wait.

The only investors who would benefit from selling before April 2008 are those who have owned their investment property for at least 10 years and are basic rate taxpayers now – and would still be basic rate taxpayers after having realised any buy-to-let gains.

This is because non-business taper relief reduces the effective rate of CGT to 12% after 10 years for a basic rate taxpayer, 24% for those who pay at 40% – which is likely to be the majority of investors. But the new flat rate CGT charge will be 18%.

Taper relief broadly reduces chargeable gains according to the period of ownership – that is the number of whole years for which the asset has been held after 5 April 1998 – and whether the asset disposed of is a business or non-business asset.

Non-business assets such as buy-to-let properties receive no taper relief until year 3 of a 10 year maximum holding period. The rate of relief thereafter is 5% per annum, up to a maximum of 40%. Full non-business asset taper relief therefore results in an effective CGT rate of 24% for an individual who is a higher rate taxpayer or 12% for a basic rate taxpayer (ignoring the annual CGT exemption).

Because CGT is applied as the top slice of your income, most property owners realizing gains are going to be higher rate taxpayers paying CGT under the existing rules at an effective rate of at least 24%. This is higher than the new flat rate of 18% which will apply after 6 April of next year.

And even very long term holders of buy-to-let properties who stand to lose not only taper relief but also indexation up to 1998 when indexation was replaced with taper relief, will have to have owned their properties for a very long time before they will be worse off.

Take for example, someone who bought a property in April 1988 for £100,000. Inflation as measured by the RPI which went from 105.8 in April 1988 to 162.6 in April 1998 was therefore 53.6%. Under the existing rules the acquisition price would be uprated to £153,600.

If they sell before 5 April 2008 for £400,000 their profit is £246,400 and their liability to CGT at an effective rate of 24% after 10 years taper relief is £59,136. Under the new rules after 6th April 2008 their profit will be £300,000 taxed at a flat rate of 18% which works out at £54,000. It makes no sense to sell just to take advantage of the existing rules.

-End-

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Energy Performance Certificates Bournemouth

2007-09-15 22:20:12

CLIFFTONS Estate Agents in Bournemouth now have qualified in-house energy assessors to carry out the Energy Performance Certificates for the Home Information Packs.

The purpose of the Energy Certificate EPC is to record how energy-efficient a property is as a building. The certificate will provide a rating of the property from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is very inefficient.

Two ratings are shown. The environmental impact rating is a measure of a home’s impact on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – the higher the rating, the less impact it has on the environment. The energy-efficiency rating is a measure of a home’s overall efficiency. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the home is, and the lower the fuel bills are likely to be.

Each rating is based on the performance of the building itself and its services (such as heating and lighting), rather than the domestic appliances within it. This is known as an asset rating. The certificate also lists the potential rating of the building if all the cost-effective measures were installed.

The ratings will vary according to the age, location, size and condition of the building. The potential rating on the certificate will take these factors into account, and the suggested measures will be tailored so that they are realistic for the particular building.

The Energy Performance certificate is included as part of CLIFFTONS Home Information Pack

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Home Information Pack Bournemouth

2007-09-02 22:29:48

Home Information Pack – HIP Bournemouth

Anyone marketing a three or four bedroom house from the 1st September now need a Home Information Pack and need to make it available for prospective purchasers of the property.

What does a HIP contain?

1. Home Information Pack Index
2. Energy Performance Certificate
3. Sale Statement
4. Standard Searches
5. Evidence of title

Additional Information is required for leasehold / share of freehold properties:

1. A copy of the lease

2. Any regulations or rules that apply to the property that aren’t mentioned in the lease or proposed amendments

3. Statements or summaries of service charges covering the previous 36 months

4. The most recent requests for payment of service charges, ground rent and building insurance during the 12-month period before marketing began

5. The name and address of the current or proposed freeholder, and details of any managing agent that has been appointed or proposed by the freeholder to manage the property

6. A summary of any works being undertaken or proposed that will affect the property

There are optional items that can be included in the pack if the seller wishes to make the pack more comprehensive, they include:

1. Home use and home contents form
2. Legal Summary
3. Warranties and guarantees

CLIFFTONS Estate Agents in Bournemouth delivery a full Home information Pack and is complied together by our in-house energy assessors and local solicitors, reducing the cost for sellers.

For further informations on HIP’s, please contact CLIFFTONS Estate Agents in Bournemouth on 01202 789699.

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Buy-To-Let to double by 2010

2007-04-27 22:46:47

Buy to Let Bournemouth to Boom. The number of Brits owning one or more second homes to rent out is set to double within just three years, according to a new report.

While many young people are struggling just to get on the first rung of the property ladder, new research reveals that two million UK homeowners (seven per cent) already own a second home in the UK or abroad.

The major study by market analysts Mintel found that currently one million people – three per cent of homeowners – are buy-to-let landlords, owning property in the UK that they let out, while the rest simply enjoy the luxury of having more than one place they can call home.

And the research predicts that within the next three years, a further one million homeowners want to have another property in the UK that they can let out, doubling the total UK buy-to-let market by 2010.

Mintel’s senior financial analyst Paul Davies said: “It is clear that these days, buy-to-let is no longer the exclusive domain of professional portfolio landlords.

“Increasingly, property owners are seeing the benefits of investing in bricks and mortar and often regard the second homes market as a good alternative means of saving for retirement.

“As long as these trends continue, future growth in this market should be guaranteed.”

He said that although not all second property owners will opt for a buy-to-let mortgage, in 2007, the number of new buy-to-let mortgages is expected to reach 361,000, up almost 10 per cent on last year’s figures.

Similarly, over the past year, gross advances on buy-to-let mortgages – the total amount borrowed – will have also increased by around the same amount (nine per cent), to reach just under £42 billion this year.

By 2011, Mintel predicts new sales of buy-to-let mortgages will be more than 550,000 a year, up 53 per cent on 2007 figures, while gross advances will grow at an even faster rate (65 per cent) over the same four year period, reaching nearly £69 billion.

Mr Davies added: “The buy-to-let mortgage market has experienced meteoric growth since the late 1990s, outperforming the wider mortgage market over the past few years.

“We expect the market to continue to grow at a healthy rate over the coming years, driven by the expected expansion in the population and the continuing strong demand for rented accommodation.”

The research reveals that people’s faith in property is generally greater than in pensions. More than a third (36 per cent) of homeowners believe it is actually ‘better’ to invest in property than a pension, rising to more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of second property owners.

Additionally, only a very small proportion of homeowners are put off making further property buys because of the risk of further interest rate rises (10 per cent) or a potential housing market crash (eight per cent).

However, on the flip side, one-in-five homeowners (20 per cent) appreciate that there are risks involved and 15 per cent believe that there is an ‘element of luck’ when it comes to investing in property.

Today, well over half of homeowners who plan to buy a second property within the next three years, would need to take out a second mortgage (57 per cent), while one-in-four (26 per cent) would release equity from their own home, to help fund the purchase.

Other potential sources of finance include, drawing on their own savings (38 per cent), using the business (10 per cent), inheritance (seven per cent), downsizing (six per cent) and a pension lump sum (six per cent).

Meanwhile, some 14 per cent – or one-in-seven – also say they plan to share the funding with someone else.

Mr Davies said: “Just as in the mainstream mortgage market, where there is a growing tendency for close friends and family to group together to buy a first home, it also seems that this is being mirrored in the buy-to-let market.”

-End-

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Bournemouth & District Association of Estate Agents elects founder of Clifftons, James Scollard

2007-03-28 22:58:13

James Scollard, the owner of CLIFFTONS Estate Agents in Bournemouth has been newly elected to chair BPRO, the Bournemouth & District Association of Estate Agents, Surveyors, Valuers and Auctioneers.

Jason Spiers has been Chairman for the past two years and as been at the forefront of rebranding the association. He is now helping towards the prestigious 2007 annual dinner event. Jason Spiers of Richards in Corfe Mullen comments “James Scollard is a very personable, charismatic young man who has tremendous energy and great ideas to ensure the local Association carries on moving forward”.

James Scollard comments “The association brings together property professionals across Bournemouth, Poole and surrounding areas and is a chance for local solicitors, surveyors, estate agents and auctioneers to get together. This year sees some major changes within the housing industry and the association allows local firms with decades of experience to work closer together providing a professional solution.”

This year BPRO will be raised money for local charities including the Sea Cadets providing out of schools activities such as sailing, canoeing, orienteering and lots more.

James Scollard, Chairman for BPRO comments “The association wanted to give something back to the local community and this event is an ideal opportunity.”

Membership continued to grow throughout 2006/2007, several new members have joined, including Derek Rolls based in Moordown, Shaun Fudge of Lewis-Dean based in Upton and Sarah Fudge of Tudor Estates in Bournemouth.”

To obtain property advice and free valuations from the areas leading independent property professionals, you can visit the website www.bpro.org.uk.

– End –

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Zero emissions Homes

2007-03-18 23:06:52

The Government wants all new houses to leave no carbon footprint, to be self sufficient in terms of energy, and to be generally free of sins of emissions. It is looking at the possibility of green mortgages and lower council tax for such homes.

Do consumers really care? The perceived wisdom is that they do if they read the Guardian, wear sandals and eat lentil wholegrain sandwiches, don’t go on foreign holidays and like rambling. But how mainstream will the green shift become?

If all the political parties have anything to do with it – very. However, current technology available to house builders only allow a 50% reduction in carbon output. (source: Linden Homes).

This means the Government must place considerable investment in green technology over the coming ten years in order to produce a 100% reduction in carbon output. Current features being tried are, argon filled triple glazed windows, state of the art wall insulation, ground source heat pumps, photovollaic panels, solar panels, wind turbines, reduced shower flow, timber frame construction from sustainable source, low energy lighting and non-electric ventilations systems which push warm air from the loft space through the house.

Traditionally, the great believers in ecological building are self builders – people who commission the design and construction of their own homes, willing to pay a premium for features that aren’t everyone’s cup of green tea.

Existing technology could add as much as £20,000, so in order to achieve a zero carbon home there needs to be a cost effective solution.

Can be really produce these type of homes by 2016? Almost certainly not, meanwhile, estate agents will carry on to plug the interesting period details and features of open fireplaces, high ceilings, original sash windows for the relevant properties in the right location.

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Boscombe Banks on its new wave

2007-02-12 23:13:49

Sunday Observer

Bournemouth’s reviving suburb is building an artificial reef for surfers and flats for the well-heeled. The online surf report from Sorted Surf Shop isn’t too promising: ‘Flat today, but might get a wave midweek.’ By September, the hope is that the outlook here in Boscombe will be considerably better.

Last month, work began on a project to create Europe’s first artificial reef by dropping hundreds of sandbags into the sea some 245 yards off Boscombe’s beach. The £1.4m project is aimed at turning a sedate suburb of Bournemouth into the south coast’s leading surf centre, since the reef will – if all goes to plan – generate waves up to 13ft high and double the number of good surfing days in Boscombe from 153 to 306 a year, setting the town up as a rival to Newquay in Cornwall.

The reef, though, is just one part of a regeneration project which it is hoped will revitalise Boscombe, and make it a property hot spot in the next few years. Work has already begun to put Boscombe’s pier back into shape – it will have its end lopped off and be given a smart new entrance building, due to open by May. The £8m regeneration revolves around a ‘Spa Village’ that includes new restaurants and shops, extensive landscaping, and 42 ‘super chalets’ – upmarket beach huts that will be available for hire by the day.

It’s all being paid for by a development of luxury apartments. Barratt Homes has spent more than £9m on an old car park on the waterfront, which it is converting into Honeycombe Beach, a set of 169 apartments in nine blocks, clustered around communal gardens and a courtyard. Some, but by no means all, of these new homes will enjoy spectacular views across Bournemouth Bay and Swanage, towards Hengistbury Head.

Prices for the first group, to be sold off-plan, start at £389,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment looking into the courtyard. A similar apartment with sea views, and a study, will cost you £950,000. The first apartments will be ready to occupy in spring 2008.

Boscombe has an interesting – though chequered – history. A large part of it was owned in the mid-19th century by Sir Percy Florence Shelley, son of the poet. In the 1860s Lord Malmesbury had the idea of using Boscombe’s natural spring to create a health spa that emphasised fresh sea air and bathing. That scheme was soon abandoned in favour of building big houses instead, and over the next couple of decades Boscombe developed as a conventional seaside resort.

From the 1950s to the 1970s, however, it went into decline, and many of its grand Victorian houses were split into bedsits. It has taken a couple of decades for regeneration to finally get off the ground.

James Scollard, the proprietor at Clifftons, says the bedsits are now firmly on the way out: ‘Boscombe has already come up a great deal during the past couple of years.

We’ve seen a lot of the older houses come down to be replaced with luxury apartments.’ He says the council is now rejecting the conversion of further hotels and B&Bs into apartments, in an effort to revive the town’s appeal as a family holiday resort. Some £2m has also been ploughed into improving and landscaping Boscombe Chine Gardens, with new paths, pagodas and playgrounds.

James Scollard comments ‘The reef is going to make Bournemouth one of the best places to surf in the country, and will generate lots of extra visitors for B&Bs, hotels and holiday apartments,’ he says. ‘For investors, capital growth should be strong here for the next few years.”

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